9. Princess Theater

Stages of History Princess Theater plaque


This plaque, located on the wall along the alley, is topped by a bronze image of the historic Princess Theater marquee. Other images reference historical movie industry: theater tickets, popcorn, film reels and film reel cameras.

The current Edmonds Theater was formerly the Princess Theater. It is among the best-known buildings lining Main Street.

The theater’s roots were as a more modest movie house called the Union Theater, located across the street from its current location. Originally owned by Edmonds city father Fred A. Fourtner, the Union Theater changed names and owners several times before it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Berry in 1921 and renamed The Princess Theater. 

The Berrys had grand plans for a first-class movie house and in early 1923 contracted with John McGinnis, local businessman and future Edmonds City Councilmember, to construct the new theater. The result was the beautiful Art Deco building that still stands today. A grand opening was held in November of 1923. 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 the area. In 1929, the Princess Theater treated theater-goers to "Broadway Melody," the first smash-hit “talkie” which won the Academy Award for best picture that year. 

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.

The historic 252-seat movie house is among the last remaining independent, single-screen movie houses in the state.