rose theater

For almost 25-years, the Rose Theatre has been making a night at the movies an exceptional experience. How does the former vaudeville theater make such an impression? Let me answer that, by asking you a few questions. What was the last movie you went to that was personally introduced? Were you able to order a glass of Finn River Cider or a Port Townsend I.P.A along with your popcorn? Or, sit in an antique chair with a cocktail in hand and a scrumptious meal on the way?

If you weren’t able to answer any of those questions, then a movie night at the Rose Theatre in Port Townsend, Washington is in order.

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The Rose Theatre

In 1907, the Rose Theatre opened as a vaudeville house and moved to its current location a year later. When moving pictures became popular, it switched gears, and in 1958 it closed its doors. In 1992, it reopened thanks to cinema visionary Rocky Friedman who garnered the financial support and interest of the community. Today, it houses the 158-seat Rose Theatre, the 79-seat Rosebud Cinema and the 46-seat, adult only, Starlight Room.

“We show a mixture of Hollywood and Indie movies,” said Friedman, “There pretty much is an audience for all of it.”

One glance at their list of showings and you’ll see they have a range of films that appeal to all ages and generations. And, they also show Met Opera Live in HD, Community Arts films, documentaries, ballet, and theater productions. All of this is detailed on their website which makes it very easy to plan ahead for a trip to this historic seaport.

For the Rose Theatre and Rosebud Cinema rooms, guests may purchase local beer, wine, cider, and kombucha, along with great movie snacks like locally baked cookies, candy, and more decadent items like chocolate covered bananas. Popcorn made with real butter comes in fun sizes like Lassie for a small and Brando for a large. Each film is introduced personally and includes background information on the film, the writer or the actors, and highlights current and upcoming shows.

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The Starlight Room

The Starlight Room offers a one-of-a-kind movie theater experience and showings in this room sell out quick. We suggest purchasing your tickets on-line. Don’t worry about printing the tickets off, the theater has all purchaser names and verifies those when you enter. The door for the Starlight Room is not at the movie theater, but next door at the Silverwater Cafe and up the stairs on the third floor. (Tip: For those who would rather not climb there is an elevator.)

To get the full experience, arrive 45-minutes before the show. This allows you to pick out a cozy retro seat and enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail and some tasty bites from Silverwater Cafe before the movie begins. Guests place their orders at the bar and are given a Hollywood name and photo card. When that name is called, you pick up your order at the window and take it back to your seat. The menu includes small plate items like three Angus beef sliders, Mt. Townsend grilled cheese, individual pizzas, and quesadillas, and sides and salads. For dessert, their selection includes a variety of chocolate and ice cream bars, Nanaimo bars, and Starlight candies. If you in are the mood for popcorn, they have that too, and we’ve been told it goes very well with a glass of Prosecco.

Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre Info

Address: 235 Taylor Street, Port Townsend, Wa. 98368

Admission: Adults $10; Students/Seniors $9; Kids 12 & Under $8. Take $1 off for matinees. There are also membership options which include a variety of discounts.

Starlight Room Tip: We suggest purchasing your tickets online and arriving 45-min before the show.

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Check out our other Port Townsend articles.

Lara Dunning

Lara Dunning is a member of the Waggoner Cruising Guide team and has made one trip up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, AK. She is enthusiastic about small town living, and you can read more about her discoveries at Small Town Washington. She has been published in Bainbridge Island Magazine, Experience Anacortes, and Whidbey Life Magazine.

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