The Neptune Theater is one of three theaters under the umbrella of the Seattle Theatre Group. The other two venues managed by STG are the Paramount Theater and Moore Theater. All three venues get a lot of top headliners and touring shows.
The Neptune is one of Seattle’s oldest theaters but was not always the multi-use venue it is today. In fact, the transition from movie theater to a multi-use venue only took place in January 2011. It originally opened on November 16, 1921, as a movie house during the silent film era. There were originally five film houses in the University District during this time, but today the Neptune is the last one standing. The building has been renovated several times. As early as the late 1920s, elements of the interior were updated; in 1943 what was thought to be the largest Kimball theatre organ was removed, and a new concession stand was added in the ‘80s.
The theater is located close to the University of Washington campus so is a great venue for students looking for things to do. Special bonus - there is a bar in the theater, located on the main floor.
What Kinds of Events Are at the Neptune?
The Neptune Theater is a multi-use venue, meaning you’ll find a little bit of everything here from community events to headliners, though, likely not as big of headliners as the Paramount would have. Performances here include concerts, comedians, community events, educational programs and some free events. The Neptune does still show films, too, but sticks largely to cult classics and indie films.
You can also join in free tours of the theater. These tours are held on the third Saturday of each month. To join, simply meet up with the tour at 10 a.m. at the corner of NE 45th Street and Brooklyn. The tours are approximately 90 minutes and are a great way to hear about the theatre’s history in person.
There are all kinds of shows at the Neptune and they take place pretty frequently. Check this list of events to see if there's something taking place this weekend.
Where to Get Tickets to Shows?
You can purchase tickets for Neptune Theater shows from the box office located at the Paramount (no fee), at the ticket kiosks at Paramount and Moore Theaters (has a small fee), and through Tickets.com (charges extra fees).
Where to Park and How to Get There
Since the theater doesn’t have a parking lot, you will need to park offsite. The closest lot is across the street at the Deca Hotel and rates can be very reasonable here, especially in the evenings. There are also many privately owned pay lots in the area, as well as street parking. Street parking is free after 6 p.m. and on Sundays (but always check posted signs for any exceptions). You'll probably want to get to a show early to find street parking.
To get to the Neptune from I-5 North, take exit 169 for NE 45th Street. Take a left onto 7th Avenue NE. Take a right onto NE 45th Street. The theatre is on the right.
To get to the Neptune from I-5 South, take exit 169 for NE 45th Street. Merge onto 5th Avenue NE. Take a left at NE 45th Street. The theatre is on the right.
Things to Do Nearby
If you want to grab a bite to eat before or after a show, you're in luck. Since the venue is located in the U District, there are a number of affordable restaurants nearby. Within a two-block radius are ample teriyaki, pizza, bubble tea, frozen yogurt joints and other casual eateries.
If you are in the mood for a stroll, the UW campus is very close and is an attractive place for a walk. Gas Works Park, Woodland Park Zoo, and Green Lake Park are also close, but you may want to drive to these attractions unless you have plenty of time to walk. Gas Works and Green Lake are some of the best shorelines in Seattle.