With last screening at the Harvard Exit, work on restaurant and office project set to begin

(Images: S+H Works)

(Images: S+H Works)

IMG_3056-1-600x900It turns out, the last movie to be publicly screened at Capitol Hill’s historic Harvard Exit theater had a fitting title.

A Sunday night, June 7th screening of All Things Must Pass, a documentary “chronicle of the rise and fall of the biggest success story in record store history,” ended SIFF 2015’s 24-day celebratory wake for the Exit and brought to a close — after a false ending or two — its 46 years as a working cinema.

Developer Scott Shapiro, who purchased the building in a deal that closed earlier this year for $2.35 million, tells CHS the way is now clear for work to begin to transform the old theater on E Roy at Broadway into a mixed commercial and office development. You won’t see any major construction right away — permits for the project are still being reviewed by the city.

The architect on the project is Capitol Hill-based S+H Works.

The Harvard Exit is part of the Harvard-Belmont Historic District and plans are for the 1925-built masonry exterior to remain intact. Earlier, Shapiro told CHS a restaurant or cafe will likely take over the building’s 1,500 square-foot lobby, while he envisioned a bar moving into the 2,200 square-foot basement. The rest of the building will become “creative offices,” including the two 5,000 square-foot theater spaces and two upper floors of existing offices.

If renovation work gets started this summer, Shapiro expects tenants to move in by early 2016.

From Even the Walls (Image: Canh Nguyen)

From Even the Walls (Image: Canh Nguyen)

Meanwhile, another tale of Central Seattle development with a much different subject matter was honored at SIFF 2015. Even the Walls, a 27-minute examination of the lives being changed by the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace from directors Sarah Kuck and Saman Maydání, was presented with the Golden Space Needle Award for best short film. You can view a trailer and learn more about future screenings here.

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5 thoughts on “With last screening at the Harvard Exit, work on restaurant and office project set to begin

  1. I was there for what I thought was the last screening (Tangerine), but was actually the second to last. It seemed so unceremonious for the last day. A few people took photos after the credits rolled and then we all filed out. Many great spaces have come and gone in our neighborhood, but I’ll miss Harvard Exit the most. It was a quiet oasis to watch great films alone or with friends. The interior and exterior are both beautiful. I wish there had been a way to save it. Thanks for the memories, Harvard Exit.

  2. The lobby area will “likely” be a restaurant or cafe? It doesn’t seem large enough for that, especially since a kitchen will occupy part of it.

  3. This one for sure stings. Just what the little corner needs, another restaurant. And I am a restaurant guy… The rent will surely be obscene leaving it ready for a great new chain or another Tommy D or Ethan Stowell spot, yipee