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Cornerstone for new Seattle lodge of Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 1 is placed on February 22, 1925.
On February 22, 1925, up to 12,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles gather in Seattle for the ceremony marking the placing of the cornerstone for the grand new lodge of Seattle Aerie No. 1. The Eagles, a fraternal benevolent society, was founded in Seattle in 1898, and the local aerie is known as the Mother Chapter of the organization. The new lodge, located at 7th Avenue and Union Street, is a six-story, steel and concrete structure that is notable for its extensive use of architectural terra cotta. Among those on hand to officiate are Washington Governor Roland H. Hartley (1862-1954) and Otto P. Deluse (1878?- 1935), Grand Worthy President of the national fraternal order.
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ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) in Seattle, stages its first play, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad, on June 29, 1965.
On June 29, 1965, ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) in Seattle, stages its first play, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad.
Workers have just finished turning Queen Anne Hall, at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, into a 420-seat theater. Director Gregory A. Falls (1922-1997) says he wants this new professional summer theater to show provocative modern plays that reflect the artistic and cultural ferment of the time. This first play, an absurdist comedy by Arthur Kopit, draws a large and appreciative audience on opening night. Seattle Times
theater critic says that ACT "pulled all theatrical elements together for a triumphant bow" (Baker). He predicts that ACT will "develop into a hot item" and he is proven correct (Baker). ACT will go on to become one of Seattle's most popular and artistically influential theaters and will move in 1996 to a new $30 million space downtown.
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First Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) opens at Moore Egyptian Theatre on May 14, 1976.
On May 14, 1976, the first Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) opens at the historic Moore Egyptian Theatre at 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street. The festival's founders, Dan Ireland (b. 1958) and Darryl MacDonald, had taken over the Moore Theatre the previous year, cleaned it up, installed a new screen and sound system, and reopened it as the The Moore Egyptian in December 1975. They show a mix of classic Hollywood revivals and foreign films before launching the film festival, which will run from May 14 through May 31, 1976, and features films from several countries. SIFF stays at the Moore Egyptian for five seasons before relocating in 1981 to the Masonic Temple on Capitol Hill, which will be renovated by Ireland and MacDonald and renamed the Egyptian. The Seattle International Film Festival will grow to be one of the nation's largest and continues (2012) to bring a wide variety of foreign and domestic films, both well-known and obscure, to Northwest audiences.
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ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) stages Cheap, the first show in Kreielsheimer Place, in downtown Seattle, on September 6, 1996.
On September 6, 1996, ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) stages Cheap,
the first show in its new $30.4 million complex, Kreielsheimer Place, in downtown Seattle. Seattle Times
theater critic Misha Berson writes that the show "looks grand in its new surroundings" (Berson, "Star"). The extensively renovated former Eagles Auditorium includes three new performing spaces. This comedy farce is staged in the Gregory A. Falls Theatre, named after ACT's ailing founder. Berson calls the configuration of the new stage "strikingly similar" to ACT's former Queen Anne home, with the same kind of thrust stage (with seating on three sides), yet with better sightlines and décor (Berson, "Star"). The play itself is a loose adaptation by Tom Topor of Moliere's The Miser,
and is dismissed by Berson as "amiable but unremarkable" (Berson, "Star") and by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Joe Adcock as "frothy" and "mildly stimulating" (Adcock). Yet ACT soon hits its stride and the new venue helps to revitalize downtown Seattle's arts scene.
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Seattle's Town Hall debuts on March 17, 1999.
On March 17, 1999, Seattle's new Town Hall is launched with a free celebration of "Seattle's Favorite Poems," hosted by Robert Pinsky (b. 1940), poet laureate of the United States. As a warm-up for the event, The Seattle Times
prints several favorite poems in its March 15, 1999, editions. At the Town Hall debut, local luminaries, including Tom Skerritt, Speight Jenkins, Rick Rapport, Hazel Wolf (1898-2000), Mike Lowry (b. 1939), Charles Royer (b. 1939), and third-graders Sophie Posnock and Madeline Boardman, read their favorite poems.
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Seattle's historic Paramount Theatre installs new marquee on October 7, 2009.
On October 7, 2009, workers install a sparkling new vertical marquee on the historic Paramount Theatre at 9th Avenue and Pine Street in Seattle. The marquee, fabricated by The Sign Factory of Kirkland, Washington, is a detailed reproduction of the one that has been in place since 1930, when the two-year-old Seattle Theatre was renamed the "Paramount" and the marquee relettered to reflect the change. After that, the six-story-high sign remained in place for another 79 years. Over that time, Seattle's weather took a slow but relentless toll on the marquee, the exterior of which was made of sheet metal. Paint chips and blisters, metal rusts, stopgap repairs did little but buy time, and by 2009 the accumulated damage proved too great to remedy. The Seattle Theatre Group, which owns the Paramount, raised money from government, foundations, and the public to finance a new marquee. The Sign Factory of Kirkland, which maintained the old sign for several years, was selected to fabricate the replica, which has an outer skin made almost entirely of aluminum, and electrical and lighting upgrades to provide increased brilliance with a significant reduction in cost and energy consumption. Upon completion, the 65-foot-long sign is trucked to the Paramount site where, over just two days, the old marquee is removed and the new one is installed.
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Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre lights up a new marquee on December 3, 2009.
On December 3, 2009, crowds gather at the 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle to celebrate "first light" for the theater's new marquee, which replaces one removed during theater renovations three decades earlier. The marquee, which is just over 57 feet in height, is not an exact replica of the original, but is quite similar, and restores the theater's exterior glamour and éclat. The prime mover behind the project is Christabel Gough, daughter of Roger L. Stevens, a businessman, famed Broadway producer, and patron of the arts. Gough donated $300,000 for the project in memory of her father and his longtime friend and business associate, James M. Ryan, both of whom had supported the drive to restore and renovate the historic theater in 1979. The new marquee is designed by Eric Levine and Yusuke Ito of NBBJ and built by CREO Industrial Arts in Everett.
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Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signs resolution designating a Downtown Historic Theatre District on December 6, 2011.
On December 6, 2011, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (b. 1959) signs a resolution designating a Downtown Historic Theatre District to support the preservation, promotion, and maintenance of Seattle's historic downtown theaters. Five venues are included in the new district: Town Hall, the 5th Avenue Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre ACT/Eagles Auditorium, the Paramount Theatre, and the Moore Theatre.
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Seattle Theatre Group's Historic Theatres Library is dedicated on March 1, 2012.
On March 1, 2012, the Seattle Theatre Group's (STG) Historic Theatres Library, located in the Paramount Building at 901 Pine Street, opens to the public. It is 84 years to the day after the Seattle (later "Paramount") Theatre had opened in the northwest corner of the same building. On hand to dedicate the new library is Judith Rosenthal, the granddaughter of L. N. Rosenbaum, the financier who inspired and organized the construction of what would become one of the city's most luxurious movie houses. The creation and maintenance of the Historic Theatres Library is an all-volunteer effort, headed by Lynn and Marian Thrasher. The library's early efforts will concentrate on documenting and preserving the history of the STG-owned Paramount. Future plans include giving similar attention to the historic Moore and Neptune theaters, which are operated (although not owned) by the theater group.
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