Southcenter Theatre

15700 Southcenter Parkway,
Tukwila, WA 98198

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The Southcenter was the last 70-mm Cinerama-capable theater built in North America. It opened in 1970 by United Theaters and had seats for 1,228 patrons. It boasted one of the largest screens in the area; the deeply curved screen measured 88 feet wide and 32 feet high. It closed Aug. 5, 2001, after a showing of “Moulin Rouge”. The building was demolished in 2002 to make way for a Bahama Breeze restaurant.

It was a great theater because you felt like you could walk right into the screen. It was that classic, giant, one-auditorium-style theater. That’s probably why it didn’t survive in a multiplex era.

Contributed by Kate

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

markinthedark
markinthedark on May 5, 2005 at 9:15 am

I saw “Raiders of the Lost Ark” here in 70MM in 1981. Those were the days…

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 7, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Here is an exterior view, circa 1970:
http://tinyurl.com/2jpxvu

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 7, 2008 at 4:34 pm

I think it was a revival.

ColinMarcoe
ColinMarcoe on July 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Another thing I remember about this auditorium was the small curtains that covered the projection booth window during intermissions. You can see them in the color photo Lost Memory posted. You always knew the film was about to start when the booth curtian opened first! I’ve never seen that in any other theater. Was Very classy!

jmsazboy
jmsazboy on July 6, 2009 at 12:05 am

I ran that theatre with a man named Jeff Parsons for a few years, was a great place to work and a great job.

I drove by and saw the Restaurant there, great memories.

justjake
justjake on January 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Ben-Hur was reissued in 1970 & played several theaters in the Seattle area. I drove the vehicle that shuttled the 70mm Ben-Hur reels from the Cinerama, to Southcenter, then to Tacoma Mall. Only one 70mm print was being used and all the others were 35mm. The 70mm originally went to the Duwamish Drive-In?!?!?! (part of the United/Sterling/Danz chain) but was quickly swapped for the Cinerama’s 35mm print. Southcenter/Tacoma Mall never marketed “Cinerama” but Southcenter did show the same print of 2001 as the Cinerama showed; I’m the guy who went & picked it up & drove it to Southcenter. The word “Cinerama” was replaced with “70mm” at Southcenter./

Parillamilt
Parillamilt on August 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Saw a lot of 007 movies there. Inside, the oval-ish ceiling made it look like a giant shoe was about to step on you.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

This opened on April 1st, 1970. Grand opening with picture posted here.

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