Parkland Theater

121st Street South and Pacific Avenue,
Tacoma, WA 98444

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The Parkland Theater was in a squat, old-fashioned building situated just outside the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. A typical eye-catching marquee shone out front. It had a beige and mauve color scheme inside.

This theater was owned by Mike Barovic, a blue-collar Tacoma guy who owned several theaters in Pierce County — the Fife Drive-In, the Beverly in downtown Tacoma, the Liberty and the Roxy in Puyallup, to name a few.

I am unsure when this theater was built, but the building burned down in the early-1990s. A Walgreens store now stands on the site.

Contributed by Katie Mac

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

KenLayton
KenLayton on June 1, 2005 at 1:44 am

The fire started when janitors left a 500 watt quartz halogen work light they were using too close to the wall drapes and they ignited. A sad end to a nice little neighborhood theater.

KenLayton
KenLayton on July 13, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Yes, those are indeed the Parkland theater that burned down.

I remember that it had union projectionists right up to the end.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 13, 2009 at 10:49 pm

This article was in the Centralia Daily Chronicle on 9/6/61. It appears to refer to the Parkland in Parkland, which is not listed on CT.

TACOMA (AP),â€" Fire which burned uncontrolled for half an hour partly gutted the Parkland Theater and two businesses in the same building Tuesday night. The theater was empty, and no one was injured. Damage was estimated al $80,000 to the theater, a sewing shop and an office of the State Farm Mutual Insurance Co.

The Pierce County sheriff’s office said the fire was reported at 7:41 p.m. by three youths who had been looking at theater advertising. It was brought under control about 8:10. The theater is in Parkland, south of Tacoma on the Mt. Rainier highway. It normally operates Thursdays through Sundays. The sheriff’s office said the cause of the fire was not known, but the pilot light of a popcorn machine had been left on.

KenLayton
KenLayton on July 5, 2011 at 12:47 am

A Walgreen’s drug store definitely occupies the site of the former theater.

KenLayton
KenLayton on July 8, 2011 at 11:29 pm

A story in Boxoffice magazine dated August 28, 1954 (page 51) reported that the owner/operator of the Parkland Theatre, Frank L. Willard and his wife Blanch were found guilty of income tax evasion totaling $6,000. Both were stenced to prison and the Parkland Theatre and his Yelm Theatre were seized.

KurtEnge1957
KurtEnge1957 on October 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

I was born in 1057 and lived up the hill from the theater, but my Grandparents lived up the street across from PLU. My parents had 4 living children and the 3 eldest used to get to go to the movies at this theater. It holds many memories for us and we dearly miss it as well as the Piggly Wiggly store there in Parkland.

My Grandmother, Anna Enge, was a secretary for Dr. Eastvold, and my Grandfather, Joseph Enge, worked for many years as the colleges maintenance man. The home that my Grandparents built, now belongs to PLU and is the Faculty House located across the street.

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