REOPENING: West Seattle’s Admiral Theater sets the date

(WSB photo)

Until the governor announced new guidelines on Wednesday, movie theaters were not allowed to open in Phase 2 counties. Now that’s changed, and West Seattle’s Admiral Theater has just announced it will reopen under the new guidelines – 25 percent capacity – one week from today, on Friday, October 16th. Masks will be required “while in the auditorium and until you’re seated at a safe distance from other patrons,” but you can take yours off to consume concessions while seated. The Admiral’s parent company Far Away Entertainment explains other policies here (including what “25 percent capacity” means – 3 empty seats away from the next unrelated person). As for what The Admiral will be showing – that’s not on their website yet.

P.S. If you’re not comfortable with going to the theater, you can still support The Admiral by watching movies at home – here’s what’s available right now.

32 Replies to "REOPENING: West Seattle's Admiral Theater sets the date"

  • oakley34 October 9, 2020 (11:06 am)

    3 empty seats between myself and a potentially unmasked patron? No thanks. This is why I likely won’t be patronizing theaters until there is a viable vaccine.  See you in about two years…

    • newnative October 9, 2020 (12:24 pm)

      I will be bet there is going to be a lot more room between patrons. Can’t wait. 

  • Anne October 9, 2020 (1:02 pm)

    Definitely have a problem with concessions being open-eating allowed. Masks are down or off- folks are touching their mouths- probably then touching seats-drink holders. Don’t get me started on restrooms- (although the Admiral is one of the few theaters I’ve been to where they actually have hot water in the restrooms)If it was just movie-3+ seats apart masks MANDATORY & the movie was something special-maybe. 

    • sb2780 October 9, 2020 (3:47 pm)

      Yes I agree. I was really excited to hear this news and love the Admiral Theater and have missed my weekly visits. I feel less excited about people being given permission to remove their masks in an enclosed environment for 2+ hours to consume concessions? That may be even worse than indoor dining. Not sure, as I haven’t been back to a restaurant yet either. Bummer.

  • VN October 9, 2020 (3:37 pm)

    Wonderful news – we will definitely go to support this important WS business.

  • Confused October 9, 2020 (3:37 pm)

    I am happy to see the Admiral reopening because as a small local business I’m sure they’re hurting, but I’m confused – what changed for the governor? Last week, going to movie theaters was too dangerous, but now it’s not? Last week a bar serving a beer at 10:01pm put lives in danger, but now it doesn’t? Cases are continuing to rise in Washington, so either the governor is acknowledging he made a mistake by shutting movie theaters in the first place, or despite claiming to follow the science, made this decision for political purposes (announcement was timed perfectly with the debate), because the underlying factors that caused the closures of theaters, bowling alleys, school sports, etc. have not changed. 

  • Jamie October 9, 2020 (5:00 pm)

    It is ridiculous and irresponsible of the Governor to allow theaters to re-open. As we have seen over the past week, let alone the past several months, the virus spreads easily.  I honestly don’t understand why the Governor, who has largely followed scientific guidance, would allow this type of indoor activity – especially when people will remove masks to enjoy concessions.Prior to the pandemic, we went to the admiral at least once a month. These is no way that my family will be go there until a safe and proven vaccine is widely available. Why would we? Streaming services are great and we can make our own popcorn at home.

    • psps October 9, 2020 (5:53 pm)

      Without any hope of federal support for struggling families and their livelihoods, which we would have had with a normal administration, Inslee is in a tough spot. In this case, I presume those theaters that decide to open are doing so because they have no choice but to try and make a go of it. The trouble, of course, is that there likely won’t be enough customers to make it work. For example, I don’t patronize any restaurants for take-out or delivery if they allow indoor dining.

      As for movie theaters like the Admiral, the business model for movie theaters was failing even before the pandemic and Inslee opening them up isn’t going to change that.  I wish the best to the owners of the Admiral, of course, but they’ll be better off hitching the wagon of their future on something else.

  • TJ October 9, 2020 (5:44 pm)

    If people don’t want to go to the theater, then don’t go. But it is time to open up all businesses and let people decide on their own how much they want to participate in society. Waiting for a vaccine (that a lot of people will choose not to get) to be widely available likely means early spring, and there is no way that a year of this was a possibility back in March. “Flattening the curve” is turning out to be a subjective term and Inslee can keep moving the goal posts. 

    • Anne October 10, 2020 (9:08 am)


    • Pidivoc October 11, 2020 (8:48 am)

      Agreed. Time for a more surgical approach. Open things up a bit for those willing and unlikely to be affected significantly, maintain all the other precautions, stay home or outdoors if you’re at risk or risk-averse. Look around the world, there is no magic bullet outside of being a literal island and closing one’s borders permanently. What if a vaccine never comes? Too depressing to go on like this….

    • Simon October 11, 2020 (2:06 pm)

      I don’t think you understand infectious disease and particularly the epidemiology of this one.  People make individual risky choices, then make the briefest contact with my mom, neighbor, or immune compromised friends. Just like that those people are in grave danger. We are all in this together and the passing of time or exhaustion with health measures does not change the peril this virus presents. If everyone had just shelved their individual yearning and showed love in protecting their community  for just several weeks we would already be substantially done with this crisis.

      • Pidivoc October 11, 2020 (8:35 pm)

        What few weeks are you talking about? This is my point, there is no end in sight. New Zealand, the shiny champion of conquering the virus, recoils in horror at the sight of a few cases and shuts wholly back down. We have to adapt to the situation. Your mom, neighbor, and immune compromised friends should not be out and about without masks and social distancing. Given those, they should be fine. This is the science. What’s the issue then? This whole situation seems to have spawned a cultural-political litmus test that stretches logic. It’s been interesting watching this conversation evolve. I can’t imagine where we’ll be in 6 months. I’ll likely be enjoying a drink somewhere with my loved ones, mask at the ready as needed. 

        • Simon October 11, 2020 (11:43 pm)

          I want to eschew political litmus tests as well. And yes, we do have to adapt to the situation. Public health measures work. Ask large nations with under 30,000 cases and 500 deaths. Their policies, evolved public health systems,  and patriotism have made all the difference. To lock down the vulnerable will not eradicate the virus. It will simply be passed around among the rest of us and not without significant disability or fatality. We all want our drinks and movies but some very short term well-observed sacrifice will lead to a permanent solution. After that I’ll look forward to raising a glass with you!

  • Nick Schroedel October 9, 2020 (6:06 pm)

    May be awhile before I go in to watch a movie, but will be there day 1 to buy a large popcorn to take home.

  • TJ October 9, 2020 (8:50 pm)

    Great news! I will be happy to support them in their re-opening.

  • Notoveryet October 9, 2020 (8:57 pm)

    Careless and irresponsible. A mask off, is a mask off. People eat during the entire movie, 3 seats apart? Right before flu season? I will definitely not go, not even post pandemic after this. At least skip the concessions!

  • Alexander October 9, 2020 (9:41 pm)

    Show the movie musical Hamilton, and I’ll go.

    • MikeMike October 10, 2020 (1:22 am)

      There’s a million things we haven’t done –

      Just you wait…Just you wait. 

  • Medium October 9, 2020 (10:42 pm)

    My family will be there at the first good movie. I love The Admiral Theater and their popcorn. That’s the beauty of choice and freedom. Just allow me to dispense my own butter. I love that.

  • aa October 10, 2020 (9:12 am)

    If wonder if WSB would be willing to ask them to address some of the concerns posted in the comments.  for me,

    I wonder- Do 3 seats =six feet distance separation?

    What about the rows, are they creating space by requiring alternating rows?

    I know concessions is the money maker so I understand their desire to offer food, it seems popcorn would be the worst because it does require ongoing hand to mouth contact.

    Personally, I would support a donation jar on the concession stand in lieu of actual food sales to support the needed income without the added risk to myself and others.

    What is the condition of the air circulation in the building? I’m leaning toward movie theaters that are in more modern buildings but maybe they are well equipped.

  • John W October 10, 2020 (9:33 am)

    It is a fact that movie theaters rely on the concession stands because the ticket costs do not sustain the business.  This is a long time economic reality in film distribution and was taught in USC Graduate Cinema Program thirty years ago.It is also a reality that three seats away is not sufficient for safety indoors.  And how three seats away will work, be challenged and be enforced in terms of people taking seats within three seats, directly or diagonally in front and behind.Seattle enjoys an enviable reputation for its support of cinema and live music venues, my favorite activities that I worry are still years away from return, if ever.

  • Anne October 10, 2020 (10:13 am) could contact yourself- at end of website page is a link to email manager. 

  • namercury October 10, 2020 (4:12 pm)

    I plan to attend and show support so this West Seattle treasure does not fail!  

    • Notoveryet October 10, 2020 (5:45 pm)

      at the risk of your health and your family’s health? So a business doesn’t “go under”? Thanks, from everyone who is doing the right thing so you can live your life. 

  • Nick October 10, 2020 (5:54 pm)

    News flash: If you’re still uncomfortable with the precautions in place, then you don’t have to go. It’s that simple. Feel free to stay in your bubble, that’s fine and there’s nothing wrong with it. And there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to go and support local businesses to keep them from collapsing. That’s their choice as well.

    • John W October 10, 2020 (7:05 pm)

      A choice that involves getting sick or getting others sick will not help out the local business.  We are seeing a rebound of COVID at every relaxation of regulations.If we West Seattleites want to support our local cinema, we should do fundraisers and  establish gofundme accounts or do take out of the Admiral’s concession stand and watch the video at home.   Columbia City has supported their theater as a valued member of the community.

  • Notoveryet October 10, 2020 (6:54 pm)

    that’s not really a newsflash, that ‘newsflash’ is getting old. But the u.s. has always had a reputation for being selfish. Happy covid spreading.

  • Notoveryet October 10, 2020 (7:10 pm)

    I believe in science. Yes, I stay in a lot more and I especially don’t go inside 3 seats away from unmasked people. Your term ‘bubble’ is insulting to people doing the right thing. Good luck to you in the movie theater.

    • Nick October 12, 2020 (12:35 am)

      How is bubble insulting? It’s just a nickname, and it’s being used quite frequently and prominently as of late to refer to the quarantines that the major sports leagues have put their players in. And I literally said there’s nothing wrong with it. Some people see that as doing the right thing, others see patronizing their local businesses in this time of need as doing the right thing as well. In reality, I think they’re both right to a certain degree. So there’s no need to shame either side. By the way, I don’t foresee there actually being groups of people every 3 seats if the capacity is truly being limited to only 25%.

  • October 13, 2020 (5:36 pm)


  • Raven October 17, 2020 (8:49 am)

    Walked over last night for the 6:30pm showing of Tenet! We had an absolute blast! Was nice to have a “normal” night out. Removed mask only while eating popcorn and enjoying a beer. Lots of space between us and other folks as the theater was 75% empty. Had dinner at Pizzeria 22 afterwards and we decided this might be the best night we’ve had this year since covid decided to ruin the year! The movie theater was SO clean, major social distancing going on as well. You do have to wait in line (6 ft apart) even if you buy tickets ahead online to check-in/ buy snacks because it’s a one way entry/exit situation now. The popcorn was SO GOOD, I had forgotten:) They ran out of Mannys beer which is a good sign in my opinion! #supportlocalbusinesses 

Sorry, comment time is over.