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Concert Venues :: Green Lake Aqua Theater


Now Known As
Date Opened 1950
Demolished 1970
Venue Capacity 5,582
Venue URL
Venue Address 5900 West Green Lake Way North
Seattle, WA 98115

Venue Information

The Aqua Theatre was constructed in only 67 days, at a cost of $247,000. Its successes through the 1950s led to expansion of the seating area in 1960 to an ultimate capacity of 5,582. The fan-shaped concrete grandstand included 940 box seats.

The Aqua Theater was built in 1950 for the first Seafair in order to house an attraction called the Aqua Follies and their "swimusicals"--a combination of aqua ballet, stage dancing, and comedy. The theater included a round stage and floating (though still recessed below the stage) orchestra pit, encircling a section of the lake with high diving platforms on each side. The grandstand was built to a capacity of more than 5,000 seats. The Aqua Follies continued to run during Seafair until 1965. Outside of the Seafair schedule the theater was the stage for plays and musicals whose directors always took advantage of the unique setting. In the summer of 1962, coinciding with the Century 21 Exposition, the Aqua Theater stage was host to a jazz festival, popular performers such as Bob Hope, two plays, and a special presentation of the Aqua Follies with 100 performers. After the Worlds Fair, summer productions languished (usually blamed on Seattles unpredictable weather) until the Aqua Theater was mostly abandoned - a 1969 concert by the Grateful Dead revealed that the grandstand was crumbling and dangerous. Beginning in 1970 the theater was dismantled, stage right now serving as a pedestrian pier and stage left providing dock and storage for crew shells. Some sections of the grandstand were left in place.

Venue Photos

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