Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) announced in May 2023 that it had acquired the shuttered Seattle Cinerama Theater. Seattleites have been waiting ever since for a reopening date, which was finally just announced! The Seattle Cinerama Theater will reopen as SIFF Cinema Downtown starting on December 14, 2023. Movie tickets will be going on sale soon.
Read on for all the details!
History of Seattle Cinerama
Seattle Cinerama Theater first opened in 1963 and was restored to its former glory in the 1990s. Its name was due to the theater’s ability to show three-panel Cinerama films on a massive curved screen. It is now one of only two theaters in the world where you can still see movies this way. That’s why its closure in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic was so heartbreaking (that, and the fact that we had to say goodbye to the theater’s beloved chocolate popcorn).
When is it reopening?
After a four-year closure, Cinerama will reopen on Thursday, December 14! Its first showing will be the new Wonka film starring Timothée Chalamet—and tickets will be going on sale soon. The theater will no longer be called Seattle Cinerama Theater, however…
Why the name change?
When it reopens, Cinerama will now be called SIFF Cinema Downtown. The reason given for the name change is that the terms of sale prohibited the name (and original signage) being transferred with the property. Everything else will be the same or improved. The theater will still show movies with the rare Cinerama technology. Seattleites can go to SIFF Cinema Downtown for both blockbuster studio films and arthouse cinema, plus specialty festivals and events. Plus there will now be reserved seating selection available.
Will the chocolate popcorn return too?
Yes, the beloved Cinerama chocolate popcorn will be back! In addition to that, movie goers will be able to enjoy concessions from local favorites including Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Yonder Cider, Black Raven Brewing Co., Caffè Umbria, and Alexandria Nicole Cellars.
For more information and to stay updated on ticket sales, you can visit the SIFF website.