618 Lighthouse Avenue,
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Previously operated by: T & D Jr. Enterprises
Firms: Cantin and Cantin
Styles: Spanish Renaissance
This was a small Spanish style theatre designed by San Francisco architect Mark T. Jorgensen. The Grove Theatre opened by T & D Jr. Enterprises on August 1925 and had a 2 manual 4 rank style B Wurlitzer. The organ was removed in 1950 to an Oakland church, where it remains. The theatre suffered a major fire on June 21, 1951 that left only the outside walls and former rear wall of the stage.
A modern cinema was built into this shell, designed by architectural firm Cantin & Cantin. It was again called the Grove Theatre and opened in summer of 1953 with Betty Grable in “The Farmer Takes a Wife”.
The Grove Theatre ceased as a theatre in the early-1970’s when it became a paint store. Though the floor was levelled, the 1950’s auditorium was largely intact. In the 1990’s, the former auditorium was gutted and a second floor installed in the auditorium space with new windows cut into the original 1925 walls.
There is virtually nothing left to indicate that this building was ever the Grove Theatre of 1925 or 1951. This is not to be confused with another building façade on Lighthouse Avenue that also has "The Grove". This was the building housing the former newspaper and no relation to the late Grove Theatre. The former Grove Theatre was converted into office space, and by 2011 was in use as a spa & beauty salon.
The original Grove Theatre was part of the Monterey Peninsula theatre chain that also included the Monterey State Theatre, Strand Theatre, and Monterey Theatre.
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