New owners want Historic Everett Theatre to be centerpiece of downtown

EVERETT — The 112-year-old Historic Everett Theatre is under new ownership, and its board has big plans.

Carrying the financing for the theater now is Craig Shriner, a retired Woodinville real estate businessman and brother of Everett Theatre Society board member Curt Shriner of Everett.

The board will continue to ensure the historical integrity of the building and make sure it remains a venue for community theater, comedy nights, vaudeville, silent movies, film noir, fundraisers and a variety of concerts.

The goal, however, is to bring in well-known performers, add some drama and film classes for children and establish a mid-week “date night” movie series drawn from films that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where Craig Shriner volunteers each year.

The theater already has booked Little River Band, which was especially popular from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s with such hits as “Lonesome Loser” and “Take It Easy On Me.” The band is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. April 25.

On May 24, award-winning blues man Curtis Salgado will play the Historic Everett Theatre.

Earlier this month, Craig Shriner bought the note on the theater previously held by the nonprofit Snohomish County Music Project, which has made its home in the Everett Music Hall at the Everett Mall.

The note, donated to the music project by the Schack family of Everett, was at some point worth about $250,000, Curt Shriner said.

The Shriner brothers were reluctant to give more information about the sale. Rather, they want to talk about the theater’s future.

“The board of the theater has always struggled to have enough money to attract big names,” Curt Shriner said. “We want the theater to be the center of attention again in downtown Everett. We’re really excited about getting this puppy back where it belongs and help make Everett a destination, not an afterthought.”

Everett Public Library’s resident historian David Dilgard calls the Historic Everett Theatre the grand old dame of Everett, the last and best of the opera houses that opened in Everett after the turn of the previous century.

Craig Shriner said he could not resist the opportunity to help.

“It’s a great place and we just want to see it operating to its fullest potential,” he said.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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