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Cinemas 70 & 150

2001 Photo from the Dave Felthous collection.
2131 Sixth Ave
Seattle WA 98121

Demolished 2003
Record #2593  
 Opened: October 3, 1969
 Closed: October 27, 1998
 Demolished: 2003
Capacity: 1345 seats
Architect(s): Vincent Raney
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Seattle Center
 Previously operated by: United Artists Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Dave Felthous.

Now empty and awaiting redevelopment, the United Artists 70 and 150 theaters once were, along with the nearby Cinerama, downtown Seattle's leading movie theaters.

The larger theater, the 150, was presumably named for the Dimension 150 film process, although no D-150 films ever played there. It had about 500 seats and was topped with a domed ceiling. A waterfall curtain of gold and silver panels rose to reveal a large, curved screen. The 150 was the exclusive venue for the first "Star Wars," which prompted one of the first local installations of Dolby Stereo, and had the downtown booking for "E.T." (In fact, "E.T" initially opened in the smaller Cinema 70, but it quickly moved to the 150 to handle the crowds.)

Both theaters showed major-studio, first-run fare for years, then fell on hard times as new first-run screens went up in the suburbs. The UA went dark for a time in the 80s, then Art Bernstein, co-founder of the Harvard Exit Theater on Capitol Hill, attempted to revive it, doing some mostly-cosmetic refurbishing and reopening it as the Cinedome. But Bernstein was not able to compete with the chains for first-run pictures, and the effort failed.

So United Artists took over the theater once again and tried a second-run, discount policy that proved popular for a time. (At this time UA also installed stereo in Cinema 70, something local managers had been trying to get the company to do for years.)

For a brief time before the UA went dark for the final time, the company began calling it "Seattle Center," although it is many blocks from the Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair. But the signs were never changed, and the public never took notice of the puzzling switch.

There have been city redevelopment notices posted on the property for several years, but nothing has happened.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

Photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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Last featured 1/23/2005. Last edited 9/7/2016.

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