It’s just like the worst and longest cliffhanger in Seattle film historical past: Will the beloved Cinerama theater ever reopen? When? … Keep tuned. And keep pissed off.
As movie lovers emerge from the prolonged pandemic hibernation that despatched them to the sofa for almost two years of small-screen movie consumption, a brand new petition is looking for solutions as to when the lights may flicker once more on the Cinerama.
The historic movie show in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood has been darkish since February 2020 when it was briefly closed for renovations. In Might 2020, the information went from unhealthy to worse when the COVID-19 pandemic took maintain and the Cinerama closure was prolonged to the “foreseeable future.”
The theater, which initially opened in 1963, was bought by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1998. The billionaire sci-fi geek and philanthropist put the place via a state-of-the-art know-how improve in 2014 and it’s lengthy been thought-about the go-to spot for stuff you simply must see on an enormous display screen. The chocolate-covered popcorn served within the foyer didn’t harm to attract folks in both.
Vulcan Inc., the Allen firm that manages lots of his remaining belongings and is now run by his sister, Jody Allen, had nothing new to share in regards to the Cinerama when reached by GeekWire on Monday.
“We are going to let you recognize when we’ve got an replace,” a spokesperson emailed.
The petition on Change.org is titled “Save Seattle Cinerama!” and has attracted nearly 2,000 signatures in two weeks. Nevertheless it ought to have “a bajillion,” one commenter stated.
Calling the theater a Seattle establishment, with the town’s “most uniquely nice movie show expertise since its inception,” the petition states that it’s pressing that the Cinerama be saved.
“By signing this petition you may be calling on 1) Jody Allen, the present head of the Paul Allen Property (which owns the theater), to speculate on this historic theater’s future and get it again up and working; and a couple of) the Seattle Neighborhoods Division Historic Preservation Program to designate the theater a Seattle Landmark, thereby defending it from demolition.”
Guests to the Cinerama web site are nonetheless greeted by a big “WE’RE CLOSED” message linking to particulars that had been initially shared on Might 27, 2020, about how the “COVID-19 disaster has had a devastating impact on many companies, particularly people who depend on public gatherings and particular occasions.” The Cinerama Twitter account hasn’t been up to date since July 17, 2020, with a tweet about what theater reward card holders can do to get refunds.
The closure in February 2020 was supposed for renovations to deal with regular put on and tear all through the constructing, changing carpet and so forth. And an overhaul of the kitchen was deliberate to allow the theater to increase on its meals choices, Vulcan stated on the time. However quite a few staff misplaced their jobs and questions swirled even earlier than the pandemic about whether or not the Cinerama was ever coming again.
With its large curved display screen, reclining purple seats and ceiling dotted with star-like lights, the landmark film home is a technological chief in movie projection and sound, because of Paul Allen. If Vulcan doesn’t reopen the theater, movie followers within the metropolis have puzzled for nearly two years who will step in.
Amazon, with its worldwide headquarters only a couple blocks away, has been floated as a possible savior. The tech large already runs its Prime Video streaming service and buys and makes movie and TV content material via Amazon Studios. After which in Might it dropped $8.5 billion to purchase the longtime Hollywood studio MGM — keepers of the James Bond franchise.
The newest Bond movie “No Time to Die” is among the many large blockbusters drawing folks out of their properties and again to theaters this fall. “Dune,” “Eternals” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” are among the many different titles resulting in a home field workplace resurgence as folks get extra snug gathering in public once more.
For many who signed the petition to avoid wasting the Cinerama, a sampling of feedback offered extra incentive for Vulcan to reopen, or for any would-be purchaser:
- “The Cinerama is the very best place to see a movie within the metropolis, and has a coveted place in Seattle’s historical past and coronary heart.”
- “I desperately miss Cinerama. I cherished going there. The large display screen, the chocolate popcorn, the celebrities on the ceiling – all perfection. I might return on a regular basis if it reopened.”
- “Cinerama is crucial to Seattle’s unity as a metropolis as we exit the pandemic. It wants extra funding as a cultural landmark, not a looming axe over its head!”
- “My favourite theater ever. With out query, it must be saved.”