The Showbox

The Showbox[2] (originally known as the Showbox Theater) is a music venue in Seattle, Washington. It has been owned by AEG Live since 2007.[3]

The Showbox
Seattle - Showbox marquee 01.jpg
Marquee of venue circa 2007
Former namesShowbox Theater (1939-48)
Showbox Ballroom (1953-60)
The Gathering (1967-74)
Talmud Torah (1975-79)
Showbox (1979-91)
Showbox Lounge (1992-94)
Showbox Comedy and Supper Club (1994-2007)
Showbox at the Market (2007-14)
Address1426 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
LocationPike Place Market
OwnerAEG Live
OpenedJuly 24, 1939 (1939-07-24)
Closed1948-53; 1962-67

History and usageEdit

Founded in 1939,[4] the Showbox has hosted a diverse offering of music over the decades. From the Jazz Age to the Grunge Era, the ballroom has featured shows by Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters and the Ramones — as well as local artists such as burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, and grunge bands Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, TAD and Screaming Trees.[5]

After many years of operating as the Improv Comedy Club, restaurateur Tony Riviera and Barry Bloch purchased the Improv with the intent of continuing operating the Venue as The Improv. Riviera and Bloch discovered old photos and historical information and articles about the Showbox and decided to recreate the venue to its original look and reopened New Year's Eve 1995 as The Showbox Comedy and Supper Club which they operated for several years before deciding to sell the Venue. Riviera went on to open numerous restaurants up and down the West Coast.[5][6]

Other acts to perform at The Showbox have included Al Jolson, Mae West, Nat King Cole, Jimmy Durante and Dizzy Gillespie, The Police, XTC, X, Blondie, Gang of Four, Iggy Pop, Devo, Dead Kennedys and Jerry Cantrell.[7][8] More recent performers include The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg, Dave Matthews, Kanye West, Lorde, Robbie Williams, Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, Public Enemy, PJ Harvey, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Daft Punk, Kasabian, Old 97's, Elliott Smith, Peter Murphy, Guided By Voices, Built To Spill, Billy Idol, David Bazan, Bebel Gilberto, Cat Power, Spiritualized, Sleater-Kinney, Minus the Bear, Coldplay, Bright Eyes, The Roots, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Dita Von Teese, Maroon 5, The Shins, The Melvins, My Morning Jacket, LL Cool J, DJ Shadow, Scissor Sisters, TV On The Radio, Ke$ha, Kimbra, Marina and the Diamonds, B-52's, Lady Gaga, Ice Cube, Paul Simon, Macklemore, JoJo, (Kpop group) A.C.E, Lush and many more.[9][5]

In July 2018, Vancouver-based developer Onni Group announced plans to redevelop the property into a 42-floor apartment tower.[10] Local preservation advocates, including Historic Seattle, Friends of Historic Belltown, and Vanishing Seattle, submitted a landmark nomination for review by the City of Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board in June 2019. On the evening of July 17, 2019 the board voted unanimously to grant the Showbox landmark status therefore saving the iconic theater from the wrecking ball.

On November 19th 2019, the Historic Seattle group announced a partnership with Seattle Theatre Group and submitted a formal offer to purchase the property. The partnership would retain AEG as the operating tenant through at least 2024.[11]

Seattle musicians such as Duff McKagan,[12] Alice in Chains,[13] Death Cab for Cutie[14] and Macklemore have voiced their support for preserving the Showbox.[14] A petition on to name the Showbox an official City of Seattle landmark has garnered over 110,000 signatures.[12] The property owner filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle. Claims of damages were dismissed by the court, but a trial is scheduled for August 2019 regarding other claims. [15]

Showbox SoDoEdit

Showbox SoDo
Former namesFenix Underground
Address1700 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
OwnerAEG Live
Opened1992 (1992)

Showbox SoDo opened in 2007 and belongs to "Showbox Presents" family. It is located at 1700 1st Avenue South, Seattle, Washington. It takes its name from the SoDo district, referring to an area south of T-Mobile Park and CenturyLink Field.

The Showbox added to its family in 2007 with the addition of the larger Showbox SoDo, a converted-warehouse-turned-concert venue located just south of the sports stadiums in the SoDo district. The space has wood-beam and brick architecture. In its short history, the venue has already hosted events featuring Kid Rock, Heart, The Pogues, M.I.A, The Hives, Dropkick Murphys, Josh Ritter, Counting Crows, Panic! at the Disco, Adam Lambert, Odd Future, Jillian Banks, The WhiteTrash Whiplash, Trivium and many more.[9]

This Showbox SoDo was originally built as a truck warehouse in 1935 for John Eddy Franklin who was also responsible for the Columbarium at Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home. The main part of the warehouse had a dirt floor and a gas pump.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Scanlon, Tom (August 13, 2007). "Music & nightlife | Fenix closes; Showbox Sodo will take over club | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  2. ^ Rose, Cynthia (May 23, 1996). "Living | Reinventing Itself Again - The Showbox Has Housed Acts From Duke Ellington To Punkers, From Taxi-Dancing To Hip-Hop, Even Bingo. Now It Returns To Its Classier Roots. | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  3. ^ "AEG Live Buys Showbox | Line Out | The Stranger's Music Blog | The Stranger | Seattle's Only Newspaper". December 6, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  4. ^ Blecha, Peter (July 9, 2014). "The Showbox (Seattle)". HistoryLink. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "The History of the Showbox in Seattle". Seattle Magazine. July 26, 2018.
  6. ^ "Dv8'S The Place: L7, Dinosaur Jr. Headline Two Happening Concerts". The Seattle Times. November 4, 1994.
  7. ^ "Jerry Cantrell Concert Setlist at Showbox Comedy and Supper Club, Seattle on October 31, 1998". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "Jerry Cantrell Headlines with Mad at Gravity Supporting". antiMusic. September 12, 2002. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Showbox Presents :: Home". Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  10. ^ "Seattle's Showbox apparently to be demolished for apartment high-rise". The Seattle Times. July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  11. ^ description" >, Historic Seattle <img src="https://historicseattle org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/logo-2x-182x62 png" width="182" height="62" alt="image. "Save The Showbox! -". Historic Seattle. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan wants to save the Showbox". My Northwest. July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Alice In Chains on Instagram: "A Seattle institution. #savetheshowbox"". Instagram. July 27, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Can the Showbox Be Saved?". Seattle Weekly. July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  15. ^

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 47°36′30″N 122°20′22″W / 47.60833°N 122.33944°W / 47.60833; -122.33944