UC Theatre

2036 University Avenue,
Berkeley, CA 94704

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Showing 26 - 41 of 41 comments

JimC on March 12, 2005 at 4:38 pm

I recently (Feb 2005) had the opportunity to tour the inside of the long closed UC theatre. My first impression upon entering the lobby was that things were not all that bad. But that was a temporary illusion. For some reason the lobby and concession stand area were in inexplicably good shape compared to the rest of the interior and auditorium which have pretty much been totally trashed. The fabric on the auditorium auditorium walls was torn & moldy. All the surround speakers had their cones slashed, and the wall sconce lighting fixtures were either smashed or partly melted from having something flammable poured on them. Nothing is left of the screen, or up the projection room. Parts of the dressing rooms under the stage were under several feet of water from recent heavy rains in the SF Bay area. I took some pictures, but there’s really nothing to show. It was painful to see such a sad end to such a former showplace.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 20, 2004 at 4:14 am

For sale for $6,500,000 which seems outrageously high at

putman on September 8, 2004 at 2:07 pm

I put this was in my post of 4/8/04, but here it is again, I look forward to hearing from you.

PhiladelMike on September 3, 2004 at 2:03 am

This comment is specifically addressed to putman.

Putman, on your April 8 2004 posting, you mention:
“Contact me if you’d like to know why the theatre really
closed”. You neglected, however, to provide a contact
e-mail address. Will you please post your e-mail address
now? Thanks.

putman on April 8, 2004 at 11:10 am

I knew that seat well, the one with leg room. Mind was 2/3rd’s back, next to the wheelchair spaces. Had the best sound.
I still have those 4 chairs

Peasprout on April 8, 2004 at 12:58 am

Putman’s post reminded me…I too had “my” seat. It was up near the front, on the right side of the middle rows…there was this aisle that had a little bit more leg room. For a 6'3 guy, that is important. The fifth seat over…prime seating.

putman on April 7, 2004 at 11:23 pm

I grew up in the UC theatre, saw my first movie(s) there. I knew no peace like the peace of sitting in my favorite seat, watching Das Boot, or some other great film. I was lucky enough to work there as assistant manager up until she went dark for the last time. A glorious time, spent with the most amazing people. There are a million stories about the UC theatre which need to be told. I am now in the process of doing so, and would love to get some imput from you, the faithful who remember the life of that once great movie house. Please email me anything you feel like sharing @
I have a lot of files and historical information and other goodies from the theatre I’d love to share, so drop a line.
When I put “Hello, I must be going” on the marquee, I never thought it would be the last hurrah. Sadly, it appears that they are gutting her as I write this and that she’s through as a movie theatre. Contact me if you’d like to know why the theatre really closed. It’s a sad tale, but one that needs be told.

Peasprout on March 31, 2004 at 12:44 am

One other thing…does anyone else have some of the film listing calendars from the U.C.? I saved a lot of them for some reason, but not all of them. It would be neat to compare and remember what films I saw there and when. I am if you want to e-mail me.

Peasprout on March 31, 2004 at 12:43 am

I was telling a friend about a 12 hour long horror movie marathon I watched at the U.C. Theatre in 1996, and it prompted me to get out the old calendars I saved. That made me quite melancholy, and led to me google-ing the theatre and finding this site. I’d give darn near anything to have the U.C. back. I was there sometimes 5 times in a week. It’s absurd that Berkeley couldn’t find a way to save that place.

gsmurph on March 10, 2004 at 7:59 am

The UC Theatre’s address is 2036 University Avenue.

stefoscope on March 1, 2004 at 5:21 pm

For many years, this was my most favorite theatre in the bay area. You couldn’t beat the one-price double-features they used to run here, and the enthusiasm with which many of the films were presented, was memorable at the least. I saw a screening of William Castle’s “House on Haunted Hill” here in ‘93, where they actually recreated the original “Emerge-O” effect, and pulled a life-size skeleton over the audiences’ heads. It’s the only time I can recall being in a theatre, and having people stand up to take photos during a screening!
Then there was the screening of “The Tingler” from around the same time, where they had ushers dress up in Halloween masks and run up and down the isles screaming…such fun!! Of course, “Rocky Horror” was long-running at this theatre on weekends, but it’s the other stuff I enjoyed the most.
It had a wonderful old-time feel to it. The floor was wood, and was sloped. There were dimly-lit lamps in the alcoves next to the screen. The ambience was great. Shortly before this theatre closed, they celebrated an anniversary and had a new screen installed. Too bad it couldn’t have remained open. After closing, the marquee read, “Hello, I must be going”…a Groucho Marx quote. If you called the theatre’s answering machine at that time…instead of the usual program schedule, they had a sound effect tape playing of an empty room with wind blowing through (like a haunted house). How sad. Something really must be done to reopen and restore this terrific old theatre. It’s Berkeley’s jewel, to be sure.

janelle on February 29, 2004 at 11:34 pm

aw crap. I meant “sustain”.

janelle on February 29, 2004 at 10:53 pm

Tell me, what good is it to live in a city renown for it’s high population of bleeding heart, lefty, do-gooders, if we can’t even substain the oldest and most special movie theatre in town? The UC Theatre was part film education, part freak sanctuary and was truly the heart of downtown Berkeley. Everytime I walk by the boarded-up windows, it tears me up. Does anyone know the current status of this building? Is there anyone working on re-opening it in any capacity?

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on November 21, 2002 at 10:47 pm

Wow! I had some great times in this old theater house, I can’t count the number of times I went there in the 1970s and 1980s. The U.C. Berkeley Theater was like a Bay Area version of L.A.’s NUART, with a great mix of foreign films, indies, and classic American Hollywood movies on its fine programs. I went there several times for science fiction film festivals, and hung out in the projection room with the staff projectionist, my good friend Chris Rasmussen, and this was the place to be seen every Saturday night if you were into doing the midnight “Rocky Horror Picture Show” thing!

GaryParks on August 21, 2002 at 1:59 pm

The UC and the Campus are not the same. The Campus still stands on Durant St. a little south of Telegraph Ave. The former Campus has long been an office and retail building, but the large concrete stage fly tower can still be seen sticking up above the rear of the building.

janfish on March 21, 2002 at 2:25 pm

I am looking for any history on the “Campus Theater” in Berkeley. Is this “UC Theater” the same thing?