July 2018: Canadian developer Onni Group plans to demolish the iconic Showbox theater to build a 44-story luxury apartment tower. August 2018: The Seattle community rallies to save the beloved 1939 music venue and wins a temporary stay of demolition. October 2018: Showbox employees form a community coalition called Friends of the Showbox to streamline advocacy efforts to save the venue.

Friends of the Showbox advocates for Historic Landmark designation, permanent inclusion of the Showbox in the Pike Place Market Historic District, and a preservation-friendly buyer. We want the Showbox to host live music for generations to come.

Friends of the Showbox is a coalition of Showbox employees, Historic Seattle, Friends of the Market, Friends of Historic Belltown, Vanishing Seattle, Rise Up Belltown, and other community and arts leaders. This site is designed and managed by Shannon Welles, a 17-year Showbox employee.

Watch Ethan Steinman’s documentary on the Showbox here! A day in the life of Seattle's historic Showbox, as seen through the stories of its employees.

Artist Mark Tobey wrote these words during the fight to save the Pike Place Market from demolition in the 1960s-70s:

“Hollow streets shadowed by monumental towers are left behind by giants to whom the intimacy of living is of no importance. The moon is still far away, but there are forces close by which are ready, with high-sounding words, to dump you out of bed and tear from your sight the colors of joy.”

The Showbox maintains the “intimacy of living” in a time of rapid development and hemorrhagic loss of Seattle’s beloved cultural spaces. The Showbox is unique and can never be recreated. It’s infused with the lived-in energy of hundreds of thousands of music fans. It’s a place where people gather to celebrate and connect, both physically and emotionally. And when this magical place is gone, it can’t be put back.

Photos from the Save the Showbox Portrait Project by Misha Dumois and Rozarii Lynch. City Council photos by Davinder Reddish. Mirror Ball photo: unknown- Showbox archives.

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Logo by Barbara Longo