GSGH #5 winner limerick

Issy, who won the sixth installment of our Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt, has also gone back and won the fifth. She correctly identified the location of the grimacing gargoyle in GSGH #5 as the old Coliseum Theater on Fifth and Pike, now the Banana Republic store.

Gargoyle #5

I’ve been waiting for a non-rainy moment when I could take a picture of the venerable movie palace to include here, but instead I’ll include another photo by the ubiquitous Joe Mabel, who seems to have photographed every interesting building in Seattle and then licensed all the images to the public. (Thanks again, Joe.)

At least it's still standing. Our gargoyle is to the right of the entryway about fifteen feet up. Image by Joe Mabel licensed through Creative Commons.

My history with this place is that back in 1990, my friend Marni called me and told me that the Coliseum was showing its last movie and would be closing afterwards and that we needed to get down there. At that time I knew little about Seattle’s historic buildings and didn’t even know what the Coliseum was. It was stunningly beautiful inside. We saw Tremors*, a horror-comedy about giant earthworms starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, and at the end of the movie the staff dropped a cloud of balloons down on us from the balcony. Thanks to Marni, I got to participate in this historic finish to a great run.



My friend Pedro and I recently went in there hoping to be shown around the old balcony, which is still up there behind the remodeled interior, but no soap. Pedro had previously used his effortless charm on the clerks to wheedle his way into the hidden historic spaces, but the policy had changed when he came back with me for another go. We hit them on a jittery day this past summer, when management wasn’t taking any chances about lawsuits (or, you know, just being fired for letting people off the street claiming to be history buffs walk around in the back rooms of their business place).

Stucco entities rescued from the theater's interior now work security for the Banana Republic. I don't know whether these are the original decorations or castings made from them.

I told Issy that repeat winners don’t get additional limericks, but she suggested I write one for her as “Isabelle”. I’m not that gullible, but I am that much of a wimp, and so I relented. Plus, her husband (or at least someone CLAIMING to be her husband) made a funny comment on that gargoyle page.

Here you go, “Isabelle”. Thanks again for participating!

Isabelle said, “I know this old Liam.
In my mind’s eye I certainly see him”
The way that she’d go
When she’d step out for joe
Led her back to the old Coliseum.”

*It’s on my list of favorite movies of all time, and Fred Ward is one of my favorite actors.


6 Responses to “GSGH #5 winner limerick”

  1. 1 issy November 23, 2011 at 15:30

    Worth the wait. Thank you! I’ve never seen that movie but sounds like a memorable one for a last picture show.

  2. 2 marni December 27, 2011 at 23:06

    To this day, still one of the best movie house experiences EVER. I still weep from laughing when I see Tremors, and your laughter (which still echoes in my head) always pushes me over the edge into scary uncontrolled mania. That and…what was the one we saw at the Lynnwood theater with Kurt Russell and James Spader with the alien-Egyptian theme? Same kind of laughter, whole different reason!

    • 3 Matt December 27, 2011 at 23:28

      Wow, I totally forgot that one. Wait a tick…I was going to say Heaven’s Gate but IMDB says it was Stargate. I believe that one blew.

      • 4 Marni December 28, 2011 at 17:24

        …and that would be why it was the same kind of laughter, but for a totally different reason- all of that cheesy dialogue and earnest delivery coupled with the preposterous plot, when if they had just gone for it being intentionally funny it would have actually worked!

  1. 1 GSGH #8 winner limerick « Just Wondering Trackback on January 4, 2012 at 20:54
  2. 2 GSGH #5 | The Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt Trackback on January 20, 2012 at 21:48

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