In 1941, The Admiral Theatre, originally to be named the Rivoli, was constructed for an estimated cost of $250,000.
In 1941, the Theatre’s original construction included reinforcing steel throughout its walls: This, during the pre-War steel shortages!
In June of 1941, a “Name the Theatre” contest was held prior to building completion and thus, the facility became the Admiral Theatre.
The Theatre’s marquee construction was the last approved non-war use of sheet metal in 1941, as construction of similar marquees was prevented under governmental regulation of essential materials needed for the war.
On May 7, 1942, The Admiral Theatre opened its doors with a gala event and benefit for the Navy Relief Society. The first feature: The Northwest premiere of “Reap the Wild Wind!”
On June 10, 1948 the Admiral Theatre Marquee welcomed President Harry S. Truman to Bremerton for his historic “Give ‘em Hell Harry!” speech, presented just across the street.
In the Fall of 1948, the local funeral home burned and frantic mortuary employees transported caskets across the street to be temporarily housed in the cool environs of the Admiral Theatre.
Bowing to competition from suburban multi-plex cinemas, the theatre was tri-plexed in the 1980’s. Yellow and brown acoustical tiles covered the once pastel walls, 20 percent of the seats in the balcony were removed to make room for two new staircases leading to the cinemas upstairs, and the graceful curve of the balcony was cloaked with steel reinforced walls and painted black.
Despite attempts to remain competitive, the tenant left the building and the Admiral Theatre finally closed on May 17, 1989.
In 1989, the ownership of the theatre transferred to Olympic College’s Bremer Trust from the Estate of Edward Bremer.
In 1990, 15 local business and community leaders formed the non-profit Admiral Theatre Foundation to renovate and operate the theatre.
After a $4.2 million capital fund-raising drive, the Foundation transformed the movie house into a one-of-a-kind live performance theatre and facility for multiple community uses.
In May 1997, the Admiral Theatre was re-opened.
On May 7, 2002 The Admiral Theatre celebrated 60 years of entertainment history in Bremerton with a return showing of "Reap the Wild Wind."