SIFF Coming to Columbia City’s Ark Lodge Cinemas

SIFF Coming to Columbia City’s Ark Lodge Cinemas

SIFF organizers recently announced that Columbia City’s own Ark Lodge Cinemas will host screenings during this year’s 42nd Seattle International Film Festival from May 19 through June 12, 2016.

A favorite with visitors as well as locals, SIFF presents the opportunity to meet filmmaking talent and stars, attend gala screenings and participate in forums and panels during the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States.

David McRae, owner of Ark Lodge Cinemas since 2012, couldn’t be happier. He grew up in a movie theater run by his parents in Redmond called the Cine-mond where he says he was weaned on programming curated by noted film reviewer Richard T. Jameson and the Seattle Film Society hosted a summer evening with the late, great cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond while he was in Seattle shooting ‘Cinderella Liberty.’


Tammy Williams, General Manager at Ark Lodge Cinemas, sharing one of her favorite things about South Seattle.

“Seeing film as an art form to be celebrated was stamped on me at a very early age,” he said. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to continue that celebration by owning my own movie theater, and having Tammy Williams join me at the helm as General Manager last year is what gave me the confidence that Ark Lodge was ready to be a SIFF venue.”

He says he never would have pursued the idea without her.

“I worked with SIFF as a Cinema and Operations Manager before joining David and the Ark Lodgettes, and it always struck me as odd that SIFF played Capitol Hill and Renton, but no place in between,” said Tammy. “With the closing of the Harvard Exit at the end of SIFF last year word I wondered what the game plan would be to replace that venue and those seats. Once SIFF decided to split the 25-day run into three legs, I put together a proposal for SIFF to come play South Seattle at Ark Lodge and they agreed.”

“Expanding our presence west, north, and south to embrace Ballard, Shoreline, and Columbia City makes perfect sense,” says SIFF’s Artistic Director Carl Spence. “Our new venue partners have embraced this groundbreaking collaboration and will be invaluable ambassadors as we bring the world-class roster of SIFF 2016 films to movie lovers of our region.”

Tammy says more details, including the SIFF Festival screening schedule, are coming soon.

In the meantime, “SIFF’s programming is definitely art house,” she said. “I think we can expect some cool and interesting programming, and hopefully a guest or two. I hope our neighbors enjoy the experience of walking to their local theater to see a premiere of a film that otherwise would not play here.”

Indeed, SIFF 2016 plans to feature a wide-ranging lineup across all genres and budgets from star-studded blockbusters to fiercely independent and international fare, along with films appropriate for young and old alike.

Additional venues include McCaw Hall, Cinerama, AMC Pacific Place, Majestic Bay Theatres and SIFF’s own theater locations in Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and Seattle Center.

Ticket packages and passes for SIFF 2016 are on sale now. Single tickets along with the complete schedule and lineup will be available from May 5 online, by phone at (206) 324-9996, and in person at all three SIFF Cinema locations.

Ark Lodge Cinemas is located at 4816 Rainier Avenue South in historic Columbia City. Photos/GO: South Seattle