<< Go Back up to the Pantages Theatre

Theatre Architects

Theatre Architects


Here you can find out about the architect firms and individual architects associated with the theatres featured on this website.


To view all architect firms and individual architects featured on this website click here.


B. Marcus Priteca B. Marcus Priteca

Born: 1889 (Glasgow, Scotland)

Died: 1971 (Seattle, WA)

Priteca served an apprenticeship in Edinburgh under architect Robert MacFarlane Cameron from 1904–1909, and during this time earned degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Art. He emigrated to the United States, where he settled in Seattle, Washington, in 1909.

Priteca met Seattle vaudeville theatre owner Alexander Pantages in 1910 and won from him a commission to design the San Francisco Pantages Theater (1911), the first of many so-named vaudeville and motion picture houses in what would become one of the largest theater chains in North America.

In all, Priteca designed 22 theaters for Pantages and another 128 for other theater owners. Notable theaters include the Coliseum (1915) in Seattle; the Pantages (1918) in Tacoma, Washington; the Pantages (1920) in Los Angeles (downtown); the Pantages in San Diego (1924); the Pantages (renamed The Orpheum) (1926) in San Francisco (downtown); the Pantages (1928) in Fresno, California; the Paramount (1929) in Seattle; the Pantages (1929) in Hollywood (the last and largest of the Pantages theaters); the Warner on Pacific Boulevard in Huntington Park (1930); and the Admiral (1942) in West Seattle, and the Orpheum in Vancouver, Canada.

Priteca also designed the 1934 Grandstand and Clubhouse of Longacres Racetrack in Renton, Washington, which operated from 1935–1994 and has since been demolished.

Pantages is said to have liked Priteca as a theatre architect for his ability to create the appearance of opulence within a less-than-opulent budget. Pantages is quoted as saying: “Any damn fool can make a place look like a million dollars by spending a million dollars, but it’s not everybody who can do the same thing with half a million”.

Priteca’s apprentices included Gregory Ain, who went on to success as a modernist architect. Ain worked with Priteca for a short time in the late 1920s and helped draw the Los Angeles Pantages.

In 1951, Priteca became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He remained active as an architect well into his eighties, working as a consultant in the design of the Seattle Opera House (1962) and the Portland, Oregon, Civic Auditorium (1968).

Priteca died in Seattle on October 1, 1971. He was posthumously awarded honorary membership of the Theatre Historical Society of America.

Information primarily sourced from Wikipedia Link opens in new window.

Theatres on this website in which this architect was involved:





@HistoricTheatrePhotos on Instagram

Historic Theatre Photography

Photographs copyright © 2002-2021 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2021 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com.

For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here.



Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Twitter