Columbia City Theater Kicks Off 2017, Centennial Celebration on New Year’s Eve With Steampunk

by Emerald Staff

South Seattleites looking to quickly put 2016 in the rear view as they desperately dash to 2017 won’t have to travel far come New Year’s Eve.

The Columbia City Theater will be ringing in the New Year by throwing what owner Lara Lavi calls an epic extravaganza, that will see a night of high class entrees,  ever flowing champagne, and a musical performance by one of the world’s premiere steampunk bands.

“Our show is going to be thoroughly imagined, with customized sets,  instruments and costuming that looks like something from a HG Wells novel” says Robert Brown, the lead vocalist of steampunk band Abney Park

For those unfamiliar steampunk as a musical genre,  Brown describes steampunk as taking old musical styles between 1800 and the 1940’s, and mashing it with modern dance, and rock sounds. Think X Ambassadors marries Cab Calloway.

Abney Park’s  New Year’s eve shows at the Columbia City neighborhood’s eponymously named theater has become somewhat of a tradition, as this is will be the fourth year the band – has sold out major venues in Moscow, London, Paris, and Munich- will be bringing one of their kinetic performances to the South End music hub.

“Our historic theater is a perfect fit to our eclectic mix of old and new music styles. Walking through the front doors is like walking into another time, a different era, and the illusion isn’t broken the whole night,” says Lara Lavi, who has owned the theater since 2013.

For Lavi, the night will also double as kick off not only to the New Year but also to her venues 100th anniversary, which will be celebrated throughout 2017.

First erected in 1917, the Columbia City Theater was once a major player in Seattle’s booming jazz scene. In the 1940’s it hosted legendary performers the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, and Fats Waller.

After switching identities to a neighborhood movie theater in the 1950’s, it returned to hosting live events in the 1960’s, and featured an early performance by a young Jimi Hendrix.

Lavi hopes to return the venue back to its storied musical glory, beginning Saturday night.

Abney Park, will headline the evening with support from special guests musical super group Soul of the Gypsy’s Temple featuring the entire Lavi-Jones musical family, including Cameron Lavi-Jones of Gypsy Temple fame, plus Pilar Suter on cello, Jamie Maschler on accordion, and DJ Jordan B.

Additionally, the night will feature burlesque performers doing double-duty as cocktail servers, as well as a special “pop-up” dinner spread from Columbia City’s Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria. Seattle’s Tsunami Pinata will also be holding down CCT’s Bourbon Bar with a high-energy mix of banjo and accordion music beginning at 7:30pm.

The Columbia City Theater has set up a special promotional code for South Seattle Emerald readers.  Promo code CCT100 will get partygoers $5 off the Silver Ticket price for the event, which includes champagne and party favors, along with show entry. Tickets are available here: