Historic, community theater draws world-class performers.
CAROL BANKS WEBER
Who would’ve thought a 1939 high school auditorium would one day become a vital, world-class theater, hosting legends, superstars, and indie artists on the rise?
The historic building on 410 4th Ave. N. has gone through a number of changes, representing many things to many people. It’s been an auditorium and gym for the first high school in Edmonds, a junior high school, and Puget Sound Christian College, before the city bought the property in 2002 with plans for a regional arts center.
Designed in the popular Art Moderne style of the ‘30s, the 50,000-sq.-ft. Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) benefited greatly from an $18 million renovation by LMN Architects Seattle, with acoustics by Jaffe Holden. The renovation project, kicked off in 2005, took a year to complete. Improvements included state-of-the-art lighting and sound, a new entrance lobby with curvilinear ceilings and window views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, renewal of the 700-seat auditorium, and more seating on the terrace and lawn.
In 2006, the ECA Theater reopened with the performance of “Tingstad and Rumbel.”
The ECA Theater continues to offer amazing, thoughtfully curated performances, as major artists and community favorites appear onstage regularly, creating their own unique buzz — a credit to the strong arts and culture of Edmonds.
The ECA’s 13th season runs from Sept. 21, 2019 to May 2020, featuring an impressive line-up, “from Mavis Staples to Jeremy Dutcher, CeCe Winans to Hiplet Ballerinas, and from Jake Shimabukuro to the Brubeck Brothers Quartet…” says ECA Executive Director Joe McIalwain. “We know you will enjoy the diverse and exciting experiences awaiting you on our stage.”
“We are really proud of this new season. A point that our staff and boards take pride in – and that we strive for audiences to share – is that this 2019/20 line-up is curated, it’s diverse and, most importantly, it moves us forward in our connections to the vibrant community that ECA serves,” Gillian Jones, ECA Director of Programming, adds.
In addition to the main stage performances, the ECA presents Saturday Matinees for community members of all ages. “ECA’s Film Cabaret Series also continues this season. These screenings of classic films feature stunning cinematography and iconic music that were made to be experienced on the big screen. Each film is preceded by a cabaret-style happy hour on the ECA Stage, spotlighting live musicians,” according to Tina Marie Baumgardner, ECA director of marketing & business development.
Windermere Edmonds and Lynnwood Honda are this season’s sponsors.
Box Office: 425-275-9595 ✦
Cover photo: Peter Dervin