Daily the Columbia City Theater is a Bourbon Bar that is open to the public, but when events happen it becomes a night club to a host of legendary musicians.


  • Inside of the Columbia City Theater
    Inside of the Columbia City Theater
  • The Columbia City Theater in the 1950s.
    The Columbia City Theater in the 1950s.

Construction on the Columbia City Theater started in 1920 and finished in 1923. At the grand opening it was meant to be a old-time movie house. Originally named the Columbian Theater it served as the neighborhood'd cinema for 40 years with a front room that served many different occupations. In the 1960s the theater started to host live event here and there. It is said that Jimi Hendrix played at the Columbia City Theater while he was still in high school. Other famous people to play at the theater include Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and many more just during the 1940s.
In the 1980s and 1990s the theater became a home to the punk movement and supported and headlined many artists in that genre. It became an underground disco and a place to host raves with the name The Lish House.
Many people were unsure of reopening the Columbia City Theater, but after its reopening in 2010 it has been restored to its original glory of hosting events that draw in tourist and revenue for the area while also maintaining the legendary vibe. Many big names have performed in the theater such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Lumineers, Wilco, and many new and aspiring artists. It is also home to many comedy shows, burlesque shows, spoken word, and various forms of expression.

“Ambiguous Past Behind, New Chapter Ahead For Columbia City Theater.” South Seattle Emerald, 6 July 2017, southseattleemerald.com/2017/07/05/ambiguous-past-behind-new-chapter-ahead-for-columnbia-city-theater/.

“History | Columbia City Theater.” Stranger Tickets, 2018, www.columnbiacitytheater.com/history.