Featured: Tacoma, WA – Blue Mouse Theatre

Blue Mouse Theatre added to state, national heritage registers


The Blue Mouse Theatre, located at 2611 N. Proctor St., in Tacoma has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington Heritage Register.

By Todd Matthews

Feb 09 2010

The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) announced Monday the Blue Mouse Theatre, located at 2611 N. Proctor St., in Tacoma has been added to the Washington Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

It is the first theater in the state to be included under a revised Multiple Properties Document (MPD) for Washington state movie theaters built between 1879 and 1960; an earlier MPD covered theaters built as late as 1940. The MPD provides the historical context and background information often needed for individual nominations.

According to Megan Duvall, DAHP’s Certified Local Government Coordinator and Survey Program Manager, the revised MPD was completed by Artifacts Consulting in Tacoma and could be used to facilitate adding more historic theaters to the state and national registers.

“For something like an historic theater, there can be a lot of background documentation,” said Duvall. “An MPD for theaters [documents] all the different kinds of theaters and really covers a wide array of theaters in the state. Any historic theater owner would certainly have an easier time of preparing the nomination.”

The Blue Mouse Theatre was added to the state register in October 2009 and the national register last month.

On Nov. 12, 2008, Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously recommended adding the theatre to the local historic register. On Dec. 16, 2008, Tacoma City Council honored the recommendation and officially designated the theatre a local historic site.

According to the nomination prepared and presented by Brooke Boback of Artifacts Consulting, Inc. with the support of the building’s owners, and submitted to Tacoma’s landmarks commission, the Blue Mouse Theatre was designed by architect Fitzherbert Leather, and built by Albert Miller. The 420-seat, 4,100-square-foot theatre was opened Nov. 13, 1923 by theatre mogul John Hamrick. The first movie shown at the Proctor theatre was a silent film called “Green Goddess” and starring George Arliss and Alice Joyce.

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