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Varsity Theatre

2001 Photo from the Dave Felthous collection
Far Away Entertainment
4329 University Way NE
Seattle WA 98105
(206) 632-7218

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Record #2595  
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Landmark Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Dave Felthous.

Carved out of a former grocery store, the Varsity emerged in Seattle's University District in the late 30s. For many years it was part of the B.F. Shearer circuit, which also had theaters in Bremerton, Everett and Portland. The small (about 300 seats) cinema was the city's first unofficial arthouse, mostly showing British films, with the occasional classical drama such as "Oedipus Rex."

In the late 50s, with the conversion of the nearby Fox Evergreen Egyptian Theater to a drugstore, the Varsity switched to mostly second-run fare.

Years later it became part of the local Seven Gables circuit. A third story was added to the building, housing one large and one very small auditorium. When the nearby Neptune was remodeled and switched to first run, the Varsity took its repertory programming in the downstairs auditorium. The other screens run offbeat independent films and occasional arthouse fare.

Interestingly, the building was built in 1921, the same year as the Neptune Theater around the corner, but it didn't become a theater until 1940.

Landmark closed the theater in 2014, and it was reopened in February 2015 under the Far Away Entertainment banner, which operates several other area theaters.

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

October 2009 photos from the Matt Lutthans collection.

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Auditorium 1, the or...

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Auditorium 1, the or...

August 2009 photos from the Scott Neff collection.

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March 2006 photos from the Darren Snow collection.

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February 2004 photos from the Matt Lutthans collection.

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Photos from the Don Lewis collection.

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 2/13/2015.

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