606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 Get Directions

History & Mission


Who We Are

The Grand Cinema is the South Sound's nonprofit home for independent, international, and local film. As the only nonprofit cinema in Pierce County, we are committed to enhancing the cultural vitality of the community through quality film and educational programming.

Our Mission

The Grand Cinema enriches lives and enhances the cultural vitality of the Greater Tacoma community through the art of film.

We achieve our mission through these objectives:
  • Encouraging passion for film for all audiences
  • Providing a high quality theater experience
  • Educating the community about film

Statement of Equity & Inclusion

Our mission guides The Grand Cinema to extend opportunities to our community, volunteers, patrons, and staff regardless of race, sex, age, orientation, gender identity, religion, veteran or marital status, national origin, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic class, ability, or professional status.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are active processes that require continuous commitment. We believe an inclusionary approach to programming, engagement, planning, and access is an asset that enriches our individual and organizational ability to celebrate and learn from all voices, perspectives, and methods.

In principle and practice, The Grand works collaboratively to encourage participation by underrepresented groups and individuals at all levels, and to explore new opportunities. In presenting the art of independent, international, and local film, The Grand Cinema serve to deepen compassion and understanding; honor freedom of expression; challenge and dismantle systemic oppression; create environments enriched with diverse views and people; and help the development of socially responsible leaders and citizens.

Core Values

  • We believe film is transformative — empowering patrons, students, and filmmakers to become engaged, compassionate citizens and artists.

  • We champion equitable cinema experiences and films that represent diverse communities around the world.

  • We act courageously and openly with respect for the knowledge and experience of others.

  • We implement our values together with staff, board, volunteers, and community members to nurture, develop, and advocate for film.

Our values are realized through or by:

  • Fostering a culture of open-mindedness and compassion.

  • Building a community whose members have diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

  • Providing leadership in the development, implementation, and assessment of programs and services.

  • Promoting social justice and diversity in Grand activities, and coordinating educational resources and opportunities for staff and volunteers.

  • Reaching beyond The Grand to establish relationships with partners who share mutual values.
As a non-profit, The Grand Cinema's Federal Tax returns are available online. They are listed under our legal name of Grand Tacoma Cine Club and can be accessed here. Review our latest 990 form here.

Where We Came From

The Grand Cinema has a rich history established by a small band of community organizers and made possible by many dedicated volunteers who have shaped our history and helped the cinema thrive since its inception as a non-profit nearly two decades ago. The Grand opened as a nonprofit in 1997 with only two paid staff and a group of volunteers. Since that humble start, we have continued to add quality programming, film festivals, filmmaker outreach, community events, education programs, and talented staff and volunteers to our ranks.

Significant events from our story

  • April 1995 - The commercial, for-profit "Grand Tacoma Theater" opened for business under the management of a private business owner.
  • April 1997 - After a season of financial troubles, the theater closed briefly, and reopened its doors as The Grand Cinema, a non-profit organization owned by members of The Grand Tacoma Cine Club on April 18th, 1997. This transition was made possible thanks to the efforts of a small band of community members and volunteers dedicating to saving their community theater.
  • Oct. 2006 - The Grand Cinema added its first annual Tacoma Film Festival and 72 Hour Film Festivals to its hosted programs.
  • Dec. 2009 - Funded by community donations, a fourth theater screen was constructed and opened in time for Christmas.
  • April 2012 - The Grand Cinema celebrated its 15th birthday, offering community members $5 movies and Free Member Movie Mondays in thanks for their loyalty and support. The Grand's membership peaked 3,500 individuals, and the volunteer list exceeded 250 people.
  • Nov. 2013 - A successful Digital Conversion capital campaign allowed The Grand to upgrade from 35mm film to the digital projection in order to keep up with changes in the film industry.
  • Aug. 2015 - The addition of two new staff increases the capacity building of the The Grand through new support for facility management, fundraising, programming, and more.
  • Sept 2015 - Grand staff began our first film club partnership with Lincoln High School. Weekly, Lincoln students meet for film club where they gain skills in order to share their own stories and perspectives. Film Club is free and is our first educational programming outside the walls of The Grand.
  • Oct. 2015 - Thanks to generous support from our members and friends, we raised over $25,000 to refurbish the acoustics and maintain the cozy ambiance in three of our theaters with the installment of all new curtains. We were proud to donate the old fabric to local recording studios and artists to prevent these materials from taking up space in a landfill.
  • May 2016 - Together our friends and supporters helped us raise $7,500 to bring high fidelity audio to the The Grand community. New equipment was installed in summer 2016 and we celebrated with a party for our donors and the community to come experience the great new sound in theater.
  • January 2017 - New equipment is purchased to provide an array of high quality hearing assistive devices to enhance the cinematic experience for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. 
  •  March 2017 - Weird Elephant film series moved from a monthly format to a weekly one providing cult genre experiences for a late night audience each Saturday. 
Join in our story by becoming a member or volunteering today.


We look forward to remaining your cinema of choice, providing unique and excellent quality independent films and events in Tacoma and the greater area, and sharing new ways to empower audiences, filmmakers, and students to engage and learn with film. We are making facility upgrades, improving access for patrons, and continuing to bring the best in independent film to our community. Learn more about our priorities and how you can get involved here.
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