AMC Factoria Cinemas

3505 Factoria Boulevard SE,
Bellevue, WA 98006

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50sSNIPES on January 19, 2023 at 11:36 am

During his trial, Deputy Prosecutor Larry McKeeman told the jurors on September 20, 1982, just a day before sentencing, said that the suspect killed the two brothers after one of the boys made comments about a dispute the suspect was having with Ilgenfritz and Wentink after stepping out the doors of the theater.

The suspect after trial received 30 years to life in prison according to The Tacoma News Tribute, and 40 long years later, it was unknown if he was still behind bars.

Seattleprojectionist on January 19, 2023 at 8:23 am

A little more information on the 1982 shootings in the parking lot. The slain brothers and the shooter had been seeing a double feature at the theater. The shooting took place in the parking lot after the films. I can’t for the life of me recall what the two films were but both were “R” rated and of a violent nature. I was off duty that night. The same double bill was run for the jury at the trial at the request of the shooter’s attorney. That weekday morning screening was held at the John Danz theater in Bellevue, owned by SRO Theaters which also owned the Factoria. The Factoria was no stranger to violence, In 1996 a 20 year old assistant manager was shot and killed in a holdup at the theater. In 2021, another fatal parking lot shooting. The theater is in a generally upscale area, not in a bad part of town at all. T-Mobile headquarters is just a few yards away.

50sSNIPES on January 18, 2023 at 11:27 am

Nice information Seattleprojectionist! And you are right, it did open with three screens as a triplex before two more were added and becoming a five-screen theater on December 17, 1982, nearly seven months after the murders that took place there. Thanks for the correction!

Seattleprojectionist on January 18, 2023 at 10:50 am

I wish to correct a statement regarding number of screens at opening. The Factoria had only 3 screens at opening. All three equipped with Dolby CP-50 audio processors, new Simplex 35mm projectors fitted with lens turrets that were mated to rebuilt older RCA soundheads. At opening, we did not have platters but rather Cinemeccanica Towers which held 13,000 feet of film on the reels but required rewind time at the end of the screening. Platters came in 1982 with the two additional screens. The new screens were equipped for 70mm and each had brand new Century JJ2 projectors with lens turrets, Dolby CP 200 audio processers, and Christie platters. I was the #2 (part time) Union projectionist from 1981 - 1983. The local Projectionist’s Union was IATSE Local 154 and existed from 1908-1998. In 1998, merged with IATSE Local 15, Seattle Stagehands Union.

50sSNIPES on January 17, 2023 at 4:54 pm

The Factoria Cinemas opened its doors with five screens on August 22, 1980 by the SRO chain.

This theater was notably enough for the murders of two brothers (John and Mark Bartol, ages 27 and 19) on May 20, 1982, who were both walking out the theater before being killed a few seconds later. The suspect, 24-year-old Seattle-native James Vigil Smith, was convicted on two life sentences and would later plead guilty that September on two counts of second-degree murder and was held on a $150,000 bond. It was unknown if he was still in jail or not, but possible.

On December 13, 1986, SRO sold all of its theaters to Cineplex Odeon, and in the late 1980s, three more screens were added bringing a total to eight screens. Cineplex Odeon operated the theater until its merger to Loews Cineplex in 1998, and Loews Cineplex took over the theater until its AMC merger in 2006.

MSC77 on January 6, 2021 at 3:17 pm

In what year did Factoria expand from five to eight screens?

R68Dtrain2500 on January 25, 2016 at 12:32 am

AMC modernized this movie theater so nicely no wonder the place looks like AMC ized

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on December 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Unmasked screens are the new thing at AMC when they renovate (at least for fixed-width screens). It’s an entirely unwelcome development, but at least they aren’t decommissioning the masking at existing/non-redone venues like Regal is. (Who decided this was a good idea, I have no idea.)

markinthedark on December 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Saw Star Wars last night at the renovated Factoria Cinemas. Fully AMC-ized now. Nothing SRO left. Box office has been moved inside which its good. Lobby makes more efficient use of the space and is very AMC-clean in design. My showing was in #2 (the 2nd largest auditorium). House lights were on so I got some good photos. Auditoriums were gutted and the recliners were put in on a stepped slope (at least in 1 and 2). 1 and 2 retained 2 aisle/3 section layout. Peeked in #5 and it is now 2 aisles on the sides and one central seating section. #3 should mirror that. #4 retained its layout. Just with less seats. The entries to 3, 4 and 5 have been reconfigured.

Now to the screens: although hard to tell with screen #1 with my peek in, but it appears all screens are now common width and no masking! All the films playing in 2, 4 & 5 were scope and letterboxed within the screen. The screen in 2 also had rounded corners with the screen wrapped snug around the piping. Slight curve to it as well. These screens used to have moveable side masking (though the smaller 4, 6 & 7 had side masking but with the top masking movable to make flat a little larger). Flat will certainly be much larger now as the screens appear taller than they used to be.

The hall to 6, 7, & 8 was closed off and still under construction. Still a lot of work to be done on the exterior. The place was supposed to be open earlier than this but they must have fallen behind. There was evidence of hastiness in getting to this soft open: staples showing in wall curtains, molding not yet in place, construction boot prints in the restroom. Certainly wanted to cash in on Star Wars. Although I am opposed to unmasked screens I will still bring my kids here. Easy access off the freeway and lots of free parking. I am saddened by no trace of SRO being left but still glad the Factoria lives on. SRO-feel can still be experience at the SIFF Uptown and AMC Oak Tree in Seattle.

Side note: Are unmasked screens the new thing at AMC? The newer stadium AMC theaters I have been to all had proper masking (although the dreaded common width top-down variety) aside from LieMAX.

moviebuff82 on December 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm

just in time for star wars

markinthedark on December 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm

4 screens appear to be reopening this weekend with recliners.

markinthedark on September 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Sorry I am not TSilver729 but I know the answer – there was no twinning involved. Each addition was an addition to the original building. At first glance on the exterior and interior you would never know. But when you go into each auditorium you get 3 distinct styles depending on what wing you are in. I am hoping that when AMC installs the new seats they preserve the curtains on the walls of the auditoriums. Probably depends on how much investment they want to commit to the theater.

rvrinsea on September 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm


you seem to know this theater very well. Clarification, you talk about the theater going from three screens, to five screens, to eight screens. Were the final three screens an addition to the building, or did they simply twin the original three screens?

pnelson on September 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Always was a nice place. Keep it open for the next few years. Too many ugly huge office buildings in Bellevue.

markp on September 1, 2015 at 4:20 pm

I Worked on a reno of an old Loews last summer. Sorry to say it will be AMC looking thru out. We put in new screens, new drapes, new carpet, new concession. You wont recognize it.

markinthedark on September 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Sign outside says recliners coming. Work crew was pulling out old seats. Reopening in November.

markinthedark on August 31, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Temporarily Closed. On the AMC Website: This theatre is temporarily closed while we make changes that you’re going to love. Please check back later for updates.

The digital projection went in last Christmas so perhaps this is a seating upgrade. What will make me sad is if they fully AMC-ize it. It still has 3 generations of SRO interior, though with Cineplex Odeon carpet.

markinthedark on December 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Seems like some work is happening there next week. Not sure if this is digital conversion or new seats or both. On the schedule for Monday-Thursday 2 to 3 screens per day seem to be shut down. On the website Interstellar goes from being “Interstellar on 35MM film” to just plain “Interstellar” on Tuesday. Hobbit opens Wednesday on 2 screens with a total of 6 screens operating that day.

R68Dtrain2500 on December 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Anyone know if AMC is gonna renovate this theater

markinthedark on November 29, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Went there with my youngest today to catch Penguins of Madagascar and the friendly employee told me that they had reached an agreement with the property owner and will be upgrading soon with “new seats and digital projection”. Digital conversion starts in the next couple weeks. Did not get any clarification if the new seats would be the recliners.

I am happy the Factoria will have new life but sad about the loss of 35mm and that the theater will lose some SRO-ness.

If AMC is investing in upgrading the theater I wonder if they will finally take down the confusing Cineplex Odeon signage outside. Aside from the box-office there is nothing that says AMC on the exterior of the theater. Last time I went a confused patron walked up to the box office and asked where the AMC Loews theater was located, not knowing he had already found it.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on September 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm

I would also like to note that AMC is leasing the building from SRO. SRO would like to redevelop the property this is a quote from the SRO website “The building is currently an eight screen theater. Zoning allows SRO to construct a six story 135,000 sq. ft. office building. A full building user has the opportunity to participate in the design process.” So I would be willing to bet that is why they will only do 2 year lease. see this link

SteveSwanson on June 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm

I know of one theater that was offered it. So it seems that film is still available, but at a price.

markinthedark on June 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I noticed the Factoria has showtimes on June 27th for the next Transformers movie. Did Paramount change their “no more 35mm” policy or did AMC install some digital projectors?

SR188 on March 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Markinthedark, the lease ended in December. They couldn’t agree on a long term lease so for right now they are going month to month.

markinthedark on March 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

Anyone know when AMC’s lease is up?