Fri, May 26, 2017

70th Anniversary of the 4th Avenue Theatre Celebration

By Sara Piasecki and Angela Demma

This weekend, Anchorage’s iconic 4th Avenue Theatre turns 70. The aging lady is in peril, say the Friends of the 4th Avenue Theatre, since the current owners applied for and received a permit to demolish the structure. Last month, the state historical commission declared the site culturally and historically significant, and will be considering whether to ask the state to designate the theater as a state historic site or monument. The Friends have organized a slew of weekend events to celebrate the theater’s storied past:

4th Avenue Theatre mural. Dennis Hellawell, 4th Avenue Theatre Collection, Anchorage Museum, B2009.020.13

Festivities for the 70th Anniversary of the 4th Avenue Theatre will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday, May 27th in front of the Theatre. Saturday’s program will include storytellers; appearances by Ron Holmstrom as Cap Lathrop; performances by the Anchorage Jazz Ensemble, The Blue Notes, and Blackwater Railroad Company; and screening of “The Sword in the Stone”—which was playing during the Good Friday earthquake and “The World in His Arms” which had its premiere here in Anchorage in 1952. FREE event. Food trucks will also be present.

Sunday’s program will begin at 2 pm at the Anchorage Museum. “Cap Lathrop” will introduce the 1924 silent film “Chechahcos” in the auditorium. The screening will be followed by a short presentation by Chris Beheim about the making of the film.

Monday’s program will begin at 7pm at the Anchorage Museum. The Design Forum will host a panel of architects to discuss the future possibilities for the Theatre.

For more information, see the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation 4the Avenue Theatre Update web site at