Taproot Theatre

204 N. 85th Street,
Seattle, WA 98103

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Related Websites

Taproot Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Live Theater

Previous Names: Rainbow Theatre, North End Theatre, Movie House, Greenwood Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 206.781.9707

Nearby Theaters

GRAND (TAPROOT) Theatre; Seattle, Washington.

The Greenwood Theatre was listed at 8503 Greenwood Avenue in 1914. This theatre has had many names over the years including its reopening name Rainbow Theatre in August 1925, with a seating capacity for 500. It was later renamed North End Theatre, Movie House and back to Greenwood Theatre on October 10, 1980 when it was operated by Seven Gables Theatres. It was renovated in 1996. By 2005 it was operating as a live theatre named Taproot Theatre.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 10, 2005 at 5:50 am

The Film Daily Yearbook, 1950 lists the seating capacity of the Grand Theatre as 468.

kateymac01 on May 10, 2005 at 5:56 am

The current total of seats at Taproot is 228. Renovation and conversion to live theater cut the number of seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

An article in the September 29, 1909, issue of the Seattle Star said that the Grand was one of the Seattle theaters that had been designed by architect E. W. Houghton. It mentioned two others, one being the Moore, but the scan of the paper is bad and the name of the third Houghton-designed house is almost unreadable, but it was probably the Majestic, which appears in the theater listings of that same issue of the paper.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

The Taproot Theatre is open, but does not appear to be showing movies. Their web site lists only stage productions. In October, 2009, a fire destroyed an adjacent building owned by the theater company, and partly burned the roof of the theater itself, leading to extensive smoke and water damage. The theater reopened within a few months. The site of the destroyed building is now being developed with an annex that will include a cafe, an expanded lobby for the theater, and a small black box theater, among other facilities.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 20, 2014 at 4:54 am

This house actually opened in 1925 as the Rainbow Theatre. The August 24, 1925, issue of The Film Daily said under the headline “New Seattle House” that “E. H. Habrocuk recently opened his new 500 seater Rainbow Theater at 140 N. 85th Street.”

The Grand Theatre that was designed by E. W. Houghton, mentioned in the 1909 Seattle Star article I cited earlier, was not this theater, but the Grand Opera House, built in 1898-1900. It was renamed the Hippodrome Theatre in 1915. It was gutted by a fire in 1917 and was later converted into a parking garage. I don’t know if it ever operated as a movie theater.

Granola on December 2, 2015 at 9:28 am


pnelson on December 6, 2015 at 11:20 am

I remember this smaller neighborhood theatre in the 1950’s as having a curtain and clown murals that were colorful on the side walls. Movies shown there were family style general audience. In the 60’s and 70’s the clowns may have remained but the screen size was enlarged and sound improved I believe. Movies were more adult and porno was even introduced at times.

rivest266 on April 13, 2024 at 2:58 am

renamed Greenwood on October 10th, 1980, by Seven Gables. Ad posted.

Seattleprojectionist on April 14, 2024 at 1:32 am

Shortly after the theater was re-opened by the 7 Gables circuit in 1980, a newly promoted assistant manager was closing one night. There had been issues of break ins through the rear exit doors that opened to the alley behind the theater and the solution was to chain and padlock them from the inside. The green assistant manager, in a hurry to go home, did not check carefully to make sure that all patrons had left for the night. At about 4:00 AM, the man who had been asleep in one of the back rows woke up to find himself locked inside an empty theater. He used the theater phone to call the fire department who came to break in so he could leave. No, I was not the assistant manager mentioned above.

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