Grand Opera House

Primary Name: 
Place Type: 
Neighborhood: 
Address: 
213 Cherry Street, Seattle Washington
Description: 

The Grand Opera House was built during the economic boom after the Klondike Gold Rush when theatre impresario, John Cort, returned to the Pacific Northwest to further his theater empire. The theater was designed by Seattle architect Edwin W. Houghton and built between 1898-1900. The basement of the building was finished first and a beer and variety hall, Palm Gardens, operated out of it to help finance the rest of the theater's construction. The Grand Opera House cost around $40,000 and seated 2,278 people. The Grand Opera House did not have a long life in Seattle. Two fires in 1906 and 1917 as well as new competing theaters and a shifting theater district spelled the downfall of the theater. In 1923, the new owners of the property, Victor Elfendal and W.W. Scrubby, remolded the theater into one of the first multi level parking garages in Seattle. The parking garage with the theater's original facade can still be found on Cherry Street.

Open Date: 
1900
Close Date: 
1917
Sources: 
Flom, Eric L. Silent Film on the Stages of Seattle: A History of Performances by Hollywood Notables. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009. Print. "Grand Opera House, Pioneer Square, Seattle WA". Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD). University of Washington Libraries. 9 Dec 2005. Web. 22 Jan 2015. digital.lib.washington.edu/architect/structures/6078 "Summary for 213 Cherry St". Seattle Historical Sites. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. 22 Jan 2015. www.seattle.gov/DPD/HistoricalSite