Built in 1925, the Roycroft Theater was one of three Capitol Hill movie theaters that showed movies at lower prices than the larger theaters downtown. The growing popularity of television in the 1950s put many of these theaters out of business. The Roycroft closed in 1959 and has been home to the Russian Community Center since 1960.
According to the Seattle Dept of Neighborhoods:
An unusual feature is the original painted sign remaining on the north wall, with the words “Roycroft Theatre” and urging people to stay in the neighborhood rather than attending downtown theaters.
The building also includes several storefronts, which appear to have been occupied by the Roycroft Pharmacy in 1935. According to the Dept of Neighborhoods:
In the 1930s the stores included the Roycroft Radio Shop, a grocery store and Madison Cleaners, owned by the parents of Helene Madison, an Olympic medalist in swimming. The storefront next to the theater entrance was once the Red Mill, a café that later moved a few doors north and was a very popular neighborhood feature for many years.
They’re now home to a storefront church — the Trinity Christ Memorial Baptist Church — which can get pretty lively on a Sunday.
And remember, the Roycroft was one of three low cost theaters on Capitol Hill in the 1920s-30s. One of the others — the Venetian — is long gone (demolished in 1959). The other one — the Broadway — arguably suffered an even more ignoble fate and now houses the Broadway Rite Aid on — yep, you guessed it — Broadway.