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The Nifty is a real gem inside. It operates for movies when there’s a community fundraiser or desire; same for drama productions. The owner, James Dixon, is a theater enthusiast and has put a lot of work into restoring & maintaining this building. It has a historic, handpainted backdrop and exotic landscape scenes painted in the ceiling coves. The old vaudeville pit is still visible.
Tacoma Public Library’s building index lists Lundberg & Mahon as the architects and R. R. Pratsch as the builder.
About the two Pantages Theaters construction dates… there’s an article on Alexander Pantages in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly (October 1966), and on p. 142 it states the new vaudeville house at 3rd and University had to wait until his Canadian theaters were completed, and they were still under construction in 1914. Also, it seems to imply that he didn’t even purchase the land at 3rd/University until 1912 or later. The ticket image on the PSTOS site is too blurry to tell if it belonged to the first or second Pantages. I’ve read elsewhere that the first one closed in 1914, so perhaps the ticket was from there?
Does anyone have contact info for this theater besides the movie line and street address? I’d love to talk to the owners/operators about the building’s history.