Historic Theatres Library
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays
10 am - 3 pm
Located in the Paramount Theatre Office Tower
911 Pine Street, downtown Seattle
Welcome to the Historic Theatres Library
The entire Historic Theatres Library collection is documented in a database, classified and organized using the Dewey Decimal System. The collection's contents are searchable by and accessible to everyone, at the library location in the Paramount building and also here on these web pages. The pages provides a plethora of data related to performers and performances that have appeared at the Seattle Theatre Group® theatres. To access this data, please use the links below. Note: updates will occur daily. Please revisit this page to view newly scanned uploaded historic material.
We've catalogued years' worth of posters for performances and events in our theatres. Search through the vast collection of posters online, then visit the Library to see them in person!
Search the Archives
Photographs, posters, play bills, architectural drawings, books, memorabilia and artifacts dating back to 1907 are catalogued in our database. Search online, then visit the Library to see them in person!
History of the Historic Theatres Library
On Thursday, March 1, 2012, the Seattle Theatre Group® Historic Theatres Library officially opened to the public. The dedication of this library coincides with the initial opening of Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on March 1, 1928 – 84 years ago.
To develop a historic theatre library for the Paramount, Moore and Neptune Theatres was the vision of Seattle Theatre Group®. The project began early in December 2010 in conjunction with the writing of the book entitled "Seattle's Paramount Theatre, From Birth to Rebirth and Beyond." It required the gathering, sorting, documenting, cataloging, and preserving over 100 years of historical data. With nearly 14,000 volunteers hours to date, this continues to be an on-going project.
The objective of Seattle Theatre Group® Historic Theatres Library is three-fold:
- To ensure historical material that exists of the three theatres is properly preserved and documented for future generations.
- To provide an educational environment for youth that would offer an opportunity to learn and experience the remarkable history of the three theatres.
- To offer the community a setting in which to become better acquainted with the history and thereby develop a deeper understanding of three of the few remaining historic theatres in Seattle.
This valuable resource provided by Seattle Theatre Group® is a living legacy of history for these three theatres. The library contains binders on a variety of topics from the performers that graced the stages over the many decades, a journey through the peaks and valleys that these theatres had to endure, wall hangings depicting the many challenges along the way, the visionaries responsible for these theatres, priceless memorabilia, and countless signed posters, along with a number of other posters that will be available for sale to the public. Also included in the library are converted CD/DVDs of performers and events, along with Seattle’s Paramount Theatre opening night silent movie DVD entitled, “Feel My Pulse.”
Photos by Jeff Goble Photography.
For a library overview courtesy of HistoryLink.org, click here!
"Seattle's Paramount Theatre - From Birth to Rebirth and Beyond"
"A note to let the author, M. Lynn Thrasher know what an immaculate job that was done of this book. Congratulations on a job superbly done."
Stewart Stern – Two-timed Oscar nominated and Emmy award winning screenwriter
". . .I am sleep deprived…your book is so fascinating – so many "immigrants" who were involved from the beginning. . . great job – congratulations."
Claire Tompkins – Volunteer Emeritus
"This book is really an excellent job. Especially liked the "nail biter" story of the theatre's near death and rebirth. The Rapp architects surely would appreciate the convertible floor system; they liked that kind of creativity."
Ward Rapp – Grand nephew of one of the Paramount Theatre architect Cornelius Rapp
". . . Unable to put it down. I can't imagine the long arduous hours of research and checking and rechecking source material. Great Job!"
Russ Evans - Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society Member
"The amount of research that went into this project was just phenomenal – photos and writing are great."
Judith Rosenthal – Granddaughter of Seattle (Paramount) Theatre – L.N. Rosenbaum
The Library Today
Today (2012), the Thrashers manage the library, aided by several dedicated volunteers. Currently, the library collection includes:
- Historic facts and photographs of the Paramount, Moore, and Neptune theaters
- Autographed show posters
- Programs of touring Broadway shows
- Historical data on silent movies
- Historical data on the Paramount's Wurlitzer organ & Knabe piano
- Architectural drawings
- Performance information for all genres of entertainment -- vocal, instrumental, dance, lectures, variety shows, magicians, comedy, children's shows, Broadway shows, drama, and community-related events
- A DVD/CD collection of recorded performances
- A collection of early play bills from the Moore Theatre
- Books related to theater history
- Miscellaneous memorabilia and artifacts
- Memorabilia of the Paramount Theatre
Although the library's collection today is dominated by information about the Paramount -- the only theater actually owned by the Seattle Theatre Group® and the first to come under its management umbrella -- efforts to supplement the collections for the Moore and Neptune theaters are ongoing. The Neptune, in particular, is proving to be a challenge, but persistence pays. The Thrashers and the crew of other volunteers have amply demonstrated a willingness to put in the time and effort needed to document the history of all three venues currently operated by STG. They will continue to refine and supplement the collections and press their efforts to persuade those who have "borrowed" artifacts from the theaters over the years to either give or lend them back.
The Historic Theatre Library is located in Suites 401 and 402 of the Paramount Building, at 9th Avenue and Pine Street. It is open to the public and staffed by knowledgeable volunteers on Tuesday and Thursday each week between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., other days and hours may be available upon special request and admission is free.
After years of research, the complete story of the Paramount's colorful history, titled Seattle's Paramount Theater -- From Birth to Rebirth and Beyond, written by Lynn Thrasher and edited by Marian Thrasher, was published in December 2012. Its 158 pages, liberally illustrated with vintage photographs, tell the colorful story of the magnificent theater from the earliest days to the present. It can be purchased directly from the STG library (206-467-5510 Ext. 1150), and total proceeds of the sale will be used to sustain the library's mission.
Volunteer at the Library
The library continues to call upon volunteers to help to continue the preservation of all three of our historic theatres. If interested please complete the following form.
Contact the Library
- Historic Theatres Library
- Paramount Theatre Building
Suites 401 and 402
911 Pine Street, Seattle, WA. 98101
- General Info: 206.812.3304