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

Show Comments