AKA: Portola Theater, West Seattle, Seattle, WA; Admiral Twin Theatre, West Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Heinsbergen Decorating Company, Interior Designers (firm); Priteca, B. Marcus, Architect (firm); Antoon B. Heinsbergen (interior designer/muralist); Barnet Marcus Priteca (architect)

Dates: constructed 1919

2 stories

2343 California Avenue SW
West Seattle, Seattle, WA 98116-2402

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The Admiral Theatre operated at 2343 California Avenue Southwest at Admiral Way.

Building History

At a cost of $18,000, a new theatre organ was installed in September 1924 when management of the theatre changed hands; in that year, the theatre installed a lighted parking lot for 75 cars, a novelty at the time; in July 1929, the Portola received Western Electric sound equipment for its auditorium. The City of Seattle Landmarks Board first considered landmarking the Portola Theatre at its 11/15/1993 meeting; board members voted 9-0 to landmark it on 12/13/1993. The Mayor signed the landmark ordinance on 12/17/1993. The Admiral Theatre was sold in 06/2008, to a new ownership group, Admiral Entertainment, LLC, of Bainbridge Island, WA.

Building Notes

The stucco-faced Portola Theatre had a false front, its facade composition visually divided into thirds by the first floor's 4 piers; on the second floor, the two end sections were framed by Corinthian pilasters; a tall vertical blade marquis, an arched parapet, and a projecting roof highlighted the central bay and main entry. The Admiral was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.


Originally, this small theatre had one auditorium seating about 800. Its name changed to the "Admiral" on 01/22/1942, with a new Streamlined Moderne design by the great Seattle theatre designer, B. Marcus Priteca, and an enlarged seating capacity of 1,000; Priteca worked on the interior with Los Angeles-based muralist, Anthony Heinsbergen. In 1973, new owners divided the Admiral into two theatres, each seating 430 patrons; other alterations at this time included the removal of a marquee and the transformation of the viewing balcony into new projection booths.

Seattle Historic Landmark (Listed 1993-12-17): 116972

National Register of Historic Places (Listed 1989-12-11): 89002098 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 3231