General Fund Donations
Help the Admiral Theatre Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit organization) continue to operate and preserve the Admiral Theatre as a world-class performing arts center and national historic landmark. Our mission is to enrich our local communities through arts, cultural education and entertainment.
*Donations in any amount greatly appreciated in-person, online, and via phone.
The story of the Admiral Theatre’s survival and resurgence starts amid a backdrop of economic depression and urban blight in the late 1980s, and continues today as a successful, decades-long public-private partnership between the Admiral Theatre Foundation and the City of Bremerton. It is also the story of how a forward-thinking group of business, civic, and political leaders saved more than a building. They saved the history and soul of a great American city.
The Admiral Theatre first opened its doors as a 1500-seat art deco movie palace on Thursday, May 7, 1942 - exactly five months to the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Admiral opened with the Northwest premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s “Reap the Wild Wind” as a benefit for the Navy Relief Society. Bremerton and the Admiral Theatre thrived in a post-war economy and remained viable through the 1970s. After years of neglect and downtown urban blight, the once grand Admiral Theatre had fallen into disrepair, and unable to compete with new multiplex cinemas, closed its doors on Thursday, May 18, 1989.
Soon after the Admiral closed, local civic leaders including A.H. “Ike” Parker, Edward Sheldon, former Congressman Norm Dicks, Chuck and Joanne Haselwood, Tim Ryan, Jerry and Nancy Reid, Bremerton Mayor Gene Lobe, and many others, formed a partnership with the City of Bremerton, which purchased the Admiral Theatre building from the Olympic College Bremer Trust, and granted the newly formed Admiral Theatre Foundation a 50-year lease. After a 7-year, $4.2 million dollar capital campaign and renovation, the Admiral Theatre reopened in 1997. The Admiral Theatre Foundation completed an additional $1.2 million dollar capital campaign and renovation in time for the theatre’s 75th anniversary in 2017.