Pantages Theater - Seattle/Tacoma, Wash.
The block now occupied by the Pantages Theater was once the site of a saloon, Tacoma's first library, and Tacoma's first department store. In 1908, William Jones of Walla Walla bought the block and razed the buildings. Then entered the Greek immigrant, Alexander Pantages, who had dreams of owning beautiful and successful vaudeville theaters across the country. With some financial assistance from his mistress and business partner, Kate Rockwell (Klondike Kate)
, Pantages and Jones were able to build the combination office building and theater- the Jones Building and Pantages Theater-at a cost of $400,000. Construction began in 1916, and the new Pantages Theater, the second of the Pantages chain, opened in January 1918.
Often regarded as the most beautiful, the Tacoma Pantages was designed by Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca after an ornate theater in the Palace of Versailles. The Tacoma Pantages served as a live theater for only eight years before being converted to a movie house and being sold to RKO, at which time the name was changed to The Orpheum. In 1932, the theater was purchased by Will Conner of Tacoma and was known as the Roxy until the 1980's when it was renamed the Pantages Theater.