Things have looked bleak lately for the University District’s Neptune Theatre; its windows are dark, its cheeky marquee blank. But there’s a happy ending here: On June 18, Austin indie band Okkervil River arrives to help christen the re-imagined Neptune. Tickets go on sale this week.
The iconic movie house has been through a lot in the last few months—in November it was dumped by Landmark Theatres, who’ve been operating it since 1981, only to be rescued by Seattle Theatre Group in February. Since the space’s final movie screening on January 30, the new lease holders have been cleaning, removing seats, installing sound and lights, and restoring historic details. The biggest change? For the first time in its 90-year history, the Neptune will be dedicated to more than movies. In the style of STG’s Paramount and Moore theater programming, the revamped venue will host a wide variety of arts events, including concerts, speakers, and comedians, while still playing independent films and maintaining ties with the Seattle International Film Festival.
Okkervil River’s summer set is the first show announced at the new Neptune (STG expects programming to start as early as May, with a grand opening in the fall). Tickets ($20-$22) go on sale this Friday, March 4, at 10am at tickets.com or stgpresents.org.