Fine Arts Theatre
429 S. California Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Renaissance Rialto
Architects: Gale Santocono
Previous Names: California Avenue Theatre, Mayfield Theatre, Cardinal Theatre
The 500-seat California Avenue Theatre was opened on August 19, 1926 with Perlmutter & Potash in “Partners Again”. It was equipped with an American Photo-player organ. It was later renamed Mayfield Theatre for a small community south of Palo Alto, Mayfield, which was later annexed to Palo Alto. The Mayfield Theater was originally a simple Spanish Mission style structure, but was given a plain Moderne style façade and marquee in 1951. It was still listed as the Mayfield Theatre in the 1957 edition of Film Daily Yearbook. Following renovations in spring of 1951 it was renamed Cardinal Theatre. The last chain to operate it was Renaissance Rialto as the Fine Arts Theatre.
Closed in the late-1980’s, the building is now an oriental rug gallery, though conversion back to a theatre would be relatively easy. The marquee still reads Fine Arts in neon, and the original façade still exists in part behind the 1950’s era fascia.
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