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  • Movie Theaters set the stage for Oscar-worthy events

    FROM THE Winter 2016 ISSUE

    Cinerama’s theater can seat 550 guests.

  • Movie Theaters set the stage for Oscar-worthy events

    FROM THE Winter 2016 ISSUE

    Every other row at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub has been replaced with tables.

  • Movie Theaters set the stage for Oscar-worthy events

    FROM THE Winter 2016 ISSUE

    Vancity Theatre includes an open atrium that can be used for receptions.

  • Movie Theaters set the stage for Oscar-worthy events

    FROM THE Winter 2016 ISSUE

    Academy Theater features three auditoriums ranging in size from 65 to 130 seats.

Looking for a two-thumbs-up for your next meeting or event? You might want to consider a movie theater as your venue. The large screen and comfy seats provide a unique setting suited to professional and celebratory gatherings. Here are a few movie theater venue options from around the Northwest.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
CAPACITY: 14 auditoriums with 65 to 300 seats each; 1,855 seats total

The Riverstone has been open since 2005, but the Regal Entertainment Group has planned meetings and events for 13 years through its dedicated meetings and events division, which works with event planners and meetings professionals to coordinate events. Clients have access to high-end customized catering, full audio-video services, furniture, event staffing, signage, marketing tools and even a red carpet. Recently, a national insurance company used the space for a series of PowerPoint presentations on new product offerings for clients, followed by a screening of Jurassic World. “With the changing landscape of technology, content and media, businesses need a compelling place to showcase their content to employees, clients, prospects and the like,” says Barry Brown, director of national sales and strategic sales channels for Regal Entertainment Group. “There is no other place like a movie theater that is more suited to showcase content in the best format with the greatest picture and sound quality.” 

Seattle, Washington
CAPACITY: 550-seat theater, plus a lobby with room for 160 people

“Cinerama is one of the most recognized theaters in the country,” says Director of Operations Greg Wood. In addition to showing movies, Cinerama (owned by Seattle philanthropist Paul Allen) has hosted a wide range of events, including a town hall discussion with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and corporate events featuring PowerPoint presentations. The restored screen showcases impressive technology, including laser projections and Dolby Atmos surround-sound audio. Bigger chairs and more legroom are available, and concessions from Tom Douglas are on offer along with beer and wine. Beyond the technology and other amenities, the theater offers planners thoughtful and attentive customer service: Wood says events are planned well in advance, leaving little room for error. After having a fantastic event experience, he says, attendees will no doubt want to return to Cinerama to see movies.

Anchorage, Alaska
CAPACITY: 70-seat dining area and a 400-seat theater

“For many events, we are a one-stop shop,” says Special Events Coordinator Mike Jipping. “We are located centrally in midtown Anchorage, and we have a clean, well-lit and comfortable community environment where you can invite guests, set up your info/events table in the foyer, hook up your laptop for presentations and offer fresh gourmet food and craft beverages.” The theater has hosted business presentations, nonprofit seminars, concerts and debates, and its newly remodeled lobby, theater (with balcony and main-floor seating) and casual dining area provide diverse event space options. The Bear Tooth Grill is also available for rent. In the theater, the seats in every other row have been replaced with tables, which corporate event attendees can use for taking notes or laying out meeting materials. Freshly prepared food, wine and draft beer are available for consumption inside the theater. For attendees under the age of 21, all-ages seating is available and everything except alcohol can be ordered.

Vancouver, British Columbia
CAPACITY: 250 in the atrium and 170 in the theater

With a client list that includes Vancouver Enterprise Forum, Knowledge Network and The Vancouver Board of Trade, and experience hosting events for nonprofits, media launches and corporate presentations, the Vancity Theatre has plenty to offer the events scene. “We have a beautiful, well-appointed theater with impeccable tech, the most comfortable seats in town and a large, open atrium space ideal for receptions,” notes Tom Charity, Film Centre’s programmer and rentals manager. Conveniently located downtown, the theater can serve alcohol and allows outside catering (it does not generally provide inhouse catering). A few planning essentials to know: There is a single screen, and evenings book up to three months in advance, so plan ahead. Because of the theater’s programming, the venue is best for daytime and midweek events. Friday and Saturday nights are not typically available.

Portland, Oregon
CAPACITY: Three auditoriums ranging in size from 65 to 130 seats; one party room that can accommodate 26 guests seated, plus standing room

The original Academy Theater hails back to 1947, but its current incarnation has been open for almost 10 years. In addition to film festivals and premieres, the theater offers space for birthday parties for children and adults (with on-site child care and a children’s play room). Regular menu items include pizza, salads, sushi and kombucha, plus beer and wine. For events with a movie in their program, the Academy Theater offers a combination of mainstream, independent, classic and family-friendly films. Events can be booked any time, including weekends, and the theater offers special rates for off-hours, such as earlymorning meetings. There is no stage, PA system or lighting, but event coordinators are able to bring in their own tech. “Sound travels well in the theater, and a PA is typically not necessary for short Q&A sessions,” says General Manager Dannon Dripps.

The Northwest is home to a number of intriguing international districts in which to host your next meeting or event. From a museum in Seattle to a traditional Vietnamese restaurant in Portland and a high-energy nightclub in Vancouver, here are six spots you should definitely check out. 


Wing Luke Museum


As I write this, I am sitting in the Hilton Anchorage getting ready to head out for a day of tours and adventures with a group of about 30 event planners. About two weeks ago, I was in Vancouver, BC with a group of three other editors/writers doing the same thing in that city. Yeah. I know. I have a pretty fabulous job. And so, I wanted to give a shout out to the CVBs who plan these trips and help me get better acquainted to everything our region has to offer so that I can, in turn, introduce you to new places and things to do when you’re planning a meeting or event.


Have you let your favorite vendor, event planner or venue know how much you appreciate them by voting for them in our annual Northwest Meetings + Events Best of Awards? No? Well, get busy—voting ends Friday, May 19!

While we have included many of our old favorites, like best convention/conference venue and best event décor provider, this year we have some brand new categories as well, including Best Meeting and Event Planning Company and Best Winery/Brewery/Distillery with Event Space.