Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)


Moore Theatre and Hotel, Downtown, Seattle, WA

ID: 3108
Alt. Name: Orpheum Theatre #6, Downtown, Seattle, WA
Moore Egyptian Theatre, Downtown, Seattle, WA
Construction Date: End Date: 1907
Notes: The Moore Theatre continued to host rock concerts into the 21st-century, in part due to its fine acoustics; the Moore Theatre seated 2,436 people when it opened. (Theatre historian David Naylor, in his American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, [New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1981, p. 216], said that the Moore seated 2,200; Cinema noted the auditorium's capacity to be 1,419.) The entire Moore Hotel/Theatre Building occupied a 23,220-square-foot (0.53 acre) site, and contained 122,810 square feet. It had an assessed value of $6,891,300 in 2010. The Moore Building also contained a natatorium at 1926 2nd Avenue. A sign visible in an Asahel Curtis photograph of the Moore facade noted that the hotel offered "Turkish baths for ladies and gentlemen" and was open twenty-four hours a day.
Building History: Seattle architect Edwin Houghton (1856-1927) designed the theatre and hotel for the hotelier James A. Moore (1861-1929), a real estate developer in Seattle, WA, who owned the Washington Hotel that, before the regrades, stood atop Denny Hill; he built the Moore Hotel, Moore Theatre, Alexandria Hotel, the New Washington Hotel, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Building at 4th Avenue and Union Street. Located on the southeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street, the Moore Theatre opened 12/28/1907, with a performance of "The Alaskan," a comic opera; Moore built this hotel in preparation for the tourist surge that would visit Seattle during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) planned for 1907 but was delayed until 1909. While these figures were often inflated for publicity, Moore may have spent $350,000 on the building, and over $500,000 for the land and the building. (See Eric L. Flom, "Moore Theatre (Seattle)," Historylink Essay #3852, 06/20/2002, <> Accessed 07/28/2011.) In 1917 or 1918 until 1920, Polk's Seattle City Directory listed two Orpheum Theatres in the city; one (the Orpheum Theatre #5 of 1911) was located at 919 3rd Avenue, but the Moore was also called the "Orpheum Theatre." Between 1885-1927, the name "Orpheum" was applied to seven different theatrical venues in Seattle, the former Moore being the sixth location. The seventh was located at 506 Stewart Street.
Assessor Number: King County 1977201035
Structure Size: Total Square Feet: 122810
Number of Floors: 7
National Register Status: National Register Added: 1974-08-30
Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels
Locations: Structure:
1932 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA
map latlong or map of street number

Portrait of James A. Moore, c. 1901; from

Postcard view of the Moore Theatre, Seattle, c. 1910; from Cinema