Altos Theatre

220 Main Street,
Los Altos, CA 94022

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Additional Info

Architects: William Bernard David, William W. Wolf

Functions: Office Space, Retail

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Los Altos Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Downtown Los Altos in 1951

The Los Altos Theatre opened in May 1949. The theater was converted to office space (with some retail) in the late-1970’s.

Only a pair of exit doors on the back wall hint at its use as a theater.

Contributed by Gary Parks

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

William on November 12, 2003 at 5:19 pm

The Altos Theatre seated 527 people.

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Listed as the Los Altos in the 1970 motion picture almanac. Operator was Sunny-Mount Theaters, William B. David president.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm

William B. David was a very busy man, having had careers as theatre operator, unlicensed architect, and movie producer. There’s a brief biography of him on the Friends of the Cerrito Theatre web page. As David’s company operated the Altos, it seems a distinct possibility that he could have designed it as well.

Incidentally, two of the movies David produced in the 1940s are available as free downloads from the Internet Archive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 22, 2009 at 5:52 pm

The May 29, 1949, issue of Boxoffice magazine confirms that this theater was designed by William B. David, with William W. Wolf as listed architect. The item said that the same operators (the Menlo-Mayfield Theatres division of Westside Theatres) planned to build a similar theater by the same designer in Mountain View.

GaryParks on August 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

To my knowledge, the proposed theater to be designed by David and Wolf in Mountain View never got beyond the talking stages. This seems sensible, as the late ‘20s Mountain View Theatre (by Alexander Cantin—of Mountain View) and the '30s Cinema (architect unknown) would amply take care of a city the size of Mountain View. Later the Monte Vista and Moffett drive-ins would take care of any need for additional screens until the advent of the multiplex era.

fkrock on September 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

The Los Altos theater was a “family” theater in the early 1950’s. It was one of very few “family” theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In those days almost 100% of theater projectionists were members of IATSE union. A member with higher union seniority could bump a person with lower seniority from a job.
In a theater classified as “family” by IATSE all theater employees in any capacity had to be part of the same family. The projectionist, usually the theater owner, was a member of IATSE but he could not be bumped by a higher seniority union member. A temporary projectionist could be hired to cover a vacation or illness of the family member who maintained rights to the job upon return.

cjval52 on April 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I remember going up into the projection booth…..

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