Talk:5th Avenue Theatre

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Good article 5th Avenue Theatre has been listed as one of the Media and drama good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 20, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
June 29, 2010 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Good article


This material was submitted by an employee of the 5th Avenue Theatre. The text appears on our website. We own the copyright to that text.

If whoever flagged this would like to verify that this entry was posted by the 5th Avenue Theatre, you may e-mail me at jamie at 5thavenuetheatre dot org.- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

I've constructed a complete rewrite utilizing data from your site, respectively. I do hope this clears everything up. -ZeroTalk 19:33, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you - you didn't have to do that, but it's very nicely written, and much appreciated. Many thanks. Jamiee 16:51, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Theater Company Page[edit]

So I've been making improvements to the article over the past week or two and I'm now thinking about creating a separate page for The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company so that this article can be dedicated to the architecture and building facts while the article on The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company can focus on the details around productions, seasons, and dates/links significant to specific productions. What do you think?Skotywa 19:22, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

As discussed recently (below), we'll just add a section rather than a separate page. Potential topics to address in the section:

  • Collaborative partnership with Houston's Theater under the stars (TUTS) from 1989-1999
  • The theatre's role as a "testing ground" for Broadway musicals before they open on Broadway
  • Employment statistics and impact
  • Sample annual subscriber, attendance, and donor statistics
  • Education and outreach programs (maybe)
  • Mission Statement (maybe)

--Skotywa (talk) 08:19, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Citing Refs[edit]

I've done some work around citing references for all of the content that predated my contributions and I have some more ref links (from non-5th Avenue sites now) that I'll be adding over the next day or two. At that time I'm planning on removing the "cite references" header. I don't know if I have the authority to do this, so we'll see what happens. At any rate, once I get some 3rd party refs in there in addition to the refs I've already added, I believe that should be sufficient to remove the header. If I don't have the authority, I'll repent and not do it again. Skotywa 19:29, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the citing references header. Hope I'm not overstepping my bounds. I believe there are sufficient citings in the article now.Skotywa 04:17, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Article overhaul[edit]

On about August 12, 2007 I began an extended overhaul of the article with the goal of reaching good article(GA) status--ah, to dream. I believe I've preserved the citation work done by Skotywa mentioned above, added references, and tried to reach consistency. Having done this I removed the {{cite references}} header. A new 'Architecture' section has been created with illustrative photographs. The 'History section also been reorganized an enlarged. 'Productions by season' has been reformated and wikilinked. Also, a 'Significance' section and 'See also' section have been added.

The information contained in the bulleted list under the 'Quick Facts' section has been moved into the 'Post-1980 history' subsection and written as prose. Consequently, the 'Quick Facts' section has been removed.

In response to the suggestion by Skotywa that a second article be created for the 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company, my only concern would be that we wouldn't want to create a weak article that could justifiably be merged. (See Help:Merging and moving pages#Merging for reasons to merge.)

I can think of some additional information that needs adding to this article including:

  • History of non extant original marquee and difference from current marquee.
  • Marketing of opening, including historical "The Sign of a Wonderful Time" moniker
  • Reference to Seattle's historic position as "Gateway to the Orient", the port of call for silk and other goods from Asian ports that the 5th Avenue Theatre symbolized.

Can anyone think of other facets? Regardless, please feel free to propose changes or additions here. --Ltvine 20:56, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

This looks awesome. Great work! For some reason the transition from the "Productions by Season" section to the "References" section does not render correctly in my browser IE7. I'll try to investigate this. (Skotywa 06:21, 1 December 2007 (UTC))
I'm going to nominate this as a good article as Ltvine suggests above and see what happens. It's been pretty stable since he did the overhaul, and it seems to my untrained eyes to be a fairly well written article. I'll be interested to hear the feedback from the reviewers.(Skotywa (talk) 20:17, 20 January 2008 (UTC))

Now that we've got a good article and are looking toward featured article, I wanted to make some minor suggestions about the text of the article...

  • "In addition to the Imperial guard lions, other original furnishings, light fixtures, and decoration remain intact." Should this be decorations instead?
I think it could be either and still be correct. Either way is fine with me.
  • "The theatre organist for opening night was Oliver Wallace, a popular local musician and composer, who returned from Portland, Oregon where he played at the Broadway Theatre to play accompaniment." I had to read this multiple times before I understood what it was saying. Should we divide this into two sentences maybe?
You're right this sentence is awkward. Sometimes English doesn't work form me. I think it could simply say:
Oliver Wallace, a popular local musician and composer, returned from Portland, Oregon to be the accompanying organist for opening night.
  • "Since 1980, The 5th Avenue Theatre has produced or presented more than 3,000 performances of nearly 100 productions, attended by over 5.5 million people." This sentence has been a part of the article since it's original post back in March, 2006. I added the fact check request too it a while ago. I searched long and hard tonight for a reference for any of these claims and could not find any. The closest thing I found was this but it doesn't have these specific facts, just numbers that you could derive these claims from. I vote for removing the sentence completely, but if I do that, how should the rest of the section flow? One paragraph? Maybe add a new sentence containing more statistics from the press kit document I linked to above?
Wow, thanks for pointing out that press kit PDF! Would you believe, I hadn't seen that before. I agree that we could just remove the unsubstantiated claim, but I think what really should happen before this is nominated for FA is an expansion of the history section. The text I added was meant to really fill-in the architectural topics. I had always thought that the history section was rather 'bare-bones'--particularly the 'Decline and restoration' and 'Post-1980 history'. I also listed three areas of historical interest above in an earlier post from September 2007 that still need inclusion. In short--at least to my standards--this article has a ways to go yet for a solid FA. I discuss more of my reasons in response to the next question.
  • Should we remove references from the lead section? It seems like most featured articles restrict references to the body of the article only.
We should move the references from the lead section and incorporate the information in the body of the article and reference there. Right now the only reference that could be removed from the lead is the National Register of Historic Places reference as it is included in the 'Significance' section. The others however don't really have a home in the body. Which leads me to my other argument for further work before we nominate for FA. We really need to include a more complete discussion of the 5th Avenue Theatre Association and 5th Avenue Theatre Musical Company either as part of the history discussion or in dedicated sections. That way we can expand on the introductory information about them given in the lead.

--Skotywa (talk) 09:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for all your work on the productions by season tables--that saves a lot of scrolling! Good work! Those things were a bear to setup originally.
--Ltvine | Talk 05:09, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Good points. I agree, let's wait on the FA submission for now. Maybe later this year I guess. I'll try to incorporate more content into the article as I find it. I'll start with stuff from the press kit focusing on the history section. I'll leave any additions to the architecure section up to you. Honestly, I'm not sure that there's much more to add there anyway. After the history additions, I'll attempt to piece enough information together to make a new Fifth Avenue Musical Theater Company section which should allow for the removal of the rest of the references in the article lead. Let me know if anything I add doesn't make sense (or just correct it rather than waiting to talk about it). I won't be offended.

Also, I've searched around for references/facts regarding any of your three items from the September 2007 comment above ever since I read it. I haven't found anything of consequence though. I did notice that the Paramount Theater has a similar style marquee still today, but haven't found anything written that connects the two. If you have more info on any of those items, let's get it added.--Skotywa (talk) 07:24, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I've finally found articles about both the marquee, and the "Magical Sign of a Wonderful Time" moniker used at the grand opening. I've incorporated both into the history section along with a bunch of other stuff I've found. I still can't find anything on the "Gateway to the Orient" idea though. I've also created a new Fifth Avenue Musical Theater Company section with subsections for the areas of interst I listed in my comment above. Please give me feedback or make improvements on anything I've added here. I feel good about what I've done so far, but I know it can be improved. --Skotywa (talk) 07:40, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Successful good article nomination[edit]

I am glad to report that this article nomination for good article status has been promoted. This is how the article, as of February 1, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Pass
2. Factually accurate?: Pass
3. Broad in coverage?: Pass
4. Neutral point of view?: Pass
5. Article stability? Pass
6. Images?: Pass

Article is very good and may still benefit from further expansion. A small copyedit may also benefit the article. If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it to Good article reassessment. Thank you to all of the editors who worked hard to bring it to this status, and congratulations.— Tarret talk 15:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

This is amazing. Who would have thought that after months of being away, the day I come back to see what has become of the article, I find that it was nominated for and been assessed as a good article? Thanks Skotywa! Ltvine | Talk 02:29, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
So now the question is whether or not we should try for featured article. I went over the criteria and it seems like it's worth a try. I'm going to wait to hear back from other contributors before I try that though. I'm just a novice at this stuff. --Skotywa (talk) 05:02, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Namesake for the Skinner building[edit]

Americasroof added a claim that the Skinner building was named for Ned Skinner. There was more than one Skinner by the same name. A grandfather, David E. Skinner (1867-1933); and a grandson David 'Ned' E. Skinner II (1920-1981). This information comes from the reference provided for the Ned Skinner article at The reference does not say that the Skinner building was named for the younger Skinner (Ned). What the article says is:

"But as head of the Skinner Corporation, Ned branched out into real estate (the Skinner Building and 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Carillon Point in Kirkland) . . ."

The implication is that Ned had in the portfolio of the Skinner Corporation, the Skinner Building. But as the Skinner building was built in 1926, I doubt that Ned Skinner had anything to do with building it at the tender age of five or six. Keep in mind he was born in 1920. Likewise, I doubt that it was named for him. It is more likely the Skinner building as named for either Ned's father or grandfather. But I don't know what the case actually is, but I think its misleading to say that the Skinner building was named for David 'Ned' E. Skinner II without substantiation. I have therefore removed that claim. Thanks. -- Ltvine | Talk :02:38, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

As mentioned on ltvine's user page, I agree that it stretches credibility given Skinner's birth date but I think some sort of Skinner reference is in order. The wording could be changed to "once owned by Ned Skinner of the Skinner shipbuilding family who was an active patron of the theatre" thus avoiding the specifics for now of which Skinner was involved. There is afterall a reference on this. Americasroof (talk) 02:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

(the following comments was copied from Americasroof talk page to create a fuller context:)

You're too fast for me! I explained my rationale on the Talk:5th Avenue Theatre page at the same time that you were leaving a message on my talk page. While your proposed alternative language is possible, I'm sure the Skinner building was named for an individual and not a family as your language would suggest. I may have even run across the answer when I was researching the 5th Avenue Theatre article. But because the article wasn't about the Skinner building, I wouldn't have noted it as important to the article.

Why not research the real answer first rather than rewording it to state something that may not be true? -- Ltvine | Talk 02:45, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

We have all messages all over the place now.  ;-) I responded on the 5th Avenue page and will continue the discussion there. I suggested some other wording. The Ned Skinner angle which connects two important Seattle landmarks is definitely noteworthy. Americasroof (talk) 02:50, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I just did some newspaperarchive searches and it was called the Skinner Building in the 1920s. Since the Skinner angle connects two important landmarks I stick to the suggestion of "once owned by Ned Skinner of the Skinner shipbuilding family who was an active patron of the theatre" (and include the historylink reference. Americasroof (talk) 03:05, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
(while you were adding the above comment...)
I agree that there's a Ned Skinner angle. The current history section of the 5th Avenue Theater article was written to try to limit it to the theatre, but by no means is it complete. For instance Ned Skinner's Skinner Corporation was a founding member of the 5th Avenue Theatre Association which raised the money to save the theatre back in 1979. So I recognize that there's an important link between Ned Skinner and the theatre (outside of his company's ownership of the building), but what I'm arguing for is taking a coordinated approach at improving the article not by including a parenthetical or disassociated fact. And I must say that when you included the original parenthetical claim that it was named for Ned Skinner, you did not include a citation--it was only by investigating the Ned Skinner article that I found the source of the claim. This kind of thing is not the way to improve the article or maintain its quality (such as it is). I'm sure that you are as an experienced editor, that articles don't maintain their quality automatically.
What is your goal for the 5th Avenue Theatre article? Is it just to make mention of Ned Skinner somewhere in the article to compliment the Ned Skinner article for which you are the primary author? Or are you interested in making an effort at improving the general quality of the 5th Avenue article? That's my goal here. How can we make mention of Ned without compromising the facts but while not making it seem like he's just thrown in somewhere near a mention of the Skinner Building? Must it happen now, or could the Ned Skinner angle be combined with a more thorough discussion of some of the other patrons of the theatre? What if we were to include a wikilink to Ned Skinner in the 'See Also' section, until that time?
All this aside, generally what I think is needed is a companion article for the Skinner Building that could reflect the whole history of ownership and naming of the building. This has been my view since beginning work on this article. Okay, I've got to stop now. Thanks for reading. -- Ltvine | Talk 03:49, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
(and replying to your specific suggestion posted 03:05, 19 February 2008 (UTC). . . )
Okay, I've had my say. I've also had dinner and am ready to compromise. I'm fine including the language you suggest--or something very similar--but in the history section, not the architecture section, perhaps as an adjunct to the the restoration subsection. This way it will act as a reminder to me to do more research on the other founding members of the 5th Avenue Theatre Association. Sound like a deal? -- Ltvine | Talk 04:13, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I added the language you suggested in the location I suggested. If that doesn't satisfy we can hash it out some more. Thanks. Ltvine | Talk 04:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm fine with the wording. I basically wanted to Skinner's name attached to the article. I ventured in because I did some biographies on the original owners of the Space Needle. Now that I've taken an interest in the article one other item that might be useful in this very good article is the theatre infobox. Americasroof (talk) 14:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Infobox added. Anyone else think we should try for featured article? I want to nominate it at a time when there can be more than just me paying attention to respond to feedback. --Skotywa (talk) 04:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Preparing for Featured Article review[edit]

Over the past 1.5 months, I've done a lot of research and made a number of additions to the article as well as overall article clean up. Here are some specific discussion points I know of, or that remain unresolved from earlier posts (sorry if I repeat my older posts on some of these):

  • I've found a home for all remaining references in the lead section and have moved all of them to appropriate spots in the body. I have also added new material to the lead section matching significant points I've added to the article body.
  • I still can't find anything on the "Gateway to the Orient" idea. I'm not sure how much it limits the article to not completely explore this point, but without a source to research, I'm at a loss. I've officially given up on this TODO. I feel the article is sufficiently complete without it.
  • I found enough information about the marquee to include it in the article metioning both when it was taken down and when an unsuccessful attempt was made to bring it back. I think this TODO item is closed.
  • The "Magical Sign of a Wonderful Time" moniker is now incorporated into the article with references. I consider this TODO closed as well.
  • I've made a number of other additions to the history section including lots of additional points in the the 'Decline and restoration' and 'Post-1980 history' sections. I'm not 100% confident with my prose in these sections. They might benefit from further review.
  • I've added a new (now rather lengthy) section on the musical company. Again, my prose here may be weak. Of all my earlier listed ideas (in old talk page posts) about the section, the only one I haven't completed was the inclusion of the mission statement. I'm still undecided about whether or not it is needed. I've considered adding it as a quotation in the Origin section. At this point though, I feel the article is complete without it's inclusion. Let me know if you disagree.
  • Possible new concern: The Significance section is very short containing only one paragraph of 3 sentences in length. I'm not sure if this will be raised as a concern during WP:FAC review. It seems fine to me to have this section as is. There may be more to add here in the future anyway. If it comes up as a concern, I'll ask for suggestions on where to move the information to.
  • Possible new concern: I added back the picture of Relief at entry taken by Ltvine. I found it while reviewing the history of the article. I believe it was origianally moved to make way for the more significant gurdian lion picture which I agree with. It fits better at that point in the article. Now that the article's length has increased, I felt it made sense to add back the relief picture and felt that it might fit in the restoration section (even though no specific mention of the relief is made in the section). Please let me know if you disagree with this reasoning.
  • Possible new concern: The article's length is now at 47 kilobytes which according to Wikipedia:Article size is getting close to being too long and therefore it may be in need of splitting. That said, a large portion of the total article size (I'd say about 1/3) is found in the Productions by season section. Of that, only the two most recent tables are expanded by default. All of the rest are hidden. Given that, I'm confident that this article is not in need of splitting and that the article's readable length is acceptable even with some potential future growth.

Given all of this, I'm becoming confident again that this article may be ready for submission as a featured article. I'd like to submit this artcile for review as a featured article when it's convenient for more people than just myself to be available for quick responses to concerns raised in the reveiw.

I'm coming up on a time where I'm going to be relatively busy with life and may not be as available as I need to respond to comments from the review. In a few weeks that will pass, and at that time I will likely submit it as a featured article candidate and attempt to resolve any concerns myself. Please speak up if you'd like to help with that and when would be good for you.--Skotywa (talk) 23:31, 5 April 2008 (UTC)