Sea View Theater now open for community events

The Sea View Theater has brought a little bit of Hollywood to Orcas Island for 50 years.

Now the longest running, singly owned business in Eastsound is trying something new: opening its doors to the public for events.

“We opening it up,” said theater manager Ingrid McClinton. “It’s a matter of survival. I am doing whatever it takes to provide this for the community if they want it.”

Owner John Mount closed the Sea View Video Center on Dec. 31, after 25 years of operation. He also had the theater on the market, but took it off after a change of heart. A group of islanders expressed interest in buying the theatre and opening it to the community, before Mount opted to keep it open for the foreseeable future.

The space is now available to rent for birthdays, anniversaries, meetings, presentations, seminars, concerts, and private showings of films.

“If someone requests a movie, and I can get it, then great,” McClinton said.

When Sea View Theater opened in 1960, tickets were 85 cents each for adults, 50 cents for seniors and 35 cents for children. The movie industry is a different beast than it was 50 years ago, and McClinton says they are offering this new service to help the theatre stay afloat.

“People don’t understand what the overhead is with the theatre,” she said. “It’s pretty slow right now but it depends on the movie. If we have a blockbuster movie, we have more people. But if we have one that hasn’t been splashed all over the t.v. screens, then we don’t get crowds.”

To reserve space for an event at the theater, call Ingrid McClinton or John Mount at 376-5607.