Built in 1907, when the city was anticipating an influx of visitors during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the Moore is Seattle’s oldest theatre. Back then it was known as one of the largest and most beautiful theatres in the United States. And during the Great Depression, it saw some of its most active years, spotlighting many renowned European and American performers, including Sarah Bernhardt, Lily Langtry, the Barrymores, Marie Dressier and Ánna Pávlova. The decades that followed were less stable and the Moore became strictly a rental house, hosting road shows, boxing matches, travel-films and special events. Eventually, in 1974 the Moore was added to the National Register of Historic Places. One year later, two local film experts leased the theatre and re-opened it as the “Moore-Egyptian,” a foreign and revival movie theatre. After hosting the very first Seattle International Film Festival, however, the theatre returned to being a stage arts venue. It is now run by Seattle Theatre Group, which presents arts performances of nearly every genre there.
Fun fact: There used to be a pool in the basement of the Moore, where many Seattleites took swimming lessons. It’s no longer open, but you can see photos of it in the lobby.