Paramount Theatre Seattle Information

About Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre has a long history of hosting popular features including the talkies, vaudeville shows, and silent movies of the 1920s. Comedy specials, Broadway hits, notable speakers, musical concerts, and dance events also occur at the famous Paramount Theatre.

The Paramount Theatre stays booked from January to December so there’s always something for everyone to enjoy. The Paramount Theatre even offers family event opportunities.

You’d be pleased to learn that the Paramount Theatre is inclusive. It offers:

  • Open captioning
  • ASL interpretations
  • Closed captioning for all performances
  • A sensory guide for Broadway performances

Famous Seattle Times 1928 review

Paramount Theatre was opened by Hollywood-based Paramount Pictures on March 1, 1928, as the Seattle theatre; a 3,000 capacity, grand movie palace and entertainment auditorium, the extravagant and luxurious venue was lauded by The Seattle Times upon its opening:

“Never has such a magnificent cathedral of entertainment been given over to the public. Indescribable beauty! Incomparable art! The stage productions will be of the most lavish design, brilliant in their lighting effects and gorgeous in their settings. ALL SEATTLE WILL BE THERE! Show divine at 9th and Pine… an acre of seats in a palace of splendor. It’s yours… you’ll love it… Everybody’s welcome, everybody’s wanted… Every Washingtonian will be proud of its stately magnificence, its gorgeous decorations, its spacious foyers, its wide aisles, its commodious seats, its symphony of lights. See the Mammoth Show! In all the World no place like this!”

The Seattle Times, 1928
paramount theater seattle

Paramount Theatre History

The Paramount Theatre, as it’s known today, started in the Roaring Twenties as Seattle Theatre. Before the talkies were invented, silent films were the most dominant form of popular entertainment.

During that time, Seattle had over 50 movie palaces, with the finest grouped in one community. The palaces played silent movies, and the change from silent films to talking movies occurred when audio recordings were invented for film.

Paramount Pictures president Adolph Zukor is responsible for the construction of Seattle Theatre. It opened on March 1, 1928, as the Seattle Theatre but changed to the Paramount Theatre in the 1930s. The grand opening of this opulent movie palace was a major success.

Though the dominant form of entertainment in Seattle Theatre’s earliest days was silent films, the entertainment world continued to change. Fortunately, the Paramount Theatre changed with it, thanks to massive renovations from former Microsoft vice president Ida Cole. In the mid-1990s, she purchased the Paramount Theatre and facilitated an expensive eight-month renovation that included:

  • State-of-the-art sound systems
  • Special lighting
  • Plaster and gold leaf restoration for the walls
  • Improved dressing rooms for performers

After nearly 100 years, the Paramount Theatre Seattle is a thriving local landmark and historic site. Thanks to theatre access programs, many who wouldn’t otherwise see Broadway plays and stage performances can attend upcoming events at the Paramount Theatre. The Paramount Theatre still showcases silent movies every Monday and hosts an annual Broadway at the Paramount season featuring stellar stage performances and showcases.