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.
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.)
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).
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.