History

photo by Dylan Priest

The Columbia City Theater boasts one of the most beautiful settings for live music and performance in Seattle. The theater reopened on June 25th, 2010 to rave reviews and was featured in Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” list after being open for less than two months. It has since been dubbed “The city’s finest sounding room,” by SPIN Magazine and its front bar/Bourbon Room “Tuesday Night Music Club” is listed by The Stranger as the best open mic in Seattle.

Theater History

The Columbia City Theater was built in 1917 and is the oldest vaudeville theater in the state of Washington. Having played a major role in the Seattle Jazz boom in the 40's, the theater played host to the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and Fats Waller. During the 50's the theater served as a neighborhood movie theater, where neighborhood residents have recalled attending Saturday morning movies for kids such as Flash Gordon and the Our Gang series. During the 60's, the theater began hosting live events once more and was one of the first venues to host the legendary Jimi Hendrix.

The Columbia City Theater as it stood in the 1950's

During the early 80's, the theater was a home to much of the DIY punk movement and the touring networks that were created to support it. It has since been an art commune, and a place that specifically hosted raves under the name “The Lish House”.

Since re-opening in July 2010 the Columbia City Theater has been proud to host many fantastic artists including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Chris Cornell, Wilco, The Lumineers, Lissy, Cameron Miles Jones & Gypsy Temple, Ayron Jones & the Way, Missy, Griffin House, The Lara Lavi Band and The SongCatchers, not to mention countless KEXP & KPLU benefit shows all to rave reviews.

The Columbia City Theater is located at 4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle WA 98118