Village Theatre

120 Front Street N

Village Theatre marque, Issaquah, August 25, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Village Theatre, 120 Front Street N, Issaquah, August 25, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Village Theatre’s First Stage, April 1999, Photo by David Bangs, Courtesy Issaquah History Museums
Carl Darchuk, Issaquah Theatre (now Village Theatre), ca. 1986, Courtesy Issaquah History Museums (86-87-19)

Built in 1913, this building was originally known as the Issaquah Theatre. It was built with removable seats, and in its early years they would sometimes be removed for events such as graduations, basketball games, and school dances. For a time, movies were shown on the lower floor and the theater owners lived upstairs.

In the early twentieth century movies did not have sound and were normally accompanied by someone playing a piano or an organ along with the film. Issaquah’s theater had a piano, and at least three local women provided the music in the theater’s early years. “Talking” pictures arrived at the Issaquah Theatre in 1930. In 1967, the Pine Lake Presbyterian Church took over management of the theater and operated it as the Issaquah Theater Group.

By the late 1970s the theater had closed and an “unsafe” sign was posted on the building. But it reopened as the Village Theatre in 1979 and has gone on to considerable success since. In 1994 the Village Theatre moved to a larger building, the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, located up the block at 303 Front Street N. The original building has become known as the Village Theatre First Stage. It’s still used for some Village Theatre plays.

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