Rex Theatre

3809 Yakima Avenue,
Tacoma, WA 98418

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Additional Info

Functions: Church

Nearby Theaters

Rex Theatre exterior

The Rex Theatre was opened in 1919 by Martin Steffen to replace his smaller theatre of the same name that was just two doors down, at 3805 Yakima Avenue.

Seeking to give his patrons the best possible movie experience, Mr. Steffen had the theatre built with a nursery where mothers could care for their small children and infants while still being able to view the screen.

The Rex Theatre closed in 1958. On May 10, 1980 it reopened as an Adult movie theatre by Playtime Cinemas. In recent years it has been a church for Restoration Christian Ministries.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

minniethemoocher on March 30, 2008 at 10:51 am

I used to live a handful of blocks from this place, in the mid-90s to the early-00s (I was born in ‘93). I remember my mom and I driving past there when I was really small and her pointing at the Rex and saying, “See that? It used to be a theatre.” I have had the ability to recognize former theatres ever since…


eropel on July 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I live a few blocks from this place. I remember this being a pron movie house when I was a kid. As far as I know, it is still owned by the Restoration Christian Ministries. The google street view image is how it looks today.

eropel on March 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

Update. Still owned by the church. I am taking a tour of the inside today and might be able to grab photos of anything interesting.

btproperties206 on January 6, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Are there any remaining interest in this theatre?? I’m in contact with the person who’s now the owner and they are trying to figure out what to do with it. If interested to share your thoughts, please email:

JackCoursey on January 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm

I had heard that the city was considering purchasing the theatre as part of the Lincoln District revitalization project. Question is how redeemable is the property? It appears boarded up and in not very good shape. It seems like that it would be an ideal spot for presenting art and foreign film.

btproperties206 on January 14, 2016 at 11:40 pm

JackCoursey and others, please give us your thoughts about what you want to do with this theatre/building?

RobAllen on January 25, 2016 at 10:24 am

If the building is structurally sound, it would be a great McMenamin’s theater-pub. Go to to see what they are like.

I’ve also emailed btproperties206.

btproperties206 on January 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Not a bad idea Rob! If anyone has connections with Mcmenamin’s, let me know. Thanks. Rob (also)

JackCoursey on January 26, 2017 at 6:56 pm Rex Theatre exterior is in the process of being restored! Unless someone opts to operate the site as a theatre, the interior will be gutted and converted to retail space. The interior looks in relatively good condition for being shuttered for decades and equipped for both stage and film presentations.

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