Why Seattle Is So in Love with Neptune Theater's 100th Birthday



Kind of odd to have someone who doesn't really like the place write about it, unless, I guess, nobody at the Stranger does? Probably wouldn't have been hard to find someone who did. I have great memories there, including Rocky Horror as a wide-eyed teenager and seeing Pulp Fiction for the first time. The environment was kitschy but I thought it was cool, and unlike Charles I'm glad they didn't tear it down.


Double feature: James Dean in both East of Eden and Rebel without a Cause. Oh man the things a guy had to do to get a Seattle babe to talk to you back then. The girl and the year is gone, the building remains. Mostly, I feel like I'm ghosting through a city that exists only in my memories rather than the one they built around me, seeing the Neptune kind of boomerangs the whole thing in reverse.


Thank heavens at least ONE historical building in Seattle has made it to 100.
Happy Hunsky, Neptune Theater!


@2 pdonshue: Yeah--I know. I don't feel like I know Seattle, anymore. All I have left are the memories of what was.


I miss the days of the Seven Gables theater chain, most of them playing movies you couldn't see anywhere else. It was a cultural experience that has no equivalent today; a lot of the kind of movies that played then aren't available on streaming services, and it was a non-homogenized cultural experience happening in public. The Neptune was part of that broader cinema culture. And the fact that it was dated and kitschy was part of the charm, even though it wasn't objectively as nice as some of the places Charles mentioned. And it was the Mecca of local Rocky Horror when I was in high school. I haven't been since they stopped showing movies, but I'm glad something from that era remains.

It probably wouldn't pencil out economically, but I would love to see an old-style movie house that specializes in movies that aren't available on streaming services. I don't even know if there are enough old film movies still available, but you could reproduce the feeling of a public presentation of cinema that isn't available anywhere else. I guess if it was possible somebody would be doing it already.


If we had put all that money and effort into affordable housing would we have been better off? I attended a few shows when at UW and sure I feel a bit of nostalgia, but what I really want is $2.99 Teriyaki chicken to come back.


Lame, Mudede.


"The very last movie to screen in the ruins of the cinema palace was the Green Hornet"

This is a bit inaccurate. The Times' article correctly states Green Hornet was the "final movie as a first-run movie theater".

SIFF still used The Neptune as a venue in 2011. Hilariously, when SIFF goers went into the initial screenings there they discovered the seating considered of separate folding chairs (albeit cushioned ones I believe). People freaked out so much at this joke that SIFF scurried to bring in temporary theater seats from Sundance.

The Stranger even wrote about it: