Beacon Hill past and present: movies on Beacon Avenue

Beacon Avenue South, just north of Bayview, facing south.
Beacon Avenue in October 1949, just north of Bayview, facing south, near the current location of Baja Bistro. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item 41958.

The same street, almost 60 years later in February 2009.
The same street, almost 60 years later in February 2009.

Some of the sadder losses to Seattle are the neighborhood theaters that used to exist in just about every part of the city, including Beacon Hill. On the left side of the “past” photo, you see the Beacon Theatre at 2352 Beacon Avenue South, then showing a double bill of Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal in The Fountainhead, and Glenn Ford and Ida Lupino in Lust For Gold.

The Beacon was previously the Grey Goose Theatre, and featured a pipe organ, installed in the 1920s to play music with the motion pictures of the day. The theater was demolished in 1964.

The 1949 photo looks very different from the modern scene on the left side of Beacon Avenue, but the right side is remarkably unchanged. The house with the vertical stripes still exists, as does the retail building to its left (though it has had changes to its façade). McKale’s service station is now a 76 gas station (just beyond the edge of the photo), but sadly, full-service gas stations have also gone the way of the old-time neighborhood movie theater.

3 thoughts on “Beacon Hill past and present: movies on Beacon Avenue”

  1. I share your sentiments about neighborhood theaters. But then I have to ask myself if I’d really patronize a theater on Beacon Hill, or if I would mostly just stick to my DVD player for my regular viewing. I suppose it would depend if the theater would offer a regular Bollywood night. 😉

  2. I would if it showed the right movies! A Bollywood night might be cool. It’s more fun to see movies in a theater than at home, for me at least, so if it showed movies I liked, I’d go.

  3. I agree with Wendi, as was the case with the now,unfortunately, closed Columbia City Theater.
    We did attend for movies we liked. It is a shame that certain circumstances with the City, caused the closure, but maybe someday — again ?.

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