SIFF Egyptian Theatre

801 East Pine Street,
Seattle, WA 98122

Unfavorite 12 people favorited this theater

Showing 19 comments

Seattleprojectionist on December 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

This theatre was reopened on October 21, 2014 by SIFF. I am employed as projectionist at their Uptown Cinema. SIFF now operates three theatres, two single screen houses (Egyptian and the SIFF Film Center) and the Uptown triplex. All 5 screens are equipped for both 35mm and Digital Cinema.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

The 1915 Masonic Temple was the last major project designed by the Seattle architectural firm of Saunders & Lawton. Charles Willard Saunders was the architect of the Seattle Theatre (1892-1893), and in 1909 he and George Willis Lawton, with whom he had formed a partnership in 1898, designed the Alhambra Theatre.

tdickensheets on October 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Landmark Theatre use own it. Not any more.

Is it for sale?

pamster on September 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Holy sh*t. As usual, I was going down another web-hole when I ended up here – and saw this. I’m the one who created the logo, created the ad and worked with Dan & Darryl for a number of years. [I also brought Rocky Horror to the Neptune when I managed it in the ‘70s, but that’s another story]. We were so young then…

Sean C.
Sean C. on July 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Landmark Theatres who had been running this venue for many years lost their lease with the building owner, Seattle Central Community College, and the theater closed on June 27, 2013. Their midnight screenings are resuming on July 28 at the Harvard Exit Theatre, also a Landmark Theatre.

rivest266 on January 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

This opened on November 14th, 1980. I posted the first ad here.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on October 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

LOSTMEMORY… Please remove your post as this account is no longer working. In fact, I sincerely wish that everyone who has disabled their photos, etc., would PLEASE review their CT account and remove what’s NOT available. It’s so utterly frustrating to do all this scrolling up & down along with clicking this and that, only to find there’s no one home! Get my meaning?

droben on February 21, 2007 at 10:11 am

Mark, the old wood seats are still there, but only the ones in the back below the projection booth. About three years ago, the theater was altered to improve the sound by walling off the side balconies, so there are no longer any posts to obscure viewing.

And, yes, during the Seattle International Film Festival, the balcony is frequently opened up. I “tested” one of those old seats once and the word “painful” comes to mind. By the way, the altering has lowered the seating capacity to about 450 seats.

I love this theater. During the festival, it becomes my home away from home. Many people still complain about the sound, but I’ve never had any issues. New seats on the main floor, no stadiaum seating, a big screen and a curtain…what’s not to love?

markinthedark on February 21, 2007 at 9:09 am

I too love the Egyptian from my Seattle days. Have they cushioned the old wood seats in the loge? I wonder when they sell out the theatre if they sell tickets for all those seats as well. As I recall, some were behind posts or faced the center of auditorium, perpendicular to the screen (no doubt because the auditorium was not originally conceived as a theatre).

JRColvin on February 21, 2007 at 8:38 am

Saw a revival of Yellow Submarine here in 1999 and loved it, although the lady behind me interfered with my enjoyment of hearing the Beatles in first-ever surround sound by rustling her candy wrappers the entire time…

GWaterman on December 26, 2005 at 4:33 pm

The Egyptian-style decor in this theatre is not authentic, but was created during the early ‘80’s remodel, and, I believe, was intended to be evocative of the “Egyptian” identity of the presenters’ Moore-Egyptian. It is actually very tasteful and works well for the purpose, but I do not think it has anything to do with the original decor of the old Masonic Temple.

It’s a good place to see films, however.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 13, 2005 at 9:19 pm

Took a quick peek inside this house today, and while it does have an Egyptian theme, it is done in a very subtle and low-key way, with a touch of funkiness. There are a few Egyptian-style flourishes here and there, and a lovely proscenium, short and wide rather than tall and grand, also with a few appropriate touches. I was glad to see a curtain in front of the screen, instead of a blank screen or pre-show advertising. There’s a small raised loge or mezzanine, behind the orchestra seats rather than over them. This place reminded me of 1920’s non-palace movie theatre, functional rather than elaborate, like something out of “Paper Moon.” I wouldn’t have been surprised if the wooden seats weren’t cushioned. (They were.) That said, I know the locals love this place and I would recommend a visit if you’re in the area.

markinthedark on May 5, 2005 at 2:49 pm

Does anyone have pictures of the interior of this theatre?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 4, 2005 at 3:39 pm

Thanks D. Roben;
Sorry to cause confusion here, I have added the Moore-Egyptian Theatre as a new entry to the site.

droben on May 4, 2005 at 2:42 pm

Actually, Ken, you are referring to a different theater. In 1975, two entrepreneurs took over the lease of the Moore Theater (located at 2nd Ave and Virginia Street) and did a cosmetic remodel to turn it into an art house. They named it the Moore-Egyption. In 1979, they were forced to vacate (either by losing their lease, or finding that it was difficult to fill 1500 seats with foreign films) and took over the old Masonic Hall in Seattle’s Captital Hill district, now known as the Egyption. I’m hazy on the date, but a few years later, Landmark took it over and kept the same booking policy, who still run it today.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 30, 2005 at 2:01 pm

This was originally known as the Moore Theatre, listed in the Film Daily Yearbook,1941 with a seating capacity of 1,200. In the 1943 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed as closed. It became a legitimate playhouse for many years until 1976 when work began to re-model it into an art house cinema with an Egyptian theme.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 21, 2004 at 2:52 pm

The Egyptian Theatre opened on 14th November 1980.

JimRankin on April 8, 2004 at 10:35 am

For those who love the Egyptian style, there are a number of theatres that have had that theme, and an entire special issue of “Marquee” magazine was devoted to them in their issue of: Vol. 29, #3; Third Qtr. 1997, and the issue features wonderful color covers of the EGYPTIANS in Milwaukee (in the form of a wonderful color painting by artist Mark Hylton of Columbus, OH) and Ogden Ut. The table of such themed theatres includes 45 examples of those now, or at one time, with us. An introduction and Prologue carry one to those ancient days, and individual articles on the Ogden and Hollywood help detail the existing examples. Many other photos are included.
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)