Is Seattle Losing The Neptune And The Uptown Theaters?

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Bad news is afoot for film fans in Seattle. The city is losing two of its oldest and best movie theaters. About a week ago the news came down that the AMC Uptown on Lower Queen Anne will close on the 28th of this month, and today rumor has it that Landmark is going to close the Neptune Theater, located on 45th in the University District.

The Uptown has been a fixture on Queen Anne Ave since it first opened as a single screen theater in 1926, and this holiday weekend will be your last chance to see a movie there. An AMC spokesperson confirmed the closure to the Seattle Times Movie Blog:

AMC continually upgrades the quality of our theatre circuit by adding new screens and by disposing of older screens through closures and sales. We do, however, look at our theatres on an individual basis. Unfortunately, the AMC Uptown 3 has been identified as a theatre that no longer competes effectively in the marketplace and will close at the end of business on Nov. 28.

Word of the Neptune closure first began circulating a few days ago. The Slog investigated, and a rep from Landmark, which owns the Neptune and a number of other Seattle theaters, said, “I am under instructions to tell you that I have no comment.” While that doesn’t confirm anything, it doesn’t bode well.

While Seattle still has many excellent movie theaters it will be sad to see both of these venues go. My dad, who grew up in Seattle, has stories of going to see movies at both places, and sitting in the front row of the balcony at the Neptune, with my feet propped on the rail, has always been one of my favorite ways to watch a movie in this town. I know it is a sign of the times—deteriorating theater conditions, demands to digitalize, and diminishing box office receipts—but I can’t help but mourn the loss of these two institutions. At least we still have the Cinerama.

More to follow as news comes in.

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