Palomar Theatre

1300 Third Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98101

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Palomar Theatre exterior

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Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm

I also find conflicting dates Joe. This website gives the 1911 date. The site pretty much repeats the information contained on the PSTOS website. In case the link expires, this is the text portion:

The Pantages Theatre had two locations. The first location was a smaller vaudeville house.

The second location was much larger. It was designed by B. Marcus Priteca and built by Alexander Pantages in 1911. The theatre was located at the corner of Third Avenue and University Street on the site of the old Plymouth Congregational Church.

When the Danz Brothers took control of the house and renamed it the “Palomar.”

The theater continued under various names (including Mayfair and Rex) until 1965, when it was torn down to build a parking garage.

A clue might be on the PSTOS website. There is a program shown there that claims to be from December of 1912. If that program is from the second Pantages Theater, it must have opened prior to 1915.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 30, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Here is a circa 1905 photo of another Pantages Theater. Location given is Northeast corner of 2nd Ave. and Seneca St. This is probably the “smaller vaudeville house” that was mentioned in my comment above this one.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 1, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Here is a circa 1917 photo of the Pantages Theater.

sjohnTac on August 14, 2008 at 5:07 am

About the two Pantages Theaters construction dates… there’s an article on Alexander Pantages in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly (October 1966), and on p. 142 it states the new vaudeville house at 3rd and University had to wait until his Canadian theaters were completed, and they were still under construction in 1914. Also, it seems to imply that he didn’t even purchase the land at 3rd/University until 1912 or later. The ticket image on the PSTOS site is too blurry to tell if it belonged to the first or second Pantages. I’ve read elsewhere that the first one closed in 1914, so perhaps the ticket was from there?

CSWalczak on October 8, 2010 at 5:46 am

As the Palomar in 1969:
View link

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on September 11, 2011 at 5:28 am

Here is a movie program from the Pantages Theatre from April, 1929. The program is so jam-packed full of ads that it is difficult to tell which movies are actually playing.

rivest266 on January 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

June 25th, 1936 grand opening ad as Palomar has been posted here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 28, 2012 at 11:09 am

If this house opened in 1915 as the Pantages, and became the Palomar in 1936, when was it called the Rex? I found a reference to John Hamrick being the manager of the Rex Theatre in Seattle in 1917. Could it be that the first Pantages (opened about 1905 at 2nd and Seneca) became the Rex, and not this house?

The source of the AKA’s Rex and Mayfair appears to the the PSTOS page for this theater, but this photo from April, 1965, just two months before the house was demolished, shows the Palomar vertical sign still in place.

This article from The Seatlle Times says that the Pantages became the Palomar in 1936, and doesn’t mention the AKAs Mayfair or Rex.

Maybe somebody with access to old city directories or other such sources can find the Rex and Mayfair names attached to some other theater. I suspect the first Pantages is the most likely candidate. PSTOS might have conflated the histories of the two theaters. They definitely got the opening year of this house wrong, and it apparently never had any names other than Pantages and Palomar.

jimshep on January 28, 2013 at 2:03 am

I had many great experiences at this theater including when one Sunday evening (about 1948 or 1949) my father took me there and Desi Arnaz was on the bill playing his bongos and flirting with the women. I also especially remember that Harry Blackstone (the magician) made annual appearances at the Palomar. I was also attending a matinee of a Tarzan movie in 1949 when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Seattle.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

This Pantages Theatre opened in August, 1915. An article in the October 13 issue of the Spokane Spokesman-Review that year told of a Spokane exhibitor and his partner from Montana who had taken a lease on the Lois Theatre in Seattle and planned to operate it as a movie house. The article said that the Lois Theatre was the old Pantages Theatre, and that Alexander Pantages had been operating it as a combination house since opening the new Pantages Theatre in August.

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