Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 28, 2007 at 12:29am

Rare Photos : Inside the *Mecca Theater* : Seating and Interior Intact

Most of us are aware of the great renovations occuring at the Mecca Theater on Broadway.  Yet, how many of us have actually been inside?

Few will likely admit to it.

Here's the Mecca with the signs still intact.  Nothing exclaims seediness like an adult theater in the area.

Below are some rare photos I found from a defunct web page.  Photographer unknown.  Pictures are believed to be from August of 2004. 

I would suggest not asking what is on the floor.

I wonder if they served popcorn?  Someone must know in Tacoma.

Green carpet?  Nevermind. 

I see the photographer is touching a seat while taking this picture.  Not recommended.

Leather seats?  It is difficult to image this place full of people in the dark.   But I suppose it was.


For the economists out there: the internet placed downward price pressure on this business making making such "theaters" obsolete.

I did hear from many people that the bookstore was one of the most successful business downtown for many years.

Here is the commentary from the photographer:

Eeeeew, we took a 3am trip to the famous Tacoma Mecca Theater.  The clerk was so kind as to hand us the keys and a huge flashlight to take a self-guided tour through one of the last adult theaters in the area.  Let’s just say no one was anxious to sit in those seats!

Update 12/27/2007:  Here is the Mecca today:


All of the fake marble is gone.  New windows are in.  A whole line of windows above the first floor.  Despite it's potential historical value, I hear Gintz disposed of the theater seats.  I hope this does not upset our local preservationists.

Work continues though the holidays.  Can't wait to see the "Broadway Speakeasy."

Did anyone get to see the inside personally before the demolition started?  Anyone want to admit to it?  If you have other G rated pictures, please post.

For more information see TNT Photo tour of the Mecca.

TNT Voepel : "Mecca’s sale will close tawdry chapter in Tacoma’s history"

Eighteen months ago, Holt wanted to relocate his peep show palace to one of the three isolated zones the City Council set aside in 2002 for adult entertainment businesses. But only if he could keep the full-length doors on the 25 one-person peep show booths – a privacy accouterment grandfathered in at the Mecca but outlawed at new establishments.

The city certainly wanted the Mecca out of downtown but wouldn’t let Holt take his doors. (Half-doors allow cops to more easily monitor patrons’ behavior during inspections.)

TNT's Voepel : "At the Mecca Theater, a porn house is reborn"

Mecca Condominium Listing

Sound and Shore Listing

comments [10]  |  posted under mecca, tacoma, washington


by Erik on 1/13/2008 @ 10:58pm
Update 1/13/2008:

RR Anderson has taken a picture (or performed a photo shop) of what appears to be a poster for the Mecca:

Interesting. (From the high 100s? Really?)

For more info see:


Update. Update. Much of this is confirmed by Izenman.


by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2008 @ 1:17pm
serious awesomeness

by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2008 @ 1:18pm
at the least it is advertising that gets folks talking right?

by Erik on 1/14/2008 @ 1:25pm
at the least it is advertising that gets folks talking right?

They seem to be embracing the Mecca image as much as one can do so.

Come take a peep.

Too funny. At least they didn't try to sell it as a retirement home.

by AP on 1/14/2008 @ 4:54pm
Always known about it, but never been inside. Honest! Great footage.

by Erik on 1/27/2008 @ 9:24pm
Always known about it, but never been inside. Honest! Great footage.

Thanks. I wish I could take the credit for it. Too bad Kevin never went with the photo gang in here. Who knows. Maybe he did.

by fredo on 3/17/2008 @ 8:16am
The Mecca couldn't compete with the CLICK network. This city of Tacoma owned Utility sells porno in a much more discrete manner. In the comfort of your own home you don't need to worry about any doors: half length, full length or whatever. I'm so proud of our City Government.

by mrbeaver on 3/27/2010 @ 9:26am
yes, I remember the Mecca theatre. That is where I saw my first X rated movie. When I turned 18, I went and saw the 3 movies they showed. The theatre always showed 3 movies. Each usually were about an hour long. I still remember one title. I rememebr what the lobby inside looked like, and what the inside looked like. There were never really that many people that attended the movies. I also remember the stairway that the person could leave as they left. I really never felt uncomfortable about going there. Good size screen to watch the movies. Sure don't make movies like that anymore.
The way movies should be. Great memories.

by panachronic on 3/27/2010 @ 10:29am
Fredo... pleeeeze. Adult theaters were killed off en masse back in the 80s and 90s, by the VCR. Don't blame Ray Corpuz; blame Ed Powers.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 3/27/2010 @ 11:23am
I guess the advertising got people talking, but apparently not buying. For a while there were "sold" signs in a lot of the windows. Maybe they were just salting the mine.