Crest Cinema Center

16505 Fifth Avenue NE,
Seattle, WA 98155

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Crest Cinema Center

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Crest was built in 1949. Equipped with widescreen capabilities in 1979, it was one of the first theaters in the country to run “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in 70mm.

It was expanded to four auditoriums in 1980: two houses were configured with stadium-style seats and high-backed chairs, and two larger houses were constructed to feature conventional seating and large screens.

The theater offered bargain nights in the late 1980s, and they became so successful that the owners decided to keep running “discount programming”.

Tickets are $3. It’s very much a neighborhood theater.

Contributed by Katie Mac

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

JeffKurtti on January 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm

The Crest was renovated by Seven Gables Theatres in Spring of 1978 and reopened with the premiere Seattle 70mm engagement of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” in May of that year. It bore the name Crest 70, along the lines of then-stalwart Seattle theatres UA 70 (70mm) and UA 150 (Dimension 150), touting its then-exclusive 70mm presentations.

Among its memorable showings were a 1979 70mm run of Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” for the first time in 20 years, the premiere engagement of Carroll Ballard’s “The Black Stallion,” and a repertory featuring 70mm screenings of “Days of Heaven,” “Camelot,” and “Hello, Dolly!” among many others.

The theatre storefronts were removed and gutted and converted into a small specialty cinema in 1979. The main auditorium was clumsily triplexed in 1980, destroying the presentation quality that had made the theatre such a success story only two years prior.

markinthedark on July 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I am curious about the fate of the Crest with the impending demise of 35mm prints.

paulnelson on April 26, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Great theatre still but I wish they would restore the original signage. I have seen many a film here over the years. Still attend often.

paulnelson on August 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Are there any pictures of original Crest auditorium still around? The light fixtures are being used in later small theatres in complex I think. They always used a curtain in the day. Started seeing films there often from 1955+. Then there was competition with the bigger Northgate, Alderwood multiplex and Aurora Village multiplex and of course the Lynn theatre. Remember those?

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