Grand Lake Theatre
3200 Grand Avenue,
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Built in 1926 by West Coast Theatres with 1,700 seats in its single auditorium, The Grand Lake Theatre was opened March 6, 1926 with Matt Moore in “The First Year”. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer Hope Jones Unified Orchestral Organ which has 3 manuals and is still played today.
Built as a vaudeville and silent movie house before switching to an all-movies format, the Grand Lake Theatre was bought and sold five times from 1926 to 1980. The most recent owner, Renaissance Rialto Inc., purchased the Grand Lake Theatre in 1980 and spent $3.5 million renovating the worn movie palace. Part of the renovation also added a second screen in the former balcony on June 19, 1981 which has 450-seats. On July 12, 1985 storefronts were converted into two more screens, bringing the total seating capacity to 1,600. The new screens are designed in an Egyptian Atmospheric style and a Moorish style. It suffered damage in the 1989 earthquake, and repairs were carried out. The main curtain in the original auditorium is the center section of the house curtain originally installed in the Fox Theatre San Francisco. The main original auditorium is equipped to screen 35mm & 70mm films as well as twin 3D capable film projectors as well as digital projection.
Despite the changes, the Grand Lake Theatre has retained the charm of its original appearance and its original illuminated roof top sign. It still screens first run movies. In August 2018 it was sold to its leaseholder Allen Michaan.
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