4th Avenue Theatre

630 W. 4th Avenue,
Anchorage, AK 99501

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 19, 2017 at 12:47 pm

There is a quick shot of the front of this theater showing the vertical blade in the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, season four episode 17, near the end of the episode.

Oddly enough, the characters are supposed to be visiting Rochester, New York and not Anchorage, Alaska. Ah, the magic of Hollywood…!

DavidZornig on August 1, 2017 at 3:52 pm

The top photo in this link shows the 4th Avenue Theatre in the late `70’s. Plenty more cool pics too, if anyone is from there.


lancehol on November 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm

I had the pleasure of managing this theater in the early 80’s (1981-2ish). We had so much fun here. One of the most beautiful buildings. The Art Deco style and the incredible bas relief on the walls were something to remember and I hope this place finds itself alive again. When I worked there it was operated by Wometco-Lathrop. I’m not sure how much longer it stayed in operation. My girlfriend at the time lived in Houston so I decided to head south and regretted that decision to this day. While I have lived in other places it seems now I’m kind of stuck here in Texas. I miss you Alaska!

knowsbetter on October 9, 2013 at 2:40 am

The Municipality of Anchorage is doing nothing with this beautiful, old theater!

Between 7-8 years ago, there was a plan between the municipality and a private company to refurbish the theater, using the downstairs for businesses of some kind and the upper floors for residences, but after a long process to get to that point, at the last hour a councilwoman threw a monkey wrench in the plan by deciding she didn’t think the municipality should be involved in any funding after-all.

The private company basically told the municipality to take a hike, refusing to work with it anymore because it was “unreliable.” There’s been no public discussion of the theater since. It currently is doing what it’s been doing for years now, just sitting, boarded up and rotting. What a travesty!

sconn on October 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I saw many movies here as a kid in the ‘80s – Goonies, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Kurosawa’s Ran. Beautiful walls with twinkling stars and inlaid images of gold miners.

TLSLOEWS on December 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Great photos Brad and Don.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm

From the 1940s a photo of the 4th Avenue Theatre in Anchorage.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on September 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm

This photograph of the 4th Avenue Theater was taken in July, 2010.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 24, 2010 at 8:57 pm

From the 1950s a photo postcard view of the 4th Avenue Theater in Anchorage.

philbertgray on July 12, 2009 at 11:57 am

This article from June 15th 2009 doesn’t bode well for the theatre. It may well be lost or significantly altered. The owner has not cooperated in efforts to save and restore the theatre.

View link

MPol on June 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm

What a neat-looking theatre…both inside and out. Too bad it closed.

kencmcintyre on June 27, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Here is an undated interior photo:

kencmcintyre on December 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Here is a painting of the 4th Avenue. The view is supposed to be of the opening in 1947.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on September 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm

While congress (not Palin)killed that bridge to nowhere, Palin had no problem taking all of the money and applying it elsewhere. Total hypocrisy, but this is cinema treasures so I won’t go any further with that.

As I’ve mentioned above, Alaska, while having some of the world’s most spectacular natural beauty, seems to have a great dearth of architecturally significant buildings. They should do everything they can to preserve what little they have and this theater should be saved.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on September 24, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Maybe Palin can get an earmark to save this theater!

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 6, 2008 at 6:20 am

A 2008 view of the 4th Avenue Theater in Anchorage here and here. Enlarged views here and here.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on July 1, 2007 at 5:35 pm

So, how did the vote go? Will it be saved? Alaska has an enviable wealth of natural beauty. It would be an incerdible shame to see them lose one of the few man made wonders. I was in Alaska for a week last year and the capitol building in Juneau was rather hideous. Other than some buildings form the gold rush era there isn’t much “modern” architecture in Alaska worth saving. This theater appears to be one of the special ones.

Patsy on March 1, 2007 at 9:56 am

Wonderful Alaskan sunset photo with the lighted 4th Avenue marquee.

GaryParks on December 19, 2006 at 6:38 pm

The interior decoration of the 4th Avenue was done by Heinsbergen.

If you look at the 1940s photo of the mezzanine, you will notice on the right a wall over the staircase which is covered in square metal-leafed bas relief panels, depicting wildlife. Some of these patterns were also cast and installed in another Heinsbergen-decorated theatre, the Garden (1949) in San Jose, CA. The wildlife panels were in a single row atop the wall which backed the concession counter.

The Garden Theatre remained very well preserved through its 1988 closing. In 1989, the Garden was gutted and turned into an office and retail building. The abovementioned relief panels were removed, along with many other decorative features, prior to the building’s conversion. Many features now appear in a couple of other Bay Area theatres, but I have yet to see the wildlife relief panels displayed anywhere.

The Garden’s exterior remains largely intact, in fact the vertical sign had its neon restored just this past summer.

kencmcintyre on September 22, 2006 at 7:07 pm

Credit the photographer, but it is an interesting building.