Generations of kids and young adults have fond memories associated with going to the movies, long before the digital age came about. The experience was even more special while watching films where a regional big screen theatre was available such as the one that stood for many years on Southcenter Parkway near the mall in Tukwila. The Southcenter Theatre was a relic in its final days providing unique entertainment with its huge, curved screen as the last Cinerama on the West Coast.
The Southcenter Theatre was the last 70-mm Cinerama built in North America. Cinerama comes from two words, ‘cinema’ and ‘panorama’. It was first opened in 1970 by United Theaters. It later became part of the old Sterling chain and in 1986 was bought by Cineplex Odeon. In the last years it was owned by Loews Cineplex Entertainment. The auditorium boasted 1,228 seats and the deeply curved screen was 88 feet wide and 32 feet high giving patrons an immense movie experience. By July of 2001, a notice was posted on the building that it was to be demolished and a new Bahama Breeze restaurant would be built. The last performance at this spectacular venue was a 4 p.m. showing of Moulin Rouge on Aug. 5, 2001. In its heyday, the Southcenter Theatre was a unique experience that produced lasting memories.