AKA: Yosemite Theater Building, Civic Center, Stockton, CA; State Theatre, Civic Center, Stockton, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Weeks and Day, Architects (firm); Wood and Lovell, Architects (firm); William Peyton Day (structural engineer); Sidney P. Lovell (architect); William Henry Weeks (architect); James Madison Wood (architect)

Dates: constructed 1891-1892

5 stories

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22 North San Joaquin
Civic Center, Stockton, CA 95202

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The Yosemite Theatre Building operated c. 1909 in Stockton, CA. F.A. Giesea managed the theatre at this time. (See Polk-Husted Directory Company's Stockton City Directory, 1909, p. 357.) It stood next to the Stockton Savings and Loan Society, Headquarters Buildling #3, the city's first skyscraper. The theatre operated as the "Yosemite" (c. 1893-1920), "State," "Fox State," and the "Esquire" #2.

Building History

The Yosemite Theatre opened on 07/12/1892, with the interior architects Wood and Lovell, in attendance. The San Francisco Morning Call said of its opening night: "The elegant Yosemite Theater was opened to the public to-night with the presentation of De Mille's latest play, 'The Lost Paradise,' by Mr. Charles Frohman's Stock Company. The handsome playhouse was filled early in the evening, and when the curtain went up not a vacant seat remained. The capacity is 1314, and there were not seats enough for the audience. The theater is finished in ivory tint with gold trimmings, and lighted with electricity and presented a brilliant appearance. No detail was omitted to make it the prettiest theater on the coast, and it was so declared by the theatrical people and all visitors, many of whom came from San Francisco. The architects, Colonel Wood and Sidney Lovell, occupied one of the proscenium boxes with the manager of the theater and the promotor of the project, Sidney W. Newell." (See "Stockton's New Theater," San Francisco Morning Call, 07/13/1892, p. 2.)

Fred Gilsea was the Manager of the Yosemite Theatre in 1907. (See “Addresses of Prominent Western Theatrical Managers,” W.R. Dailey, ed., Henry’s Official Western Theatrical Guide, 1907-1908, [San Francisco: Henry’s, 1908], p. 11.)

Wood and Lovell worked with the San Francisco firm of Weeks and Day, designers of the building's exterior.

In 2016, the Freedom Coffee Shop operated in a contemporary mixed-use building at 22 North San Joaquin Street.

Building Notes

In 1893, Charles F. Priest and Frank Abell owned a photographic gallery in Stockton's Yosemite Theatre Building. Abell and Priest also owned photographic galleries in San Francisco and Chico at about the same time. (See Peter E. Palmquist, Thomas R. Kailbourn, Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865, [Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000], p. 77-78.)


The Bay Area architectural firm of Weeks and Day remodeled the Yosemite Theatre in 1920, when it became known as the State Theatre.

PCAD id: 20269