Almo Theatre

18940 Front Street,
Poulsbo, WA 98370

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Ken Williams out front 1981-82

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Almo Theatre was opened prior to 1925. My great aunt owned it in the 1930’s/1940’s (Bell Jensen) and it was owned by the Lilquist family after that, until it closed in the 1980’s. A very small theatre with a single, center aisle. There was a little balcony that had a lily pond with fountain in the 1970’s (unsure if it was original). You had to be 18 to sit in the balcony. The lobby was tiny with restrooms, a small snack bar and the very narrow, steep staircase to the balcony. The exterior had been updated, probably in the 1960’s, with stone veneer.

The Almo Theatre closed January 15, 1987. It was renovated for use as a dress shop. The exterior stucco was restored and original second floor windows were opened up. The interior was completely gutted. The building is currently being used as an antique shop.

Contributed by Michael S. Tucker

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Nebbo
Nebbo on December 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

I saw the a showing (first run) of “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan” at the ‘mouse house’ back in the day, along with many other shows. My first scary movie (“Alien”) was experienced there. Wish somebody would make it a theater again. Boutique theaters are on the rise. How about an “adults-only” space that serves adult beverages and/or food? I’d go!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Nancy… and so would I and that means a trip from Port Orchard. You can also add some of the many past classic films as well as releases that were within the past decade… and those which have been listed as “public domain”.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I forgot to add that I once had 30 professional cinema seats but gave them away. However, I still have a digital projector, audio amplifier with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, two sets of small stage traveler curtains, a big electronic message board, framed classic movie posters and a ton of bric-a-brac cinema goodies.

Hey folks… what are we waiting for?

Arthur
Arthur on December 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm

The Almo Theater (theatre) was built by one J. H. Almos, a local boat builder. Its first sound was phonograph records synchronized (mostly) with the picture. I, and many of my friends (Don Hood, Vernon Herrick, et al, were projectionists when the theater was owned by George B. (Ben) White, Bill Haugen, and then Joe Lilquist. Its structure is still in place but no longer a shop of any kind. I started in the nitrate film days and can still smell the stuff. The whine of the DC generator for the arc lamps, the sputtering of the copper-clad arc rods, the smell of film cement using the Griswold splicer, adding cue marks to make changeovers…. etc. A world long gone. The curtain for the screen was hand-cranked from the ceiling of the projection booth, and many a hat and coat went sailing down the side of the auditorium when the curtains opened and someone had hung their garment on the cable.

KenLayton
KenLayton on December 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

The Regal “Poulsbo 10” is probably what forced this theater out of business.

waynebeau23
waynebeau23 on September 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

The picture (RAIDERS…LOST ARC on the marquee) shows Poulsbo Wash native, the late Ken Williams, out in front of the theatre in 1981-82. This was Ken’s boyhood theatre and he spent many happy hours there.

Seattleprojectionist
Seattleprojectionist on December 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

I installed the projection equipment and opened as lead projectionist the General Cinema Kitsap Mall 6 (now 8 screens) In Silverdale, WA in January of 1987. As I recall, the Almo’s last day of operation was our opening day, January 15th. The two theatres were less than 12 miles apart and the new shopping mall in Silverdale had stolen away much business from the surrounding area. Downtown Bremerton became a near ghost town for a few years after the mall opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm

The Almo Theatre was in operation by 1925, when this item appeared in the May 2 issue of The Moving Picture World:

“A. Swan of Silverdale, Wash., has acquired the Rex, Poulsbo, and is having it remodeled. This will furnish competition to J. M. Almos' Almo Theatre.”
J. M. Almos was still operating the Almo in 1942, although this item from the January 2 issue of The Film Daily misspelled both his name and that of his theater:
“Contract Is Let For New Theater In Northwest

“Poulsbo, Wash. — J. Alamos has let contract for a new theater here to take the place of the Alamos Theater. Work will be started early this year.”

I’ve found nothing later in the trade journals indicating that Mr. Almos completed his new theater. The timing was inauspicious. The Federal government was soon to place restrictions on all construction that did not contribute to the war effort, and the only way a new theater could have been built in Poulsbo at that time is if it was already well under way when the restrictions were established, or if the local population had grown much larger as the result of the establishment or expansion of a nearby military base or war-related industry.

The January 11, 1944, issue of The Film Daily reported that T. E. (a later item says T. F.) and G. B. White (the latter mentioned in an earlier comment by Arthur) had taken over operation of the Almo Theatre from J. Almos.

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