Bel-Vue Theatre

Bellevue, WA

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The 550-seat (I’ve also read 560-seat) Bel-Vue Theatre opened on March 20, 1946.

The Bel-Vue was a very unusual theater for the Bellevue area by the ‘80s as most of Bellevue is a shopping center with multiplexes. The single-screen Bel-vue had circular cushion seating in the lobby, and an older marquee.

I saw “The Tall Blonde Man with One Black Shoe” on a double-feature with “Le Magnifique” here. And quite luckily this is where I was introduced to David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man”. This out-of-place theater with its older-style interior, curtains, lights, and seating really livened the experience.

The Bel-Vue Theater was owned by Fred Danz, who ran the local Sterling Recreational Organization chain of theaters.

The Bellevue Film Festival ran for 14 years from 1967 ending in 1981 with the demolition of the Bel-Vue Theater to make way for expansion of the Bellevue Square Mall.

Contributed by Shade Rupe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Davidfox on February 14, 2007 at 2:32 pm

The Bel-Vue originally had a readerboard out on Northeast 8th, although the theater sat farther back on the property. The letters were stored under the sign. When the theater was playing the 1955 Jennifer Jones weepy “Good Morning Miss Dove” someone broke into the letter storage and put the f-word between “Morning” and “Miss.” Shortly afterward the sign was moved to the theater building!

almajose on May 15, 2016 at 9:51 pm

I fondly remember working at the “Bel-vue” during it’s last year of life as an art house. It truly beat working at the “commercial” theaters ie. Factoria. I also fondly remember working for Bill Schreib (the manager), I wonder what happened to him. Good memories.

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