Sports

Bremerton's Admiral Theatre brings Final Four to the big screen

The historic Admiral Theatre in Bremerton will televise the Final Four for free Saturday, April 2 and Monday, April 4.  - Mike Baldwin/staff photo
The historic Admiral Theatre in Bremerton will televise the Final Four for free Saturday, April 2 and Monday, April 4.
— image credit: Mike Baldwin/staff photo

Want to watch the Final Four on a big screen, with a beer, with other fans and not have to find a babysitter?

The Admiral Theatre, with a 40-foot screen and a full bar, is providing a unique viewing party to one of the pinnacles of college athletics.

Tim Lavin, Admiral Theatre’s director of financing, announced last week that the venue will host two Final Four parties with free admission to all ages. He said Monday that providing primetime NCAA tournament basketball to Kitsap County will serve the theater’s purpose as a community venue, while also bringing fans together to watch a big screen version of the hardwood classic.

“It would be like you’re at the game more than being at a small bar or home,” he added. “You can really watch it here as if the game is live and the action is in front of you.”

Three NCAA mens basketball games, including the National Championship, will be televised at the Admiral April 2 and 4. The national semifinals will start Saturday at 3 p.m., while the title game will air Monday at 6 p.m. Doors open one hour prior to tip-off.

The tournament will be shown in high-definition on network television. In addition, the theater will sell homemade pizza, soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails. Seating will be provided on the main floor with plenty of room for any type of fan, ranging from groups of basketball fanatics to families who want to join the fun without worrying about leaving their kids at home.

The theater also has an upper balcony if attendees want a different view of the game from high up. Lavin said those seats have the best view of the games.

“You’re not going to see action on a 40-foot screen anywhere else,” Lavin said. “It extends our goal to make this a community theater for everybody, and this is the chance to do it.”

The popularity of the sport in the Seattle and Kitsap areas inspired Lavin to expand the theater’s reach, he said. He added that the military community in Bremerton and its neighboring cities lends itself to a more diverse fan base. Lavin believes sailors, originally from states with a Final Four team, could show their support by attending the theater next week.

“I don’t think other cities even have that chance to be as diverse as Kitsap County and to do something for those in the military, and the area as a whole,” he said.

The Admiral has previously hosted Monday Night Football games — before the games switched to cable — and most recently, this year’s Super Bowl. Next week marks the first time it will show basketball.

Lavin expects between 150 to 300 fans for the games. Last month’s Super Bowl game drew 200 people, but the theater could exceed that count because the Final Four is a two-night affair, he said.

The Admiral can hold up to 900 people.

If the Final Four party is a success, the Admiral may host more championship events on network television, including the World Series.

“I just want everyone to come and have fun,” he added.

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