The Seattle Theater Group (STG) recently announced that the Neptune Theatre will reopen its doors June 18 for a concert that will begin a test-run of events leading up to the historic venue’s grand reopening this fall.
The Neptune originally opened in 1921 and is the last of five movie houses built in the University District during the silent-movie era. STG, the local nonprofit arts organization that operates the Moore and Paramount theaters, signed a multi-year lease for the venue last year and has plans to turn the old movie house into a performing arts venue.
“We're using the spring and summer months to test the venue; tweaking and making minor changes as we go along,” Josh LaBelle, STG executive director, said in a news release announcing the Neptune’s June opening. “This soft opening is to set the stage for our grand launch scheduled for fall 2011.”
While the doors will open in about three months, work on the theater is far from complete. STG is still seeking $400,000 in donations to finish its planned improvements. The donations will go toward improvements such as remodeling bathrooms, installing a new sprinkler system, upgrading the backstage area, installing a motorized movie screen, preserving architecture, and restoring cosmetic details.
So far the June 18 concert is the only event STG has announced for the Neptune. The concert will feature indie-rock bands Okkervil River and Titus Andronicus. The latter is a New Jersey band whose most recent album, “The Monitor,” is a Civil War-themed concept record; the former is a Texas group that backed Roky Erickson (of 13th Floor Elevators) on his most recent album. Tickets for the concert cost $20 and can be purchased here.