December 9th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Seattle's venerable Moore Theater opened its doors for the first time on December 28, 1907. In commemoration of this monumental anniversay, the Moore is having an open house this Monday, December 10, between 5 and 8 PM. By my count, there are only three grand old theaters extant downtown today. The Moore is the oldest. Anyone who was anybody in vaudeville, as well as "legitimate" actors (the great Bernhardt herself included), appeared on its stage. It was later "upstaged" by newer and thus more modern venues and lost its luster, but it is nonetheless the first to reach the century mark. I recently took a tour of the theater (second Saturday of every month). It is definitely showing its age even with some renovations (more such are planned, however). The theater is said to be haunted. A walk in the bowels of the place might just convince one it is. Let's put it this way: I wouldn't want to be left alone there at night in the dark. As with the other theaters--the Paramount and the Fifth Avenue--the building in which it is located is not stand out architecture though the terra cotta tiles are certainly of interest from a historical point of view. Indeed, from the outside, one would never know a great old theater existed within, save for the marquee. The hand out for Monday's program states there will be "historic tours, exhibitions, and entertainment across many genres". We are all interested in the new buildings rising in close proximity to the Moore and the Paramount. It is good to take a look back and appreciate this special piece of Seattle history as well.