Posted on April 21, 2017

4th Avenue Theatre, Anchorage AK

I have written about the 4th Avenue Theatre a couple times, but it is appropriate to do so now for two reasons: the Alaska Historical Commission is holding a special meeting concerning this beautiful historic building next Monday, April 24 (9-11 am at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage), and there is a 70th anniversary celebration planned in downtown Anchorage on May 27-29 (see


Here is the post I wrote in September of last year:



The National Trust for Historic Preservation is encouraging us to join #thisplacematters during Preservation Month, September 2016. The idea is to post a photo of your favorite historic place, and tell about places that matter to you. (See more at


I have been fortunate to have many historic places in my life in Alaska. But the one that stands out for me personally is the 4th Avenue Theatre in downtown Anchorage. I posted about it here last May (


Cap Lathrop, a prominent Alaskan, started construction of the movie theater in 1941, but World War II postponed the project, and it was completed in 1947. It is also known as the Lathrop Building, in his honor. Designed in Art Deco style by B.Marcus Priteca in association with architect A. A. Porreca, it was the most opulent building in town, especially in a town that is not known for its artistic sensibility. I love the artwork inside the building, which no one gets to see anymore, so here are some old photos from the Library of Congress:



4th Avenue Theatre, Anchorage

4th Avenue Theatre, Anchorage





I have many happy memories of the theatre. I saw movies there as I was growing up, and my first date with my husband was there.


It is owned by a private company and the future plans for the building are up in the air. I hope that having the 4th Avenue Theatre on the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Properties list and featured in #thisplacematters will help preserve it for the next generation.


If you’re interested in learning more about the 4th Avenue Theatre or the list, you can look at the AAHP’s website at Also, check out the Facebook group Save the 4th Avenue Theatre at


Do you have a special historic place in your life? Then please participate in #thisplacematters.


4 Responses

  1. Thanks to all the people who attended today!

    The Alaska Historic Commission voted unanimously to designate the 4th Ave Theatre as a landmark with historic and cultural significance!

    The commission also will receive public comment for the next 14 days, and schedule another meeting in about 30 days.

  2. Here’s the Go Fund Me for the anniversary celebration:

  3. Marlo Timmer says:

    Great Initiative! This landmark should be restored into its former glory and used again as a movie theatre. For inspiration please check Tuschinski theater in Wikipedia.

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