Uptown Theatre

2316 E. Colorado Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91107

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2004 at 4:24 am

The Southwest Builder & Contractor magazine, issue of 10/10/1924, includes an item about the comencement of construction on the Warner Egyptian. It was designed by the local Pasadena architect Kenneth A. Gordon, who also designed an Egyptian-style theater for the Bard Circuit in Glendale at about the same time. The Warner Egyptian was built behind a pre-existing commercial building (which was on a very deep lot) and one of the stores was used for the ticket lobby and a long, narrow galleria which extended back to the new theater. The new building was 75' by 125' and was intended to provide 1200 seats.

I first attended a movie at the Uptown in the early 1960s. The auditorium was very much like a slightly smaller version of Alhambra’s Garfield Theatre, but with more of its decoration intact. I couldn’t see the decoration very clearly, though, as the auditorium was kept very dimly lit, even during the intermission. There were no moe than two dozen other patrons that day. Another odd congruity I found was in the intermission music. It was a recording of a theater organ, and was exactly the same recording which I had heard played at the Garfield for many years. I will always associate Lecuona’s Malaguena with those dim, cavernous, nearly-empty theaters.

OasisTheatre on April 9, 2003 at 11:31 pm

The Uptown Theater was originally known as the Warner Egyptian Theatre opened May 6, 1925, located at 2316 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, Ca. 91107. Henry Warner, (no relation to the Warner Bros.) was a theatre operator from Indiana. The Egyptian themed Vaudeville and Silent movie theatre was built in 1924. Currently the theatre is undergoing restoration as a stage theatre and movie house known as the Oasis Theatre. Anyone with knowledge or photos should contact James Perry at the above address or call (626) 844-8886. Help is needed by skilled craftsmen to renovate this period theatre back to its original condition.