Meet Artist/Developer Dan Spalding, the new owner of the Des Moines Theater


Outboard Portrait V by Dan Spalding.

We first announced on Monday that Dan Spalding of Spokane will be the new owner of the Des Moines Theater, which has sat vacant for years at 22325 Marine View Drive.

Spalding is planning on turning the building into “a mixed use complex consisting of retail and residential space with other possibilities for the theater space.”

He bought the building – built in 1947 and containing 10,572 square feet of space – for $430,000.

He’s an Artist/Musician/Developer who went to Gonzaga University, and he’s known as a bit of a renaissance man. He grew up  working in his family’s auto wrecking yard, and now he’s an accomplished painter and musician.

Spalding is also a successful real estate developer who helped revive an entire old block on Main Avenue in Spokane. He owns six buildings, and recently acquired two historic ones that served as hotels some 100 years ago.

Here’s a video interview with Spalding about how he restored the Longbotham Building in Spokane, and built a funky bar in it called “Zola,” which is made from cool, mostly salvaged stuff like old signs and Tilt-A-Whirl seats:

The Waterland Blog tracked him down and we managed to do a quick interview:

Q: You live/work in Spokane – how did you discover the Des Moines Theater? Do you have any local ties to this area?
A: Des Moines caught my eye over 20 years ago when I lived in Tacoma and later in Federal Way. I recall driving through and finding the area charming and intriguing.

Q: What interested you about it, and what is your vision?
A: The Des Moines theatre was brought to my attention through a dear friend named Jefferson Angell. He and fellow musician Ben Anderson will be the driving force behind this project. We have already brainstormed a great deal on this project with the initial vision being that of a mixed use complex consisting of retail and residential space with other possibilities for the theatre space.

Q: What are your plans for the building? Will you restore it, or tear it down and rebuild?
A: The notion of demolition has never come up in our discussions.

We will share more on future use as our plans solidify.


6 Responses to “Meet Artist/Developer Dan Spalding, the new owner of the Des Moines Theater”
  1. DR says:

    So glad that someone has taken an interest in the property and look forward to watching it grow and be used again which will entail beautify that space and street location and be a win-win for Des Moines.

  2. DM Resident says:

    Tear it down and start over with something nice!!!

  3. Cortney says:

    He better plan to keep the theater a theater … I want to be able to see movies again without having to deal with the nightmare of southcenter or the depression of Federal Way.

    • Janet says:

      Try the Tin Theater in Burien. It’s charming!

    • Wanker says:

      While it would be great to have the theater restored, at this point the building has been sitting vacant and deteriorating for years. I am just excited that there is movement. If they bring retail and residential that revitalizes the decrepit building without a theater, I will be happy.

  4. Wayne Farris says:

    i have some artist friends connected to Zola in Spokane… Very cool place and great concept for the area… I have high hopes for this spot in Des Moines

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