Readers’ Choice: More of the Best Movie Theaters in America

The Seattle Cinerama, Seattle, WA

“Cinerama in Seattle”- sue
“Recently restored (again) and updated. After the Ziegfeld in NYC, my favorite place to see big movies.” – Clinton McClung
“The Cinerama in Seattle matches up with most of the theater’s you East-Coast-centric folks are listing.” – Hank Graham

In praising the ArcLight Hollywood, we mentioned the Cinerama Dome, one of only two remaining theaters in the US equipped to show films shot in that distinctive, three-screen process. The other is the Seattle Cinerama, which opened in 1963 as a venue for both Cinerama epics like This is Cinerama and How the West Was Won and large-screen 70mm spectaculars like It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Grand Prix. In the lean 1970s and 1980s, it became a broken-down second-run house; the venue’s savior was Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who purchased the Cinerama in 1997 and initiated an expensive, two-year renovation. The theater now has both a 90-foot-long, 30-foot-high screen for Cinerama and 70mm screenings (they hosted the premiere of the 2001 70mm restoration of 2001: A Space Odyssey) and a second, smaller screen that’s used for standard exhibition.