photo by Dylan Priest

The Columbia City Theater boasts one of the most beautiful settings for live music and performance in Seattle. The theater reopened on June 25th, 2010 to rave reviews and was featured in Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” list after being open for less than two months. It has since been dubbed “The city’s finest sounding room,” by SPIN Magazine.

The Columbia City Theater as it stood in the 1950’s

The Columbia City Theater was built in 1917 and is the oldest vaudeville theater in the state of Washington. Having played a major role in the Seattle Jazz boom in the 40’s, the theater played host to the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Fats Waller. During the 50’s the theater served as a neighborhood movie theater (pictured above), where neighborhood residents have recalled attending Saturday morning movies for kids such as Flash Gordon and the Our Gang series. During the 60’s, the theater began hosting live events once more and is rumored to be one of the first venues to host the legendary Jimi Hendrix.

During the early 80’s, the theater was a home to much of the DIY punk movement and the touring networks that were created to support it. It has since been an art commune, and a place that specifically hosted raves in more recent years under the name “The Lish House”.

The Columbia City Theater is located at 4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle WA 9811

Since re-opening in July 2010 the Columbia City Theater has been proud to host many fantastics artists, some of whom we’ve listed below.

The Fleet Foxes


Head and the Heart


Joan as Police Woman

Portland Cello Project

The Maldives

Damien Jurado

Sera Cahoone

The Atomic Bombshells

Emily Wells


Dyme Def

Ravenna Woods

Baby Gramps

Frank Fairfield

Campfire OK

Too Beautiful to Live (Imaginary Radio)

Ivan & Alyosha

Fitz and the Tantrums


Kurt Braunohler


Helms Alee


Laura Marling

and many, many more