Northgate Theatre

10 Northgate Plaza,
Seattle, WA 98125

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Seattleprojectionist on August 30, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Just something to add about the looks of the place. Almost 100% of lighting was neon. The picture posted does not do it justice. Swirls of neon starting outside the lobby and passing through small round holes in the floor to ceiling plate glass windows to continue their swirling pattern inside. Giant swirls of light green and soft white neon on the auditorium ceiling, hidden deep blue neon cove lights. Giant banks of autotransformer dimmers in the electrical room next to the projection booth for them. Until I worked here, I was unaware that neon could be operated on a dimmer circuit. Lighting for the huge marquee also 100% neon with the transformers next to the booth.

In the booth, when I first worked there were a pair of RCA (not Brenkert!) BX 100’s. The only ones I have ever seen. They were replaced about 1980 by a Century with a lens turret, a Cinemechanica Tower and an SRO Commander automation system. At that time, operation was combined with the Lake City Theater some 2.5 miles away. A projectionist was still on duty during operating hours but had a pager (pre cell phone days) and drove back and forth.

tdickensheets on October 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

They open on South side of Northgate Mall. Regal Theatre 14

paulnelson on August 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Northgate Theatre was very stylish. I would call it post art deco moderne. Rings of neon decorated the ceilings of the lobby and theatre itself and most corners were rounded. Many new theatre buildings are boxy and unattractive. This was graceful and unique. It will be missed. Piece of history gone for Seattle. And that very cool huge marquee.

William on March 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Was walking by Barnes & Noble the other day and was sort of struck by some intense nostalgia thinking about what used to be there. Very fond childhood memories. I just loved the placeā€¦

rivest266 on January 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

September 28th, 1951 grand opening ad has been posted here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2010 at 1:03 am

Note that it was John Graham Jr. who designed the Northgate Theatre. His father, John Graham Sr., was also a noted Seattle architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2010 at 12:54 am

Boxoffice of September 22, 1951, also names John Graham as the architect of the Northgate Theatre. The original operator was Sterling Theatres.

An ad for RCA carpet (who knew that RCA made carpeting for theaters?) in Boxoffice of October 4, 1952, features a photo of the Northgate’s lobby. The Native American motifs used in the otherwise moderne theater are seen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm

The Danz Family Photograph Collection at the University of Washington lists a photo (the photo itself is not available online) from the preview for the grand opening of the Northgate Theatre. Among the people in the photo, according to its description at the UW web site, are the architect of the theater, John Graham, Jr., and the decorator, A.B. “Heinzberger” (clearly meant to read Heinsbergen.)

Davidfox on February 14, 2007 at 12:12 pm

The Northgate Shopping Center originally had an Indian theme (the carved totem survives at the north entrance) and so did the Northgate Theater when it was new. The restrooms were labeled “Braves” and “Squaws.” Yes, definitely the 50s. The names were changed to “Ladies” and “Gentlemen” in more enlightened times.

kateymac01 on December 6, 2005 at 8:58 am

This theater has been officially demolished. It turned to rubble last week.

kateymac01 on October 30, 2005 at 8:19 pm

Here is an interesting blog with some history about, comments and current photos of the Northgate Theatre.

kateymac01 on October 30, 2005 at 8:08 pm

Demolition starts tomorrow (Oct. 31) on the Northgate Theatre and the nearby medical center. Another piece of Seattle history turns to dust …

markinthedark on October 8, 2005 at 7:34 am

Just flew over it 2 days ago and it is still standing.

markinthedark on October 8, 2005 at 7:31 am

Just flew over it 2 days ago and it is still standing.

droben on October 8, 2005 at 5:34 am

The Northgate is scheduled to be demolished sometime in October.

kateymac01 on September 27, 2005 at 9:17 pm

Still waiting to hear about a demolition date for this theater. It is definitely coming…

kateymac01 on May 22, 2005 at 2:29 am

I was at dinner tonight with a friend who lives near the Northgate, and I asked her about the status of the theater. She said it was just decided (within the past week or two) that the building will be torn down.

markinthedark on May 5, 2005 at 12:25 pm

I never saw any 70MM engagements here, but I do recall that Cineplex Odeon moved the restored “Lawrence of Arabia” here in 1989 after its initial run at the now-refurbished Cinerama. New surround speakers were installed for “Independence Day” (the Northgate used DTS as its digital sound format). This was probably the last upgrade at the theatre befoe its demise. The old multiple small speaker surrounds could still be seen high up lining the side and back walls. Great pictures at:

billwhite on April 5, 2005 at 10:50 pm

the rave house didnt make it and the northgate theatre is now dark

JonasClarkElliott on December 3, 2003 at 5:45 am

The Northgate has reopened as a rave house! I’m not sure how well they’ll “restore” it, but here is what’s left to see: Original terazzo flooring and stylized Northwest murals in the lobby, and the neon. Oodles of modern neon. Under the marquee are countless rings, each made from four concentric circles of white neon. They range from small to huge. Some stand alone, others overlap, some are one inside another. Some go around circular columns. Others make their way through cut-outs in the glass lobby windows, and meet others on the ceiling inside! The auditorium has a few more of these, though the ones closest to the stage area have been removed, and a few of those inside have traces of red or green paint, probably added to tone down the light. Also, the side walls have vertical coves containing cobalt-blue tubes. I’ve never seen these used during a rave, but the under-marquee tubes and some of the in-theatre ones are still put to use. The upper section seats are still there, but the sloped lower floor has been cleared to make dancing room. But not very well – watch out for bolts sticking up here and there! I’m not kidding… But for what it is/was, it’s a fair place for what use they found: raves. Dancing and live music.

Trevor on July 14, 2002 at 2:01 am

The first time I went to The Northgate, it was in 1994 and the movie was The Flintstones, and I was amazed with the grandeur of the theater, I immediately fell in love, it became my favorite theater instantaneously, I was shocked and saddened when I heard it had closed, I felt like I had lost my childhood and innocence, because some of the best times of my moviegoing life were in that theater, I don’t think it will ever be replaced in my heart, the lights have gone down in life, but not in my heart.