The Guild 45th has closed its doors, shuttered the ticket window and cleared the marquee.
We were first made aware of this in a tip on Monday evening by Wallyhood reader, Griffin, alerting us that the “they just shut down the Guild 45th and Seven Gable theaters effective immediately. The staff found out as they showed up for work”.
I ventured up there on foot to see if there was a note on the door, or any indication of what the story was. I approached a man who appeared to be changing the locks. When I tried to say hello, he ducked inside. A woman came out to ask if she could help me. I asked about the situation and she said that it was closed for renovations, and she was unsure if it was external or internal renovations, but she mentioned it was probably both. It was an awkward exchange, and she seemed hesitant to say anymore. Wallyhood’s Jordan also popped his head in yesterday evening and spoke with the manager. He said that she also told him that they were closed for renovations, but he reflected that it seemed like she did not believe it herself. That was the same feeling I got. He said that even she, the manager, had been unaware of the closing until that evening.
The manager confirmed that the building was still owned by Landmark and gave Jordan the contact details for Laine Kaplowitz, Public Relations Director of the Landmark Theater group. I reached out to Laine by phone this morning. The number that was given was no longer in service. I reached out again via email and got a quick and friendly response.
“Thanks for reaching out. At this time, I can’t provide any additional info other than our statement. As soon as we have updates, I will let you know.”
I replied and asked what the official statement was and received the same statement that is posted on the Guild 45th website.
“The Seven Gables and Guild 45th cinemas have closed. Please stay tuned for further details on our renovation plans for each location. During the down time, we look forward to serving you at the Crest Cinema Center.”
I asked about the timeline of said renovations, and asked why the staff had been told so abruptly. I received no further details beyond the polite, carefully crafted statement. It was clear that my questions beyond official statement were not going to get an answer. The website reiterates the statement she gave me, and there are some movie listings and show times still up through the month.
The theater has been in disrepair, and in need of renovations. Renovations to bring it back to its original glory would be welcome. New seats without broken springs, a new snack bar, updated bathrooms, exterior renovations to the stucco and paint would bring back some of its original glory, but this feels different.
I have fond memories of walking up to the theater in the summer to take respite from those rare days of heat in the air-condition, and catch a movie. In the winter we would grab a bowl of ramen, and then walk over in the rain to catch a flick. Every year I have gone to watch the collection of Oscar nominated live action and animated shorts in succession to catch up before our annual friends Oscars watching dinner party. I love having a theater I can walk to that felt like it was for the neighbors.
The Seattle Times reports that the Seven Gables was recently proposed for landmark status which is being considered in a meeting with the Landmarks Preservation Board on August 16th. The article also states that the original Guild building was built in 1919 and the second building added in 1983. The Gables was built in 1925.
Why so mysterious? I will let you know if I find out any more details. I hope to have a chance in the future to say “See you at the movies!”