Family-owned movie theater Big Picture reopens in Issaquah

The theater was a perennial fixture in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood before it closed at the start of the pandemic. # k5evening

ISSAQUAH, Wash – Big Picture, an old and beloved movie theater with bar service, is back.

Doors opened at the theater’s new Issaquah location in early March.

Originally, Big Picture operated in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle and kicked off the idea of ​​enjoying a cocktail with a movie. It was Washington State’s first cinema with full bar and seating service.

“This theater is like you’re going to your friends’ house, or you’re going to a hotel lobby bar,” says owner Mark Stern, who runs the theater with his wife Katie. “There’s no way you can tell this is a movie theater. (It’s like) you’re at a friend’s house and they just happen to have a great theater, great sound system – that’s it. is the concept. We wanted to be different from the traditional chain cinemas.”

For more than two decades, the theater has welcomed audiences that have included such celebrities as Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Bridges, and Dave Matthews. But soon after the pandemic hit, they lost their lease and were given five weeks off.

The Sterns are suddenly faced with moving costs and zero income – but they persevered and found a new space in Issaquah’s historic heart.

They remodeled an old brewery to give a new look to their old space. The front of the space is a spacious bar and seating area that guests can enjoy even without movie tickets.

The theater is intimately designed but comfortable and spacious, with one screen and 33 seats. Unlike most theaters, the front row is a common place to sit – it includes couches and loveseats.

Guests can also enjoy a range of cocktails with movie-inspired names, burgers or popcorn with truffle butter and parmesan.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online, and the theater is also available to rent for private parties. “Batman” is currently showing nightly.

“We’re having fun, we love what we do,” Stern said. “We love the cinemas.”

Big Picture is located at 35 W. Sunset Way in Issaquah.

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