King Cat Theater

2130 6th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98121

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Showing 24 comments

ericrising on June 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I wonder if you worked there with me. I was there around 80-81.

paulnelson on June 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm

I liked the King. Saw The Great Gatsby, Sophies Choice and Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind there in the day. Well designed and every seat a good one. Not as big screen as the fantastic UA 150 across the street but worthy anyway. That was one of the best ever. Too bad they are both history.

Seattleprojectionist on May 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Sadly, the King was demolished over the weekend of April 6/7 2013. worked there as a Union projectionist from 1981 until about 2008. I started there with General Cinema and remained working for several different operators after GCC pulled out in 1992. For the first few months post-GCC, it was a discount house and then turned into an all ages concert venue that ran films on rare occasions. Norelco AAII 35/70mm projectors in the booth were great but a minimal sound system and flat (but large) screen behind a massive curved curtain were drawbacks. I also worked at the demolished UA 70/150 across the street and still do work (when they run 70mm) at the Cinerama, two blocks away.

CSWalczak on February 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I only hope that Seattle movie theater fans mount some campaign to compel Amazon to include the theater in their plans. The King Cat (previously the King) is a good example of the last generation of single screen theaters. I only saw one film there but it was impressive.

neeb on February 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Amazon is getting ready to buy 3 blocks (yes, blocks) in Downtown Seattle to build office towers. The King is on one of those blocks.

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on January 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

This theatre was a great place to see movies and with Seattle being a film festival city I still think this would again be a great venue for film. Even if only during SIFF. And having other uses the rest of the year.

rivest266 on January 21, 2012 at 8:50 am

This opened by Walter Reade from New Jersey on October 30th, 1973. It became part of General Cinemas in 1977. Grand opening ad posted here.

ColinMarcoe on October 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

What a nice photo (#39)! You know, I’m amazed at how well the exterior of the building has held up over the years. Even today it looks quite sharp over all.

CSWalczak on October 7, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Although there some occasional exceptions, the general practice here on CT is that a theater’s entry name is that which it has currently or that which it had when last used as a theater of any kind, even if it is/was no longer used to show movies.

A picture when this was the King in 1973, according to the caption: View link

Ron Carlson
Ron Carlson on July 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I agree with the comment on the name. This was built as “The King” and it should be called by that name. King Cat is rather wierd.

TLSLOEWS on July 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Interesting Name.

ericrising on November 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Thanks!!! I should have looked closer ;–)

ericrising on November 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm

anyone have any pics? Worked there in 1980-81

markinthedark on July 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Just wish they would change the name back to “The King”. Wasn’t it changed to King Cat by operators who made it a Jazz club for a while?

kateymac01 on July 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm

According to the article Lost Memory quotes above, King Cat is surely back in the movie business as well as live shows. The owner expects to show Indian films and get involved with local film festivals. (The Indian film “SarKar Raj” has been shown there in the past couple weeks.)

Can’t wait to see how the resurrected King Cat does.

markinthedark on June 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm

The seat count (when a cinema) is probably inaccurate. It was more like 1000+.

droben on April 6, 2008 at 1:57 am

Walked by the King the other day, and the marquee states that theater is opening soon and gives a phone number for bookings. Looks like live shows will again be featured.

markinthedark on August 21, 2007 at 10:19 am

Too bad SIFF didn’t take this place over. Probably too much competition downtown to open it unless it was a specialty house of some sort. Hey, how about a brew-pub that plays classic or 2nd run films on the big screen. What could be more fun than sitting with a bunch of people drinking beer and watching “Star Trek II” or “Planet of the Apes”. Kaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnn!

ColinMarcoe on July 5, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Update – The church has moved on (to West Seattle) according to the theatre’s marque (back to the “King Cat” theatre). The building is one again vacant and available for lease. It would be great to see live shows, or better yet, movies there again!

Davidfox on February 3, 2007 at 2:29 pm

The former King/King Cat has been a church for a number of years. The building has been nicely maintained.

kateymac01 on June 21, 2005 at 11:33 am

I thought the King Cat was used for live shows, not as a church. Did something change?

markinthedark on May 10, 2005 at 5:01 pm

Too bad this theatre wasn’t as lucky as the nearby Cinerama. At least it didn’t suffer the fate of the UA 150 & 70 across the street. Does anyone have pictures of the King?

droben on December 5, 2004 at 12:56 am

The King originally was opened and operated by Walter Reade Theatres, but closed in early 1975 when that circuit went bankrupt. It sat vacant for a couple of years until General Cinema took over the lease.

The King gained much unfavorable publicity when General Cinema refused to install 70mm projection equipment for its exclusive booking of “Close Encounters.” It wasn’t until several months later when local theater operator Randy Finley took over the Crest in North Seattle, installed the proper equipment, and reopened with “Close Encounters” in 70mm. The house was sold out for several weeks thereafter.

General Cinema always took great care of the King, even in its waning days. When it became apparent that the economics of running a large 900 seat single screen proved too difficult, a decision was made to shutter the theater in 1989 with a one week showing of “Patton” in 70mm of course!

Three years later, a pair of film enthusiasts reopened the King, along with the shuttered UA70/150 across the street and operated all three theaters under the Seattle Cinedome name. Unfortunately, the major studios preferred to do business with the chains and after three years of operation, the King again closed.

ColinMarcoe on December 4, 2004 at 12:37 am

Known as the King Cinema operated by General Cinema in the 70’s – 80’s, it had several runs of big hits, namely “Close Encounters” and “Back to the Future”. It never competed with the United Artist “Star Wars” Cinema 150 across the street.

It was a large house similair to the Southcenter Theatre in it’s interior design. But oddly, the large curved curtain opened to reveal…a plain old flat screen. Very strange.

The King Cat Theater is now a “church” of some sort…wonder how long that will last!