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Seattle, WA: Uptown Theater Purchased by Seattle International Film Festival, Re-opening Scheduled for October 2011

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 5:32 PM

The Uptown Theater, circa 1959.On August 6, 2011, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) announced that it had purchased the Uptown Theater in Seattle, Washington. 

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.

SIFF plans to re-open the theater to the public on October 20, 2011 in conjunction with the grand opening of the new SIFF Film Center at Seattle Center. It currently operates the SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall.

The full press release appears below.

Press Release

SIFF Acquires Historic Seattle Theater to Complement Soon-to-Open Film Center

August 06, 2011 11:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SIFF is excited to announce the acquisition of the historic Uptown Theater in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. The historic neighborhood theater 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 Mayor Mike McGinn stated, “SIFF is one of Seattle's true treasures not only for the work they do in film and education, but for being a leader in our community and saving the Uptown Movie Theatre. The leadership that SIFF is demonstrating should not only be recognized but applauded.”

“We are thrilled to welcome SIFF as a new resident here, and we embrace its move to use the former Uptown Theater space as a SIFF screening venue. What a wonderful means to enlivening the neighborhood and further connecting Seattle Center to the Uptown area”

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.

“On behalf of the Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce, we are especially pleased to endorse the acquisition of the Uptown Theater by the Seattle International Film Festival,” said Ann Pearce, Chamber vice president. “We applaud their actions in preserving a valuable part of Seattle's Uptown neighborhood and creating more opportunities for Queen Anne community businesses. Another wonderful forum for unique entertainment will now be available for residents and tourists alike to enjoy for years to come!”

Adds Carl Spence, Artistic Director at SIFF, “We couldn’t have scripted a better opportunity for our organization than to have SIFF Cinema at the Uptown and the new SIFF Film Center in such close proximity and located in such a vibrant part of the city. Seattle Center and Queen Anne are the perfect locations for us to expand in and we’re excited to be opening our doors in time for Seattle Center’s ‘Next 50’ celebration next year.”

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.

“We are thrilled to welcome SIFF as a new resident here, and we embrace its move to use the former Uptown Theater space as a SIFF screening venue. What a wonderful means to enlivening the neighborhood and further connecting Seattle Center to the Uptown area," said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams.

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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