The history of Tacoma’s Theater District is nearly as long as that of the city of Tacoma itself, spanning from the opening of the Tacoma Theater in 1890 to the present day, with restored historical facilities anchoring a renewed cultural district.
Tacoma’s Theater District (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99) by Kimberly M. Davenport tells the district’s history while reflecting on a range of engaging topics, including the boundless enthusiasm of the initial residents of Tacoma—the “City of Destiny,” the changing ways in which culture was shared and experienced over the decades of the 20th century, and a community working together through difficult times to save and restore historical buildings as gathering spaces for the benefit of future generations. The story is told through historical photographs of the theater venues themselves (largely gathered from Tacoma Public Library’s diverse and extensive photography archive), as well as images capturing a myriad of cultural and community events taking place in those facilities and in the surrounding district.
Davenport—a long-time Tacoma resident, musician, teacher, and student of local history—will read from Tacoma’s Theater District on Sat., Sept. 26, at 2 p.m., at King’s Books, located at 218 St. Helens Ave., in Tacoma. More information is available online here.