Yolo Theatre

402 Main Street,
Woodland, CA 95695

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Archives of the Woodland Daily Democrat say that the Yolo Theatre was opened by Bill Cornwell on December 25, 1936 with Francis Lederer in “One Rainy Afternoon” and a vaudeville show on stage. It was built on the site of the former National Theatre, which was destroyed in a fire on April 25, 1936. John Garette owned the building but Cornwell leased it from him. The Daily Democrat said that the seats were spaced farther apart than usual and of the 803 seats there were 132 loges on the main floor and in the balcony. The screen was said to be one-third larger than usual. The concrete projection room was soundproof as was the nursery (this was before the term ‘cry room’ was used) with a viewing window located next to it.

Local historian David Wilkinson said it competed for years with the State Theatre and Porter Theater, and was even modernized in the 1950’s with a new fa├žade and streamline marquee.

On October 8, 1962, when it had a Spanish-language film policy, a fire destroyed the Yolo Theatre and it was never rebuilt.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 1, 2009 at 5:54 pm

The only mention of the Yolo Theatre in the L.A. Library’s California Index cites an item from Motion Picture Herald of August 14, 1937, which said that Peter Garrett had reopened the Yolo Theatre in Woodland.

There are many mentions of the Yolo in various issues of Boxoffice Magazine from 1940 and into the 1950s, but most are brief items saying that Pete Garrett had been among the visitors to film row in San Francisco.

Peter Garrett built the Sunset Drive-In near Woodland, a 450-car operation opened in 1950. An October 5, 1957, Boxoffice item said that the Yolo Theatre and Sunset Drive-In had been leased to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Skellcock, who began operating them October 1. Pete Garrett was retiring.

I’ve found no later mentions of the Yolo, but the Sunset Drive-In shows up a couple more times, and the October 25, 1971, issue says that Bob Garrett, owner of the Sunset Drive-In, had applied for a permit to operate a flea market there, so ownership of that property remained in the Garrett family at least until then.

dallasmovietheaters on October 27, 2020 at 8:59 am

Opened December 25, 1936 with “One Rainy Afternoon” and a vaudeville show.

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