Renton Civic Theatre

507 Third Street,
Renton, WA

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| Street View

This is a small boxy theater with an offset marquee on the right. The upper story is beige plaster, the bottom is flesh toned tile. The marquee is a simple V with ‘RENTON’ on both sides above the attraction board. The middle says ‘THIRD’ in neon, with ‘Street’ in tiny script. It seems to be the quarters of the Renton Civic Theater, and is in pretty shabby shape.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kateymac01
kateymac01 on September 9, 2005 at 10:18 pm

This theater was originally the Rainier Theater. It sat across the street from the Roxy. My Internet research tells me that the Roxy was the more elegant theater. However, the Rainier featured large screens set on large stages, and the walls of the auditorium were lavishly sculpted with ornate woodwork and heavy tapestries (www.burgesslegacy.org/rtn.htm).

Here is a fabulous old photo: www.burgesslegacy.org/rtngfx/637.jpg

JonasClarkElliott
JonasClarkElliott on September 19, 2007 at 1:34 am

The Rainier was a block up, on the same side of 3rd as the Renton. It was demolished in the 60s after taking earthquake damage. The Renton had an Art Moderne style with hints at Chinese in the auditorium which, while not in great shape, still retains Chinese-style side wall decoration, interesting light fixtures that curve around wall and ceiling, and the original ceiling stencilling. The lobby also retains some nice streamline curves and a nice staircase, and the entrance doors' 1930s paint job has been restored. The marquee got a recent neon job.

The Roxy was renovated into a church, but could easily be restored as a theatre. The Renton Historical Museum retains the peacock’s tail neon from atop the sign, which has been restored and is on display along with a replica of the sign itself. A Roxy display is planned which will include replicas of marquee and ticket booth, the ticket machine, lighting fixtures (including the auditorium “Starlites”) exit signs, and the telephone from the projection booth, as well as the twelve-cam mechanical flasher that once animated the peacock’s tail.

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