Mailbag Feb 10, 2023 at 1:48 pm

And Other Notable Arts News You May Have Missed

Not closing, probably! JK



Go, Barbara Earl Thomas!! Art for The People!!


Regal is yet another victim of the city's lawless downtown environment... the product of the far left's social experiments on Seattle.

Hopefully the next election will begin the process of fixing these horrific problems, restoring the rule of law and restore some of the dignity downtown used to enjoy.


@2.....I was thinking the same thing. Why risk your life or well being in the downtown area for some movie that you can watch at a later date in the safety of you own home. Seattle is well on it's way to becoming a dead city like Detroit.


Yes, Regal's woes are all because of the "far left's social experiments on Seattle". It has nothing to do with shady corporate dealings, bankruptcy and the effects of a pandemic.

Yet, as Our Dear Jas reports, the Seattle theatre has be saved, because of negotiations between the company and the landlord. (But obviously, that's only because both parties fear the Seattle ANTIFA).

The only people clutching their pearls and staying home out of fear are the old people, most of whom haven't been in Seattle for decades.


@4 I guess you haven't been downtown lately. It isn't just old people fearing for their lives down there my dear.

The crime increased and literally blew up when there was no law enforcement, arrests and prosecutions... ( all left wing agendas and programs) A decade of failed and failing homeless programs which have only increased the number of homeless exponentially..... Coincidence? I think not.... Do You really think this is a coincidence?

It is a submissions of mine, when they arrest somebody multiple times, no meaningful law enforcement results and are let loose again, they will repeat violence, crimes, drug dealing etc.... it send out a very clear message.

It is a submission of mine the homeless programs do not work, have not worked and will not work. May I point to the mess under the Rainier over pass and the U-District bridge.


Au contraire, my dear Manoltos. I am downtown almost every day. The most frightening thing to me is the complete mess SDOT has made of fourth Ave.

If by “Rainier overpass” you mean the I-90 overpass over Rainier, you should have seen it before the light rail came through. It’s absolutely pastoral compared to that.

Now, if you were talking about the I-5 overpass thigh the ID, we might find common ground. But that is not representative of all of downtown.


In our age of ubiquitous wide-screen HDTVs and myriad streaming services, that most 20th-Century of institutions, the movie theatre, will continue to die. When SIFF took over The Egyptian, we saw the future right there: going to the movies will be a boutique experience for art-house movies, and other specialty productions, for a select audience with the time and money to devote to such things*. Why schlep yourself and any children to a theatre, when you can have your friends, and children’s friends, over to your home? At the theatre, you do not control anything, from the time the movie starts to the presence of rude randos in the audience. (Heck, you can’t even pause the thing for a bathroom break.) At home, it’s all yours: miss a line? Back up, watch it again. Still miss it? Repeat, and turn on the closed-captioning. There’s really no reason to go downtown, especially if that means dodging tents full of petty thieves.

*Take this from a 25-year member of SIFF.


tensorna dear, the Hollywood Executives had much the same fears when TV came along, and they adapted.

Here's the thing - movie theatres (except for the art houses) aren't there for settled, middle-aged people. They're there for teenagers and young single people who don't have houses to host viewing parties, or are just looking to be out and about.


Catalina, I think your comparison of the Hollywood Executives and television in it's early days is way off track. Initially they thought television would be a passing fad but when it clear that TV was here to stay they adapted all right by selling their old movies to the station then later selling their newer movies. Since then home television adapted to where one can get the total theatrical viewing experience in their own home; the same can be said for the art house theaters. I don't fear ANTIFA but rather the gang activity as they seem to operate freely without regard to others. You may well survive being downtown but then you are in a protected class because of who you are.


@6 Well, I suppose if you can't see what is going on downtown on your daily visits, perhaps a new lens Rx might be in order. I suggest your vision as well as your assessment of the situation is greatly impaired. Sadly, a new pair of glasses is unable to affect the latter.... which appears to be more of an appalling case of denial.


@2 and @3 crack me up. "Seattle is dying! See, the theater is closing!" (Never mind that the company is in bankruptcy, and it would have been one of many closures across the country).

So now that it isn't actually closing, what does that mean to these idiots? My guess? "Harrell saved it! Thank God the mayor did what he needed to do to save this fragile little flower of a city before the junkies and hoodlums took control for good."

Fucking reactionary dipshits. Go pray to your shrine of Richard Nixon and fuck off.


@8 is right, of course (on both counts). Initially the movie theaters thought TV was a fad, but after a while, they were terrified. Each advancement seemed to be the end of them. Color TVs, VCRs, DVDs, flat screens, surround sound, streaming. Now they even call it "home theater". But they still can't replicate the movie experience. People want to go "out".

Speaking of which, downtown is in great shape as far as visitations go. Pike Place is bustling (the new waterfront will be grand). There are some rundown places, but that's always been the case. Always. It just moves around, and people freak out. Reactionaries focus on it, as part of their "Cities-Suck" strategy, pioneered by Richard Nixon ("cities suck, because of them liberals"). But sketchy places downtown have been around for a very long time. When I was a kid (in the 1970s) the worst parts were on First Avenue. Tom Robbins even wrote about it in "Still Life With Woodpecker". A generation earlier it was Pioneer Square (which gave the world the term "Skid Row" which means an area with lots of down and out people). This generation has dealt with the area around the McDonald's on Third. It wouldn't surprised me if it just keeps moving east (or maybe south). Great article about it in the Seattle Times magazine:

But overall, downtown is about as strong and safe as it has ever been. Folks forget that the crime was pretty damn high in the 70s and 80s. Downtown was largely silent after dark. The high cost of living has definitely pushed more people onto the streets, and the pandemic hammered downtown. But overall, if you look at the last century, it is quite a bit better than average, and the future looks bright (as long as we can house enough people).


Bertha dear, the studios were forced to sell their theaters off because of a 1948 legal decision, "United States vs. Paramount". It had nothing to do with television, because it was still a very new technology at that time.

But in the interest of helping the less supposedly less protected, can I help you and Our Dear Ross get signed up for Meals on Wheels or something? That way, you'll never have to leave the house.


Oops, sorry, I meant Our Dear Manolitos, not Our Dear Ross in the last post. Ross seems fine and not at all agoraphobic.

Mrs. Vel-DuRay regrets the error.


@11 Well I guess according to your logic... then Nike closing and all those store fronts boarded, the empty Westlake Mall and building after building of abandoned retail are a complete mystery. Right. Yeah, your explanation makes perfect sense.

The owner of Piroshky is hallucinating and all those reports of drug dealings, murders, robbery and break- ins are simply an illusion.

Tell me the whacko who used a hammer to murder and rob the pedestrian a publicity stunt?


Dear Ms. Vel-Duray, I am not home bound by any means; I am retired and make it a point to walk 3-5 miles nearly every day. I am not talking of a casual stroll either but a good steady pace; over the course of a year there are probably no more than 10 days that I miss. Personal safety, though, is a major concern; some time ago while walking I found myself surrounded by a group of juvenile thugs; they actually tried to kill me, I had over ten stitches put on my head. Two nights later that same group managed to kill a young man named Eric Toews. I appreciate your offer to help me get meals on wheels but really have no need for it.


Manolitos, unclench dear. Niketown closing was probably as much of a corporate decision based on branding or sales expectations as anything. Wal-Mart recently closed their store in Factoria. Do you think that was because of rampant crime in that fair community?

Indeed, most of downtown's crisis' of the last several decades have had very little to do with the neighborhood, but with corporate manipulation. In the early 90's, everything went to hell downtown: Frederick and Nelson was forced into bankruptcy because it had been laden with debt and then sold off by Marshall Fields when they were the subject of a hostile takeover. Across the street, I.Magnin's demise was caused by that company being acquired by the company that also owned The Bon Marche, which didn't want to two stores within two blocks of each other. That caused Klopenstein's to retrench to the new Two Union Square, and caused the closure of scores of small stores along Pine Street and Sixth Avenue, decimating the retail center of downtown.

Farther downtown, Woolworth's closed all of their stores because their parent company wanted to concentrate on athletic shoes. The big scandal of that era was a tourist who made it her mission to discourage people from coming to Seattle because two "colored girls" pushed her down some stairs. Pearls were clutched, panties twisted, death predictions were predicted, but people came back.

Even today, Macy's closed the downtown store because Amazon made them an offer they couldn't refuse for the land, and because they are basically terrible at operating stores. You'll notice that the main floor of that space is now occupied by a Japanese retailer, and according to the DJC, Amazon is using the basements to test robots or something, and something called "The Bon Marche Collective" is forming upstairs, offering retail and perhaps hospitality space. People come back.

Bertha dear, that's terrible that you were attacked. We have had gang problems in North Beacon Hill for decades, but they mostly target elderly Asians. Surprisingly, that seems to have decreased in recent years, but the neighborhood is almost completely different than what it was when I moved here 25+ years ago. But I'll repeat my original point - movie theatres aren't here for older people. They're here for younger people who don't have the space or the interest in having a home theatre. They want to go out on the town.


@14 Well I guess Bertha (@16) must also be hallucinating.

While you continue to deny the facts, people are dying.... needless death, violence and damage.

This is the legacy of the far left social agenda. When you trample the rights of the innocent, regardless of how well intentioned your agenda may be, that is not equity. Its inequity and it comes with a horrific costs... people lives, injury and crime.

What give you the right to visit this violence upon the innocent. Do they not count or have rights?


I should have known better than to try to introduce some nuance, history, or context with you, Manolitos dear. I fear your intellectual deterioration is just too far along.


Catty-lina... Simply ignoring the facts and white washing over them with nonsense isn't' nuance, history or context.

It is either complete ignorance of what is going on downtown or worse yet recasting event and facts to support a failed far left social experiment which has gone terribly wrong.

You can't use a Max Factor Pancake #4 to cover up the blemishes of increased crime, drug use, homelessness, vagrancy all of which flourish and continue to flourish under the existing far left agenda of a "pat on the head, a biscuit here and a bevy of useless government programs which do nothing."... actually they have made it far worse.

Please wait...

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