Roxie Theatre

517 17th Street,
Oakland, CA 94612

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 24 comments

DavidZornig on March 3, 2018 at 11:58 pm

1928 photo as the Dufwin added via Ron Bell. Possibly one from the previous dead links.

Rebadeba53 on January 28, 2018 at 6:24 pm

I worked there with Mary McGee and Bea who were the two ladies that took the money in the booth. Also with a guy named Eric who was assistant manager he was creepy. Mr Jones was the manager.

annewandering on April 3, 2016 at 8:51 am

My husband worked there around 1970. I remember he talked about several others who worked there, Mary McGee and ..?.Ring. Apparently Mary McGee, who I did met years later, used to take the entrance money. He had some pretty good stories of his time there, many involving Mary’s ‘delicious’ brownies. I would be very interested in hearing from people who worked there at that time.

xsallnow on January 8, 2014 at 12:34 am

I remember the Roxie as a top-notch first-run house. Always enjoyed going there. A nice theater.

Mikeyisirish on August 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm

A few July 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

seymourcox on May 2, 2011 at 12:55 am

In the early 1980s I patronized the Roxie. All the staff were Asian, very polite, friendly. I remember the lobby was spacious and regal. The concession stand offered a broader menu than a Dairy Queen. They sold Nochos, hamburgers, cheese fries, softserve, etc. The auditorium still looked exactly like the above 1928 photo, though kids had used Magic Markers to scribble graffiti over everything, which had ruined once lovely wood panelling. A triple feature was on the bill, but crowds of noisy teens were so loud I stayed only long enough to get a good look at architectural details.

kencmcintyre on September 17, 2007 at 9:51 am

Here is a 1950 ad from the Oakland Tribune:

terrywade on August 8, 2007 at 9:18 am

Same thing went on at the Roxie that the Fox Grand Lake was doing. The Blumenfelds booked the Roxie at times like a road show house. had in the adds even 70mm listed. They didn’t have 70mm even had mono sound till many people got upset. Disney made them put in 4 track stereo for Mary Popins.Most people went to San francisco to see Cinerama, Todd-Ao and the other 70mm systems. The poor guys who went to the small Roxie screen missed all the presentation that SF had. It wasn’t till Ray S put in his Dome Century 21/22 big curved 70mm screens in San Jose that the 70mm hold had been let out of the SF theatres.

airjor1 on February 28, 2007 at 7:04 am

I used to attend the Roxie in the early 1980’s when I was in the United States Navy stationed at Naval Air Station in Alameda, California on the USS Kansas City (AOR 3). The majority of the movies had all black actors, and the patrons were mostly black. I remember watching “Superfly” for the first time and “Pipe Dreams” featuring Gladys Knight. I remember only paying 2 or 3 dollars to watch movies all afternoon and evening. The place used to get a good crowd on the weekend. I enjoyed the Roxie very much. Radioman third class, Anthony Jordan

robertcampbell on April 15, 2005 at 3:30 am

The Roxie was great and the Queen of B Triple Bills during the early seventies. It had a lobby with the snack bar in the center, stairs on both sides that went up to the balcony (it didn’t have a loge) ) where everyone did pot and drank nite train. There were no murals or paintings, as the walls and the sides of the screen were curtained over. Fights were always going down in there. All of a sudden the screen would go blank, the lights would come on, and about 20 uniformed Oakland police would come in, snatch some guy sitting in the front for no reason an drag him out. the lights would go out and the movie would come back on, and everyone would be catcalling out loud and kackling, it was great fun.

fabian on April 3, 2005 at 1:54 am

Man the Roxy-3 flicks for 2$. And me and my Mexican Patna form San Fran would hook up on the weekends and be there all day watching Black exploits & Fu Flicks. Ahh those were the days.

JessicaD on January 27, 2005 at 5:32 pm

I don’t know if/when it was called The Dufwin Towers, but it’s called the Dufwin Theater Building now.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 13, 2004 at 11:24 am

The Roxie Theatre closed in 1983. It was totally gutted internally and converted into office space.

gsmurph on April 25, 2004 at 12:22 pm

The Dufwin opened on October 8, 1928 and was named after Henry Duffy, a theater producer, and his wife, actress Dale Winter (combining the first syllables of their surnames). It was one of eight theaters owned by Duffy which featured the Henry Duffy Players. The opening play was Vincent Lawrence’s “In Love With Life.” Actor Leo Carrillo (who would years later be known as Pancho on “The Cisco Kid”) served as Master of Ceremonies at the theater’s opening. Sadly, Duffy went bankrupt in the early days of the depression, resulting in the Dufwin’s closure (and subsequent rebirth as the Roxie).

bruceanthony on February 16, 2004 at 4:28 pm

The Roxie was the exlusive run roadshow house of the 1960’s. “West Side Story”,“Mary Poppins”, “The Sound of Music”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”,“Hawaii”, “The Great Race” and “Easy Rider” were many of the exclusive long runs that played the Roxie during the successful 1960"s for this house. The Roxie was rather plain compared to the Paramount, Fox-Oakland and The T&D in Downtown Oakland. The Roxie was also the smallest of the exclusive run Theatres downtown. My favorite feauture of the Roxie was there vertical neon marquee. The Roxie during the 1960’s was the most successful of the downtown houses because they played all the big pictures. I will always have beautiful childhood memories of going to the the movies and the big department stores downtown.brucec

AndyT on February 16, 2004 at 7:54 am

The Roxie, with an entrance on a side street, was exceptionally well maintained at least through the 1960s. This was unusual, as most of the downtown Oakland theaters had fallen on hard times by then.

CaliforniaKid on December 28, 2003 at 11:29 pm

When I lived in downtown Oakland in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, I used to go to Roxie to watch 3 movies for $2.00 and it used to show nothing but Black movies. The upper balcony was closed to the pubic.

But I remember going there once to watch a western movie and we used to go up the balcony to see it. That was around 1967.

William on November 14, 2003 at 5:29 pm

The Roxie Theatre in Oakland was located at 517 17th Street and it seated 1075 people.

GaryParks on November 14, 2003 at 4:05 pm

The architects were Charles Peter Weeks and William Day, also architects of the nearby Fox Oakland.

unknown on November 5, 2003 at 3:26 pm

I recall Blumenfeld theaters operating this in the 1970’s. It had been a first run theater until the late 1960’s.