Recently elected one of the "13 coolest movie theaters in the world" - to plagiarize MSN - "since Paul Allen got his hands on the theater in the late '90s, it has been wholly transformed into one of the most high-tech, exciting movie experiences in the U.S." Recently renovated - Really worth checking out - look here: Cinema Seattle
Gourmet snacks and craft beer served up in an updated comfortable atmosphere. Reserved seating. Here's more info: Cinerama Seattle
History: Downtown on 4th avenue, is one of the last survivors of the great craze of late 60s, the Cinerama Theaters.
Paul Allen (Micro$oft) thankfully has decided to act as patron and preserve this theater downtown, and good for him for doing so. Counting this one there are only 3 left in the world.
For the uninitiated,
was the first really WIDE screen, all-encompassing surround movie experiences in 70mm that sadly do not exist anymore, as most theaters now are for the most part just boxes in malls projecting faded 35mm prints with 5.1 Dolby cranked to the max.
Some movies were actually filmed using 3 syncronized cameras for the extremely wide Cinerama format.
Two of the alltime ultimate movie experiences of my life were:
1968 - the premier of the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece "2001" at the incredibly mind-blowing & beautiful and now long-gone Cooper Cinerama theater in Denver;
1979 - the 70mm premier of "Apocalypse Now" at the Hollywood Pacific Cinerama theater in LA;
They still show current films (e.g. Sin City / Gremlins in 70MM) at the Seattle Cinerama theater, check the website for what's "Coming Soon."
This place is great because it's cheap eats downstairs and a bar upstairs. The owner's name is Cory and he's super friendly. He'll not only feed you and quench your thirst, but will give you any info you need in the local surrounding areas. It's cheap, good and easy to meet people. What else can you ask for?
Dress Code: Casual dress code!
This is a place I wanted to scratch off during my visit to Seattle. By this time when we arrived, I had been researching the Seattle music scene and it was a must that we come here. This place has seen the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Mudhoney play on it's small little stage. I didn't really get to check out the stage area, since it's open when people perform. There's a performance every night, which we just missed after we got here a little after midnight. We sat at a cool little booth in a dark corner and were greeted by an awesome and friendly guy named Chris. He recommended me a good local ale named Manny's IPA that was good and not too hoppy! At the end he even hooked me up with a "Live at the Crocodile Cafe" CD, made from bands who performed there!! This was a great way to spend our first night in Seattle! We made sure to give Chris a good tip! You definitely gotta come by here and chill! The area around it is buzzing with all kinds of nightlife as well. Come to the Crocodile and just vibe out to the sounds around ya!
Dress Code: In the words of the famous Nirvana song, just "Come As You Are". Except naked of course ha ha! I think they prefer some sort of clothes on you. Serious though, it's a casual atmosphere, so dress as such!
The sign on the wall, which seemed awfully brilliant at 1am read, "The price of anything is the amount of life you pay for it ~~Henry David Thoreau."
The beer in the kegs, also seemed amazingly tasty at 1am, was something I'd never tasted called "Mothership Wit."
The bar, which was equal parts laid back and trendy, had the out-of-place name of the "Virginia Inn."
The New Yorkers next to us were equally interesting, and they kept us entertained all night. Too bad they forgot to pay their bar tab.
We stopped in for a quick nightcap after a busy day of sightseeing and were pleased to find a cozy bar with friendly staff, and some witty patrons at the bar beside us. The New Belgian Brewery (makers of Fat Tire) Mothership Wit was perhaps the tastiest beer I have ever tried, and I am now in search of this excellent organic wheat beer in my hometown. My girlfriend and I have ties to Boston, so we were entertained for hours by the New York transplant who now calls Seattle home, but still loathes Boston as any New Yorker should. Our quick nightcap quickly turned into five or six beers and we stumbled our way back to the hotel.
The Croc is open again.
The Crocodile still has good, original, edgy bands all the time. Everything from punk, alt rock to reggae, but never boring lounge cover stuff.
Pearl Jam , Alice in Chains and Nirvana played some early local gigs in places like the Croc.
Place may be a little funky for gramma, but I've never had a problem with it and for loud, original music it can't be beat. Who's playing - check out the CALENDAR
They serve food too, & actually the breakfast stuff for late nite / early morning isn't bad at all.
Bottom line is, I heard this all the time & it is still true:
"If there's a good original band in town, they're probably playin' over at the Crocodile."
Dress Code: dress down very casual. anything goes.
RE Opened in March 2009. Haven't been, but peeked in the windows and they have definitely remodeled. Hope that includes the bathrooms :)
CLOSED abruptly in December 2007. But there is hope. Apparently a group has applied to take over the Croc's liquor license..... http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/musicnightlife/2004120939_croc12.html
Interesting decor, casual, Live Music! This is one of my favorite bars in Seattle.
When you enter the Croc from 2nd Ave you are in the Cafe section, where you can order food. It's decent bar/cafe food. I had lunch there once and it was pretty good. I hear they have a good breakfast, too.
To your left is the live music area. Most of the time only this part of the venue requires that you pay admission, but for bigger events, such as Jason Mraz (before he was so popular) required a ticket to even go in the door.
The main bar is in the back. This is where you drink before the show, or if you're not going to the show. There's also a small window in the music section, but it's cash-only.
We once saw Peter Buck (from REM), whose ex-wife owns The Croc having a couple of coctails at the back bar at the Croc.
Dress Code: Pretty much anything you want.
See my other reviews of Seattle. I am a Seattle native and a huge fan of Belltown! The lack of (and quality of) reviews do not do it justice. Below is my list of my favorite nightclubs that I frequent quite often.
BELLTOWN BILLIARDS - Go to play a game of pool, get a drink, or dance. Fun, energetic, a large range of ages. More of a dance club/bar than a billiard hall! Great fun if visiting Seattle.
TIA LOUS - So fun in the summer because of the HUGE outdoor deck. Watch your high heels slipping through the wooden boards on the deck! Really fun to go dancing, but not the biggest dance club (although ALWAYS packed). It is long and narrow, but 2 levels. The second level looks out over the main dance floor. Fun to dance and/or people watch! The place has a Spanish flair... get a tequila shot.
TABELLA - New club. Can be fun depending on the night and the crowd. The entire place is one huge dance club, with the exception of the bars that border the dance floor. Don't go before 10pm. Be prepared to wait in line.
SEE SOUND LOUNGE - Super modern, trendy! The entire place is white - couches, walls, etc. Great music, low seating, long lit-up bar. In the summer months they open the large windows which open up to the street. On the weekends there is a DJ and a small dance floor.
I am a Seattle native. I read the reviews of Seattle nightlife just out of my own curiosity and they were not helpful at all! I go every weekend and so I thought I could write a decent review. Belltown is my neighborhood of choice - by far. It is the most up and coming, trendy, sophisticated, hip place to be. Belltown has the best restaurants, bars, dance clubs, and shopping!
So this first section is going to be for lounges - places to grab a drink before going dancing, or just for more of a lowkey evening. As far as I know, none of these charge cover. Here's my favorites:
TWIST - Opened Mar 06. Walkway leads into an open bar with huge windows. The place to see and be seen. Their is a long line beginning around 10pm. Get there as early as possible if you want to get a seat! Swanky interior.
TWILIGHT - Get drinks early as it turns into a dance club around 10pm (or stay and dance!). They start charging a cover charge around 9pm. Younger crowd. On Monday nights their happy hour lasts all night (which includes food as well as drinks).
BLACK BOTTLE - New wine bar. More quiet, candle lit and romantic but still very popular. Elegant, sophisticated. Minimalist decor, with the candlelight and large windows being the most eye-catching decoration.
STARLITE - Closer to the downtown area. Not to be confused with "Nightlight" or "Twilight"! Lounge-y, retro feel, with red walls, big booths, funky painting of jazz artists and lighting fixtures that look like stars. It used to be an old funeral home so it is cool and sort of spooky at the same time. Decent amount of seating.
DEL REY - Fun and relatively new. Across the street from Twist, hit both! They have an awesome happy hour that lasts until 7pm (try the Mac and Cheese!). Red walls, dimly lit, great place for a drink or two.
Dress Code: This is Seattle, so you can go almost everywhere in jeans. I would not wear sneakers to any of these places, avoid baseball hats too and anything too casual. You can get as dressy as black pants or a skirt. I usually wear jeans, heels, and a dressy top.
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley is the place where international jazz artists play in Seattle.
Tulas in Belltown is the best local jazz venue in Seattle.
Tulas is owned and run by seasoned experienced musicians who know jazz and know how to run a jazz club.
The local Seattle jazz players seem to appreciate this, so the music is consistently good. Tulas is not a schlock, phony pseudo-jazz dive, it is the real deal.
Talented "known" national artists drop in & jam from time to time.
Decent food & drinks, but it's all about the music in one of Seattle's best and most interesting neighborhoods.
Dress Code: Casual club jazz attire.
Located in Seattle's historic Belltown, this place offers professional quality billiards, live music, great southern Italian food and the opportunity to meet people in a semi-upscale atmoshere.
Live music Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights and dancing with DJ Ben Jammin Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Dress Code: No slackers allowed.
The grunge look is so 90s!
All around Belltown and downtown.
Check what's going on right now in one of the local free papers.
Not so mainstream: The Stranger
Oh so mainstream: The Weekly
If staying downtown Belltown in the north part of town has a lot of restaurants&bars-Pioneer square in the south end of downtown is pretty much dedicated to nightlife with a joint cover to 10 bars,each having live bands or dancing(the are several other restaurants and bars with no cover.Capital hill has an abundance of nightlife as well only a short distance from the center of town(to the east)
Every neighborhood has its own main area packed with bars,restaurants&shops so as long as you are in the city limits you should find a place with something going on.
Dress Code: For the most part you don't need to worry about dress codes.A nice shirt and Pants will work anywhere and in most places nobody would hassel you if you wore shots&T-shirt.(there are a couple bars that have fetish nights in which you need to dress to their description)