Fruitvale Theatre

1351 Fruitvale Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94601

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Brown's Theater, Fruitvale Playhouse

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This theater (NOT to be confused with the New Fruitvale [q.v.], which replaced it as the neighborhood movie house) opened as Brown’s Theater about 1914, became the Fruitvale Theater about 1917, and operated under that name until 1924, when it closed.

Over fifty years later (and roughly a decade after the New Fruitvale closed), it reopened about 1978 as the Fruitvale Playhouse, showing mostly obscure Disneyesque family fare for a relatively short time.

(ALSO NOTE: This should not be confused with a later Fruitvale Playhouse that operated some years later for a time [also specializing mostly in family fare] on Farham Street off Fruitvale a couple of blocks east of this site.)

Afterwards it served as a church, but eventually it and several other buildings were demolished to make way for a Wendy’s.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

bago1 on May 20, 2008 at 8:47 pm

i remember coming here to this theater when it was Fruitvale Playhouse back in the mid 80s then in 1987 it was torn down and the Fruitvale Playhouse moved to a small building on farhnam st i remember seeing zoot suit boulevard nights and a few disney movies here man those where the good old days a lot of latino and asian kids would come to the Fruitvale Playhouse the owner was a older white guy i can,t remember his name he was a real nice guy ..

gsmurph on October 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm

It is the one listed here (not the New Fruitvale, in other words).

maestrowarlock on March 23, 2016 at 11:30 am

His name was Al Amorino,and he was one of my first bosses and a great friend. I worked with him on three non profit theaters for the underprivileged children of the fruitvale district in Oakland. He was a teddy bear with a loud voice that scared most people, but he had a heart of gold. He’ll be missed.

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