Grand Lake Theatre

3200 Grand Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94610

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Grand Lake Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Renaissance Rialto

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Mann Theatres, Renaissance Rialto

Architects: James Reid, Merritt Reid

Firms: Reid Brothers

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Renaissance Revival

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 510.452.3556

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News About This Theater

Grand Lake Theatre

Built in 1926 by West Coast Theatres with 1,700 seats in its single auditorium, The Grand Lake Theatre was opened March 6, 1926 with Matt Moore in “The First Year”. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer Hope Jones Unified Orchestral Organ which has 3 manuals and is still played today.

Built as a vaudeville and silent movie house before switching to an all-movies format, the Grand Lake Theatre was bought and sold five times from 1926 to 1980. The most recent owner, Renaissance Rialto Inc., purchased the Grand Lake Theatre in 1980 and spent $3.5 million renovating the worn movie palace. Part of the renovation also added a second screen in the former balcony on June 19, 1981 which has 450-seats. On July 12, 1985 storefronts were converted into two more screens, bringing the total seating capacity to 1,600. The new screens are designed in an Egyptian Atmospheric style and a Moorish style. It suffered damage in the 1989 earthquake, and repairs were carried out. The main curtain in the original auditorium is the center section of the house curtain originally installed in the Fox Theatre San Francisco. The main original auditorium is equipped to screen 35mm & 70mm films as well as twin 3D capable film projectors as well as digital projection.

Despite the changes, the Grand Lake Theatre has retained the charm of its original appearance and its original illuminated roof top sign. It still screens first run movies. In August 2018 it was sold to its leaseholder Allen Michaan.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 88 comments)

walterk on December 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm

The Grand Lake lost their Assistant Manager, Denalda Renae (aka Denalda Nicole Siegrist) in the tragic warehouse fire in Oakland last week, I’ve just uploaded a picture of the marquee paying tribute to her and the other victims.

A memorial gathering for Denalda and all of the victims will be held in the main auditorium this Tuesday, December 13, all are welcome. More details are available on the Grand Lake’s website

Trolleyguy on July 23, 2017 at 9:19 am

1947 picture added to Photos section.

Coate on August 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm

When was the Grand Lake converted to a 4-plex? (I believe it occurred some time between 1982 and 1986. Can anyone confirm?)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Renaissance Rialto’s web page says the balcony was converted for a second screen in 1981 and that storefronts in the building were converted into screens three and four in 1985.

rivest266 on August 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm

2 screens on June 19th, 1981 and four on July 12th, 1985. Grand opening ads in the photo section.

stevenj on August 25, 2018 at 11:25 pm

The Grand Lake has been sold to it’s leaseholder Allen Michaan who says he will continue to show films far into the future.

Grand Lake

MSC77 on May 27, 2023 at 11:34 am

A chronology of 70mm presentations in Oakland and the East Bay has recently been published for those interested in this aspect of the East Bay region’s motion picture exhibition history. The Grand Lake gets several mentions in the piece.

stevenj on May 27, 2023 at 3:06 pm

MSC77 - In the photos section for the Grand Lake (page 2) is a photo I took on Sept 23, 2012 of the marquee after seeing The Master in 70mm. It had opened the day before. Don’t know how many weeks it ran but should be included in your list at the link you provided above. And thanks for all your work at

MSC77 on May 30, 2023 at 4:23 pm

The Oakland/East Bay 70mm article has been updated to include “The Master.” (I’ll probably need to update it again in a few weeks once the “Oppenheimer” details are finalized.) Thank you, stevenj.

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