Seattle Cinerama

2100 4th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98121

Unfavorite 41 people favorited this theater

Seattle Cinerama

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Seattle’s Martin Cinerama opened in 1963 using the original Cinerama 3-strip projection technique. But with a shift underway towards 70mm projection, the theater was altered just a few months later, although the enormous curved screen was kept.

The 70mm Cinerama screenings lasted until 1969, when the theater switched to more conventional 35mm projectors. Eventually Cineplex Odeon took over operations. By 1997, the theater was struggling and developers swooped in with plans to repurpose the theater.

Very quickly, Seattle Cinerama lovers began a grassroots effort to save the theater. A year later, Paul Allen (of Microsoft fame), bought the theater for $3 million. Soon after, he orchestrated an immense restoration project that enhanced the theater’s appearance and returned it to its roots—showing films in the Cinerama format.

Re-opened in 1999, the Seattle Cinerama Theater is now one of only three operating Cinerama theaters in the world. This beautifully restored shrine to Cinerama is now one of the most technologically advanced movie theaters ever erected.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 198 comments)

paulnelson on April 6, 2014 at 1:08 am

I saw Blade Runner here once in an expanded Cinerama size presentation years ago. Special lense? Don’t know but it appeared to be just as expansive and large as the Cinerama process. Great! Also Days of Heaven.

edlambert on May 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Recently Dave Strohmaier exhibited snippets of the Smilebox restoration of “Cinerama Holiday” on the full Cinerama screen at Bradford, UK. It is an improvement to see the film without the jiggling that couldn’t be helped when three filmstrips were being run in the three projectors required for the original Cinerama process and presentation. I neglected to ask Dave whether the original seven-track sound system was preserved or that a downsizing to fewer tracks was employed. You can see the presentation here:

Redwards1 on July 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

The 70mm single projector presentations of films originally in 3 projector Cinerama at the Cinerama Festival at the Cinerama Dome in LA had little of the impact of the originals, with the exception of South Seas Adventure which was restored by an outfit in Austin, Texas. The sound on all the 70mm presentations was nothing like the original 7 channel Cinerama sound.

neeb on August 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

Closing for a few months starting August 4, 2014.

Also, seeking a liquor license.

markinthedark on August 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I hope they don’t attempt to LieMax the place.

Redwards1 on August 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Does anyone remember the sound at the Seattle Cinerama before Dolby was installed? It was more realistic & less “pumped up”. This was the only Dolby installation I have heard that was NOT an improvement. From reports since the rescue of the theatre that misfire installation no longer exists.

egcarter on August 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm

They are getting their 6P Laser Projection, Dolby 3D, Dolby Atmos, and other “enhancements.”

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

From the theater website I would guess the theater is closed? When did it close and when will it open?

HowardBHaas on September 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

Facebook page says closed August 3. Reopening date not announced. Fall sometime.

rick074 on September 26, 2014 at 3:03 am

rumor has it that the loudspeakers installed at the last remodel (EAW) will be replaced with Meyer Sound Labs. Both are good, but Meyer is the next step.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater