The Columbia City Cinema to Reopen?
Nonprofit SEEDArts is hoping to relaunch the darkened movie house.
There’s still hope for the recently shuttered Columbia City Cinema, thanks to southeast Seattle nonprofit SEEDArts. The art-loving administration just announced plans to revive the much-missed movie house.
Closed since May, the three-screen cinema went under after the city denied owner Paul Doyle’s request for more time to install fire code-mandated sprinklers. (To be fair, the city said it tried to work with Doyle and discussed options over the course of a year.) SEEDArts, which also owns the Rainier Valley Cultural Center and the Columbia City Gallery, has decided to step in, and is currently working with a community advisory board to raise $60,000 for rent on a one-year lease. That will allow them the time and space to conduct a feasibility study and raise $1.1 million to reopen. The study will take about three months to look at community resources, talk to potential donors, and scope out interest levels in a revived community cinema. Should the results come back positive, the campaigning begins.
If everything goes according to plan, the theater could reopen—fully refurbished with a new sprinkler system—as early as September 2013, said art director Jerri Plumridge. They plan to show first- and second-run films, foreign, and independent films. Given the recent successes of the revived Uptown and Neptune theaters, this could be a very good thing for Columbia City.
Want to help make it happen? Donate at seedseattle.org/donate.