The high-tech boom created an enthusiastic and philanthropic audience for Seattle's arts community, which continues to grow. The gorgeous Benaroya Hall is a national benchmark for acoustic design. Its main tenant is the Seattle Symphony. At the Seattle Center, the ethereal Marion Oliver McCaw Hall combines Northwest hues and hanging screens in colorful light shows accompanying performances by the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Although the city's music scene has lost some of its shine after Portland became the go-to city for indie rock, music is still a main form of entertainment here. This very literate city also supports a full calendar of readings, lectures, and writing workshops.

The Seattle International Film Festival gets a lot of attention, but the city also hosts numerous smaller festivals throughout the year. The most popular include STIFF (Seattle's True Independent Film Festival; in June; the Children's Film Festival (, held at the Northwest Film Forum in January; and the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival ( in October.

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  • 1. Seattle Symphony

    Downtown | Music

    The symphony performs under the direction of Ludovic Morlot from September through June in the stunning Benaroya Hall. The group has been nominated...Read More

  • 2. Benaroya Hall


    The acoustics are good from every one of the main hall's 2,500 seats—great news if you want to check out the Seattle Symphony, which is based...Read More

  • 3. Moore Theater

    Downtown | Arts Centers

    Built in 1907, Seattle's oldest theater still hosts off-Broadway performances and music events, including jazz concerts, instrumental duets...Read More

  • 4. Paramount Theatre

    Downtown | Arts Centers

    Built in 1928 as a venue for early talkies and vaudeville acts, this lovely beaux arts movie palace—which features an original Wurlitzer theater...Read More

  • 5. Seattle Opera

    Lower Queen Anne | Music

    Housed in the beautiful Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, the opera stages productions from August through May. Evening-event guests are treated to...Read More

  • 6. The Neptune Theatre

    University District | Music

    A cultural hub for the nearby University of Washington since opening in 1921, this striking Renaissance-revival theater is operated by STG Presents...Read More

  • 7. The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center

    Arts Centers

    Children's theater troupes, Ballet Bellevue, Bellevue City Opera, the Bellevue Civic Theater, and other groups perform here, where the equipment...Read More

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