Crest Theatre

1013 K Street,
Sacramento, CA 95814

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Showing 26 - 37 of 37 comments

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 26, 2006 at 5:50 pm

Wow. Is this place cool or what? In the dictionary next to the definition of killer vintage movie theatre there is a picture of this place. That tower is the best part.

tomdelay on October 5, 2005 at 1:11 pm

As the Hippodrome, this theatre contained a 2 manual 6 rank style D
Wurlitzer opus 1843. Another Wurlitzer went to a Sacramento Hippodrome Theatre contained a 2 manual 4 rank style 135 piano console Wurlitzer opus 289. This organ was shipped from North Tonawanda, NY on 2/28/20.

The larger style D organ was sold to Carlos Mendoza in Santa Clara.

teecee on April 2, 2005 at 6:51 am

Old interior photo:
View link

teecee on March 1, 2005 at 2:28 pm

Close up of marquee:
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Backseater on October 17, 2004 at 9:36 pm

I also saw 2001 there in the spring or summer of 1968, while stationed at Mather AFB. I remember when Kier Dullea was getting ready to “breathe vacuum” transferring from the pod to the ship, I was tempted to stand up and shout “I know you’re out there, Arthur C. Clarke!”

Sierrasue on June 27, 2004 at 3:38 pm

I saw “2001 a Space Odyssy” at the Crest for the first time in 1968. My friend, Thomas Farrell, was one of the projectionists on duty that night.

KerriSchiff on June 19, 2004 at 6:54 pm

Here is a link to the renovation…very cool site.
Yummy pictures:
View link

JimRankin on May 27, 2004 at 3:34 am

This theatre is one of some 200 that could be described as “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” which is the title of the ANNUAL of 1987 of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. In the late 1930s through the 1950s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Moderne meets Streamlined Rococo.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale. The ANNUAL also shows in its 44 pages how some 20 theatres were good examples of this combining of aluminum forms with sweeping draperies heavily hung with large tassels, and with box offices and facades richly treated with neon within the aluminum forms. Few of these examples survive today, but it was a glorious era while it lasted, and this collection of crisp b/w photos is a fitting epitaph by the late Preston Kaufmann.
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 44 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to lend it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

AlanSmithee on May 5, 2004 at 2:23 pm

Had 2 smaller auditoriums added in the late 90s, and the main theatre’s projection system was converted to a platter system after being the last carbon-arc changeover booth in the area. The main theatre is very nice though it has a bad acoustics problem that needs to be fixed!

William on April 14, 2004 at 8:35 am

The Crest Theatre does not have a balcony. The rear of the auditorium features stadium-type seating and the standard main floor seating arrangement.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on April 13, 2004 at 6:54 pm

I visited the Crest projection booth in January, 1973. Don Dingler, with whom I worked in Atlantic City and Trenton, NJ, was the projectionist. I remember a pair of Strong carbon arc lamps.I think that feature was Disney’s “Greatest Athlete”. The theatre was beautiful and had a nice balcony. The street out front was converted into a pedestrian mall.

William on December 17, 2003 at 9:38 am

The Crest Theatre opened during the month of July, 1949. It was designed to stand out among the stores on either side, the front of the theatrehas a perpendicular sign tower spelling out its name. The floor approach is in colored terrazzo, while the marquee soffit is illuminated with neon tubes and spotlights. Concealed lighting of lesser intensity leads the patron without eye strain through the lobby and foyer into the auditorium. A specially designed rich carpeting has been used in all of these areas to deaden the footsteps of patrons. In addition to the customary lounges, washrooms, and offices, dressing rooms for ushers and usherettes have been included in the plan of the first floor. A “crying room” is located on the second floor. The ceiling of the “stadium-type” auditorium features cast gypsum ornamentation of broad design concealing elaborate neon lighting units and air conditioning diffusers. Staff work, covered with gold leaf and glazed in warm transparent colors, adorns the side walls, which have been finished in ivory, gold and pastel colors. Excellent acoustics have been achieved through the use of Limpet plaster, while perfect sight lines have been gained by a fan-like arrangement of the seats. All stage draperies are lighted from a cove situated directly above the front of the narrow stage platform. The Crest Theatre was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres and was designed by the firm Cantin and Cantin of San Francisco. Which designed other theatres like the Coronet (1949-San Francisco), the Burbank & Studio (1949-San Jose), Senator (1926-Oakland). When the Crest Theatre opened it seated 1217 people.