Admiral Theater update: More first-run movies on the way

(WSB photo, added Thursday afternoon)
If you don’t often check the schedule for West Seattle’s historic Admiral Theater, you might not have noticed yet, but the success of the “Interstellar” premiere run is bringing more first-run movies to The Admiral.

One big example: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies(trailer above) is on the way, starting December 16. As for the theater’s future – very much up in the air as of our update last month – the latest is that the current management is “in talks with the landlord to move forward with the lease toward a hopeful renovation.” Stand by for updates.

P.S. Following up on a reader question, we asked theater manager Dinah Brein if they’re planning a Christmas movie again this year. Doesn’t look like it, she says, given how busy they’ve been with all of the above, but she’s expecting to have a holiday donation drive of some sort later this month.

24 Replies to "Admiral Theater update: More first-run movies on the way"

  • some guy December 11, 2014 (11:53 am)

    Sweet! Glad to hear that there are talks.

  • JanS December 11, 2014 (12:32 pm)

    and first runs will bring in more money,more people. That’s money that can be used to fix up the place. I’m so glad to hear this, as I live about a block and a half away :)

  • Doug December 11, 2014 (1:10 pm)


    I used to frequent that theatre as a kid and loved it. It is nasty now. With my allergies I can’t go near the place. Granted, after my last experience there a couple years back – maybe they have cleaned it up better. I don’t think they cleaned it properly after the flooding. I WANT to support the local theatre – just can’t see myself ever going back. Certainly not to enjoy a first run movie. Hope it is better now.

  • Norskgirl December 11, 2014 (3:26 pm)

    Yes, also happy to hear this. I hope the theaters, lobby (including restrooms) are cleaned, repaired and kept so. Also, eye contact and a small smile by the employees would translate to a more positive experience, increased patronage and improved profit. So thinks I. Looking forward to returning as a regular. Thanks.

  • Lauren December 11, 2014 (4:12 pm)

    Just so long as they don’t paint over the “This way to the ministry of magic” graffiti in the women’s bathroom. :)

  • Mok December 11, 2014 (4:36 pm)

    Alas, Lauren, the Ministry has been painted over. I tried to get Larry to leave it alone, but he was not swayed by my graffiti love.

  • Geoff December 11, 2014 (5:06 pm)

    Seats are uncomfortable and the staff is not friendly. I wish it was otherwise…we need a top rate theatre in the area.

  • Movie goer December 11, 2014 (6:14 pm)

    Is the Admiral ticket price still $6 for first run movies? What a great deal!

    • WSB December 11, 2014 (7:02 pm)

      MG, I don’t know their current prices but I believe they have a first-run pricing structure on the website now (follow first link) …

  • cookieb December 12, 2014 (9:14 am)

    check out the history of the theater its awesome. Support our local theater so they can eventually upgrade!!!

  • Bando December 12, 2014 (10:29 am)

    I sure hope they are able to find a winning formula. the interior of the theater is a little on the creepy side and it always feels cold.

    They should try some kind of burgers and beer model similar to what the Big Picture offers downtown.

  • Moly December 12, 2014 (11:30 am)

    First run films would be great. However, the last time I attended a film there I decided not to go back for the following reasons.

    Seats are old and dirty: floors are also dirty; bath rooms also need a complete remodel; side doors were locked a fire violation; Owners should look at the Ballard theater which is modern and clean. Until they do a complete remodel including projection equipment I will not go back.

    • WSB December 12, 2014 (11:36 am)

      Moly, and as we’ve been reporting for the past couple years (one story is linked above and many others are in our archive ), they’ve had remodel plans in hand but have not gotten the landlord’s commitment to a lease. Now, as noted above, they’re in talks.

  • some dude December 12, 2014 (12:06 pm)

    Good! I wonder how they will deal with the digital projection issue/cost.

  • Kathleen December 12, 2014 (1:29 pm)

    I second the happiness about the possibility being able to keep our local theater!

  • Ray West December 12, 2014 (6:53 pm)

    I so hope this all works out. I am so tired of having to go to Southcenter or Northgate to see a first-run movie. (I will not even consider going downtown.) I love this theater and I want to see it thrive.

  • Mark December 12, 2014 (7:27 pm)

    Third. My biggest concern for the Admiral to work as first run is presentation. I did not see Interstellar there but have been to a handful of films there and noted scratchy, prints, improper screen masking (picture not fitting screen properly) and lackluster, possibly mono sound. I did see the pictures online of new surround speakers being installed so hopefully that is a step in the right direction. Even if they have to stay 35mm for a while it would be nice to get the presentation up to standards and tidy up the place until they get around to a full makeover.

    If they cannot gain the funding for the 4-screen remodel but can still retain their lease the next step should be new seats, new carpet and repair the torn curtains in the left auditorium.

    I really hope this works out! I hate seeing theaters close and West Seattle needs a 1st run theater. Downtown and parking is a pain. I usually take the kids to Factoria cause it is a quick easy drive on the 90 and has parking.

  • Ray West December 13, 2014 (3:24 am)

    If they do refurbish it, then uncover the beautiful and unique wall murals and restore them! I do not get why these are covered up. Would also be nice, but I know it will never happen, it they could recreate the ceiling design as well. What a loss that was.

    Also, to Mark: In the future, your trip to Factoria will probably be costing you more if they implement tolls on the I-90 bridge.

  • Harriet Husbands December 13, 2014 (7:53 am)

    It would be nice to have a clean and updated movie theater in West Seattle, especially because it’s so difficult to get out of West Seattle!

  • Mark December 13, 2014 (11:35 am)

    Factoria might also get more expensive because rumor has it they reached an agreement with the property owner to “upgrade” the theater to digital and install new seats. Just like the Admiral it is currently running 35mm but presentation is very good. I actually prefer 35mm to digital but understand the need to go digital to stay alive.

    Still, Factoria is the best kept secret for West Seattleites to catch a movie. So much easier to deal with than downtown, Southcenter or Northgate. Especially with small kids. I really do hope the Admiral keeps making progress towards being a viable first run theater, because that would be the best option of all!

  • dontthinkitsjust me December 14, 2014 (10:59 pm)

    CLEAN!!! I’m with Norskgirl & Moly, only less ambivalent. When I want to go to the movies, it’s not necessarily to see the film – i’m hoping for a pleasant night out, and maybe a little mental respite from parenthood. Or, taking the kiddos out for a film treat. NEITHER happens if I’m anticipating DIRTY Seats, Popcorn & spilled soda on the floors, and dont-touch-anythingOMG bathrooms. A little eye contact would help me feel your employees are not ashamed of the state of the place, too. Manage this, and your reputation will improve – customers will follow. I’m sad I go other places now – I’d really like to come back to the Admiral.

  • Some Guy December 24, 2014 (3:47 pm)

    just curious if there’s been any progress. Hoping for a Christmas Miracle, so to speak. Hope all is well and progress is still happening.

  • Another Neighbor December 26, 2014 (9:06 am)

    We went to see The Hobbit last night. From the comments made by Dinah before the show started I think the miracle has happened. Perhaps a follow up story?

    • WSB December 26, 2014 (3:33 pm)

      We’ve been following up with her (and did so again after your comment). Nothing to announce publicly yet…

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