Coliseum Theatre

405 Mission Street,
Ketchikan, AK 99901

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Additional Info

Architects: R.H. Rowe

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Coliseum Theatre

This was the first Coliseum Theatre to be built in Ketchikan and it opened in early-1924. It was designed by Seattle, WA based architect R.H. Rowe and a feature of the 1,000-seat auditorium was the mezannine level which was accessed by ramps. It was equipped with a Kimball 2 manual 7 ranks organ. By 1943 the seating capacity had been reduced to 700. In 1929 it was equipped with Vitaphone and Movietone sound systems. The Coliseum Theatre was destroyed by fire on May 21, 1956.

A new Coliseum Theatre was built on the site which opened in 1957 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2018 at 11:52 am

This item from the June 2, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World is about the first Coliseum Theatre:

“Gross Will Attract Floating Population

“When W. D. Gross of Juneau, Alaska, was in Seattle recently he made arrangements with B. F. Shearer, Inc., for the complete equipment and furnishings, lighting effects, etc., for his new Coliseum Theatre in Ketchikan.

“Gross will have one of the finest houses on the coast. It will cost in the neighborhood of $85,000 and will seat 1,000. The theatre will be planned somewhat like the Liberty Theatre of Seattle, with a ramp going up to the mezzanine floor where it divides, circling to the balcony. Plans are by R. H. Rowe, architect of Seattle.

“A novel feature is the fact that Gross has ordered three large electric signs. The third is to be erected where it will shine from a high position out over the bay, the direction in which the theatre fronts. Ketcikan is a great anchorage for fishing fleets, and Gross wants to attract the ‘floating population.’”

DavidZornig on December 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm

Additional photo of the 1956 fire on page 3 of the below Historic Ketchikan link. There is also a Grand Theatre on page 8 that I will set up a page for.

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