By Denise Briggs Potter
When the owners of Bainbridge Cinemas designed the movie complex in the 1990s, they wanted something that would make the theaters unique to Bainbridge Island. According to the project’s architect, William Chester, “The idea was to create different themes that had to do with the history of the island.”
Chester consulted with his son, sculpture artist Brian Rudd, who was later commissioned to do the work. Rudd came up with the idea for island-themed lighting that told the story of Bainbridge’s past through five images: a barn for Rolling Bay; the first streamlined vessel, the Kalakala ferry; a saw blade for Blakely Harbor; a sailboat for Fletcher Bay; and Frog Rock. Each of the five theaters has six sconces with a particular theme.
The 30 sculptures are made of glass, steel, enameled steel and wood and comprised of no less than 1,000 parts. “I grew up on Bainbridge and know they teach about Washington state history in schools,” Rudd said. “But there isn’t much taught about Bainbridge Island history, such as the mill company on Port Blakely. The sconces provide a visual historical perspective of Bainbridge.”