Tom Tangney: Closure of Harvard Exit Theatre is a great loss

Dec 3, 2014, 11:13 AM | Updated: 2:09 pm
KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney, who also used to manage the Harvard Exit Theatre, says it’s c...
KIRO Radio's Tom Tangney, who also used to manage the Harvard Exit Theatre, says it's closure is a great loss. (Google streetview image)
(Google streetview image)

Another notable Seattle movie theater is closing its doors and one of the former managers, who also happens to be a KIRO Radio host, says it’s a great loss.

“The Harvard Exit Theatre, which for the last 40 years has been a place for art cineastes to hang out, is going away and I’m sad,” said Tom & Curley Show host Tom Tangney.

The Seattle Times reports Jan. 13 will be the theater’s final day of operations. The CEO of Landmark Theatres tells The Times their partners decided to sell and they couldn’t work out the economics to run it themselves.

Even though Tom has some professional attachment to the theater, he recalled how he held it in high esteem even as a kid.

“I grew up in this town. When this theater opened, it was the hippest place you could possibly imagine.”

Tom said the people who originally opened the movie theater were quite the hosts.

“They used to have these huge crock pots of cheese, free crackers, and all the coffee you wanted. It was just this great place and you saw these great movies.”

The unique lobby that greeted moviegoers was also a big draw, Tom said.

“It’s got your standard theater with a balcony and the like, but really what it’s famous for is that huge lobby which looks like you’re walking into a fancy manor. It’s got this big fireplace and these overstuffed chairs. It’s got a grand piano and all this. It was really just a great place to hang out.”

With no official word yet on what will take its place, Tom is holding out hope that it will somehow be kept as a movie theater.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen, ultimately, to it,” Tom said. “The Egyptian, which also closed down, was bought by SIFF and it has reopened, so there may be hope yet.”

But just in case, Tom encourages anyone who hasn’t seen a film there to get in before it closes.

“Everyone should rush out over Christmas. I don’t even know what’s going to play there, but you should go there just to check out one of the grand places.”

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

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Tom Tangney: Closure of Harvard Exit Theatre is a great loss