Seattle Cinerama

2100 4th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98121

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Showing 1 - 25 of 223 comments

bigjoe59 on July 5, 2019 at 6:28 pm

Hello from NYC-

during the prime roadshow period(1952-1972)what Seattle theaters did the studios use on a regular basis for their roadshow engagements? Manhattan had 7.

Redwards1 on October 4, 2018 at 7:37 pm

I agree the 3-projector original Cinerama is in a class by itself when it comes to putting the audience in the picture. Of all the Cinerama installations I have viewed, the Cooper circular auditoriums were the most effective. Both the Minneapolis and Omaha Cooper Cineramas were torn down years ago. They featured floor to ceiling screens and 3 individual projection booths at the rear of the steeply raked main floor. Their shallow balconies placed viewers in the action unlike the balcony and rear of the main floor at Seattle Cinerama, which is quite distant from the screen. The Los Angeles Cinerama Dome screen has a noticeable tilt to accommodate the steep projection angle from the booth at its rear. We have yet to build a theatre where today’s audiences can see Cinerama at its best.

RussM on October 4, 2018 at 5:08 pm
      John Sittig , on the Cinerama Dome page, said that they hope to have a three-strip Cinerama showing next year, after he has had a chance to get the projectors in shape. Is there any hope that Seattle Cinerama might do it again, or is that a lost cause ? The digital restorations are great, but for Cinerama old timers like myself, it's all about the process, not the content.
moviebuff82 on September 16, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Is it true that this theater is the most profitable theater in Seattle?

Redwards1 on September 16, 2018 at 2:15 pm

The labor intensive shift from deep curve Cinerama screen to flat screen is very inefficient. The Bradford England shift process seems more sensible with the flat widescreen dropped in front of the Cinerama screen.

JackCoursey on September 16, 2018 at 1:26 pm

The Cinerama hasn’t been a true Cinerama for at least the past five years. The giant, signature screen has been replaced with a shorter flat one and only single projection is used. On the plus side, they do periodically run 70 mm engagements and the digital presentations are state of the art. It would be great to have the Cinerama screen restored.

Seattleprojectionist on December 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

Two recent (12/6/2017) booth photos added.

Flix70 on September 27, 2017 at 2:49 pm

In anticipation of “Blade Runner 2049” opening Thu., Oct 5, Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner: The Final Cut 4K Restoration” will get an exclusive one-week engagement @ Seattle Cinerama beginning Fri., Sept. 29. Three to four shows daily through Wed., Oct. 4. Lobby display cases will feature original BR costumes and a cyberpunk event will kick off opening night. More info @

HowardBHaas on August 7, 2017 at 11:50 am

One of the highlights of this year’s 70mm festival will be what seems to be the only surviving 70mm print of “Sleeping Beauty” Classic movies filmed in 65mm shown in what will likely be great prints will include 2001, Lawrence of Arabia, Khartoum, It’s a Mad (etc) World, Spartacus, West Side Story, Patton, Tron, and Baraka. Vertigo wasn’t exactly 65mm but is another classic filmed especially well, with a great print. More recent films entirely or partly filmed in 65mm include The Hateful Eight and Interstellar. 35mm blowups to 70mm (often including more surround sound than regular 35mm) include Top Gun, The Dark Crystal, The Thing, Aliens, Star Trek VI, Ghostbusters, Wonder Woman, Inherent Vice, and The Untouchables. If I have anything inaccurate, feel free to say so.

Flix70 on August 7, 2017 at 11:37 am

Seattle Cinerama’s annual 70mm Film Festival takes place August 24-Sept 6. For films, dates and showtimes visit

pnelson on April 28, 2017 at 10:16 pm

I saw a couple Cinerama films back in the day at this great theatre. 2001 was just one. I also saw Blade Runner in a cinerama sized similar process at this theatre in the 80’s and Days of Heaven here too in this similar process. Exit door to exit door width. Identical to cinerama. It’s great this wonderful place was saved from the wrecking ball. Only wish the UA 150 was also saved. Also a huge screen and the best presentation always. Have seen countless films there as well. Lets not forget the Orpheum, Music Hall, Coliseum, Palomar, Liberty, Wilkes, Northgate, and Egyptian in University. The Cinerama at least was saved.

Zubi on September 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm

It was only the flat screen, but still very impressive (best showing of the festival, at least of what I saw). Our boys depicted shredding through mud and snow, tank treads and mechanized juggernauts, the high-tech war rooms, wide landscapes with countless explosions, cool uniforms everywhere, and the general’s pageant-like entry into Palermo. It was like no widescreen spectacle I’ve seen before. Very modern and gritty but also epic and stunning at the same time. I think that there was some chatter on Facebook about why the theatre didn’t bring out their curved screen (logistics or money or something like that). But now that I’ve read your note, I wish, of course, that they would have. The Cinerama-Hollywood ONLY uses their curved.

Redwards1 on September 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for the short comment on Patton. Was it shown on the Cinerama curved screen as the director & Dimension 150 process intended or was it shown on the flat screen? When Fox started allowing Todd-AO presentations to be shown on flat screens the process was considerably less impressive. I saw Can Can in Todd-AO at the Century Cinerama in Minneapolis & shortly thereafter at a reserved seat showing in Milwaukee, but the screen was flat & the presentation quite inferior though it claimed to be Todd-AO. Again, I saw Cleopatra at the Rivoli in New York on a curved screen & it was shown in Boston on a flat screen during the same initial release, both advertised as Todd-AO. I hope programming for the 70mm festivals can accommodate use of the deep curved Cinerama screen for films that were intended to be shown on it.

Zubi on September 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Mike – I read both parts of your article. Very enjoyable. Just a couple things to add to your comment above. Just as an fyi, “2001” was a bran new print in 2012 – not 2014. I agree, of course, with your remark that watching a pristine presentation can trump having already seen a movie. I caught “2001” at the Cinerama-Hollywood in the early 90s and it was scratched all to hell. So, seeing it again in 2012 in Seattle in absolutely flawless condition was a real treat. “2001” is a magnificent achievement in cinema that STILL looks more futuristic than much newer stuff, including its own sequel. It should be shown and often. But it is a long movie, one that many of us grew up with on television (remember the stereo simulcasts?), and one that many have now seen splendidly on the big screen more than once, so, just speaking for myself, I’m good to go for a while with that one. I would just really dig it if that most beneficent Paul Allen would go crazy again and splurge on something else. But that’s not to say this place doesn’t have great stuff. I don’t know if you were able to see “Patton” on Sunday, but it was something else. I also grew up watching that one on TV (it was my family’s first commercial video cassette). But seeing “Patton” on the big screen for the first time—and in stunning, very vivid 70—was an experience like no other.

Mike Tiano
Mike Tiano on September 18, 2016 at 5:09 am

My two-part article on the Seattle Cinerama has been published online, and thought both to be of interest to the folks here.

Part 1, titled “Seattle’s 70mm Film Festival Triumphs and Travails”, is a behind the scenes look that includes answers to some of the issues raised in this forum. The challenges in obtaining 70mm prints are not isolated to this one venue or festival; in this age of instant digital gratification through various formats it’s easy to forget that many titles for 70mm films may be in poor condition if they exist at all—though salvation may still be possible from exhibitors investing in striking new 70mm prints.

The Seattle Cinerama had done that with “2001: A Space Odyssey” for a festival run in 2014. The issue of variety is valid but to address one poster’s concern, sitting through a damaged, faded print years ago will be surpassed by viewing a newer, more pristine print. There are some of us who can, believe it or not, sit through certain movies many times as most of us lack a gigantic screen in a cavernous room at home to accommodate 70mm and matching surround sound. For me when the 1998 restoration of “Vertigo” in 70mm is shown there I don’t think twice about whether I should see it. I can’t duplicate this experience at home, and one day it might not be available at all.

The movie being viewed is only part of the equation, with the other being the theatre itself. “Saving the Seattle Cinerama: Paul Allen’s Gift to Movie Lovers” covers how a billionaire valued history and culture over what could have been a far more profitable (and for some, obvious) quick property investment. This conclusion covers how the Cinerama process and futuristic vibe of the Seattle World’s fair spawned the theater that first featured that process, and how it became the stellar movie palace it is today.

Here are the links to the articles. As a longtime denizen and supporter of this site I hope the readers here enjoy these articles.

Part 1 (70mm Festival):

Part 2 (History of Cinerama, the process and the theatre):

Zubi on August 18, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Yes, Howard, I did see the SB item as well on the 70 site. Someone on FB even suggested they overnight the print from Sommerville to Seattle but that would be too much trouble and expense, I suppose. Besides, who knows if anyone important from the theatre really even reads those comments. Someone from the theatre may WRITE those comments! Many read like they’re written by shills (theatre staffers pretending to be patrons). I especially like those people pleading and begging for titles that have already been announced! Anyway, yes, prints are a challenge nowadays. But not having “Ben-Hur” is terrible. Terrible. “Hateful Eight” – “Inherent Vice” —– yipeeeee. Even the masterpiece “2001” – gorgeous and spellbinding to be sure, but how many times can one sit through that inside of five years? I mean come on!!!! Sorry, the whole feel of the schedule is lazy and uninspired.

HowardBHaas on August 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Of the titles you mentioned, the last surviving 70mm print of Sleeping Beauty will be shown next month at the 70mm festival at Sommerville Theater outside of Boston. I’ve only read of Australia showing 70mm Ben Hur in recent years. El Cid had been reissued- in 35mm. This theater is showing some great titles including some not shown in the last festival. I’d love to see Apocalpse Now in 70mm! (which is included).

Zubi on August 18, 2016 at 8:48 pm

This place is great—a real asset for the West Coast. Chocolate popcorn. Remodels and upgrades. Festivals. But management and bookers are really not very responsive to their patrons ( doesn’t even have a message box anymore). They just posted their 70mm Festival schedule and it’s really a letdown. They were given so many wonderful suggestions on their FB page and, for the most part, didn’t take a one of ‘em. Where are the Samuel Bronston epics “El Cid” and “King of Kings”? The '59 “Ben-Hur”? “Logan’s Run” (multiple people requested that one). The Disney filmed-in-70s like “Black Cauldron” and “Sleeping Beauty”. Maybe a musical or two other than “Sound of Music”? There are some good titles, of course, but A LOT is rehashed from recent showings. And “Inherent Vice” is just plain BAD. They chopped two whole days off of their original schedule as well. Big time over-promised and under-delivered. Prints are out there too – you see them scheduled on all the time. Very disappointing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 18, 2015 at 7:12 pm

The J. Evan Miller collection of Cinerama Theater Plans lists six Martin Cinerama houses, including the one in Seattle, as having been designed by the architectural firm of Finch, Alexander, Barnes, Rothschild, & Paschal. It’s likely that Raymond H.Pack was only the local supervising architect for the project, FABRAP being located in Atlanta.

egcarter on December 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm

I attended the Cinerama on the grand re-opening night. It’s a Total Stunner. And they have been selling out most of their performances since. The image with their laser projector looked like a 70mm print! Sound is phenomenal. Seats are wonderful… and such legroom! From someone who attended the Press Day demos (Brightest, sharpest, best 3D he’s ever seen… and he does that stuff for a living) Just go.

Giles on November 25, 2014 at 12:12 am

so have any of you Seattle folk been to see the new Hunger Games movie? how does the new laser image look? how does the Dolby Atmos setup sound? How are the speakers configured since there is balcony seating? I’m thinking of trekking out to see the last Hobbit movie here.

Redwards1 on November 5, 2014 at 1:04 pm

The Cinerama will never play to capacity as long as it positions itself in the same category as multiplexes & generic theatres. It is a unique theatre & should program itself accordingly. Why not sell mini-seasons of reserved seats to Cinerama & Todd-AO shown as only Seattle Cinerama can show them? Direct mail marketing to develop an in-house mailing/email list & other techniques used by reserved seat venues do not appear to have been used.

markinthedark on November 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

The Cinerama plays day and date with AMC and Regal multiplexes less than a mile away and also the 21+ Big Picture screening room a few blocks away. The next Hunger Games will play one at one of the multiplexes on several screens and likely and the Big Picture as well. So the seat reduction is not too big a deal. I have rarely seen it sell out. The added legroom will probably increase ticket sales even with a reduced seat count (as it has for AMC). Adding beer and wine will also certainly add revenue and ticket sales as well.

I only wish it had opened in time to play Interstellar in 5/70. Hopefully they will get a print for one of their 70mm festivals (if they kept the equipment!!!)

Redwards1 on November 4, 2014 at 10:23 pm

If correct, going from 808 seats to 570 is an incredible loss of capacity. The cost of admission will surely be increased as a result. Although seats at the rear of the main floor and balcony diminished the effect of the large deeply curved screen, there are worse seats by far in other Seattle theatres, including reserved seat houses.

Giles on November 4, 2014 at 10:09 pm

that’s a lot of seats to lose.