Demolition begins at Seattle’s Guild 45th movie theater

A mural of Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall of the blue building of the historical Guild 45th in Wallingford. His great fall could come very soon.

The demolition of that blue building at 2105 N. 45th St., one of the two structures for the 100-year-old former movie theater, began Thursday and will take place over the course of the next week, said Jeff Kyllo, field foreman from Aces Four Enterprises.

Some knew the pink and blue buildings of the Guild 45th as an intimate old-school movie theater that brought “joy and art and transformation.” Others — newcomers to Wallingford — know the Guild as the buildings with the Urban ArtWorks and Be So Bears murals.

The theater opened in 1921 as the Paramount Theatre. After several name changes, it became the Guild 45th Theatre in the mid-1950s. The Blue Theatre housing the Guild’s second screen was built in 1984, two storefronts down. In 2017, the Guild 45th abruptly closed, and it lost its neon marquee in early 2022. Demolition was the natural next step.

For weeks this August and September, “No Parking” signs lined the 2100 block of North 45th Street between Meridian Avenue North and Bagley Avenue North — making room for yellow and orange excavators.

On Aug. 24, construction crews started tearing down the house in the middle of the Guild 45th’s two buildings. The circa 1913 structure was the home of the original Octopus Bar, Wallingford Pizza House and others.

“It’s really bittersweet,” Liza Danger said then. Danger is one of the co-owners of the Octopus Bar, which relocated two doors down from its old location to its current location on the corner of North 45th Street and Bagley Avenue North — the previous home to Goldie’s Sports Bar and The Iron Bull Sports Bar and Grill. “I sat across the street and filmed it and cried.”

The crew of the nautical-themed Octopus Bar managed to save a piece of the Guild’s history earlier this year.

As construction crews started tearing down the famous neon Guild marquee in January, Octopus Bar co-owner Trevor Marsh made his ask: Could they save the sign?

“Being able to salvage pieces like that, that’s a part of history that’s so important to so many people’s lives,” said Danger. “Like there are hundreds of people who come in here who used to go to Goldie’s and they can see this old sign that reminds them of being a kid and going on a first date or you know, their early days at UW in the ’60s and ’70s. It’s exciting to have that as part of an icon and to have as part of our history and establishing the space.” 

Now, the treasure sits on a pink wall inside the Octopus Bar.

“Some people don’t realize it’s there until they’re standing there and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, how did you get that? Is that really the sign?’” said Danger.  

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