AKA: Bal Theater, San Leandro, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - performing arts structures; built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Raney, Vincent G., Architect (firm); Vincent Gerard Raney (architect)

Dates: constructed 1945-1946

14808 East 14th Street
San Leandro, CA 94578-2906

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Designed by San Francisco architect Vincent G. Raney, the Bal Theatre opened for business on 07/01/1946. According to the Bal Theatre's own web site in 2012: "The Historic BAL Theatre was built in 1946, and is one of America's only surviving theatre's still operating today that has never been shutdown. The Historic BAL Theatre has been continually operating since its opening day, July 3, 1946." The Cinema Treasures.org site indicated, however, that "The Bal Theatre opened on July 1, 1946 and was closed in 2005." (See "Bal Theatre,"Accessed 05/04/2012.) Owners Rene T. LaMarre (born 08/14/1907), a one-time vaudeville performer, and George Drummond originally bankrolled the cinema just after the end of World War II. The Republic Theatre Company bought the venue in the early 1970s and continued to stage live entertainment, much like LeMarre had done. Republic aimed much of its programming to serve the local Spanish-speaking population. The Dillman Family purchased the facility in 2008, seeking to keep it open and restore it. They estimated that it would take $5 million to renovate it properly. The facility returned to screening features and hosting conferences, fund-raisers and performances in 04/2010.

The Bal Theatre, named for its San Leandro neighborhood, seated 800 patrons originally.

PCAD id: 17782