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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

July 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Admiral Theater in West Seattle in ‘limbo’

It’s not an easy time to be running an independent movie theater: In recent years, virtually all have had to pony up to pay for digital conversion, as the release of movies on 35mm film fades away. (Among the area’s indies who have converted, or are in the process of converting: Northwest Film Forum, Port Townsend’s Rose Theater, the Clyde on Whidbey Island, the Bainbridge Cinemas, the Historic Lynwood Theater, the Ark Lodge, and surely more.) But the Admiral Theater in West Seattle, in operation for nearly a century (it opened in 1919, then called the Portola), hasn’t yet done so. The reason, detailed in a post this week on the West Seattle Blog, isn’t just the costs of converting: it’s the need for the Admiral’s operators to receive a commitment from their landlord, the building’s owners. (The theater is currently listed as “for lease.”) Without the commitment, the theater can’t be upgraded; without the upgrade, they can’t get current movies. All may be worked out (the Admiral has been saved from closure before, about 25 years ago), but it’s a difficult situation right now. If you’re a West Seattleite who loves the Admiral — the only moviehouse in the neighborhood, I believe –  the story’s definitely required reading.

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