The Paramount Theatre is arguably Seattle’s most storied entertainment venue. Built in 1928 as a vaudeville house and movie theatre, it featured some of Hollywood’s first ‘talkies’ (motion pictures with sound), and in the ensuing decade a staggering variety of entertainment. As public tastes changed into the 1940’s, the Paramount focused more on feature films, until 1971 when a change in ownership turned it into a major venue for the rock music of the era. The Theatre gradually fell into disrepair, but was purchased and renovated by an investment company in 1981, enjoying several years of renewed popularity before economic hardship forced its owners to file for bankruptcy. The Paramount continued to produce events during this time, as then-Microsoft VP Ida Cole created the non-profit Seattle Landmark Association to fund its eventual complete renovation.
The Paramount Theatre reopened in 1995 in all of its original splendor, including a few very modern improvements. In 2002, Cole transferred ownership of the Paramount Theatre to the Seattle Landmark Association, now known as the Seattle Theatre Group (STG), which also owns and operates the Moore Theatre on 2nd Avenue. The Paramount’s auditorium was named after Cole at the Theatre’s 75th Anniversary celebration in 2003.
Today, the Paramount Theatre features series in six of the performing arts: Broadway, Jazz, Silent Film, Dance, Family and Comedy. The STG also includes an Arts and Education Outreach Department, which sponsors arts programs for many aspiring Seattle-area performers, many of which are held at the Paramount or the Moore.
The Paramount Theatre Information
- Other Venues: Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Avenue
- Public Transportation: Good (accessible by bus)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Programming at the Paramount and the Moore includes Broadway touring shows, concerts, dance, jazz, comedy, family shows, and silent-film presentations
- Ticket Prices: Vary based on presentation. Discount offerings and group discounts vary from show to show. No ticket exchanges for non-subscribers
- 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).