The Roxy revival is real!
Far Away Entertainment to operate Roxy Theater
Source: Sound West Group
By: Jeremy Stitt
Posted: June 30th, 2017
BREMERTON —Far Away Entertainment, a Bainbridge Island based company that currently owns and operates nine theaters throughout Western Washington, recently signed a lease with Sound West Group (SWG) to operate the Roxy Theater located on Fourth Street in downtown Bremerton. The 75-year-old theater is being restored by local developer Sound West Group as part of a larger revitalization effort on Fourth Street, which will be renamed Quincy Square, and is anticipated to open at the end of the year. Far Away Entertainment specializes in first run and independent films with a claim to “real butter on your popcorn”.
The restoration of the Roxy Theater is part of a larger endeavor of SWG’s effort to revitalize Quincy Square in downtown Bremerton and transform a number of vacant commercial buildings into a lively core. Wes Larson, Principal of SWG, remembers people forming a line around the Roxy to see the premiere of “Star Wars” back in 1977 and would like to see the theater restored to its original grandeur. The group has plans for 27 new apartments in the old Sears department store and Ford dealership buildings. In addition, there will be secure covered parking, a 3,000 sq ft storefront retail space, and 161 storage units situated on the alley between Fourth and Fifth streets. Recently, SWG successfully opened the 80-unit Spyglass Hill Apartments just up the street on Highland Avenue.
As part of the restoration effort, the Roxy marquee and blade sign will be re-created in the spirit of the original design, acting as center stage for Quincy Square. SWG has been working with Fernando Duarte Design, who specializes in theater and marquee restoration from the Art Deco period. The chandelier at the entrance will be returned to its foyer and a new sound, lighting, and projector system will be installed. In addition to independent and first run films, the theater will showcase live shows put on by the local Admiral Theatre Foundation and will include opportunities for community and non-profit performances via a licensing agreement with Roxy Bremerton, a not-for-profit corporation.
Jeff Brein, managing partner of Far Away Entertainment, has an extensive background in the entertainment industry, working for years with the Walt Disney Company and held an assortment of marketing and management positions at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studio. Leaving Disney to pursue a passion for small town theaters, Jeff and Far Away Entertainment are known for the historic Lynwood Theater (Bainbridge Island), Admiral Theater (West Seattle), and Varsity Theater (University District), in addition to six other theaters around the region. Far Away’s motto is “your small town theater”.
Originally opened on May 29th, 1941, the Roxy Theater was designed by Seattle architect Bjarne Moe, one of the Pacific coast’s foremost theater architects at the time. The theater is a classical Streamline Moderne, a late type of Art Deco architecture and design that emerged in the 1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and nautical elements. Still in the theater is a 35-foot maritime mural, composed of photos by famed Northwest photographer Asahel Curtis, which depicts the White Fleet of 1908 along with the Bremerton Navy Yard. It was one of the largest photo murals ever produced in the Pacific Northwest at the time. Some notable visitors to the Roxy Theater include Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
To get a look at the 75-year-old theater before restoration begins, SWG will be hosting the Bremerton Mayoral Debate at the Roxy Theater on July 11th at 7 P.M. Admission is free, but space is limited so be there on time to make sure to get a spot.