West Seattle’s Admiral Theater to get a ‘group hug,’ as renovation work nears

(June 2015 photo by Jean Sherrard, courtesy SWSHS)

Remember that scene at the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge last year, with hundreds of local students photographed in what Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals dubbed a “group hug,” to commemorate the start of its restoration? Something similar is about to happen for another West Seattle landmark – again on the first Friday in June. This time, it’s West Seattle’s only moviehouse, the Admiral Theater. Hundreds of area students will gather outside the theater at midmorning on June 3rd (one week from tomorrow) for another “group hug,” to be photographed from above, as the theater gets ready to launch its renovation project. No street closure, but things will be a little crowded outside the gas station/mini-mart next door; Eals tells us that’s where they’ll be gathering.

(WSB photo from February)

Speaking of the Admiral’s renovation work, which ultimately will turn it into a fourplex with lots of upgrades to its lovable-but-worn interior, readers have been asking about its status. So we checked with The Admiral’s Dinah Brein, who says the city permit process has had them in a holding pattern. “They are backed up 4-6 weeks. We initially were hoping to start first couple weeks of May, but now they won’t probably review until the end of June. At that point, depending on if they have any questions, comments or concerns that we need to address, we will have to resubmit again for their approval. We are thinking that we should be good to go no later than end of August, which would be good because the movies slow down until mid-October for the holidays.” That’ll be close to a year after the originally hoped-for timetable for getting the work started; the agreement between the theater’s owners and longtime operator Far Away Entertainment was announced early last year.

12 Replies to "West Seattle's Admiral Theater to get a 'group hug,' as renovation work nears"

  • dsa May 26, 2016 (5:25 pm)

    Too bad the street won’t be closed.

    • Paul May 27, 2016 (1:36 pm)

      It will get closed, just not officially :-)

      • WSB May 27, 2016 (1:40 pm)

        If you’re referring to the street during this event, no, Clay was pretty clear about that. It was one thing to close 61st (which required permits) for the Homestead; California, another matter entirely.

  • Michael Waldo May 26, 2016 (7:50 pm)

    If they really get new seats, I will go back for the first time in years.

  • Junction Lady May 26, 2016 (8:33 pm)

    Exciting about the renovations, especially new seats-hooray!

  • Christine May 26, 2016 (10:20 pm)

    I vote for new bathroom stalls. I remember how you can’t close the door standing in there as it opens all the way to the bowl. ;-)

    • sam-c May 27, 2016 (9:56 am)

      Yes…. Aside from the restrooms not being up to code (ADA compliant), but for everyone, it’s just gross to straddle / brush your leg up against the side of/ stand on the toilet so you can open/ close the stall door.

  • Community matters May 26, 2016 (11:30 pm)

    Very excited about the renovations! It is our move theatre now, and we will be happy to experience the new old theatre!

  • Hugh May 27, 2016 (7:47 am)

    I hope the new digital projection system will provide closed captioning for the hearing impaired. I’ve not yet experienced the Admiral due to the lack thereof. 

  • hh May 27, 2016 (11:09 am)

    Can’t wait for new seats.  none of us could walk after Star Wars..

  • Amy May 27, 2016 (12:48 pm)

    I’ve always loved gong to the Admiral, would continue going wether they upgrade or not! It’s a historic landmark and needs to remain open!

  • Alki Betty May 28, 2016 (1:46 pm)

    What time is “mid-morning?” I would like to attend the hug. :-)

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