AKA: Grand Lake Theater, Oakland, CA; Grand Lake Theatre, Oakland, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Reid Brothers, Architects (firm); James William Reid (architect); Merritt Jonathan Reid (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925-1926

2 stories

3200 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610

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Opening on 03/06/1926, the Grand Lake Theatre operated as a venue for silent movies and vaudeville performances. The Fox Theater Company, a nationwide chain built by William Fox (1879-1952), purchased the Grand Lake in 1928, and switched the programming to films only. Talkies began the following year.

The San Francisco architectural firm, Reid Brothers, designed this medium-sized movie palace. The exterior featured a rounded corner, its curving facade adorned with Neo-classical features, including paired columns, triangular pediments and a elaborate entablature. A huge electric sign on the roof read "Grand Lake." A smaller sign at the parapet line spelled out "West Coast Theaters," the owners. It seated 1,800 customers when originally opened, and was still in operation in 2011. Tel: 510.452.3556 (2011).

Renaissance Rialto, Incorporated, bought the ground lease in 1980, and began the process of adding screens within the building. In 1981, the balcony was enclosed to create a second screen; retail spaces lining Grand Avenue were made into two more auditoria in 1985.

In 1980, Allen Michaan, owner of Renaissance Rialto, Inc. purchased the ground lease,

PCAD id: 6867