A historic theater in Everett welcomed its first audience Friday night since new owners saved the venue from foreclosure and an uncertain future.
The Historic Everett Theater was built in 1901. The sign above its stage dates back to 1925, after the theater was destroyed in a fire and then rebuilt. Movie projectors on display upstairs date back to the 1950s.
"You can see some of the rich history," Aaron Shriner said. "It's a landmark of Everett."
Shriner and three generations of family members watched as the theater slowly deteriorated. Managed in a financial deficit for more than a decade, foreclosure nearly shut it down.
"We did not want to see anything happen to the theater because of its rich heritage," Shriner said. "Either becomes office buildings or condos or apartments and we just didn't want that to happen."
So, they bought it in March.
In just a few weeks, Shriner, his father, and his uncle have personally renovated the ornate inside.
They cleaned ceiling lights, rebuilt the stage and concession stands, and repainted walls.
"Hurt our backs," he laughed. "We want this to be our family legacy."
They hope to continue the venue's rich legacy for the arts, especially in music. A picture on the lower level shows Nat King Cole right after he performed.
"Hopefully this is just the beginning," Shriner said.