New patrons waiting in line outside of Unexpected Productions’ Market Theater may be startled by what they see on the front wall of the theater: designs made by thousands of pieces of chewed gum.
The wall began more respectably. Early 20th century farmers coming to the Market to sell produce shelters their horses in the stable located in the Economy Building. Later the building housed a movie theater.
Since the gum wall’s inception there have been reports of walls of gum created in various communities across the United States. However, none of them has gained the fame (actually infamy) of the Gum Wall in Pike Place Market
Creators of the gum wall have taken their time, spelling out their name or their significant other’s name along the wall. Others have posted their hometown or their home country. And a few have even put up messages of hope and peace.
Seattleites use the gum wall in a variety of ways, even as an unusual backdrop for wedding photos, something the theater staff sees about twice a month. Photographs of the wall also have graced business brochures. Tour groups visiting the Market stop daily to see it.
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