Balboa Theatre

2814 Wetmore Avenue,
Everett, WA 98201

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Fox Balboa Theatre opening program

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened May 29, 1929 by Fox West Coast Theatres. Still operating under Fox West Coast Theatres in 1941, and open in 1950, but no longer listed in 1955.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

The Balboa got the Wurlitzer pipe organ, opus 1339, a style B, 2 manuals 4 ranks in 1930. This was the organ originally installed at the Uptown Theatre in Seattle in 1926. The organ reportedly moved to a church in Oak Harbor Washington in 1941.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

A section listing theater architects appeared in the October 25, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald World, and the Fox Theatre in Everett was listed as the work of Seattle architect William Aitken.

paulnelson on March 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

Wonder if the original building still exists.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

In the heading we have the Balboa listed as demolished, but I’m doubtful that it was. Today the address 2814 Wetmore belongs to Karl’s Bakery & Cafe, but that was not the building the theater was in. The second photo on the PSTOS page for the Balboa shows that the theater was in the building adjacent to the tall structure on the corner of California Street that was occupied by the Rumbaugh-MacLain Department Store.

The caption of this photo showing the Balboa’s lobby in 1929 says that the theater closed on May 12, 1953, and its building was taken over by the adjacent department store. The photo is from the Everett Public Library, probably a reliable source of information.

The department store and the theater’s site are now both occupied by Trinity Lutheran College. I think it’s very likely that the Balboa’s shell (probably including its roof) still exist, though the interior was undoubtedly converted to two floors and the old auditorium floor leveled by the department store. If it had a fly tower, that has been removed. The ramps and lack of doors and the shape of the ceiling in the lobby photo make me suspect that the Balboa had a section of stadium seating at the back of the auditorium. The department store would surely have torn all that out.

As Karl’s Bakery is at 2814 Wetmore, the theater’s address would have been a bit smaller, probably 2010-2012. The college, with its entrance in the former department store, uses the address 2802.

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