3/12/2015 | SIFF Festivals
Rachel Eggers | 206.315.0683 |

SEATTLE -- March 12, 2015 -- The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) announced today that the recently closed Harvard Exit Theatre on Capitol Hill will open its doors again as a venue for this year's Festival (May 14 - June 7, 2015). 

The Harvard Exit Theatre, located at 807 East Roy Street on a leafy corner off Broadway, has been a venue for SIFF's annual Festival for 26 years, beginning in 1989 at the 15th Seattle International Film Festival. Its first night of screenings for SIFF on May 12, 1989, included A Chorus of Disapproval starring Jeremy Irons followed by For Queen and Country starring Denzel Washington. Since that first year, the Harvard Exit has been host to such groundbreaking screenings with filmmakers in attendance such as Richard Linklater with Slacker (1990), David O. Russell with Spanking the Monkey (1994), and Danny Boyle with the U.S. premiere of Trainspotting (1998). 

The building was built in 1925 as a clubhouse for the Women's Century Club. In 1968, it was converted into a cinema house (though the charming lobby was luckily left intact). A women in 1920s clothing reportedly haunted the building since that time. Landmark Theatres managed the building beginning in 1979.

In January 2015, the theatre closed after the building's owners sold to developer Scott Shapiro of Eagle Rock Ventures, who worked with SIFF to arrange for one final Festival in the building. In addition, Landmark Theatres left the film screens, speakers, and auditorium seats for SIFF's use. SIFF's longtime technical provider and sponsor, McRae Theatrical, will be temporarily installing a state-of-the-art digital projection and sound system. Finally, Rosichelli Design will outfit the lobby. SIFF is grateful to all of these partners who are coming together to make this final Festival outing happen. 

"This is so exciting to me, both as SIFF's Managing Director and as a Capitol Hill resident," says Mary Bacarella. "I've often come to the Harvard Exit to have popcorn and a movie for dinner! From its beginnings as home to the Women's Century Club to nearly 40 years as an independent art-house cinema, the Harvard Exit has been a hub of energy, ideas, and conversation. We're here to celebrate that one last time with SIFF 2015 and to remind ourselves that even amidst change, this incredible history informs a still-vibrant arts community here on the Hill. That wonderful community is just one of the reasons we seized the chance to keep the Egyptian alive last year."

"The Harvard Exit is one of my favorite SIFF venues," says SIFF's Artistic Director, Carl Spence. "I'm thrilled that we have the opportunity to properly say goodbye to this important cinematic institution by throwing a 24-day celebratory wake. I started with SIFF in 1994 and crossed paths with stellar filmmaking luminaries such as John Sayles, Gregg Araki, Allison Anders and David O. Russell - all screening their films at the Harvard Exit. After SIFF 1998's Closing Night Gala, I fondly remember celebrating into the wee hours with three Irish men at the Harvard Exit after-after-party with Paul Quinn, Declan Quinn, and Aidan Quinn following the World Premiere of their film This Is My Father. So, it's with bittersweet excitement that I look forward to revisiting the past and making new memories for one last time." 

The Harvard Exit has been a wonderful venue for SIFF over the years, and this year's Festival gives Seattle and its film community a chance to celebrate its charm one last time. 

To celebrate, SIFF is offering a deal on Festival tickets and passes that will offer Festivalgoers the flexibility to best enjoy the Harvard Exit's final encore as a movie theatre: 

Harvard Exit

6-Pack Tickets: $45 Members ($54) | $50 non-Member (reg. $60)

20-Pack Tickets: $130 Members (reg. $160) | $160 non-Member (reg. $180)

Full Series Pass: $550 Members (reg. $750) | $807 non-Members (reg. $1000) 

Promotion valid Mar 11 - 31, 2015.