United Artists Theatre
823 MacDonald Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, T & D Jr. Enterprises
Architects: F. Frederic Amandes, Albert W. Cornelius
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: T & D Theatre, Califoria, Theatre, Fox Richmond Theatre
The T & D Theatre was opened August 27, 1922. It was designed by architect Albert W. Cornelius. On January 12, 1924 it was taken over by West Coast Theatres and reopened as the California Theatre presenting 5-acts of Vaudeville on the stage and House Peters in “Held to Answer” on the screen. It was taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres reopening as the Fox Richmond Theater on August 1, 1931 with the World Premiere of Clark Gable in “Sporting Blood” and Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy in “Our Wife”. It was remodeled in 1936 to the plans of architect F. Frededric Amandes. Around July 1953 it was renamed United Artists Theatre. It was closed September 27, 1957.
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Recent comments (view all 18 comments)
My source for the name of the architect of the 1936 remodeling of this theater misspelled his surname. It should be F. Frederic Amandes.
Thanks again Joe.Your research is always welcomed.
The December, 1919, issue of The Architect and Engineer included a theater at Richmond for the T&D circuit among the projects slated for 1920 by the office of architect A. W. Cornelius. This house most likely opened that year. The T&D Theatre at Salinas was on the same list.
Growing up in Richmond, the UA was the only local theatre that seemed to me like a movie palace, although certainly not a grand one like found in nearby Oakland or San Francisco. It had a balcony (closed much of the time) and when CinemaScope came along the Scope films with four channel magnetic stereo sound were pretty impressive in that big auditorium. I suppose it was my favorite theatre in Richmond, not that we had much to choose from by the mid 1950’s. A nice middle aged woman behind the concession counter would save 8 x 10 stills for me and sometimes even allow me to slip in to see a free show. Fond memories of the UA!
I am a post-production assistant on a local documentary in which THIS EXACT photo was used. The director and editor do not remember the original source of the photo, which they need for acquiring the rights, so it is my job to find out. I was wondering, do you know the source of the photo? The director believes it’s from a Richmond history book that includes a second photo of the exact same location, but in the ‘80s when the street has been through complete economic collapse. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Max: That photo was actually uploaded by John Rice. His most recent comment at CinemaTreasures is on this page, so that’s where you’d probably be most likely to catch him (I don’t think CT sends notifications of comments made on photo pages.)
Thank you, Joe!
Opened 27 Aug 1922 and closed 27 Sep 1957.
The site/link that Joe Vogel posted in 2008 for the 1959 photo of Macdonald Ave at night/Fox Theater, no longer exists. However, through the magic of the web-gods archives, you can view it here: http://web.archive.org/web/20200303212813im_/http://eastbayhistory.com/images/3488.16%20-%20Macdonald%20Ave,%20night,%20Fox%20Theater%201959_web.jpg