Rockridge Showcase

5144 Broadway,
Oakland, CA 94611

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gsmurph on December 27, 2016 at 7:38 pm

The Rockridge Shopping Center has been undergoing a massive overhaul and renovation in recent months (and is now referred to as “The Ridge.” As a result, nearly all of its original structures, including the one that formerly housed the Rockridge Showcase, have been demolished and are bring supplanted by new ones.

JCL on June 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hi freezetag 168,

Good timing..I have not been visiting ‘Treasures’ lately. In fact just got home yesterday (road trip).

Sorry to say did not know person you noted. I was at Rockridge year after it opened. Manager at time was young woman, sad to say do not remember her name, she had younger sister working ‘ticket and consessions’. I was hired on by Robert Lippert for opening of new twin in Alameda. Lippert offices were shared with Richard Mann (Theatre management) in S.F. Richard was son of Geo. Mann (founder of Redwood Theatres).

I worked for Mr. Richard Mann prior at the Briggsmore in Modesto, before transferring to Lippert.

Alameda showcase opened in 1969.

Still a big ‘movie fan’. Cheers, JCL

freezetag168 on June 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

There was so many fond memories there as this was my very first after-school job growing up in Oakland. Little did I know I’d outlast my years there as compared to my “real adult” jobs. JCL: were you one of the district mgr under Enea? I was the asst relief mgr there. It went through so many management changes during my time there.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Could it have been “LAST REMAKE OF BEAU GESTE” released in the late 70’s or so.,BJB.

BJB on July 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I remember seeing a Marty Feldman movie there around ‘80 or so. Tiny, tiny theater. I can see why it closed. I think the shopping center is still there, but haven’t been there in a while.

JCL on April 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

The above article by The LA Times is fairly accurate. Original Rockridge was a single screen small house. Robert Lippert built with intention of mainly being a ‘Arts & Foreign’ film house. His hope was a draw of elite patronage from surrounding Oakland hills, as well as the Berkeley student crowd. Rockridge Center was not that far down from the Piedmont Theatre and then Berkeley Campus.

The small lobby entry had the ticket counter and snack bar combined. On either side of lobby was a short staircase that led to the auditorium, as well as entry to the office and projection booth, (both above the snack bar lobby).

At the time, I was a manager for Lippert’s new Showcase Twin in Alameda at Southshore Shopping Center (see entry under Southshore
Twin). I later was district mgr for the Rockridge as well. JCL

bago1 on April 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

i remember going to see movies at this theater many times in the mid 1980s with my father i remember this theater being next to a payless drug store and also safway being in the same shopping center. one of the last movies i remember seeing here was masters of the universe that was about 1988 or 87 good old school memorys ……

kencmcintyre on July 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Lippert’s crystal ball, from the LA Times dated 8/25/68:

New Concept Puts Theaters in Shop Marts

The days of the big downtown movie palaces are numbered, believes Robert L. Lippert, operator of 58 theaters from Oregon to the Mexican border. “Young moderns do not want to leave their neighborhoods to see movies now”, he said. “And they especially do not want to send their youngsters to Saturday matinees in congested downtown areas”.

Lippert, who plans to open the 275-seat Showcase Theater next month in Oakland’s suburban Rockridge Shopping Center, said shopping center theaters are a new concept of motion picture presentation. “The theaters are easily accessible by car, with no parking problems, and they are frequented by young people in the community with the same interests”, he said.

The new theater will feature the continental seating style which eliminates center aisles and provides a full view of the screen at all times. Architect was Gale Santocono.

bago1 on April 30, 2005 at 7:57 am

i remember going to see movies at this theater back in the mid 80s

gsmurph on January 30, 2005 at 1:19 pm

The building in back of the strip mall (across Broadway from Oakland Tech)referred to by xtopher 1974 was the former Rockridge Showcase West, which was an offshoot of the Showcase depicted here (see the ROCKRIDGE SHOWCASE WEST entry elsewhere in CinemaTreasures). The shopping center that once housed the original Showcase is a block further up Broadway (towards College Avenue).

xtopher1974 on January 23, 2005 at 1:36 am

In the parking lot up Broadway from Oakland Technical High School (where Clint Eastwood graduated and formerly the jewel of the Oakland school system) there is still a sign that reads something like, “Extra Parking for Rockridge Showcase” and an arrow. Not sure if the building (which houses offices) at the back of the parking lot was the old theater (it’s about the right size and height) but have always wondered about the sign. I have no idea where the shopping center was. There is a strip mall kitty corner from this location, but nothing resembling a shopping center.

mlind on December 3, 2004 at 12:22 pm

There was a small theater in the old El Cerrito Plaza in the early 70’s. I don’t remember the name.

gsmurph on May 30, 2004 at 10:22 am

The Rockridge Showcase seated 367 people (265 in Cenema 1; 102 in Cinema 2).

William on December 3, 2003 at 10:07 am

The Showcase Theatre was located at 5144 Broadway.

scottfavareille on November 25, 2003 at 4:34 pm

Correction on last post—There was no Showcase theater in El Cerrito. It was in San Pablo, a twin that is now used as a clothing store & that is in the El Portal Center. The Alameda & Fremont theaters did have identical layouts.

scottfavareille on November 25, 2003 at 11:20 am

This was part of the Showcase Theaters chain & was their flagship theater in the East Bay. Other Showcase theaters in the East Bay were the Southshore Twin in Alameda and the Showcase Twin in Fremont. El Cerrito had a twin theater operated by Showcase that closed in the early 1970’s. The Showcase Cinema in Concord was not run by the Showcase Theaters chain.