Friday, June 9, 2017

The Guild 45th and the Seven Gables

6/8/17 ink, marker, water-soluble colored pencils (Seven Gables Theatre)

Local media started reporting Tuesday that two Seattle theaters, the Guild 45th and the Seven Gables, had closed “abruptly” that day, ostensibly for renovation, but it doesn’t bode well. Part of the Landmark chain, these theaters haven’t been independent neighborhood film houses in a long time, but people who don’t like 12-plex mega theaters in shopping malls were happy to have old-fashioned alternatives.

As soon as I heard the news, I dashed out to the Guild 45th in the Wallingford neighborhood. Someone had taped a handwritten sign on the wall saying, “What next?” alluding to the lack of information about what’s going to happen to the venerable institution. As I sketched the pink art deco building with curved walls, a woman walked up to the windows to peer inside, and she snapped a photo of a sign saying the theater was closed.

6/7/17 inks, water-soluble colored pencils (Guild 45th Theatre)
The next day I stopped in the University District to sketch the Seven Gables. At the corner of Northeast 50th and Roosevelt Way Northeast, this old building is surrounded by tall trees. (That was fortunate for me, because it meant I didn’t have to draw more than three of those gables.) A red “open” sign was lighted in a window, but that was for the Ristorante Doria that occupies the street-level floor of the building.

Technical note: After using most of its contents in Italy, I refilled a waterbrush with gray ink – my favorite way to make “cheater” shadows. Wanting to get it a little darker than before, I added a bit of black, but it turned out to be way, way darker than I intended. I regretted it as soon as I applied it to the sketch of the Guild 45th. For the Seven Gables’ shadows, I switched to a Tombow marker. 


  1. Places like that have so much don't want to lose them. Nice sketches!

    1. We have so few in Seattle as it is. . . I have a feeling of doom about these! :-(


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