History of the Theatre 1901-Present - Theatre in peril
An Imperiled Heroine
Late in the spring of 1989, the heating plant ceased to function. The management continued to do business through the warm summer months but with the onset of September weather, the house went dark.
Once again there were stirrings of concern within the community, but no consensus emerged. Perhaps in part because of the sad example of the nearby Monte Cristo Hotel, a historic landmark which had languished in a derelict state for a quarter century in spite of periodic attempts to finance the renovation, there was skepticism, even cynicism about the theater's viability.
And there was a counterproposal afoot, a plan to build a new stage facility as part of a civic center complex. By odd coincidence, successful rehabilitation of historic theaters was in evidence in just about every major community in Western Washington except Everett, but weeks rolled by and it became clear that city hall would not undertake an Everett Theatre restoration. Arson attempts to inflicted minor damage to the building. Then, as the first anniversary of the theater's closure approached and the landmark seemed to dangle as perilously as the endangered heroine of an old melodrama, a group of concerned citizens organized the Everett Theatre Society. They boldly declared their intention to acquire and restore the landmark and return it to use as a live-performance theater and a cornerstone of Everett's historic urban core.
The struggles of the Everett Theatre Society over the next three years deserve a volume of their own. After countless small victories and major setbacks, heartbreaks, inspirations, blood, sweat, and tears, they reopened the Everett Theatre to the public on September 10th, 1993 with the first of nine performances of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean. Since that memorable, emotional evening, the Society has filled the building with plays and cinema and put the Everett Theatre firmly back into the center of the life of downtown Everett. The Society now holds title to the building and has marshaled a broad base of community support. A recent renovation, which unfortunately erased every vestige of the Priteca work from 1952, put the facility in remarkable condition for its centenary. While challenges still abound, the popularity and viability of this landmark institution have been powerfully demonstrated and its continued role as a downtown resource seems virtually assured.
As a place where generations of Everett residents have been entertained, the theater may well hold more fond memories for more people than any other building in the community. In a city where eight theaters once competed for patronage, it is the sole survivor of a rich and colorful theatrical history. Fortunately for Everett, the versatile, durable grande dame of Colby Avenue has always been the most important one of all.
The Everett Theatre
The Historic Everett Theatre, now over 118 years old, has evolved from a place that needed remodeling, producing lower budget, non-royalty theatre pieces, and scattered rentals, to The New Everett Theatre. In keeping with the history surrounding the theatre, the Board of Directors decided to honor the theatre's past by calling it the Historic Everett Theatre.
Historic Everett Theatre is fully remodeled, with seating for 800, which produces and co-produces contemporary and classic theatre, as well as, community events and rentals. With a full schedule of concerts, productions, and rentals, we provide a place for over 300 community volunteers to practice their craft and to participate in all aspects of the theatre experience.
Historic Everett Theatre is a vital piece of the revitalization of the arts of the downtown Everett corridor. It is a busy, exciting place for the community to gather, show their talent and volunteer their time.
Answer to above Question:
The man in the picture is Nat Coles. Later known as Nat "King" Cole. He is approximately 18 years old in this photo and one row in front and one over to the left is his first wife.
Colby Ave, looking North. Everett Theatre on right, c.1930's
The Everett Theatre operated under the Fox name in the 1930's as shown in this photo, c.1934.
Another shot of Colby Ave, looking North c.1944