1906-1920

Minnie Maddern Fiske in Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh at the Moore in 1911
Minnie Maddern Fiske in Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh at the Moore in 1911

The years between 1906 and 1909 saw the opening of several new theatres. Alexander Pantages opened the Lois Theatre—named after his wife—in 1906. The Moore Theatre, still operating today at Second and Virginia, opened in 1907 with a production of The Alaskan. In 1908, Mrs. Patrick Campbell returned to the city and performed at the Moore in The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith, Hedda Gabler and Magda. Minnie Maddern Fiske appeared in Salvation Nell 1909 at the Alhambra Theatre which opened that year.  Ethel Barrymore also appeared at the Moore in its opening year, performing in W. Somerset Maugham’s Lady Frederick in 1909. The Nippon Kan Theatre, located at 622 South Washington Street, also opened in 1909.  It served as a venue for theatrical performances and community events for Seattle’s Japanese community. Seattle lost one of its well established theatres In 1907 when the Third Avenue Theatre was demolished during one of the city's street regrading projects. 

Noted performers continued to play Seattle in the following decade. Lionel Barrymore appeared in a vaudeville production of the White Slaver in 1910 at the Orpheum Theatre. Olga Nethersole was seen in 1911 at the Moore Theatre in Maurice Maeterlinck’s Sister Beatrice. Minnie Maddern Fiske returned to the Moore to play in Mrs. Bumpstead-Leigh in 1911 and Maude Adams opened in Chantecler at the Metropolitan Theatre in 1912.  In 1913, Blanche Bates appeared at the Metropolitan Theatre in Witness for the Defense, while a young Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel performed in Fred Karno’s A Night in a London Club at the Empress Theatre. Also that year, Otis Skinner appeared at the Metropolitan Theatre in Kismet.  Robert Mantell appeared in King John at the Moore Theatre in 1914. 

Forbes Robertson performed Hamlet at the Moore in 1915 during his Farewell Tour.
Forbes Robertson performed Hamlet at the
Moore in 1915 during his Farewell Tour.

Johnston Forbes-Robertson began his farewell visit to Seattle in 1915 with a performance of Hamlet at the Moore Theatre, followed by The Light That Failed and The Passing of the Third Floor Back. French actress Sarah Bernhardt returned to the Moore Theatre as part of a vaudeville program in which she performed in Du Theatre au Champ D’honneur and La Dame aux Camelias.  Happy Jack Gardner was seen in The War Zone in 1919 while Stuart Oliver and Willard Mack opened in The Big Chance at the Wilkes Theatre (formerly the Alhambra). Despite the appearances of these noted actors, road shows had been on the decline for several years.  As motion pictures became more popular, the number of playgoers declined.