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Seattle, WA: Uptown Theater Open Again

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 11:58 AM

The Uptown Theater, circa 1959.Back in August, we published this Journal Article about the Seattle International Film Festival's (SIFF) announcement that it had purchased the Uptown Theater in Seattle, Washington. They issued a press release yesterday that confirmed that they had indeed met their plans to re-open the theater to the public on October 20, 2011.

They are celebrating with five days of classic movies; a sampling of the theater's 85-year history. Titles include Twentieth Century (1934), Citizen Kane (1941), Singin’ In the Rain (1952), West Side Story (1961), The Godfather (1972), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Annie Hall (1977), Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985), LA Confidential (1997), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Admission is $5, or free with a same-day receipt from any Queen Anne area business.

The Uptown Theater originally opened a single-screen theater in 1926. In the 1940's, the single screen was converted into three screens. The theater was last known as the AMC Loews Uptown 3, which closed November 28, 2010.

The Seattle International Film Festival also operates the SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall.

The full press release appears below.

Press Release

Historic Seattle Uptown Theater is Back and Better Than Ever

SIFF Red Carpet Event to Herald Grand Re-Opening

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SIFF is excited to roll out the red carpet to re-open the historic Uptown Theater in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. SIFF Cinema at the Uptown will re-open to the public beginning October 20, 2011 in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the new SIFF Film Center at Seattle Center, ushering in a new era of film in the Northwest. “Seattle is excited to celebrate the re-opening of the Uptown Cinema on Thursday night,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I congratulate SIFF for their initiative in saving this iconic venue which not only supports our city’s arts scene, but also supports economic opportunities for local businesses.”

A VIP Red Carpet Event on Thursday, October 20th at 7:30 p.m. to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will kick off grand re-opening festivities at the newly remodeled theater. The Artist, an honest-to-goodness black-and-white silent picture made by modern French filmmakers in Hollywood, will be shown on at the grand re-opening reminiscent of the days when the Uptown presented original black-and-white silent movies.

SIFF Cinema at the Uptown will open with three days of Sing Alongs beginning October 20th as part of the Heineken City Arts Festival with audience favorites to include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Purple Rain, and Grease. Following the Sing Alongs will be five days of classic feature films that have previously played at the historic Uptown theatre. A sampling of the cinema's rich 85-year history, these classic films were selected from the entries submitted to SIFF through our recent call for Uptown Memories from the Seattle community and will screen October 23rd-27th. Admission to the classic films will be free with a same-day receipt from any Queen Anne area business (or $5 general paid admission). The selected films include Twentieth Century (1934), Citizen Kane (1941), Singin’ In the Rain (1952), West Side Story (1961), The Godfather (1972), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Annie Hall (1977), Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985), LA Confidential (1997), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).

Originally opened in 1926, the Uptown Theater was one of Seattle’s oldest and most cherished cinemas until it closed last winter. SIFF will begin programming at the new SIFF Cinema at the Uptown in October of 2011 as part of the SIFF Cinema brand, making the transition this fall out of its current location at McCaw Hall. The newly opened theater will provide SIFF with increased seating capacity and three additional screens, allowing for more flexibility in its year-round programming.

“After being with SIFF for almost 20 years, it is exhilarating to not only be opening our flagship home with the SIFF Film Center on the grounds of Seattle Center, but also to have the opportunity to keep an 85-year-old institution, the Uptown Cinemas, open for business just three blocks away,” said Carl Spence, Artistic Director of SIFF. “We look forward to working with the community to make sure the Uptown Cinemas once again becomes a permanent destination in Seattle to see the best that cinema has to offer.” 

These new and exciting ventures will allow SIFF to expand their rich, year-round programming, establish first-class educational programs throughout the community, and ensure that SIFF and the programs they offer thrive for decades to come.

Now in its 37th year, SIFF has evolved into an internationally recognized film institution, reaching over 200,000 individuals each year through the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema and Futurewave Education. SIFF's mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive. Learn more at www.siff.net.

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