The Moore Theatre is Seattle’s oldest remaining theatre, built in 1907 by James A. Moore, a developer responsible for many early structures in Seattle’s downtown and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The placement of the Moore (on the newly regraded Second Avenue) was intended to shift commercial focus away from Pioneer Square, establishing the neighborhood as Seattle’s film and theatre district. In its earliest years the Moore featured motion pictures and theatre, also serving for a decade as the host of the famed Orpheum vaudeville circuit until the construction of the Orpheum Theatre in 1927.
Unusually successful during the Depression Era, the Moore endured a number of unstable subsequent decades, functioning as a revival house, then as a rental space featuring road shows, boxing matches and travel-films during the 1950s and ‘60s. After a 1955 remodel, the mezzanine gallery featured the work of a number of prominent local artists. In 1974 the Moore was added to the National Register of Historic Places, but continued to struggle. During a brief period as the Moore-Egyptian (a foreign and revival movie house), it hosted the first Seattle International Film Festival, shifting focus to stage performances after its lease changed hands again.
In recent decades the Moore has become a destination for “alternative” touring musicians and theatre, local music and dance groups, and community events including lectures, pageants and other gatherings.
Moore Theatre Information
- Public Transportation: Good (accessible by many Metro bus routes)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 60 events annually
- Ticket Prices: $15-100 depending on event and seating choice
- Subscriptions: Several subscription series are available, including a Build-Your-Own option. Benefits include lost-ticket insurance and additional ticket discounts (some subscriptions also include free ticket exchanges).