Broadway Theatre

1121 Broadway,
Oakland, CA 94612

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DavidZornig on November 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm

2 photos added via Vince Hernández-Ramos. 1963 and November 1972 demolition.

DavidZornig on February 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

1941 photo added courtesy of Philip Duhe.

AndrewBarrett on April 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

“The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 628, lists a Smith theatre pipe organ, two manuals, # of ranks not known, installed at the Broadway Theatre in Oakland.

No date is given, but I would guess it would probably post date the 1917 Wurlitzer opus 146, unless this was a very early Smith installation that was replaced within a year.

Given what has been said about the older Broadway Theatre (circa 1905-1930) being torn down, it is quite possible the organ went down with the theatre when razed in 1930.

However, if anyone knows any differently, please let me know!

kencmcintyre on March 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Here is part of an article in the Oakland Tribune dated 11/21/72:

They’re tearing down another part of old Oakland this week. The long-shuttered Broadway Theater at 1121 Broadway will vanish under the wrecker’s ball as part of the clearance of the fourth block of the projected 15-block $150 million City Center downtown regional shopping center. A skyscraper hotel will one day rise on the site.

The Broadway theater was new and modern Aug. 9, 1930 when it opened “for the exclusive presentation of talking motion pictures,” showing “The Texan'‘, an "all-outdoor” production, and a version of O. Henry’s story, “A Double Dyed Deceiver.” An older Broadway theater stood there for 25 years before the 1930 structure was built. Here, the word has it, Al Jolson once sang. Yesterday, renewal officials spoke glowingly of the newer Broadway to come â€" the resurgence of an urban core to draw shoppers from throughout the Eastbay.

tracyluster on June 11, 2006 at 8:54 pm

My grandfather, Carl Luster, opened with his partner in a vaudeville act at the earlier Broadway Theater on Christmas day of 1911. They did six shows that day. He wrote that they had work for the next 12 weeks, but it is unclear whether they played only the Broadway during that time since they were originally scheduled to play the Portola Theater in San Francisco.

JohnRice on June 16, 2005 at 8:35 pm

I preferred the Lux or Central but I saw quite a few programs at the Broadway in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. It was a typical big city “grind house” with several program changes a week. Double features and later triple features with continuous shows from 10 a.m. It was open all night in the years I attended. You never knew what the program would be. Recent major films, reissues, stuff from poverty row you never heard of. I always liked to look in Oakland Tribune’s classified movie listings to see what was showing. The theater itself had seen better days but the programming was sometimes interesting and the price of admission was right…cheap!

gsmurph on February 24, 2005 at 12:55 pm

The Broadway opened (in its latter-day incarnation) on August 9, 1930.

gsmurph on October 17, 2004 at 2:49 pm

The block that the Broadway once stood on is now occupied by the American President Lines highrise and a BART station entrance elevator.

gsmurph on November 11, 2003 at 3:02 pm

The Broadway was a vast renovation of an earlier Broadway Theater, which had been built in 1908 as the Novelty, and renamed Broadway and Republic. Initially the rebuilt theater was called NEW BROADWAY, but this was eventually shortened to Broadway, which it remained until its closure and swift demolition in 1971.

scottfavareille on September 28, 2002 at 12:40 pm

This theater was in the downtown Oakland area near where the Federal Building sits now. Programming mostly consisted of “grindhouse” style product(PRC, Monogram, B-Western, some exploitation). Shuttered in the 1960’s.