Craving some live music in Seattle? You've no doubt come to the right corner of the country. While downtown offers plenty of fantastic options, heading just a wee bit south also offers music lovers the chance to soak in the charming small-town flavor of yet another neighborhood. As a bonus, Columbia City Theater boasts one of the most beautiful and intimate settings for live performances in Seattle.
Since 1917, talents have entertained crowds within this space — Photo courtesy of Columbia City Theater
Since the venue reopened a few summers back, it's gotten rave reviews, making it into Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” list and even being dubbed “the city’s finest sounding room” by SPIN Magazine.
Built in 1917 as the first vaudeville theater in the state of Washington, the venue played a major roll in the Seattle jazz boom of the 1940s, hosting stars like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Fats Waller. The theater then served as a neighborhood cinema during the '50s, and in the '60s, the establishment resumed hosting live events yet again. (Rumor has it, this was one of the first spaces in which Jimi Hendrix played.) During the early '80s, the DIY punk movement found a home here.
In recent years, the arts hub has proudly welcomed into its intimate space an array of fantastic artists hailing from near and far. Talents have included The Fleet Foxes, Everclear, The Head and the Heart, Pickwick, Damien Jurado, Sera Cahoone, Ravenna Woods, Mikey and Matty, Campfire OK, Grand Hallway and Ivan & Alyosha.
An adjoining bar offers a fine selection of whiskey, as well as an extensive menu of specialty drinks and food items. (Think sliders and cones of fries.) Concert goers also enjoy exploring the main strip of this quaint zone before or after the show, checking out favorite neighborhood haunts like Columbia City Alehouse.