“Big houses at the Moore this week,” noted the January 11, 1919 issue of the Town Crier. “It might be added, ‘as usual,’” the story continued, “and the entertainers mostly come in pairs – pairs of peaches.” The story took note of Stanley and Birnes, who “sang a little and danced a great deal of absurd stuff,” and The Irish Barry girls with “clever variety stunts.” The Moore has had big houses since Seattle’s iconic theater house opened, on this day, in 1907. It is the oldest still-active theater in Seattle.
It was an illustrious night—December 28,1907. State governor Albert Mead was in attendance. So was Seattle’s Mayor William Hickman Moore. They were there, as was 3,000 strong of Seattle’s social elite, to bask in the opening of the grand theatre house named for its developer, James A. Moore. The performance they watched was The Alaskan, a Klondike-themed operetta. “An honest feeling of pride in every one [sic] connected with the enterprise is justified to the results that have been accomplished,” Mead remarked to the crowd.
The Moore has seen many crowds since. The Who’s rock opera Tommy was first produced as a full stage production at the Moore in 1971 by the Seattle Opera. The cast included Bette Midler. Soundgarden’s Fopp EP was recorded at the Moore in 1988. Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Mad Season, Wilco, James Blunt, Patton Oswalt, and more have had their performances recorded at the Moore.
Today, the Moore Theatre is owned by Seattle Theatre Group, a non-profit arts organization whose mission is “making performances and arts education in the Pacific Northwest enriching, while keeping Seattle’s historic Paramount, Moore and Neptune Theatres healthy and vibrant.”
Mission accomplished. Learn more about what’s coming soon at the Paramount, here, the Neptune, here, and the Moore, here. It doesn’t look like The Alaskan is scheduled in the near future. The Irish Barry girls don’t seem to be treading the boards either. Don’t fret—STG is bringing award-winning entertainment your way nearly every day.