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The Novelty opened September 22, 1904. “Always to Lead” was the motto of President and General Manager Tony Lubelski. At the time of its opening, it was claimed by a newspaper article to be “the most attractive and best-appointed vaudeville house in the United States”. A part of the theater featured a penny arcade consisting of over 7500 square feet said in an article in the Oakland Herald (12/22/1904) to be “the largest of its kind on the Pacific Coast”. It was intended for patrons to enjoy themselves between performances.
At some point the theater apparently became the Broadway, becoming the first of two downtown Oakland theaters by that name. It was demolished about 1930, to be replaced by the New Broadway, which itself subsequently became known as Broadway (q.v).
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