Tag Archives: Ark Lodge Cinemas

PHOTO ESSAY: First Weekend of ‘Reopening’ in South Seattle

by Susan Fried


The Fourth of July weekend was also the first official weekend that King County dropped all COVID-19 restrictions, and many people in South Seattle were excited to finally go to their favorite places, sit down across from friends and family, and take their masks off (as long as they’d been vaccinated). 

Individual businesses could ask customers to wear masks, but many allowed those who had been vaccinated to go mask free, trusting them to be honest about whether they’d been vaccinated or not. Some businesses chose to ask patrons to continue wearing masks while others opted to not fully open.

For many South End residents, things almost felt like they were back to a pre-pandemic normal.  

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: First Weekend of ‘Reopening’ in South Seattle

New Managing Director Justin Pritchett Has Big Plans for the Ark Lodge

by Mark Van Streefkerk


When COVID-19 forced Columbia City’s Ark Lodge Cinemas to shutter their doors in March, the sudden loss in revenue dealt a staggering blow to the South End’s few independent movie theaters. Owner David McRae quickly launched several fundraising strategies, and now new managing director Justin Pritchett brings Popcorn Weekends to the Ark. Pulling from his expertise in movie theater food and beverage operations, Pritchett has big plans for keeping the Ark afloat, now and long after the pandemic.

Continue reading New Managing Director Justin Pritchett Has Big Plans for the Ark Lodge

Ark Lodge Cinemas GoFundMe Asks for Community Support To Become “The Gem Of Columbia City”

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City’s movie theater, launched a GoFundMe on September 19 with the goal of raising $750,000. It’s an ambitious first step in the Ark owner David McRae’s long-term hope of raising $3 million overall, enough to buy the almost 100-year-old Masonic building and securing the theater as the “Gem of Columbia City” for years to come. In addition to the GoFundMe, the Ark launched a capital campaign to attract bigger investors, with rewards ranging from limited edition T-shirts to opportunities to rename the Ark’s screening rooms. In almost two weeks, the GoFundMe has raised close to $40,000, and at least one of the capital campaign rewards has been claimed. 

Continue reading Ark Lodge Cinemas GoFundMe Asks for Community Support To Become “The Gem Of Columbia City”

“Save The Ark Lodge!” Columbia City’s Independent Movie Theater Calls on Community for Support

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The Ark Lodge Cinemas’ recent marquee message “SAVE THE ARK LODGE!” is a rallying call for help: the building recently went up for sale at the price of $2.5 million. Columbia City’s independent movie theater has been closed for almost six months due to COVID-19. Unable to pay rent without revenue from ticket sales, the Ark is protected by the state’s no-eviction moratorium. All that could change if the building, owned by the Elks Corner LLC, is sold. Calling on support from the community via T-shirt sales and an upcoming GoFundMe campaign, owner David McRae isn’t giving up the fight to keep the Ark afloat. 

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Keeping The Ark Afloat: South End Movie Theaters Without a Safety Net

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Local cinema houses still have a place in the hearts of our communities, in spite of streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu. In fact, South Seattle’s newest theater arrived on Rainier last summer: The Beacon Cinema, a single-screen 48-seat theater that features an eclectic selection of cult classics and mainstream movies. It’s proof that people still love congregating, feeling the thrill when the lights dim and the movie starts. COVID-19 has unequivocally put a stop to that for the foreseeable future. 

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Premiere of Kubota Garden Documentary Draws Huge Crowd, Prompts Second Showing

by Sharon H. Chang

The crowd was so huge at the premiere of Fujitaro Kubota and His Garden at Ark Lodge Cinemas last week that a second screening was added and some eager theatergoers were turned away. The turnout of 150 viewers was overwhelming, said Joy Okazaki, Board President of the Kubota Garden Foundation which produced the film, but also overwhelmingly positive. “We know that people love the garden and knew telling the story of the garden was long overdue,” said Okazaki, amazed. “This confirmed for us how important it is to get that story out there.” Continue reading Premiere of Kubota Garden Documentary Draws Huge Crowd, Prompts Second Showing

Review: I Am Not Your Negro

by Courtney Weaver

Remember this house and do not forget who built it…

Last weekend I sat in the Ark Lodge theater in Columbia City to view the James Baldwin documentary  I Am Not Your Negro, the recent adaptation of the legendary writer and public intellectual’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House,  directed by Raoul Peck and accompanied by the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. The film was followed by a panel moderated by Marcus Harrison Green. Continue reading Review: I Am Not Your Negro