The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre Association exists to develop, produce and present live musical theater for the cultural enrichment of the Northwest community, and to preserve, maintain, and operate the historic and irreplaceable 5th Avenue Theatre.
To achieve this mission, the Theatre will actively pursue the highest standards of artistic excellence and service, enhance and continuously improve all aspects of the facility operations, endeavor to make its programming accessible and relevant to all audiences, and maintain organizational stability.
To be nationally recognized as a pre-eminent musical theater company, involved in all aspects of the American musical (past, present and future) – reflected by the highest levels of artistic and production quality, staff expertise, and audience engagement.
We both produce and present musical theater (America’s great indigenous art form) with the highest standards of artistic excellence. We place an emphasis on producing and utilizing Northwest-based artists.
We are committed to the development and production of new works. Each season, we program an appealing mix of productions that reflect the broad scope and cultural significance of the American musical (past, present and future), and attract, delight and retain a large and diverse audience.
We achieve artistic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Each season must be both artistically and financially sound.
The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's premier incubators for new musical theater. Since 2001, The 5th has premiered 16 new works, nine of which have subsequently opened on Broadway. They include Disney’s Aladdin; First Date; A Christmas Story, The Musical; Scandalous; Shrek; Catch Me If You Can; The Wedding Singer; and Best Musical Tony Award-winners, Hairspray and Memphis. The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically-acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway, as well as the latest touring offerings from New York.
Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. In the early days, people eagerly lined up for first-class vaudeville shows, featuring the top touring entertainers of the day. The Theatre later transformed itself into a popular movie palace. In the late 1970s, The 5th Avenue Theatre fell on hard times, but was saved from a wrecking ball by a visionary group of businesses and community leaders. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater.
Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000 and ranks among the nation’s largest and most respected musical theater companies.
In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach program that serves more than 74,000 each year through programs including The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater and the Rising Star Project. For adults, The 5th offers free-to-the-public events such as the popular Spotlight Night series, and pre-performance Show Talks with Albert Evans.
When The 5th Avenue Theatre was forced to close its doors in 1978, 43 local companies and community leaders joined forces to save the glorious, historical building. In 1979, this visionary group formed the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre Association, and raised $2.6 million for renovations.
Following a spectacular $2.6-million renovation, the theatre re-opened in 1980, more beautiful than ever and emerged as Seattle’s premier home for touring Broadway shows
In 1989, with the generous assistance of company sponsors, The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company was established. The new non-profit company expanded its mission to include not only presenting touring shows but producing top quality musical theater productions of its own.
We offer our gratitude and heartfelt thanks for the commitment and vision of our founders who were responsible for the 1979 renovation and who made saving The 5th Avenue Theatre a reality:
We also offer our sincere appreciation to the following company sponsors who were responsible for the 1989 establishment of the Musical Theatre Company:
The Seattle Downtown Historic Theatre District is one of the premier collections of operating, historic theatres’ in the United States with over 1,000 live performances every year. The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of five theatres that was constructed between 1907 and 1928. Through the years, all have served as important cultural landmarks and venues for artistic expression. They have hosted entertainers and dignitaries from around the world and today serve as one the most premiere collections of fully operating, historic theaters in the United States. To learn more, please click HERE.
Wanda J. Herndon, Chairman
Barbara L. Crowe, Immediate Past Chairman
Stephen P. Reynolds, President
Sterling Wilson, Treasurer
Margaret C. Inouye, Secretary
K & L Gates
Biller Family Foundation
Robert R. Braun, Jr.
Braun Consulting Group
Gary J. Fuller
Nyhus Communications LLC
Sarah Nash Gates
University of Washington
Llewelyn G. Pritchard
Edmonds-Woodway High School
Ann Ramsay- Jenkins
College Success Foundation
Norman B. Rice
Robert A. Sexton
Proctor Lane Investments
Heather Sullivan McKay
Whether this is your first visit to The 5th Avenue Theatre or your 50th, we want to ensure that you enjoy every moment. If you have any questions about the theater accommodations or services, please call 206-625-1900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Productions begin promptly, so please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Doors open 45 minutes before the show and seating begins 30 minutes before the curtain.
Patrons arriving late will be seated at the first suitable pause in the performance in the least disruptive location. Following intermission, an usher will help you find your seat.
All performances will take place as scheduled, regardless of weather conditions.
the 5th Avenue Theatre welcomes children 4 years of age and older. Children under 4, including babes in arms, will not be admitted. 5th Avenue productions are generally suitable for ages 8 and above. Complimentary booster seats are available at the Coat Check.
Some shows deal with mature themes and may not be appropriate for all children. For information on whether a particular show is suitable for your child, please see the Parental Guidelines on the production pages of this website.
Please leave the following information with your sitter or service, so we can quickly locate you in the event of an emergency:
Coat Check & Assistive Devices
Complimentary Coat Check is located in the lobby next to Aisle 3. You may check any item you don’t wish to carry into the theater. Booster seats and Braille playbills are available at no charge. Binoculars may be rented for $5.00.
Food & Drinks
Refreshments are available for purchase on both levels of the lobby before the performance and during intermission. Drinks may be pre-ordered for intermission. Candy and beverages purchased at the lobby concession stand may be brought into the theatre. Beverages must be in a bottle with cap or a theater cup with lid.
You may exchange your tickets, if you do so 24 hours or more prior to your scheduled performance date. Subscribers may exchange tickets for free. Single-ticket buyers are charged an exchange fee. Please note: Tickets are non-refundable.
You may also donate your tickets back to the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre and receive a donation receipt for your income taxes. Please call 206-625-1900 prior to your performance to arrange a ticket donation.
If you lose or forget your tickets, please call 206-625-1900 or 888-5TH-4TIX for a replacement. You may pick up your tickets at the Box Office on the day of the show.
We strongly discourage patrons from purchasing tickets through outside vendors. Tickets bought from scalpers, brokers or by other third-party means may be counterfeit or inadmissible, and they are often grossly overpriced. These purchases do not benefit the performers, producers or The 5th Avenue Theatre. Purchasing directly from the 5th Avenue Theatre is your best bet for best seats and best available prices.
Cameras & Recorders
The use of cameras and audio recording equipment is strictly prohibited. You may leave these items at the Coat Check.
Smoking is not allowed in any part of the theater nor within 25 feet of the theater entrance.
No firearms of any kind are allowed in any part of the theater.
Ask an Usher
If you experience any discomfort during a performance, an usher or the house manager will be glad to assist you.