Uptown Theatre closing November 28

Posted on November 18th, 2010 by Editor


It’s a sad day for neighborhood film buffs. This morning Seattle Times moviegoing musings writer Moira Macdonald broke the news that Queen Anne’s Uptown Theatre (AMC Uptown 3) will be closing its doors for good come November 28.

An AMC representative confirmed the closure with Macdonald, adding that the company systematically updates its theatres by upgrading and adding new screens, and “disposing of older screens through closures and sales.” The representative added:

Unfortunately, the AMC Uptown 3 has been identified as a theatre that no longer competes effectively in the marketplace and will close at the end of business on Nov. 28.

“Losing the theater is a real loss to the neighborhood. Any word if a buyer will keep it a movie theater?” Queen Anne-er John Carter told QueenAnneView this morning. He hopes that another local organization will get involved to save the historic theatre, which originally opened with a single screen (with two more added later) in 1926.

“Maybe SIFF would get involved?” Carter wrote. “Even though SIFF has that downstairs theater I know they want more (no money of course) Maybe Vera Project? (no money of course)…Mayor’s Office of Film & Music comes to mind… Save the Uptown!”

I contacted SIFF to see if they, indeed, would be interested and have the resources necessary to take over the Uptown. I received a response almost immediately.

“It really is unfortunate that Uptown theater is closing. I used to go there many times and even when I was growing up so personally it’s a shame that it is closing,” SIFF representative Tod Steward wrote. “Maybe Paul Allen or someone like him would finance it to stay open…just like what he did with Cinerama.” Unfortunately Steward says that SIFF currently is not in a position to take over the theatre.

Although the Uptown plans to close in ten days, what will become of the landmark theatre with the quirky pink marquee is still up in the air. A note to AMC asking about its plans for the property was answered as follows:

“The landlord may be able to answer your questions and/or provide information about the future plans or use of the theatre space,” wrote AMC representative Justin Scott.

We haven’t been able to reach the landlord of the Uptown yet, but will keep you posted as we hear more.

With little time until closing day, some in the community are hoping to find a suitor to not only save the building, but keep it in the business of screening films. Since the news broke this morning Carter has been busy posting notes all over Facebook—on the walls of the Office of Film and Music, Community Cinema, Seattle Area Filmmakers, and others—asking community members to gather in support of the theatre and voice their opinions in our forum and in the comments to this post.


  • ashlea

    I’d love to see it become like the Crest and show movies that have been out for a while, at a cheaper rate. But of course that’s just what would be attractive to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ashlea

    I’d love to see it become like the Crest and show movies that have been out for a while, at a cheaper rate. But of course that’s just what would be attractive to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Allison

    I’d like that too, Ashlea. I’d especially like for it to be the way the Harvard Exit and Neptune used to be about 25 years ago — someplace to go see old James Cagney gangster movies or MGM musicals on a big screen rather than watching them on a little TV.

  • Allison

    I’d like that too, Ashlea. I’d especially like for it to be the way the Harvard Exit and Neptune used to be about 25 years ago — someplace to go see old James Cagney gangster movies or MGM musicals on a big screen rather than watching them on a little TV.

  • marsman

    It would be cool to see McMenamins do something with it. I emailed them. You should too.
    http://www.mcmenamins.com/Theaters

  • marsman

    It would be cool to see McMenamins do something with it. I emailed them. You should too.
    http://www.mcmenamins.com/Theaters

  • Genevieve

    What sad news! Unless I’m totally mistaken, I remember seeing my first movie (E.T.) at the Uptown when I was four.

  • Genevieve

    What sad news! Unless I’m totally mistaken, I remember seeing my first movie (E.T.) at the Uptown when I was four.

  • Lisa McKibbin

    NO! Say it isn’t so. I really love this theater in our neighborhood. I wish there was a chance of saving it? Anyone?

  • Lisa McKibbin

    NO! Say it isn’t so. I really love this theater in our neighborhood. I wish there was a chance of saving it? Anyone?

  • Pam Murray

    A local movie theater helps make a community – people can walk to see a movie and it draws people to the neighborhood to spend money -no downside. There must be some way to attract a purchaser who will continue to show films there.

  • Pam Murray

    A local movie theater helps make a community – people can walk to see a movie and it draws people to the neighborhood to spend money -no downside. There must be some way to attract a purchaser who will continue to show films there.

  • A

    I wonder if Landmark Theatres might be interested in it. I always think it is a Landmark anyway, and am always surprised that it is not.

  • A

    I wonder if Landmark Theatres might be interested in it. I always think it is a Landmark anyway, and am always surprised that it is not.

  • M

    A, I totally agree w/ you. It has that “Landmark” feeling to it… I always think it is one, too/

  • M

    A, I totally agree w/ you. It has that “Landmark” feeling to it… I always think it is one, too/

  • AMS

    I guess AMC only wants to keep theaters open if they can make ALOT of money, as they can in mall theaters. It’s a shame – they buy up the small, privately-owned theaters and then shut them down. Less competition for their mall mega theaters. AMC wins, the neighborhood loses.

  • AMS

    I guess AMC only wants to keep theaters open if they can make ALOT of money, as they can in mall theaters. It’s a shame – they buy up the small, privately-owned theaters and then shut them down. Less competition for their mall mega theaters. AMC wins, the neighborhood loses.

  • With Cinerama, IMAX and NWFF all in our neighborhood, I can understand why it got lost. I think its a great opportunity for an investor to take over and transform it into a dine and drink theater, with specialized movies, shows and events; like Central Cinema.
    It will do a great dis-service to our neighborhood for this building to sit dark and empty for too long.

  • With Cinerama, IMAX and NWFF all in our neighborhood, I can understand why it got lost. I think its a great opportunity for an investor to take over and transform it into a dine and drink theater, with specialized movies, shows and events; like Central Cinema.
    It will do a great dis-service to our neighborhood for this building to sit dark and empty for too long.

  • This was my first hourly job in high school after my first job delivering the Queen Anne news, then the Seattle Times. They remodeled in 1984 adding the 2 screens where Le Tastevin restaurant was that moved where Kaspar’s is. It was so exciting in… 1984 because it was the first theater to serve hand-dipped gourmet Fratelli’s ice cream, Dilletante chocolates, (Baked at the Uptown Cinemas: hot dog buns, cookies, & croissants. Used a baking proofer for the pre-made dough then baked in oven) and espresso. When I started it was owned by SRO, then bought out by Cineplex Odeon.

    It was my first and last experience of being part of a union that left a sour taste in my mouth. I had to pay union dues even though I got $3.35/hr minimum wage.

    I could not eat at Dick’s for 10 years afterwards because I ate a Dick’s Special, popcorn, & Dr. Pepper because that’s all I could afford.

  • This was my first hourly job in high school after my first job delivering the Queen Anne news, then the Seattle Times. They remodeled in 1984 adding the 2 screens where Le Tastevin restaurant was that moved where Kaspar’s is. It was so exciting in… 1984 because it was the first theater to serve hand-dipped gourmet Fratelli’s ice cream, Dilletante chocolates, (Baked at the Uptown Cinemas: hot dog buns, cookies, & croissants. Used a baking proofer for the pre-made dough then baked in oven) and espresso. When I started it was owned by SRO, then bought out by Cineplex Odeon.

    It was my first and last experience of being part of a union that left a sour taste in my mouth. I had to pay union dues even though I got $3.35/hr minimum wage.

    I could not eat at Dick’s for 10 years afterwards because I ate a Dick’s Special, popcorn, & Dr. Pepper because that’s all I could afford.

  • Good riddance

    Their main screen had a patch.
    Like someone tossed a soda to the screen and it was painted instead of replaced.

    That spot was covering parts of Megan Fox.

    Covering Mega Fox’s parts is unacceptable!

    The people working there were jerks too.

    Good riddance to this dump!

  • Good riddance

    Their main screen had a patch.
    Like someone tossed a soda to the screen and it was painted instead of replaced.

    That spot was covering parts of Megan Fox.

    Covering Mega Fox’s parts is unacceptable!

    The people working there were jerks too.

    Good riddance to this dump!

  • Mr. Punch

    Hey “riddance” guy. Sounds like a seat in there (wherever you sat) may have some gross teenybopper stains on it now too. But wait, everyone is waiting for your opinions on Truffaut, Fellini and Bergman. And some more charming repartee.

  • Mr. Punch

    Hey “riddance” guy. Sounds like a seat in there (wherever you sat) may have some gross teenybopper stains on it now too. But wait, everyone is waiting for your opinions on Truffaut, Fellini and Bergman. And some more charming repartee.

  • Thomas

    Be good idea that Landmark buy it. Put in Uptown theatre 3-D. There is IMAX at Seattle Center.

  • Thomas

    Be good idea that Landmark buy it. Put in Uptown theatre 3-D. There is IMAX at Seattle Center.

  • jc

    Will very miss the theater. Huge loss to the neighborhood. I hope the building owners have vision. We do not need another restaurant, this facility should remain a theatre! Anyone care to join an effort to SAVE the UPTOWN? Although I imagine the name would have to change.

  • jc

    Will very miss the theater. Huge loss to the neighborhood. I hope the building owners have vision. We do not need another restaurant, this facility should remain a theatre! Anyone care to join an effort to SAVE the UPTOWN? Although I imagine the name would have to change.

  • Chira Vathanaprida

    sad. i liked this neighborhood theatre.

  • Chira Vathanaprida

    sad. i liked this neighborhood theatre.

  • David L

    jc et al:

    I’m actually interested in *leading* an effort to save the Uptown (though if there’s another effort underway already, I could see joining that, as well, or cooperating with it, or what have you).

    I’ve actually been dreaming of taking over the place for a few years, to revitalize it (I’ve been thinking the discount option or some other sort of novelty theatre venue would make sense, as others have mentioned in this thread and elsewhere).

    I guess it’s time to give it a go!

    Anyone who’s interested in helping me in my efforts, or having me join in yours (or even if you’d just like to be kept informed as progress gets made), please contact me at the following e-mail address:

    savetheuptowncinema+queenanneview1@gmail.com

    Please include your level and/or type of interest, and any other info you think I might need.

    I got the owner’s contact info tonight, and expect to be contacting them tomorrow to see what their plans for the space are, and what they’re open to.

    I’m looking forward to it! Help would be wonderful!

  • David L

    jc et al:

    I’m actually interested in *leading* an effort to save the Uptown (though if there’s another effort underway already, I could see joining that, as well, or cooperating with it, or what have you).

    I’ve actually been dreaming of taking over the place for a few years, to revitalize it (I’ve been thinking the discount option or some other sort of novelty theatre venue would make sense, as others have mentioned in this thread and elsewhere).

    I guess it’s time to give it a go!

    Anyone who’s interested in helping me in my efforts, or having me join in yours (or even if you’d just like to be kept informed as progress gets made), please contact me at the following e-mail address:

    savetheuptowncinema+queenanneview1@gmail.com

    Please include your level and/or type of interest, and any other info you think I might need.

    I got the owner’s contact info tonight, and expect to be contacting them tomorrow to see what their plans for the space are, and what they’re open to.

    I’m looking forward to it! Help would be wonderful!

  • Better yet, I’ve now created a blog:

    http://newuptowncinemas.blogspot.com/

    Please subscribe and comment!

  • Better yet, I’ve now created a blog:

    http://newuptowncinemas.blogspot.com/

    Please subscribe and comment!

  • DarkHawke

    Sadly, AMC (or whoever owned it; it wasn’t clear in recent years) appeared to write the Uptown off as an arts-&-croissants crowd theater, filling it with allegedly laudable but commercially unviable fare. Is there any surprise that it died financially? The real tragedy is that at the time of the ’84 refit, a full 70mm-capable screen was added to the main auditorium. Saw Dune on that screen and it was fantastic! On occaision they would succumb to the wiles of an immensely popular film, but by and large the crowd-pleasers (let alone family/kid-friendly films) would go to the larger multiplexes. Can’t make it these days doing stupid things like that.

  • DarkHawke

    Sadly, AMC (or whoever owned it; it wasn’t clear in recent years) appeared to write the Uptown off as an arts-&-croissants crowd theater, filling it with allegedly laudable but commercially unviable fare. Is there any surprise that it died financially? The real tragedy is that at the time of the ’84 refit, a full 70mm-capable screen was added to the main auditorium. Saw Dune on that screen and it was fantastic! On occaision they would succumb to the wiles of an immensely popular film, but by and large the crowd-pleasers (let alone family/kid-friendly films) would go to the larger multiplexes. Can’t make it these days doing stupid things like that.

  • Queenanner

    It could take the place of the erstwhile BroadwayMarket Theatre.

  • Queenanner

    It could take the place of the erstwhile BroadwayMarket Theatre.


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