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As the daughter of Eddie Skolak I last commented here in June of 2011. At that time I mentioned that my mother Cathy Carver Skolak was living on the San Mateo Coast. Sadly she passed away 2/21/15 a week after her birthday. I had the privledge of being with her when she passed. One of my daughters was able to come and help me with the final arrangements. She is interned at next to my father at Cypress Lawn in Colma Ca. At the actual Service for her at least two of her grandchildren were able to be there to attend along with a surviving brother and two clost family friends from OR. I just wanted to say that with the passing of both of my parents, a lot of history of those early yrs. of the President Theater is done. Unless some others have more stories. I have given all the info. that I know of of which I wish I had listened more when I was a young girl.
I am the surviving daughter of Eddie Skolak who owned the theater from the 1940’s till his death in 1960. My mother who was the surviving widow and ran it till 1963 (Cathy) is still alive as of this date. She is living on the San Mateo Coast. I have little bits of info. since I had been around ‘the theater’ (as we called it) from birth till age 16. The theater was bought by St. Boniface Church who boardered it on Golden Gate Ave. They had been after that property for yrs. saying that they wanted it to expand their school, I was told by my mother.
My father fancied himself as another Flo Ziegfeld but never reached the heights that Mr. Ziegfeld (sic).did. My father moved out to SF from Chicago Il. where he was born in 1901.
‘The Theater’ was a problem for me growing up since the business sort of clashed with the Catholic Church. I attended Perochial School for eight yrs. and I was always treated sort of different by them because of it. I do not approve of the business but the actual theater was really something. I was pretty sad that it was never salvaged by some sort of historical group in SF to preserve it and maybe put in respectable plays, etc. I think that if it had been upgraded and refurbished it would have been really something to see. There was beautiful/ornate structural artistry to it. My father and mother had told me that it withstood the 1906 earthquake and fire but I really do not have any historical proof of that.
When my mother sold much of the artwork from the inside of it before sale of the theater, there were some very valuable paintings and mirrors. It must have been a somewhat classy theater in it’s beginning.