Tacoma Mall Twin Theatre

4302 Tacoma Mall Boulevard,
Tacoma, WA 98409

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

optimist008 on October 1, 2018 at 7:27 pm

This site has many, many newspapers online:wwwfultonhistory/fultonhtml.org

Ralph Daniel
Ralph Daniel on October 1, 2018 at 6:11 pm

Does anyone know a Tacoma resident who can look up old newspaper records to see what the ads said?

MSC77 on September 29, 2018 at 10:19 pm

patryan6019: Were the Tacoma Mall engagements of the “last 4 ‘Cinerama’ pictures” advertised/promoted as being “in Cinerama”? Even Song of Norway?

patryan6019 on April 26, 2018 at 8:30 am

Ralph Daniel…MSC77…polyparkie…The opening was on the date cited in the overview…with Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? 2001 played a year and half later (for 12 weeks) followed by Zebra, Java and in 71, Norway…the last 4 “Cinerama” pictures ever.

Ralph Daniel
Ralph Daniel on April 24, 2018 at 8:34 pm

According to http://incinerama.com/tacoma.htm Tacoma Mall was planned and built as a Cinerama theatre but no known Cinerama films were shown.

mhvbear on April 24, 2018 at 7:50 pm

2001 opened at the Seattle Cinerama on 5/28/1968 and played for 77 weeks.

MSC77 on April 24, 2018 at 7:37 pm

polyparkie… I don’t know what this theater’s debut booking was, but I very highly doubt it was Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I suspect Seattle would’ve had clearance over much of the state of Washington for a roadshow booking and “2001” hadn’t even opened yet in Seattle as of mid-May ‘68 (if that is in fact when the Tacoma Mall Theater opened).

KenLayton on April 24, 2018 at 3:54 pm

The mall replaced the theater with a Krispy Kreme donuts shop. The donut store is mostly deserted every time I drive by it.

polyparkie on April 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm

If I remember correctly, the film showing on opening night in 1968 was “2001, A Space odyssey”, A Stanley Kubrick film…

Ralph Daniel
Ralph Daniel on July 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

a full view of the original theatre interior is now at http://incinerama.com/tacoma.htm

markinthedark on July 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Just uploaded some old newspaper ads

ProfessorMoriarty1 on May 28, 2015 at 8:33 am

I remember attending services held by Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God at the Tacoma Mall Theater during 1975-1976. This ministry, based in Pasadena, started on radio in 1934 and expanded to television in the 1950’s. They put out the free magazine called The Plain Truth. The were Sabbath keepers so services were held on Saturdays. They rented the theater in the morning. I recall the pastor of the congregation was a former airline pilot named Richard Atkins. I recall it was a beautiful facility.

chadshowbox on April 28, 2012 at 2:36 am

The chandeliers have been in The Showbox in downtown Seattle since 2001.

markinthedark on March 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Very nice. I wish there were photos out there of the auditoriums after the split. That would bring back memories.

Ralph Daniel
Ralph Daniel on March 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm

For a full view of the original theatre interior, see

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 19, 2010 at 12:40 am

Nice Twin Theatre,but it should have stayed with one screen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

Mark: I haven’t found any references to a third theater built on the model of the Lakewood and Tacoma projects, but if one was built it would probably have been built for one of the Forman companies; Forman United Theatres or Pacific Theatres. I’ll keep an eye out for evidence of such a project.

markinthedark on April 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Joe, do we know if there is a third theatre out there with this design?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

Since posting the comment immediately above I have done more searching in Boxoffice and have found that Ben Mayer, who the magazine said had designed the Tacoma Mall Theatre, was in fact an industrial and graphics designer, not an architect.

Therefore I think it’s safe to accept the Tacoma Library’s claim that the architect of the Tacoma Mall Theatre was George T. Nowak, of George T. Nowak & Associates, architect of the nearly identical Lakewood Center Theatre in Lakewood, California, which opened a few months earlier than the Tacoma Mall house. As the Lakewood Center was designed in association with Mel C. Glatz, his firm might have been involved in the Tacoma project as well.

I’ve found Ben Mayer credited with the design of a few other theater projects, but aside from the one drive-in at Tacoma these were all remodeling or decorating jobs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 29, 2009 at 8:33 am

The May 27, 1968, issue of Boxoffice Magazine announced that the Tacoma Mall Theatre had opened on May 16. Among the celebrities attending the opening were Rudy Vallee, Tippi Hedren, and Troy Donahue. The article was accompanied by a small photo of the exterior of the theatre.

The similarity of the Tacoma Mall Theatre to the slightly earlier (and larger) Lakewood Center Theatre, and the fact that both were built by the Forman family, owners of both Forman United Theatres and Pacific Theatres (operating the Lakewood Center,) would lead one to expect that both houses had been designed by the same architect. Indeed, the Tacoma Library photos linked in comments above do attribute the Tacoma Mall to architect George T. Nowak, who was the architect of the Lakewood project. However, the Tacoma photo is the only source I can find saying that Nowak designed this theater.

The problem is that I’ve also found a source (but again only one) attributing the house to a different architect, that being a Boxoffice Magazine item of August 5, 1968, which mentions in passing that architect Ben Meyer, designer of United Theatres' new 112th Street Drive-In at Seattle had also designed the circuit’s new Tacoma Mall Theatre.

I think the Boxoffice item might be in error, but can’t be positive, and I don’t know the Tacoma Library’s source for the claim that Nowak designed the house. I suppose it is possible that the similarity of the two theaters stems from requests by the Formans that two different architects provide pretty much the same design for the different theaters (perhaps getting Mayer to do a less costly knockoff of Nowak’s design for Lakewood.) Maybe somebody can come up with a third source that will confirm one or the other of the sources I found.

kencmcintyre on April 18, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Here is a 1968 interior photo from the Tacoma Public Library:

minniethemoocher on March 30, 2008 at 4:10 am

Wow, I remember going here as a little kid in the late ‘90s. Can’t remember what films I saw, but I know I really liked the place (especially the chandeliers). How rare that such a nice theatre was built in the '60s, of all decades. I’ll miss this place.

And plus, Lakewood’s House of Donuts > Krispy Kreme.


markinthedark on August 1, 2007 at 6:52 pm

I still wish there were interior photos of the auditoriums of the Tacoma Mall Twin somewhere. Wish I had taken some way way back when I worked there one summer!

kateymac01 on August 1, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Someone should add the Pacific Lakewood Center to this site.

And there are WAY better doughnuts to eat in Tacoma than the ones at Krispy Kreme!

markinthedark on August 1, 2007 at 5:37 pm

Krispey Kreme cheapened its their brand and their mystique when thay started selling boxed doughnuts in grocerey stores. As much as I like their hot and fresh doughnuts direct from the store, the thrill has worn off. I certainly would refuse to patronize this particular Krispey Kreme on principle if I were in the Tacoma area.