The 5th Avenue Theatre
Deemed a “national treasure” by actress Helen Hayes, the 5th Avenue Theatre has always held a special place in the hearts of local theatre goers. After opening in 1926, the theatre quickly became a regional favorite, entertaining audiences with some of the best vaudeville shows west of the Mississippi. Later it served as a movie palace, providing audiences with a luxurious place to enjoy popular films. Unfortunately, the 1970s brought some serious financial problems for this extravagant theatre (and many others), and in 1978 Seattle almost lost it forever. Luckily, some courageous businessmen teamed up, secured a $2.6 million loan and helped the theatre to reopen in 1980. The original interior design and its ornate designs were painstakingly preserved. One of the largest organizations of its kind in the Northwest, today, the 5th Avenue seeks to revitalize the classic musicals of the past, provide a place for the burgeoning new musicals of the present and — with education and outreach programs serving more than 61,000 people — invest in Seattle’s creative future.
Fun fact: A huge dragon on the ceiling of the theatre holds the “Pearl of Perfection” chandelier in his bite, and each of his five toes symbolizes an evil spirit that the dragon must destroy.