by Jen Graves
on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Update: In an email, King Cat manager Amaani explained that the block is part of the coming Amazon world headquarters, so yup, the theater (and a hotel and Toyota dealership) soon will be torn down. Amaani may be opening another venue and will keep us posted. And now to yesterday's post...
The phone number for the King Cat Theater downtown has been disconnected, the calendar of events has nothing since a July 14 show with Screeching Weasel and The Queers, and according to artist/composer Korby Sears, the 1974-vintage cinema is boarded up, with a land-use sign tacked to it that says a 38-story office building will be constructed on the site.
A quick eulogy: I loved this strangely neglected theater. I don't know why it didn't get more use, more love, more mindshare on radar screens in people's heads. It filled a void in Seattle event-space scene: a frickin' 1800 capacity theater, with raked amphitheater seating, a weird pit in the middle between the stage and the seats that you could have all sorts of fun with (see the floor plan here), use of spotlights in the basic rental fee, and a huge 1700 sq ft green room area (bigger than any apartment I've ever lived in).
You could breathe in that space, play in that space, really expand your show to meet the perimeter of that space. Usually, Seattle venues elicit the exact opposite architectural response.
Above all, it was affordable: for a Tech event I held there three years ago, they wanted $3k for the rental: we talked them down to $2k . That's nuts. By comparison: rentals for the 1200 capacity Showbox Sodo - which is just a flat floor - start at $8k on a weeknight.
Plus - some history:
Nirvana played there. Pearl Jam played there. And, you know - Nelson. And The Skrillex kid played the techno music there just last year. After outgrowing CHAC years ago, "Ignite: Seattle" eventually found a home there - a series I also adored. There was the infamous Hunchback of Notre Dame musical flop that played there over a decade ago, which people still talk about. ...