Blue Mouse Theatre

2611 North Proctor Street,
Tacoma, WA 98407

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Showing 24 comments

CSWalczak on November 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

An article about the launch of the fund-raising drive can be found here.

Mama_BlueMouse on November 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Help Save The Blue Mouse Theatre We must convert to digital projections

Mama_BlueMouse on July 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Hi Mark, The Blue Mouse will switch to digital, We plan on kicking off a fund raiser to help fund this huge expense

markinthedark on July 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I am wondering about the fate of this theatre with the demise of 35mm projection.

Mama_BlueMouse on February 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm

The Proctor Theatre is the Blue Mouse, The theatre has changed hands over the years and bought out by some investors in 1993 and returned it to it’s original name Of blue mouse then and is still operating
Everyday.. Last year we were put on Washington state Historic Listing and most recently the National Historic registry

Trolleyguy on February 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm

When I was stationed at nearby Ft. Lewis in 1963-64, I used to go to this theater for the latest Ingmar Bergman films like “Winter Light” and “The Silence”. At that time, it was called the Proctor. Great little moviehouse, and a nice place to take a date as well.

TLSLOEWS on February 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Strange name but cool.

CandaceBrown on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I recently wrote an article about this theater for a website called Neighborhood Life. ( You’ll see a photo of the Blue Mouse on the opening page and can click there. It’s also the first article on the “Features” page. Please take a look.

Mama_BlueMouse on September 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

View link

If you cant click/ Copy and paste link to view pictures of Blue Mouse

Exterior and Interior


Mama_BlueMouse on September 25, 2009 at 12:08 am

Yes the Mice appear to be running across the top of the marquee
and If the photo Load worked I could load a bunch of pictures

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm

This is a 2008 photo of the Blue Mouse.

kateymac01 on August 21, 2007 at 10:27 am

It seems to be doing pretty well showing good second-run movies. The Blue Mouse also hosts a small international film festival each year.

markinthedark on August 21, 2007 at 10:09 am

Since there is no real competition nearby could the Blue Mouse book family-friendly or decent mainstream first run fare (like the Columbia City Cinema in Seattle)?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 16, 2007 at 6:10 am

This is a 3/6/2001 article about the Blue Mouse Theater.

“Residents of Tacoma, Wash., District Save Movie Theater.
By Soren Andersen, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.

Mar. 6—A movie theater is not like any other business.

If the Blue Mouse in Tacoma’s Proctor District had been a carpet store or an auto dealership or a five-and-dime, it’s doubtful residents would have banded together to save the enterprise when it came on the market in a distressed and sorry state.

Yet band together is precisely what close to 30 Proctor people did back in 1993 when the theater, located at 2611 N. Proctor St. and then called the Bijou, was put up for sale by former owner Shirley Mayo. When word got around that a group of investors wanted to buy the theater and convert it into an office building, longtime residents Bill Evans, Erling Kuester, Gene Grulich, Steve Finnigan and a number of their friends and acquaintances decided that simply would not do.

It would not do, Finnigan said, because “the Blue Mouse is the oldest continuously running movie theater in the state of Washington.” It was opened in 1923 and operated in its early years under the name Blue Mouse Jr. (the Blue Mouse Sr. was in downtown Tacoma). Over the years the theater came to be viewed as a treasured fixture in a neighborhood that prides itself on its neighborliness and its history.

There was, Finnigan said, “a strong appeal among the (potential) owners to maintain that.”

“The primary motivation for purchasing the theater was to preserve and enhance the Proctor District,” he continued.

So Evans, Finnigan, Kuester and the others formed Blue Mouse Associates. The group sold shares — 17 in all — at $10,000 apiece. And after raising the money and purchasing the place, the associates closed the theater, renamed it, refurbished it and reopened it on Feb. 4, 1994.

During the renovation, members got down on their hands and knees to scrape decades-old gum off the floor. They painted. They cleaned. They replaced seats. They put their sweat equity into it as well as their cash. It’s hard to imagine people doing that to preserve a carpet store.

Since it reopened, the Mouse has been what the exhibition trade calls a subrun house: It shows movies after they have played out at the multiplexes. Usually, it gets pictures just before they go to video.

Over the years, art films have been included in the programming mix, with little success. But Finnigan said art films may return to the Mouse.

“We need to revisit whether or not we want to show the kinds of films the Grand Cinema (Tacoma’s three-screen art-film venue) is being successful showing.”

The Mouse has never shown a profit in the years the associates have run it, but has generally run only slightly in the red. “There’s been no hemorrhaging,” Finnigan said.

And he thinks the closures of the Lincoln Plaza and Tacoma Central multiplexes may help the Blue Mouse finally climb into the black. For one thing, the Mouse may not have to wait quite so long to get the hot Hollywood movies.

“We’re getting more and more excited about the contraction of the number of screens in the area,” he said. “We think the Blue Mouse will emerge as the place to go.”

Even if that doesn’t happen, Finnigan considers the Blue Mouse investment a good one. Although it hasn’t yielded a cash dividend, he said, it has paid the associates back in a less tangible fashion: “the satisfaction of keeping it open and an integral part of the district”.

kencmcintyre on January 5, 2007 at 9:00 am

No, just the two in Tacoma. I will add this one. Thanks for the info.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 5, 2007 at 8:34 am

I’m not sure if the Blue Mouse in Seattle is listed on CT. If it isn’t listed, here is the address in case you want to add it.

1421 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

kencmcintyre on January 5, 2007 at 7:42 am

There was another Blue Mouse in Seattle, according to this suit. How many mice were there anyway?

JimRankin on May 6, 2005 at 4:45 pm

Aside from local libraries and historical societies and the morgues of newspapers, your best bet is the Theatre Historical Society of America at and click on their ARCHIVE link for information. An E-mail to their Ex. Dir. Rich Sklenar may be of preliminary help. Best Wishes.

markinthedark on May 6, 2005 at 11:28 am

I used to frequent this theatre as a teen in the ‘80’s when it was known as the Bijou. It had seen better days and the presentation quality was lacking, but it was a wonderful friendly neighborhood sort of place to see a double feature. I am glad to hear that it has been fixed up and is in good hands (with stereo sound to boot!). I hope to visit next time I am in Tacoma. Does anyone have any pictures of the interior before and after the restoration?

JimRankin on April 12, 2004 at 8:56 am

For the story behind the BLUE MOUSE chain, and the name, click on this page: /theaters/6589/

weeback on April 12, 2004 at 7:43 am

My great great aunt Ada Besaw was a janitor for many many years at the Blue Mouse Theater. She retired in 1953 when she was 75 years young. She was a wonderful and caring person.

WMGE on March 7, 2004 at 11:25 pm

The Blue Mouse has a GREAT website .The Blue Mouse was originally built as the Blue Mouse Junior to distinguish it from the ‘grander’ Blue Mouse in downtown Tacoma, Seattle and Portland. But the junior ‘won’ as it’s the only Blue Mouse left. It was called the Blue Mouse until the late 20’s and the present owners, Blue Mouse Associates, gave it back it’s name ten years ago. As far as the old chairs (from the 40’s and 50’s)….there are still a few of them stored in the theater…they are small and not comfortable. The new seats are very comfortable and large so the number of seats in the theater has been reduced from nearly 300 to 221. Great theatre. Come to Tacoma sometime.

faceme55 on January 3, 2004 at 8:15 pm

I TRYED TO CONTACt the theater be for no the way dose any one know where the the old chairs went to?BERT E MAIL

Bill97 on December 7, 2003 at 7:19 pm

Charles, you are correct. I put that info into the “Add Theatre” page, but it didn’t show up. While we’re at it, the theatre is in the Craftsman style, its one floor (except the restrooms), no balcony and it was reseated about 2 years ago. Also, it may have been part of a small local chain in the 20’s or 30’s as there were several varieties of Mice and Bijous in the area.