filmmaker, writer

Wes Hurley

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Filmmaker and writer Wes Hurley is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through his artistic lens.

Q&A with Wes Hurley

How did you end up in Seattle?

My mom and I came here to escape Russia when I was 16 years old. We ended up living in Fremont, right near the Troll. We were close to the Lenin statue, too. My mom didn’t like that, but I thought it was funny—Lenin right next to a Taco Del Mar! He would be rolling in his grave.

Where should film fanatics get their fix in Seattle?

If you love film you have to go to Scarecrow Video. It’s a paradise for film—the largest collection of videos in the country! Central Cinema is a really cool place to see older movies and have a beer. The Majestic Bay is the best multiscreen movie experience here. The Ark Lodge isn’t fancy, but it’s great. Farther north, the Crest shows art films and second run movies. And Northwest Film Forum is awesome for finding films you wouldn’t see anywhere else.

What keeps filmmakers in Seattle, as opposed to Los Angeles?

Each region has its own culture, and artists need to represent their area onscreen—otherwise all the stories come out of LA and New York City. We’re like our own kind of Portlandia here, and that story needs to be told too.

When you aren’t making movies, what do you like to do?

I love the Triple Door. It’s such a world-class venue. I especially love the burlesque shows there. All my work is genderqueer, and that’s a big part of Seattle burlesque culture—it’s a free for all! I also love taking friends to the Center for Wooden Boats. I don’t know how to sail, so I just get a rowboat. I love hiking too—you can hike to these alpine meadows at Mount Rainier and it doesn’t even seem real. You can imagine Snow White running around with her little animals.

Any hidden gems you recommend?

The Georgian restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel is a treasure. It’s so not Seattle—it’s fancy looking. But the lunches are reasonable and it always feels like a special occasion. Also: Café Mox in Ballard. It’s attached to a board game store [Card Kingdom], so you can borrow a game and bring it over to play. And I love going to the Pretty Parlor vintage clothing store—it feels like I’ve been swallowed by a bubblegum monster.


Interview by Brangien Davis. Photo taken at the Center for Wooden Boats. 



Seattle’s best every month in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Book Your Trip

Partner Advertisements