The Paramount Theatre
Seattle’s Paramount Theatre has enjoyed a long and storied history, beginning with its grand opening as the Seattle Theatre in March of 1928.
Residents and visitors alike have been entertained at the magnificent theatre and millions have delighted in the theatre’s architectural majesty, viewed countless films, and enjoyed thousands of performers from all corners of the globe.
Seattle’s Most Opulent Movie Palace
During the “Roaring Twenties,” particularly before the first “talkies” were invented in 1927, vaudeville and silent movies were the dominant form of national and local entertainment. Seattle alone had more than 50 movie palaces, the finest grouped together on 2nd Avenue.
On March 1, 1928, the Seattle Theatre opened. The Seattle Times heralded the occasion with enthusiasm:
“Never has such a magnificent cathedral of entertainment been given over to the public. Indescribable beauty! Incomparable art! The stage productions will be of the most lavish design, brilliant in their lighting effects and gorgeous in their settings.”
The grand opening was a huge success, garnering in an era of silent films, ‘talkies’ and even surviving The Great Depression to entertain all of Seattle. Fast-forward over 85 years later, and Seattle’s Paramount Theatre has undergone many transformations over the decades, from opulent silent movie palace, to vaudevillian performance hall, Cinerama format movie house, Broadway theatre performances and rock, soul and jazz concerts.
A New Era for The Paramount
After years of financial difficulty throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, determined to restore the theatre to its former glory, Ida Cole, a former Microsoft vice-president, purchased the theatre and re-established the non-profit Seattle Landmark Association (now Seattle Theatre Group®). An 8-month renovation included a stage expansion, plaster and gold leaf restoration, chandelier cleaning, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and extension of the back wall to accommodate new load-in, new dressing rooms, and increased electrical capacity.
In March of 1995, The Paramount re-opened to become, as Ida put it, a “kissable” building, where “everyone was welcome and felt comfortable; the people’s theatre.” Miss Saigon was the first presentation, celebrating the return of Broadway to the theatre. Later, a convertible seating system would be installed in the main auditorium to accommodate more contemporary uses such as runway, corporate events, and large general admission concerts.
In 2002, Ida Cole transferred ownership of The Paramount to the non-profit Seattle Theatre Group® (STG), the new name for the Seattle Landmark Association.
The Paramount Theatre Today
The Paramount is a thriving landmark theatre. An annual season of Broadway at The Paramount season accompanies a performance series of dance, jazz, live concerts, speakers, comedy, special events, and family shows. The Silent Movie Mondays Series draws thousands to experience a taste of the past accompanied by the original Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. A Theatre Access Program grants tickets to individuals and organizations without the means to attend theatre, and robust Education and Community Programs provide vital professional arts interactions for young and emerging artists.
Continuing to serve the original vision that Ida Cole had for The Paramount, the Seattle Theatre Group® has continued stewardship of the theatre. Additionally, STG operates and maintains the historic Moore and Neptune Theatres.
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Mezzanine 3,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Mezzanine 2,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Mezzanine 1,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Loge,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Orchestra,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Accessible Seating,
Premier subscribers receive complimentary parking (up to a $9 value) and traditional subscribers receive $3 off of parking at the Seventh and Pike garage.
Located between Pike St. and Pine St.
Entrances on 7th Ave and 8th Ave
- Upon entry to the 7th and Pike Garage, press the button
for a ticket to enter the facility.
- When exiting the garage, scan your ticket pulled on entry
at the exit machine or pay on foot station.
- Once the rate is displayed on the screen, then scan your validation barcode.
- Insert and remove your credit card (mag stripe up) for the
amount displayed if any remaining amount is owed.
Please be advised that STG has increased safety procedures to include walk-through metal detectors. We encourage you to arrive early and to bring small or clear bags as these added measures may cause longer lines to enter the theatre. The lobby will open 1½ hours before your listed show time.
We ask that you not bring large bags with you, as they will be allowed into the theatre for this performance only after a full bag search. Please note: full bag searches take more time and will slow ingress into the theatre, so if you do need to bring a large bag with you, please arrive as early as possible to avoid missing any of the show.
Weapons are not allowed at STG Theatres, regardless of any licenses or permits. This includes fire arms, pepper spray, tasers, knives and other threatening objects of any kind (determined at the discretion of our security staff). Patrons who attempt to bring such items into the venue will be asked to return them to their vehicle. STG will not hold or be responsible for any such items.
Learn more about prohibited items on STG’s FAQ page.