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Summary for 2100 4th AVE / Parcel ID 069000005 / Inv #

Historic Name: Cinerama Theater Common Name: Cinerama Theater
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Belltown
Built By: Year Built: 1963
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
This plain brick-clad building is one of only two remaining Super Cinerama theaters, and one of only three capable of showing the original Cinerama three-strip films. It was designed in 1963 by local architect Raymond H. Peck for Martin Theatres, and was originally known as the Martin Cinerama. It has remained in use as a theater since that time, although Cinerama is seldom shown any more. In 1998-99 the theater was purchased by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, and restored by BOORA Architects of Portland. The lobby and 808-seat auditorium have also been restored to the 1960s, but with new audiovisual equipment. The 90-foot long, 30-foot high, curved screen was restored for the rare viewings of Cinerama films, with a second screen in front for regular films. ( Cinerama film made its debut with the 1952 movie, This is Cinerama. This uniquely American art form involved filming shots with three different cameras at slightly different angles and then projecting the films through three lenses onto a massive, curved screen. The images were coupled with rich sound to provide an entirely new and engulfing cinematic experience. By the mid-1960s however, the technique had become too expensive and only six subsequent three-strip films were made. 70mm films were shot to be viewed through custom lenses on the Cinerama screens that had been installed in theaters across the United States; however by the early 1970s, even 70mm Cinerama films had become too costly and most Cinerama screens were dismantled. (
The Cinerama Theater is a simple building that clearly conveys its use with its tall windowless volume. The concrete building is clad with light gray/buff brick veneer with wide bands of concrete marking the bottom and the flat parapet. The first floor along Fourth Avenue is clad in small (1 inch) green and blue tile, a distinctively 1960s touch. Along the south side large display windows, with marblecrete below, open up visually to the lobby. The recessed entry at the southwest corner has metal and glass doors, flanked by metal panels. Additional exits are on the rear (east) elevation. At the southwest and southeast corners blade signs saying “Cinerama” extend the full height of the building.

Detail for 2100 4th AVE / Parcel ID 069000005 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Brick, Ceramic tile, Other Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Recreation and Culture - Theater Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Entertainment/Recreation
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development, Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 2100 4th AVE / Parcel ID 069000005 / Inv #

Photo taken Jul 05, 2006
App v2.0.1.0