Uptown Theatre to reopen Friday

Proof of vaccination not required

Uptown Theatre owner Rick Wiley plans to reopen the Port Townsend movie house this Friday night. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

Uptown Theatre owner Rick Wiley plans to reopen the Port Townsend movie house this Friday night. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

PORT TOWNSEND — Some 100 weeks after placing a “temporarily closed” sign in the box office window, the Uptown Theatre is set to light up its new CinemaScope screen again this Friday.

“We installed a brand-new screen in the summertime. We’re really excited to debut it,” owner Rick Wiley said on a recent Saturday at the theater, a 19th-century building at 1120 Lawrence St.

The Uptown will offer one show per night of a first-run Hollywood movie, Wiley notes on his theater’s website, www.ptuptowntheatre.com.

In recent weeks, Wiley has held a series of what he called “job fairs” for prospective staffers — concessions and box office workers, ushers, projectionists, managers — and he still has a couple of positions open, according to the website. Information about jobs and the cinema’s reopening can also be found on its Facebook page and at 360-385-3883.

As he sought workers, Wiley had announced he would reopen the Uptown on Feb. 4. Then it was Feb. 11.

For the third time around this Friday, he’s advertising the movie “Uncharted” starring Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland and featuring Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas; the action picture is based on the Sony video game of the same name.

When asked about COVID protocols, Wiley said he’ll follow Jefferson County rules for masking. Unlike at Port Townsend’s Rose Theatre, patrons won’t be asked to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

“We’re not going to require anybody to show us their personal records. It’s not my business,” he said.

“We will limit ticket sales to allow for maximum spacing,” Wiley adds on the Uptown’s website, “and of course we appreciate everyone being responsible by staying home if they are sick and let’s continue to wear masks inside for just a little while longer.”

Wiley also runs the Wheel-In Motor Movie, one of Washington state’s few remaining drive-ins, at 210 Theater Road off state Highway 19.

The Wheel-In, which is 69 years old this year, will open for the 2022 season on April 1.

Back in spring 2020, the Wheel-In was the first movie venue to reopen after the onset of the pandemic. It did a brisk business, hosting high school graduations and fundraisers and showing classic movies.

In 2021, it brought first-run films back to its big screen.

This year, Wiley is selling single movie tickets to the Uptown and the Wheel-In as well as annual passes, on both the Uptown website and at www.ptwheelinmotormovie.com.


Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or durbanidelapaz@peninsuladailynews.com.

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