November 18

Uptown Theatre closing November 28



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.


AMC Uptown 3, Cinerama, John Carter, Lower Queen Anne, Moira Macdonald, movies, Office of Film and Music, Paul Allen, Seattle Times, SIFF, Uptown, Uptown Theatre, Vera Project

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