SIFF Cinema Uptown

511 Queen Anne Avenue North,
Seattle, WA 98109

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Related Websites

Seattle International Film Festival (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: AMC Theatres, Loews Cineplex, SRO Theaters, Sterling Theaters, Inc.

Architects: Benjamin Marcus Priteca, Victor W. Voorhees

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Uptown Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 206.324.9996

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

SIFF Cinema Uptown

Originally opened in 1926 as a single screen movie house, the Uptown Theatre received an Art Moderne style facelift in the 1940’s, including its present marquee.

In 1984, two additional screens were added in adjacent properties, each seating about 170. The original 500-seat auditorium remained intact. The building next door, that was previously a restaurant was torn down (keeping the original façade) with the building of Seattle’s first stadium seating auditoriums. The Uptown Cinemas screens first-run features, leaning towards art films.

As of November 2010, movie operator AMC (which took over the theatre when it acquired Loews Cineplex) announced it would close on November 28, 2010. In August 2011, it was taken over by the Seattle International Film Festival, and reopened as an art house cinema in October 2011.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

rkq on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I read on a site that AMC holds the lease for another year and will just let it run out keeping the building unused. It would seem the location of this cinema could be a sucessful operation, if the lease was reasonable or the building could be bought, by an independant operator. The major chains just don’t want to be bothered with a 3 screen older building. But this theater seems an ideal situation for an independant operator. With the right bookings and alittle refreshing I bet this place could be quite sucessful.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on August 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

SIFF has acquired the lease for the next five years and will re-open the place as an arthouse on Oct 21:

Dav1dJeffers on August 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Seattle International Film Festival made this announcement earlier today: SIFF is excited to announce the acquisition of the historic Uptown Theater in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. The historic neighborhood theater will re-open to the public beginning October 20, 2011 in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the new SIFF Film Center at Seattle Center, ushering in a new era of film in the Northwest.

Clonts on October 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm

The Uptown is officially back up and running!!

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

The Uptown Theatre had a tiny Wurlitzer pipe organ when it opened: opus 1339, built in 1926 for this theatre was 2 manuals and 4 ranks, a style B stock model. It seems the organ was removed in 1930 and is now (supposedly) at the Presbyterian Church in Oak Harbor, Washington.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

The December, 2011, issue of Queen Anne Cobblestone, the newsletter of the Queen Anne Historical Society, said that the Uptown Theatre was designed by architect Victor W. Voorhees. The Uptown opened on May 26, 1926, with 749 seats. The original auditorium lost 234 seats in 1984, when the lobby was expanded to serve two new auditoriums that were built adjacent to the original theater that year.

The current marquee of the Uptown was installed as part of a 1953 renovation which was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca.

tdickensheets on October 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm

SIFF now own the Uptown Theatre,

davefox on October 19, 2014 at 7:06 pm

The SRO chain added two more screens in adjacent property in 1984, not 1989.

Seattleprojectionist on May 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm

In reference to markinthedark’s question, AMC left all booth equipment in place. The theatre had been on life support (very poor business) for some time before AMC closed it, everything throughout the theatre was in pretty rough shape. SIFF has retained 35mm capability in all 3 houses and has also installed digital on all screens and installed a second 35/70 Century projector in Booth 1 to give us 2 projector changeover capability in the large house. The smaller houses have single projectors w/platters. I work for SIFF as a projectionist.

MSC77 on December 30, 2021 at 3:43 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Uptown’s year-long run is mentioned in the piece.

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