Saving Our State's Historic Theaters
History of the Program
The Historic Theater Grant Program is generously supported by funding from the Washington State Legislature. The grant program is housed within the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (DAHP) and managed under contract by the Washington Trust.
More than 80 operating historic theaters remain in Washington. They are scattered in both small towns and urban neighborhoods. In fact, 25% of the theaters are located in communities with a population of under 5,000, and nearly 56% are in communities under 50,000. Most are owned and managed by individuals. As businesses, they contribute to local economies by purchasing goods and products, employing people, and paying taxes. As venues for performances and film, they support an arts economy that ripples far beyond individual artists to include construction workers, graphic designers, electricians, and many other trades and services. Additionally, historic theaters are indispensable assets in developing cultural tourism—the fastest-growing segment of the tourism market. Travel the Main Street of any American town and a theater will likely be there, anchoring the street and beckoning residents and visitors alike to lose themselves for a time in another world.
2023-2025 Historic Theater Capital Grants
The application deadline is Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at 11:59 pm.
All applicants will be notified by mid-January 2024, at the latest. Grant contracts will be drafted in February 2024.
Grant Application Assistance
Do you have questions about your grant project or application? We can help! Email us at email@example.com, check out our Zoom Office Hours in September or October, or review the video clip below for an application walkthrough.
Join us via Zoom on a drop-in basis to ask questions about the grant program or about your specific project. There will be two Office Hours sessions: Wednesday, September 20 from 5:00-6:30 pm, and Wednesday, October 11 from 5:00-6:30 pm. Attendance is free, but registration is required. Register via the links below!
This video was recorded for the 2021-23 biennium to provide information and guidance on all program requirements and application processes for the Historic Theater Grant Program. The application process remains the same for the 2023-25 biennium barn grant funding cycle, which will open from Sept 1 to Oct 31, 2023. The maximum theater grant award for the 2023-2025 biennium is $75,000.
Portal for Current & Former DAHP Theater Grant Recipients
A one-stop shop to support you throughout the life of your grant award. Explore a handy Grant Recipient Checklist, easily download In-kind Match forms, quickly complete your Quarterly Progress Reports, and more! We suggest grantees bookmark this page for easy access.
See the featured video from our May 20, 2021, Vintage Washington event (featuring testimonials from Shara Forrister of The Princess Theater in Prosser and Larry Hibbard of the Ruby Theatre in Chelan), where we announced the addition of historic theaters across Washington State as a thematic listing in our Most Endangered Places program.
The new historic theater grant program established at the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation was informed by a 2008 statewide survey and physical needs assessment conducted by Artifacts Consulting which profiled 80 of Washington State’s extant historic theaters. Check out the survey and StoryMap for more information!