Love the movies and the Seattle Cinerama? You’re not alone, and you are also among many Seattleites who have nervously waited to see the future of the historic venue. In some excellent news, SIFF has announced its acquisition of the Seattle Cinerama Theater from the estate of Paul G. Allen.

The announcement was made by SIFF Executive Director Tom Mara on May 11th, during the Opening Night celebration of the 49th Annual Seattle International Film Festival, which runs through May 21.

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While the terms of the sale were not disclosed, Mara did have the following to say about the acquisition.

“We are honored to take on stewardship of this historic theater. It’s a film venue adored by the community and speaks to the critical role SIFF plays in bringing the power and art of film to diverse audiences across our region,” said Mara. “So many of us have experienced the magic of this theater, and we are excited to carry on the vision and impact that Paul Allen started so many years ago.”

The venue has had a long history, first opening in 1963 to great fanfare then falling into disrepair by the late 1990s. It like many other local historical buildings was in danger of being demolished but was purchased and restored by Paul G. Allen.

As you all probably well remember, the venue closed in 2020 and remained shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to SIFF, the theatre will reopen later this year under a new name. We will keep you updated with additional information on the Seattle Cinerama as it becomes available.