ABOUT THE THEATERS
1807 Telegraph Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94612
Opened by West Coast Theatres on October 27, 1928 with the movie “The Air Circus” and stage entertainment, this theatre became the Fox in 1929 after West Coast Theatres was purchased by William Fox. The theatre was said to have the largest seating capacity on the Pacific Coast, of between 3,200 and 3,800 seats. Stars appearing live on stage over the years included Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Band.
Architects: Alexander Aimwell Cantin, William Day, Charles Peter Weeks
After closing its doors in 1966, the Fox Theater reopened in February of 2009. The $75 million multi-use renovation project features a state-of-the-art theater with flexible capacity from 1,500 to 2,800. The multiple seating configurations include general admission, cabaret style seating, and reserved seating.
2317 Central Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
The historic Alameda Theatre is an Art Deco palace. When it opened in 1932, it was as glamorous a destination as the finest Bay Area theaters. Throughout the decades, it fell on hard times, but in 2000, the City of Alameda became formally involved in its restoration. A three-part $37.3 million restoration has restored it to its original glory while also modernizing it.
Architects: Timothy Pflueger Architects, The Henry Architects
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
Built in 1926 and similar in design and feel to the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the Grand Lake was one of three movie palaces, along with the Fox Oakland and the Paramount, that Oaklanders visited to escape the depression years. In addition to films, the theater also had live concerts. You can still experience the old-time grandeur when the Grand Lake has its weekly rendition of the Wurlitzer mini-concert (every Friday and Saturday night). The organ rises up out of the floor -- along with its conductor -- and a short set of show tunes is played before the film starts.
The Grand-Lakeshore district is the crossroads of Oakland. The district is also just a short walk from Lake Merritt, Oakland's crown jewel, making it a great place to stop before or after a leisurely stroll along water.
Architects: James Reid, Merritt Reid
2113 Kittredge Street, between Oxford and Shattuck
Berkeley, CA 94704
Built in 1920 as the T & D Theatre for live theater and movies. The now-triplexed California Theatre has been operated by Landmark Theatres since 1994. Known as ‘The Cal’ to locals, the theatre closed in 2001 and was reopened by Landmark on June 28, 2002.
Architect: Albert W. Cornelius
2966 College Avenue at Ashby
Berkeley, CA 94705
The Strand Theatre was operating prior to 1941. It was actually listed as (Closed) in 1941 through to 1943. Reopened again by 1950 it was still the Strand Theatre in 1952. Later renamed Elmwood Theatre, by 2009 it was operated by the independent Rialto Cinemas chain.
Architects: Alexander Aimwell Cantin and Albert W. Cornelius
The Elmwood is a Berkeley neighborhood of old houses, gracious tree-lined streets and a shopping area of small stores that has retained its sense of the past with a spirit of community and neighborhood activism. Artists, writers, musicians, political activists, and lesser-known but interesting people have been attracted to the Elmwood since the beginning. The name "Elmwood" first appeared in a 1905 promotional real estate brochure extolling its bucolic charms and its wide unpaved avenues of elms and poplars.... Today anyone living within easy walking distance distance of the shopping district at College and Ashby Avenues is part of this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. - from Tales from the Elmwood, 2000, by Burt Willes
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