West Seattle, Washington
Emma Yeager has a free ticket to the Admiral Theater for you. It’s the premiere screening of her first documentary at 10 am Saturday, May 6th. Here’s her story:
I have lived in West Seattle with my family for 8 years. Over the last 5.5 years my father (Doug Jackson) and I have been working on my very first documentary film. We are so excited to show it on May 6th at the Admiral Theater at 10 AM (doors open at 9:30 AM). I grew up in Burbank, California where my father worked his entire career on major motion pictures as a sound editor. His favorite works include Schindler’s List, Hairspray, Logan and War For the Planet of the Apes (And More Here). For as long as I can remember my father has shown me and passed on a joy and love of film. For the last 15 years I have done many small film projects myself such as weddings, family history mini documentaries, small company promotion films and some volunteer non-profit films.
However, in 2016 right here in West Seattle, my life came to a halt when I was pregnant with my second child and was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome is a version of preeclampsia that targets the liver and has a 50% chance of fatality for both the mother and child. My son was born as soon as we found out, small but healthy. I spent the next week in the hospital fighting for my life. When the worst of it seemed to pass I found that I had lost the ability to walk. My community came alongside me and my family for the next 7 months, desperately searching for answers and help to be able to walk again.
My documentary called “Oh Me of Little Faith” is about my story when I couldn’t find any medical professional anwsers. I was deeply depressed, unable to live my life when one day my friend from church encouraged me to take a small walk of faith that changed my life.
We made this documentary viewing a free event because we wanted to share it with our West Seattle Community. We are asking for donations to be able to share it with many more all of the USA this year in various film festivals. It is really important that people reserve tickets so we can make sure we have room. So far we have almost 100 attending.
Here is our event ticket/information website.
This has been a labor of love and our whole production team has been just me and my dad. We have paid 100% out of pocket and are hoping to raise money to continue to share this film and be able to make more like it in the future. It is very exciting to share my story and truly begin what I hope will become a career of telling more difficult and beautiful stories in the future.
The film is about an hour long and will be followed by Q&A.
Even if you don’t fish, the scenery might be reason enough to catch the Fly Fishing Film Tour‘s 2023 West Seattle stop. It’s this Thursday (April 13th), 7 pm at the Admiral Theater (2343 California SW), hosted by West Seattle’s own fly-fishing specialists at Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor). We’re told EWA proprietor Dave McCoy is featured in one of this year’s films! You’re invited to stop by EWA’s gear/apparel shop in The Junction (4502 42nd SW) before Thursday’s screening, “as we will be having some activities to celebrate all things fly fishing.” And you can get your ticket(s) in advance via The Admiral’s website.
Going to see “Enormous: The Gorge Story“ at West Seattle’s only moviehouse, the historic Admiral Theater, tomorrow night? We have word tonight that the one-night-only screening will have a special guest on hand for Q&A after the movie – Ken Kinnear, creator/developer of the Gorge Amphitheater, the Central Washington venue that’s the subject of the film. Showtime is 7 pm, but seating will start at 6:30 pm. If you haven’t heard about “Enormous,” here’s the trailer:
The Admiral explains that Ken Kinnear “is the CEO of Allies Entertainment, Inc., and developed and produced all concerts at the Gorge Ampitheater. He appears in the film.” He’s also written a book that comes out next month, and The Admiral plans to have him back for a signing and screening, no date yet. Back to Wednesday night – you can buy your ticket(s) in advance via The Admiral’s website.
Interested in behind-the-scenes moviemaking info? Tomorrow (Wednesday) night at West Seattle’s only moviehouse, the historic Admiral Theater, the 6:30 pm showing of Seattle-set/filmed martial-arts comedy “The Paper Tigers“ will be followed by Q&A with its director, Bao Tran. Joining him will be Kris Kristensen, the movie’s West Seattle-residing editor, who did Q&As there last weekend. As first reported here a week and a half ago, The Admiral was particularly excited to book this movie after learning about its backstory, including how its director fought to make it with Asian-American leads despite potential financiers’ suggestions otherwise. And the movie is doing well here – it was first planned for just a one-week run but has been held over at The Admiral for at least one more week.
Last Sunday, we reported on why The Admiral Theater‘s general manager is so excited that they’ll be screening “The Paper Tigers,” a Seattle-set/filmed martial-arts comedy, starting tomorrow. We learned via a comment that the film’s editor is a West Seattle resident, Kris Kristensen, who then emailed today with an announcement: “Since the producers are all in NYC this weekend promoting the film, they’ve asked me to hold down the fort on the West Coast. I will be in attendance at both the Friday and Saturday evening (6:30) screenings at the Admiral Theater to do a Q&A following the screening.” The movie is scheduled for two showings a day during its weeklong run here – you can see the schedule and/or buy advance tickets by going here.
That’s the trailer for “The Paper Tigers,” a martial-arts comedy that’s scheduled for a week-long run at West Seattle’s only moviehouse, The Admiral Theater, starting Friday (May 14th). The Admiral’s general manager Marina Kosenko emailed to let us know about it because this is a Seattle-set/filmed movie with “quite a backstory,” as she explains:
“Writer/director Bao Tran pitched the screenplay to Hollywood. The financiers wanted to produce, with the caveat that the actors be white. Instead of capitulating to Hollywood’s frequent whitewashing, he returned to Seattle and started a very successful fundraiser, which spurred private donors to pitch in as well. Filming started in Seattle in 2019, and included an extensive local crew. The film will be released 5/7 in only one local theater, Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue. I didn’t find out about the movie until Monday when I saw it on several news platforms. Unfortunately, our bookings for the 5/7-5/13 week were already solidified, but I’ve since had conversations with our booker, Jeff Brein (owner), Bao Tran, and their distributor to bring the film to The Admiral. I’m super excited about this film and think the West Seattle audience will appreciate it as well, given the content, local ties, and perseverance of the Paper Tigers crew.”
Among the outlets that have reported on the movie’s backstory is Northwest Asian Weekly. If you’re not up for in-theater viewing yet, the movie also will be released for video-on-demand Friday; if you are, you can check the schedule and buy online tickets via the website for The Admiral (which is at 2343 California SW).
ORIGINAL SATURDAY REPORT: Reopening plans have been announced by another West Seattle business that’s been totally shut down since new restrictions took effect in November. The historic Admiral Theater (2343 California SW) – West Seattle’s only movie theater – will reopen on Friday (February 5th). The movie lineup will be “News of the World,” “The Croods: A New Age,” “Marksman,” “Little Things,” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” Under Phase 2 of the “Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery” plan, which takes effect Monday for seven counties including ours, movie theaters will be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity or 200 people maximum, whichever is fewer. The Admiral is part of a small Bainbridge Island-headquartered chain, Far Away Entertainment, that also will be able to open three other theaters, in the U-District, Stanwood, and Ocean Shores. The Admiral was able to open for several weeks last fall before the newest restrictions were announced.
P.S. New here? The Admiral has almost 80 years of backstory, as noted in our coverage of its reopening celebration 4 years ago, after completion of the remodel that turned it back into a first-run moviehouse.
ADDED MONDAY: Admiral co-proprietor Jeff Brein says in a comment, “In an effort to be responsive to folks who are hesitant to visit our Theater because people may be taking off masks to eat … we are going to introduce “Mask Mandatory” shows each day – those starting between the noon and 1:00 hour. Masks will be required at all times and concessions will NOT be sold but we encourage you to purchase on your way home after the movie to help support the Theater. The “Mask Mandatory” policy will not be in effect for our afternoon and evening performances.”
Three notes for the rest of your Friday:
ADMIRAL THEATER REOPENING: As we first reported last week, today is reopening day for The Historic Admiral Theater (thanks to Peter Morse from nearby Mission Cantina [WSB sponsor] for the top photo). First movie’s at 3:30 pm – the marquee is updated, the lineup is set, the staff is ready:
The photo is from Admiral employee Diane, who writes:
We have been rushing to get the Admiral ready for our first moviegoers. We are so excited. We are opening with a skeleton crew of 4. Our general manager is Larry Wymer. We are going to do the best we can to make the movie experience enjoyable while having rules to keep everyone safe and comfortable. We are only going to have 2 movie showings per day (25% capacity) and we made sure to give us, the staff, enough time between movies to disinfect the theaters and common areas.
The Admiral’s parent company Far Away Entertainment details its safety policies here. And if you’re not ready to go back to the movies, you can still support The Admiral via “virtual cinema.”
IN-CAR MOVIE RAINED OUT AGAIN: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s plan to show “The Secret Life of Pets” to an in-their-cars crowd at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) has now been thwarted by weather two Fridays in a row – rain is expected to return tonight – so they are shelving it until next year.
ANTI-RACISM VIGIL: Organizer Nancy says the weekly vigil in North Delridge is on:
We’ll be back on the Delridge pedestrian overpass again. I hope you’ll join us as we take a public stand against racism.
What: Delridge weekly anti-racism vigil
When: Friday, October 16th, from 5:30-6:30 pm
Where: Pedestrian overpass on Delridge at the Delridge Community Center/Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Please remember to wear your masks!
If you can’t come in person, please consider passing on the info to your networks.
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.
West Seattle’s only movie theater – the historic Admiral Theater – remains closed, but you can support its parent company Far Away Entertainment – a local group of small moviehouses – by watching a movie at home. The announcement:
Magnolia Pictures is offering THE WHISTLERS, ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND, and SLAY THE DRAGON as part of a virtual cinema program designed specifically to support our movie theaters.
Through Thursday, April 2, 100% of net proceeds from tickets sold will go back to our theaters, and beginning Friday, April 3. Far Away Entertainment will receive a typical studio 50/50 proceed split.
Tickets will range from $6.99 to $12.00.
Link to rent ‘Once Were Brothers’
If you’re new – the Admiral is an almost-80-year-old moviehouse that’s still standing only thanks to some dedicated community members, including its ownership and management. Three years ago, it had a “grand reopening” celebration after renovations that turned it into a first-run fourplex.
Need some diversion? West Seattle’s only movie theater is open. Here’s how the Admiral Theater‘s parent company Far Away Entertainment says things are being handled:
We are open and if you’re able to visit our movie theater, we thank you!
In order to promote social distancing, we’ll only be selling 50% of our seats to each show and scheduling shows further apart to allow for extra cleaning time. The 50% sales limit allows for more effective social distancing. Now there will be plenty of room to sit apart from others in all our auditoriums.
Employees have been asked to stay home if they’re feeling unwell and will also be screened upon coming to work. We will continue to take all extra cleaning precautions and measures.
We have some great shows on screen and hope you’re able to escape and enjoy a movie!
The Admiral is at 2343 California SW. Its lineup, showtimes, and ticket prices are here.
9:40 AM: Again this year, members of the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate (WSB sponsor) are hosting a showing of “The Polar Express” (trailer above) at The Admiral Theater – and they have some free tickets available to the public if you RSVP ASAP. The showing is this Saturday (December 7th), 10 am, and you can only attend by RSVP’ing through one of the sponsors, Alice Kuder, first-come, first-served – email or call/text her, email@example.com or 206-708-9800. Alice adds, “There is a limit of 5 tickets per family/group. We are providing free snacks (cookies, tangerines, coffee and hot cocoa) and the concession stand will be open. We will have a Toys for Tots donation barrel at the venue, for anyone who might want to donate. We have 10 co-sponsoring agents this year: Debbie Kerns, John Traweek, Karen Grace, Christian Jacobson, Larissa Wilson, Chariti Powers, Nadine Bivins, Darryl Eng, Ken Knoke, and me.” We’ll update this announcement when the tickets are gone.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: All tickets taken!
Lots of big events this weekend (as shown in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar), including one of citywide interest – the screening of “On the Brink” 7 pm Sunday (September 8th) at the Admiral Theater. Filmmaker Jeff Shulman, a UW professor, will be there for a discussion. As described:
The movie explores the hyperbolic growth of Seattle and its ramifications to local communities and neighborhoods. … While the documentary takes place in Seattle’s Central District, it evokes the human impact of a transformation that is occurring in neighborhoods throughout Seattle. West Seattleis experiencing rapid changes and the Historic Admiral Theater is hosting the screening as a community event to start a constructive dialogue about our neighborhood’s growth.
Tickets are $13 and are available on the Admiral Theater’s website. All ticket sales will be donated to Southwest Youth and Family Services. Southwest Youth and Family Services partners with youth and families to transform their futures through its counseling, education, family support, and youth development programs.
The theater is at 2343 California SW.
That’s a preview of “On the Brink,” a documentary that’ll be screened at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater, three weeks from tonight. Though it focuses on dramatic change in another Seattle neighborhood, the team behind it says it’s relevant to others including ours:
We have partnered with the Admiral Theater to screen the documentary “On the Brink” for the first time in our West Seattle community. The event will also feature a Q&A with the Filmmaker, Professor Jeff Shulman of University of Washington, and cast members.
The movie explores the hyperbolic growth of Seattle and its ramifications to local communities and neighborhoods. The Seattle Times hailed it as “a cautionary tale and a call to action in the face of Seattle’s rapid growth.” Crosscut wrote, “The history lesson here is one all Seattleites would benefit from learning.”
While the documentary takes place in Seattle’s Central District, it evokes the human impact of a transformation that is occurring in neighborhoods throughout Seattle. West Seattle is experiencing rapid changes and the Historic Admiral Theater is hosting the screening as a community event to start a constructive dialogue about our neighborhood’s growth.
Please join us and help spread the word about this event on Sunday, September 8th at 7PM at Admiral Theater.
Tickets are $13 and are available on the Admiral Theater’s website. All ticket sales will be donated to Southwest Youth and Family Services. Southwest Youth and Family Services partners with youth and families to transform their futures through its counseling, education, family support and youth development programs.
The season of school fundraisers continues, and we have two Saturday events to note:
SATURDAY MORNING MOVIE FOR CO-OP PRESCHOOLS: You can start the day at the Admiral Theater, 9:30 am:
South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools will be hosting a screening of “My Neighbor Totoro” at the Admiral Theater (to whom we are incredibly grateful for hosting the
event!). “My Neighbor Totoro” (directed by Hayao Miyazaki) is a beautiful family-friendly animated film about two young sisters and their adventures with friendly forest spirits in rural Japan.
Tickets will be available at the door for a suggested donation of $7 each or $25 for a family. Children under 1 are free. We are only able to accept cash or check at the door.
All proceeds go to support the Mary E. Phillips Scholarship Fund, making SSC Cooperative preschool affordable to all. SSC Co-op Preschools have locations throughout West Seattle (Alki, North Admiral, Lincoln Park, White Center, and SSC Campus) and we will have information about our preschools available at the event.
SATURDAY NIGHT PARTY FOR FAUNTLEROY CHILDREN’S CENTER: From Judy Pickens:
The 32nd annual dinner auction on Saturday, March 16, to benefit the Fauntleroy Children’s Center is a three-generation affair for the Nickels family.
Sharon Nickels (left) will be there with husband and former Seattle mayor Greg as he runs the live auction. Their daughter, Carey Nickels, is chairing the auction committee and grandchildren Rowan and Ciaran O’Brien attend the center.
“Moonlight Masquerade” will get under way at 5:30 pm in the Hall @ Fauntleroy. Find details and reserve your seat at fauntleroychildrenscenter.org/annual-auction.
Just a quick reminder in case you missed the announcement over the holidays – you’re invited to a free morning showing of “Mary Poppins Returns” tomorrow (Saturday, January 5th) at the Admiral Theater. No admission charge – the showing is sponsored by West Seattle dad (and King County Executive) Dow Constantine to boost WestSide Baby in its work helping thousands of kids and their families, so if you can, bring “diapers (sizes 4-6), wipes, new kids socks/undies, or funds in any amount to help kids and families in need.” The movie’s at 10 am; the theater is at 2343 California SW; first-come, first-served!
Just got word from WestSide Baby – which helps thousands of children and their families every year – that you are invited to a special West Seattle showing of “Mary Poppins Returns” next Saturday, courtesy of a well-known West Seattle dad. The announcement:
Join us for a special complimentary showing of Mary Poppins Returns on Saturday, January 5, at 10 am at the Admiral Theater. Admission is absolutely free. Suggested donation of diapers (sizes 4-6), wipes, new kids socks/undies, or funds in any amount to help kids and families in need. westsidebaby.org/donate-now
In 1964, the original Mary Poppins movie was released – and even played for a time at the historic Admiral Theater! Lifelong West Seattleite and current King County Executive Dow Constantine attended the show with his mom. This year, he wants to thank this community by treating families to a special free morning showing of Mary Poppins Returns at the Admiral Theater.
Dow shares, “In 1964, mom took me to see my first film – the original Mary Poppins. For mom’s birthday last week, the whole family went with her to a matinee showing of Mary Poppins Returns – my own daughter’s first chance to see a film in a real theater! We thought it would be fun to honor mom by inviting the community to the movies.”
WestSide Baby provides essential items like diapers, clothing and equipment to local children in need. Donations from families attending the show will reach children within western King County in early 2019.
WestSide Baby Executive Director Nancy Woodland is thrilled to partner for this fun event. “WestSide Baby is focused on the very basics for kids. During the holiday season, there is incredible generosity of spirit in West Seattle and that magic means many more children will be safe, warm and dry in early 2019. Mary Poppins swoops in to remind kids and adults alike to keep the fun and magic a part of every day. I can think of no better way to celebrate this community, open the doors to a movie AND ensure more children receive what they need.”
Theater doors will open by 9:45 and seating is limited to 250.
If you’re not familiar with WS Baby, here’s a quick overview:
WestSide Baby meets the basic needs of vulnerable children to promote safety, security & healthy development. They provide essential items to keep children safe, warm and dry by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and equipment. In 2018 they distributed over 1.4 million diapers to families in need, and served 40,000 children in western King County. Their model is unique. They receive donations from the community, check and sort those donations, and distribute them directly to 114 partner agencies, who are experts in their families, and the children they serve. These professionals get the items the children need, and WestSide Baby can focus on collecting the basic essentials. WestSide Baby was “born” in West Seattle in 2001 and now serves children throughout all of western King County.
(And if you haven’t been to The Admiral – it’s at 2343 California SW.)
(Dinah Brein, photographed by WSB’s Patrick Sand on opening night for Star Wars Episode VIII)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In the Admiral Theater‘s long and storied history, the curtain is about to fall on another episode.
This one has spanned almost a decade, including the latest incidence of West Seattle’s moviehouse being brought back from the brink. You might subtitle it “Return of the First-Runs,” though that’s just part of the story.
What’s happening is that next week will bring the departure of The Admiral’s longtime manager Dinah Brein. She says simply, “It’s time.” Her brother, Jeff Brein, is co-proprietor of Far Away Entertainment, an independent regional chain of community movie theaters including The Admiral, and Dinah’s been working for him since 2004, four years before she came to The Admiral, originally doing public-relations work for his PR firm on Bainbridge Island.
After Dinah and her husband Larry McClellan bought a house in West Seattle in 2006, that started to become a somewhat onerous commute. When her brother took over The Admiral, an opportunity arose for her to work much closer to home.
But at first, she wasn’t running the theater.
ORIGINAL REPORT 2:29 PM MONDAY: Want to see “The Polar Express” for free this Saturday? Alice Kuder and some of her colleagues at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor) are sponsoring a free showing at 10 am Saturday (December 9th) at West Seattle’s historic Admiral Theater. This is the third year that they have organized this for their clients and the families of Sunshine Kids cancer patients, but they would love to have a full house, Alice tells us, and so about 40 tickets remain, so they’re offering those free tickets to YOU – “first-come, first served) – 4 maximum per family or group.”
To request tickets, contact Alice: firstname.lastname@example.org or voice/text at 206-708-9800.
She and the other sponsors will provide free cookies, hot cocoa, and coffee at the screening (and the Admiral’s concession stand will be open too). If you go, consider also bringing a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Alice will let us know when the tickets are gone, and we’ll update this announcement then.
MONDAY LATE-NIGHT UPDATE: Tickets all taken!
That’s the trailer for “The Duel of Wine (El Camino del Vino),” which will have its Pacific Northwest premiere at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater as part of the closing-night celebration for this year’s Seattle Latino Film Festival.
The 9th annual festival showcasing Latin American films starts next Friday night (October 6th) downtown and continues for the following week, at venues around the area, from downtown to Federal Way (see the full list of screenings here) – concluding with the film and closing-night party at The Admiral on Saturday, October 14th. Betty Santiago from SLFF tells WSB that the star and producer of “Duel of Wine,” Charlie Arturaola and Lino Pujia, will be in attendance. We’re mentioning this early so you can get tickets if you want to be there – the film and party are included in your $25, and you can get your tickets online, here.
(Trailer for ‘Inconvenient Sequel’)
Just in from the Admiral Theater:
This Friday, we are excited to begin our engagement of “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Al Gore’s follow up to his 2006 pivotal movie, which brought the importance of the global-warming issue to the forefront.
A decade ago, “An Inconvenient Truth” brought climate change into the heart of popular culture. Gore’s follow-up sequel shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. From director Davis Guggenheim, An Inconvenient Sequel, offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s commitment to expose the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming and inspire actions to prevent it.
The movie will normally screen at 7 PM, but Friday starts at 6:30 pm so that after we can bring an exciting and informative Q&A panel of experts to answer questions and teach our audience what they can do in Washington to battle the effects of this very real issue.
The evening will be hosted by Washington Women for Climate Action Now!. This summer, WashingtonWomenCAN partnered with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to train women across our state to speak eloquently and confidently on the urgent need for powerful climate action. Climate change affects us all, but the impacts and solutions often depend on where we live. This partnership has empowered more than 50 Washington women to speak out in their own communities across our state and to lead us to a clean energy future.
The panel will feature Heidi Roop, a climate scientist with a passion for science and communication. She is currently the Strategic Communications Lead for the UW Climate Impacts Group. Heidi’s professional mission is to improve the reach and impact of climate science in order to engage, motivate and catalyze action around climate change.
Additional panelists will be added during the week and hopefully throughout the run of the movie there will be additional opportunities for more speakers and Q&A panels.
As we got ready to publish this, we got word of one more panelist for Friday: Belinda Chin, a Climate Reality Leader and Seattle Parks and Rec Program Coordinator for Sustainable Operations.
(Timothy Brock’s video invitation to Tuesday’s event, courtesy of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The last time composer/conductor Timothy Brock was onstage in West Seattle, he was a WSHS student, performing with one of the school’s musical groups.
During his years at the school, he was involved with them all – band, orchestra, stage band, chamber orchestra, choir – he recalled during a conversation this week outside the Admiral Theater, where he’s headlining the next fundraiser for restoration of the moviehouse’s historic circa-1942 murals:
At 6:45 pm next Tuesday night (July 25th), he will be onstage just a few blocks from his alma mater, in a multifaceted event explained by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is leading the mural-restoration fundraising campaign:
This exciting evening – to last more than three hours, with an intermission – will start with Timothy Brock being interviewed by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck, a host at KING-FM and longtime former KUOW-FM host.
Brock will reminisce with Beck about their West Seattle upbringing and discuss the fascinating process of scoring silent classics. (Brock earned the label of “Silent-Film Music Guru” from Vogue magazine in May 2016.)
Interspersed will be stills and clips from silent films that Brock has scored. Following an intermission, Brock will introduce the screening of the Charlie Chaplin feature “Modern Times,” for which Brock has restored and re-recorded the original 1936 Chaplin score.
This isn’t Brock’s first trip back home – far from it. His mom and sister live in this area. His oldest son lives in Olympia. That’s where Brock moved at age 18, leaving West Seattle, and eventually spending more than a decade conducting the Olympia Chamber Orchestra. Olympia is where he says most of his “silent-film experiments” were initiated, but he now lives in Europe, where there is more of an appreciation for what he specializes in – composing scores for silent films. And it’s not just an appreciation from the spectator standpoint; Brock explains that silent-film history is taught, and in France, there’s even a program to teach silent-film composition.
His path toward his unique career started with a visit to the now-gone Granada Theater (south of The Junction) at an early age. “I actually came back and said to my mom, ‘this is something I would really like to do – play piano and make music for really old films’. She didn’t know I meant silent films. (I explained), ‘no, these don’t have any words at all, just words (onscreen) and music’. She’s been worried about my career ever since.”
He was age 10 when that interest was kindled. At 23, he was commissioned to write his first silent-film score, for “Pandora’s Box,” a film by G.W. Pabst. Since then, he says, he’s written on average one silent-film score a year. He just completed one for Fritz Lang‘s 1929 “Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon),” a three-hour science-fiction film that he says was the first of its kind. The premiere was last April. He’s now writing a violin concerto for the BBC Symphony, to premiere next season, in 2018-2019.
So what’s it going to be like, to be onstage at The Admiral next Tuesday? we asked.
“It’s the most bizarre feeling to see your name on the marquee of a theater you grew up with,” Brock acknowledged. But also – “It’s great. It’s a little like coming back home and playing for your friends … talking with family and friends about what it is that you do.”
We asked how he views the importance of what it is that he does – Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals recorded Brock’s answer on video:
As you can hear in the video, he listed several reasons – “It’s part of our heritage, specifically for Americans, too … an art form that has obviously died out,” as have most of the people who performed as silent-film musicians. So many of them, Brock explained, performed in symphony orchestras as well as the theater orchestras that played the silent-film accompaniment. And now – “It’s a matter of keeping that art up, learning the craft, teaching it to future generations. One of the reasons I live in Europe is that orchestras of middle- and high-caliber program silent films as part of their seasons.”
The music itself, he added, is of great historical value, with work by composers such as Shostakovich “who liked the idea of writing for this [then-]new art form. … It needs to be kept alive.” Brock’s work includes the silent-film programs for the New York Philharmonic: “It’s important just like any period performances of baroque or Middle Ages [etc.] music.”
And his early music education at West Seattle High School helped lay the groundwork for his one-of-a-kind career. In our conversation, he listed “some fabulous teachers,” including Donn Weaver, who recently retired as director of the West Seattle Big Band.
So come to The Admiral on Tuesday night to see and hear how one of your former West Seattle neighbors is preserving and enhancing film and music history, while contributing to the preservation and restoration of the theater’s historic murals. Tickets are $20 and you’ll want to buy yours online ASAP – go here and choose “Modern Times” at the bottom of the page. (There’s also a $100 VIP opportunity, to meet and talk with Brock and Beck at 5:30 pm.)
(Images courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
Two weeks from Tuesday, it’s your second chance to enjoy a one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment and help raise money to restore the 75-year-old murals at The Admiral. Here’s the announcement from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:
Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of West Seattle’s Historic Admiral Theater will get another boost this summer with a one-night presentation by a West Seattle native whose orchestral scores for classic movies of the pre-sound era have earned him the title of the “Silent Film Music Guru.”
The event is called “Timothy Brock Returns to West Seattle with Music of the Silent Giants.”
It will take place at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Historic Admiral Theater, 2343 California Ave. SW, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
This exciting evening – to last more than three hours, with an intermission – will start with Timothy Brock being interviewed by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck, a host at KING-FM and longtime former KUOW-FM host. Brock will reminisce with Beck about their West Seattle upbringing and discuss the fascinating process of scoring silent classics. (Brock earned the label of “Silent-Film Music Guru” from Vogue magazine in May 2016.)
Interspersed will be stills and clips from silent films that Brock has scored. Following an intermission, Brock will introduce the screening of the Charlie Chaplin feature “Modern Times,” for which Brock has restored and re-recorded the original 1936 Chaplin score.
Tickets are $20, and proceeds will go to the Historic Admiral Theater mural restoration led by the historical society. A VIP opportunity, to attend the presentation and visit one-on-one with Brock and Beck beforehand, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the theater. VIP tickets are $100.
You can purchase tickets online here, or at the door. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged, as the event may sell out.
Timothy Brock, who has long lived in Bologna, Italy, is internationally renowned for his orchestral scores for the movies of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and many other silent film classics. Over 30 years, he has composed 27 original scores for silent films, and he has served as the film restorer for the Chaplin estate since 1998. Brock also conducts symphonies in live performances of his scores to accompany presentations of silent films all over the world.
This month Brock is making a rare return to his boyhood community, where, as a 10-year-old in the early 1970s, he watched organ-accompanied silent films at West Seattle’s beloved Granada Theater south of The Junction and drew the initial inspiration for his career, which he labels a “lifelong dream.” (The Granada was razed in 1977.)
To see Brock discuss this West Seattle-based inspiration, go here (or view below – time code 1:20-1:50):
Brock’s mother is Berlena Brock, former board member of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
This unique presentation on July 25 will be the second event this summer to benefit the historical society’s fund to restore the auditorium murals of the Historic Admiral Theater. The first event, a screening of the local documentary “Legends of the Road,” drew 200 people to the theater and raised more than $5,000 for the fund.
The murals date to 1942, when the Portola Theater was converted and expanded to the Admiral Theater. They were covered by curtains when the theater was twinned in 1973 and uncovered as part of the theater’s recent renovation to four screens.
The Historic Admiral Theater became an official Seattle landmark in 1989, following a campaign led by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
More information about Brock is available at his website, timothybrock.com.
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