Music Box Theatre

902 Broadway,
Tacoma, WA 98402

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Additional Info

Styles: Tudor Revival

Previous Names: Tacoma Theater, Broadway Theater

Nearby Theaters

Music Box Theatre

Tacoma’s grand opera house, the Tacoma Theater, was built in 1889 by the Tacoma Opera House Company and opened Jan. 13, 1890. The elaborate Tudor-style building covered a full city block.

A 3 manual, 14 ranks Robert Morton theatre pipe organ was installed in the 1920’s.

It was remodeled for motion pictures and renamed the Broadway Theater in 1927. More than 20,000 people attended the grand opening on February 4, 1927.

It was renamed the Music Box Theatre on February 11, 1933. The building was destroyed in a spectacular fire on April 30, 1963. About 100 people were attending a showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” when the fire broke out.

While a movie theater, the Broadway/Music Box Theatre attracted big name stars like Ronald Reagan, Lassie, the Barrymores, Al Jolson, and many more.

Contributed by Kate

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

MissZandMe on December 3, 2007 at 6:08 pm

Here are links to scans of my grandmother’s program from The Tacoma when she saw Anna Pavlowa’s farewell performance there in the 1920s.

View link

View link

View link

MissZandMe on December 3, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Great additional photos! Thanks for the link. So nice to see where my Gram was for a performance she never forgot and always talked about.

TLSLOEWS on December 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Nice picture of the fire,I like the name Music Box Theatre.

pnelson on November 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

The Pantages and Rialto in Tacoma are still active theatres as is the Blue Mouse.

DavidZornig on January 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm

1925 stage photo courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.

gregsalo on June 1, 2020 at 10:09 pm

Here are some additional photos of the old theater, specifically in regard to the 3/14 Robert Morton pipe organ.

Music Box (a/k/a Tacoma, Broadway) Theatre Broadway & 9th, Tacoma, Washington Organ installation timeframe: 1920s – 1963

Link to photos here:

DavidZornig on July 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm

1959 night photo added courtesy Ken Widmeyer.

rivest266 on July 10, 2021 at 4:27 am

1890 grand opening ad posted

rivest266 on July 11, 2021 at 8:57 am

Renamed Music on February 11th, 1933. Another ad posted.

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