Category Archives: Performance Places

Theaters, concert halls, band shells, etc.

Regal Theater, Puyallup

My family had made a point to watch all of the movies that lead up to the Avengers, but then two of us went on a long trip and somehow it seemed like we’d missed it on the big screen. But yesterday dear husband noticed that it was still playing at the Regal Longston Place Stadium 14 at 13317 Meridian Avenue in Puyallup. The movie was great and we are glad to have made the effort to see it. The theater itself was just fine with friendly employees and comfy seats. Our theater only had a dozen or so customers in it and we were a little surprised when the security person came through with her glow stick three times. Wonder if that has always been the procedure or if it was in response to the recent movie shooting in Colorado.

Kurt Cobain’s first public show was here

The theater then church at 5441 South M Street has seen better days. It was constructed in 1924 as an early movie theater with 500 seats. Their first movie was Lights Out. On October 6, 1930 there was extensive damage when a bomb went off (there must be a story there!). Per the Tacoma Public Library, Kurt Cobain and the rock band Skid Row (later Nirvana) played their first public show here! Online information indicates that Templo Maranatha now owns the space.

Go here to see photographs of the property when it was new,

Thanks Tacoma Public Library!

Happy New Year at the Pythian Temple


As we usually do, dear daughter and I celebrated New Year’s Eve at Tacoma’s First Night in Downtown Tacoma. We drove to the Dome Transit Center and caught the Link to the theater district and then we kicked up our heals! It is really a top notch event. The weather was cold, but not frigid and there was no rain (a small miracle). I ran into a bunch of folks that I knew, but dear daughter seemed to know almost everybody! She declared that her schoolmates owned the downtown domain!

The new place for the day is the Pythian Temple at 924-926 1/2 Broadway, Tacoma. The building was constructed in 1906 for the Commencement Lodge No. 7 of the Knights of the Pythias. On August 23, 1985, Pythian Temple was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The meeting room is upstairs and is amazing, with dark carved woods and lovely frescoes and a huge organ.

For more on the Temple, including some historic photos, go to here,_Washington%29

This is my sixth building that was designed by Frederick Heath, architect and named after the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley. The others are: Oakland School Urban Grace Titlow Lodge Tacoma Public School’s CAB McKinley School

Best Seats Ever at AMC Loews

The AMC Loews Lakewood Town Center 12 has the most comfortable theater seats ever! The theater had been around when the Lakewood Mall was in place and over the past 12 months or so they have been replacing their traditional seating and putting in these oversized and very comfy chairs. The best part is that with the push of a button the seat turns into a recliner! Dear husband and I claimed our own adjoining chairs, but I noticed other couples and parent/child combinations sharing 😀

Something Wicked This Way Comes, Lakewood Playhouse

Ray Bradbury is my favorite author and Something Wicked This Way Comes is my favorite book by him, so I absolutely had to go see this play!  My dear daughter rolled her eyes at me and said she didn’t like plays, but she’d go and my husband also joined us. All of us loved it! It was true to the book and creepy (perfect for October) and had great effects and acting.  Afterwards my daughter revised her opinion to she doesn’t like musicals (we’ll work on that!).  Of course my favorite part is that the adult hero is a librarian! Though it did bother me that he was considered old at 54! That’s a little too close for comfort!

The play was at the Lakewood Playhouse at 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd.   Lakewood, WA  98499.  It is a small theater with enthusiastic volunteers and a nice seating arrangement.




The Grand Cinema, another thing that makes Tacoma great!

I’ve been wanting to see the Woody Allen’s new movie Midnight in Paris and today was the day.  It is playing exclusively at the Grand Cinema at 606 South Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma, WA and that is great, since it is one of my favorite theaters.  It was a wonderful movie that made me want to book a ticket to Paris right away.  I was especially glad to see it since my book group is reading Tender is the Night this year and F.  Scott Fitzgerald is one of the characters in the film.

To see more about the movie, go here:

The Grand Cinema is a nonprofit, art house theater and its mission is to enhance the cultural vitality of the community through the art of film.   Their selection of movies is very thoughtful and they show films that often just aren’t available any place else in Pierce County.  In addition their theaters are comfortable, the snacks extra good and the mostly volunteer staff is excellent!

The Grand’s website is here:


Battle for Fort Steilacoom

Battle for Fort Steilacoom by Gexydaf

The Battle for Fort Steilacoom was fought yesterday and today in Fort Steilacoom Park, 8714 87th Ave. S.W., Lakewood, WA, 98499. The Washington Civil War Association produced this event and it was very well done. There were hundred of reenactors in their Civil War garb. They were playing instruments, fighting battles, making speeches, drilling, cooking and selling their wares. It was a pleasure to stroll around in the sunshine and visit with these fine folks.

The website for the group is here

Pagoda at Point Defiance Park

I love driving around Point Defiance Park. It soothes my soul. Today I stopped at the Pagoda at 5801 Trolley Lane and took a couple of rainy photos. It was sensibly locked, but looking through the windows worked pretty well. One window shot makes it look like Mother Nature is taking over the building!

Per the Metro Parks Tacoma website “the Pagoda was built in 1914 as a replica of a 17th century Japanese Lodge. It was originally a waiting room for streetcars. Now this magnificent structure functions as a rental facility for weddings and other private parties as well as a venue for garden shows, lectures and concerts.”


Update 4/15/2011  the pagoda was badly damaged by a suspicious fire.

Update 12/5/12 A community grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for January 12, 2013.

McMenamins Grand Lodge

There are eight McMenamins hotels and last night we stayed at the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon.

This lodge features a full restaurant, a movie theater where food and drink from the restaurant are offered, a soaking pool, small bars and 77 European style guest rooms. The building was constructed in 1922 as an Masonic and Eastern Star home. In 2000 the building was renovated and opened as a McMenamins. The history of the building can be seen in the historic photos and original art hanging on the walls.

We checked into the Lodge around 4:00 and had dinner, watched the most recent Harry Potter movie (yes, it is that dark) and enjoyed the soaking pool. This morning there was a Continental breakfast. All in all, a delightful, relaxing time away.

This morning I was traipsing around taking photographs and the desk clerk noticed me. He asked if I had a shot of the theater and I said kind of (I took a cell phone photo during the movie, really it was an awful photo!). He said it was much better to take a photo during the day with the lights on and then he took me upstairs and unlocked the theater for me! How nice is that!

Urban Grace


We were fortunate this evening to attend a performance at Urban Grace Church in downtown Tacoma.  While I’ve often admired the Gothic Revival style church, I’d not been previously been inside.   This imposing four story building, which is on the historic register, was constructed in 1925 with F.H. Heath acting as the architect.  From 1884 to 1923, the site was occupied by the original First Baptist Church. Until 2005 the church had been know as First Baptist Church.

F. H. Heath was also the architect for Stadium High School, Lincoln High School, Pythian Temple (all in Tacoma) and Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier.

To see a photograph of the current building when it was under construction, go to:

In the Fall of 2010, Tacoma Arts Commission’s presented the 2010 “Arts Patron” award AMOCAT Art Awards to the Urban Grace Church for their support of the arts in Tacoma. The Arts Commission stated “Urban Grace’s commitment is exemplified in their establishment of the Poet Laureate position for Tacoma in 2008, their partnership with Fab-5 to create a mural for the Rialto Theater in 2010 and in providing ongoing opportunities for exhibition and performance in all artistic disciplines.”

902 Market Street
Tacoma, WA 98402-3605
(253) 272-2184 

Urban Grace’s website is at

And a Facebook Page devoted to the building being added to the Tacoma Register of Historic Places is here.