9. Princess Theater

Princess Theater

The Edmonds Theater, formerly the Princess Theatre, is among the best known buildings lining Main Street. The theater began as a more modest movie house called the Union Theater, located just across the street. Originally owned by Edmonds city father Fred A. Fourtner, the Union Theatre changed names and owners several times before it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Berry in 1921 and rechristened The Princess Theatre. The new owners had grand plans for a first-class movie house in Edmonds, and in early 1923 contracted with John McGinnis, local businessman and future Edmonds City Councilmember, to construct a new theater directly across the street. The result was the beautiful Art Deco building that persists to this day. In November 1923, a grand opening of the new Princess Theatre was held. Festivities included speeches by local dignitaries and musical performances by the Edmonds Band.

The theater quickly became an Edmonds landmark and positioned the community as a center for arts and culture. In 1929, the Princess treated Edmonds theater-goers to Broadway Melody, the first smash-hit “talkie” that won the Academy Award for best picture. In response to the hard economic times, the Princess lowered ticket prices in 1932 from 32¢ to 25¢. Business was still good, and in 1938 the theater was updated with new seats, carpets, projection and sound equipment.

Helen Berry passed away in 1941. Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Brown, who had been associated with the running of the theater since the early 1920s, continued to operate the Princess until 1952. During their tenure, a snack bar was added, and the sound and projection equipment modernized.

The historic 252-seat movie house is among the last remaining independent, single-screen movie houses in the state. It is an enduring Edmonds institution and a link to a bygone era of cinematic grandeur.


 About the Artist-Made Plaque 

Princess Theater plaque

This plaque is topped by a bronze image of the historic Princess Theatre marquee. Other images reference the movies, in general: theater tickets, popcorn, film reels and movie cameras.

Tour Information

The Edmonds Stages of History Tour is a walking tour of significant sites that mark twelve different aspects in Edmonds' development. A unique artist-made plaque identifies each site on the tour. We invite you to explore Edmonds history at each location. Photographs on this website are courtesy of the Edmonds Historical Museum, unless otherwise noted. Descriptions of Edmonds history for the Stages of History panels and the website include information from copyrighted articles by Larry Vogel, originally published in the original Patch online newspaper, Edmonds: The First Century by Archie Satterfield (1990), and Edmonds: The Gem of Puget Sound by Ray V. Cloud (1983), and use restrictions apply. Other information sources include individual interviews and information supplied by the Edmonds Historical Museum.  Please contact the City of Edmonds Arts Office at 425-771-0228 with any corrections to information on the website or for inquiries regarding specific sources of copyrighted material.  

Contact Us

The City of Edmonds Arts Commission 
ph. 425-771-0228

Visit the Edmonds Arts Commission's Website 
email: eac@edmondswa.gov

The City of Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission
Visit the Historic Preservation Commission's Website 

The Edmonds Historical Museum 
Visit the Edmonds Historical Museum's Website