When Paul G. Allen heard in the mid-1990s that Seattle's historic Cinerama Theatre
might close down to become a rock-climbing club, dinner theater, or even a parking
lot, he signed a "Save the Cinerama" petition—and later took it a step further
by purchasing the old movie-house himself. Seattle's Cinerama Theatre was one of
many opened in the 1950s and 1960s for Cinerama films, technological marvels of
their day which were shown on a curved screen utilizing a three-projector system.
In 1998, Vulcan kicked off a major, multi-million dollar renovation of the theatre,
refurbishing the interior and exterior, installing state-of-the-art sound and projector
systems, and ensuring maximum accessibility for mobility- and sensory-impaired patrons.
A grand re-opening celebration took place on April 22, 1999 to welcome the theatre
back into commission. Since then, it has regularly been voted one of Seattle's "best
places to watch a movie" and plays host to various film festivals and blockbuster
film premieres each year.