Alhambra Theatre

1101 Alhambra Boulevard,
Sacramento, CA 95818

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Alhambra Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Moviegoers once entered this theatre, known as the ‘Showplace of Sacramento’, through a beautiful garden with fountains. So great was its splendor that the City of Sacramento even renamed adjacent 31st Street ‘Alhambra Boulevard’ in honor of the theatre. The Alhambra Theatre was opened September 23, 1927 with Rod LaRocque in “The Fighting Eagle”. It was equipped with a Robert Morton unit 11 ranks organ.

The Alhambra Theatre was closed September 4, 1972 with “A Man For All Seasons” and “Nicholas and Alexandra” In 1973, however, the Alhambra Theatre was demolished to make way for a Safeway grocery store, catalyzing the local historic preservation movement.

Today, the only remnant of the Alhambra Theatre is a one story fountain and a plaque located on the side of the Safeway’s parking lot.

Contributed by Jeremy Sanford

Recent comments (view all 60 comments)

Bud K
Bud K on June 24, 2011 at 7:16 am

To Leonard and all the awesome folks who tried to save this theater Thank you, however 40 years later you wonder if the measure succeeded if the Theater would still be with us today, As much as I loved this place I don’t think so, The Problem with the Alhambra was simply it was built in the wrong place, it’s facilities was grand but not anything like the Paramount in Oakland or the Fox in San Francisco it was a neighborhood theater and a BIG one at that, Way Too Big, for those that knew this theater I think the Gardens outside were more beautiful than the inside, The Ceiling was not anything special and wasn’t the walls Stone? I do remember the Big Isle down the middle of it but again what do we remember about the interior. There is Not ONE picture of it anywhere on here or the Net.

To be very honest Sacramento really does not have any real Cinema Treasures, ok The Crest is nice but again it was a “Work Horse” theater in its day, The Tower, Century’s, State and Capitol Theaters were beautiful the day they open but we know there fate, split degraded and destroyed in the name of Progress, We now have the Megaplex’s, Imax behind what’s left of the Esquire and Like the National in LA, Good theaters torn down only to see the vacant and parking lots, (Cinema 1 and 2 and the Showcase) This Week we heard that the Woodland City Council is Saving the State BRAVO at least someone cares :)

spudwas on March 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

I often wondered, for years, what happened to the “save the Alhambra” donation money that the people in Sacramento put into the fund back then to save it.The Alhambra obviously was not saved. So where or who got the money? There are pictures of the interior around. I saw one in the local PBS documentary “Sacramento:a nice place to live.” I will try to capture the picture and upload here.

Bud K
Bud K on September 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

for those that are curious about what the interior of the Alhambra Theater looked like I cannot post a pic because of copyright however here is a link to The Sacramento Public Library

CatherineGW on March 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

I was also a part of the protest movement. Most everyone in our group (The Magic Theatre) joined. It was a sad day when we lost.

Jami_E on July 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I was only 2 when this was torn down but what a magnificent building! I have heard a lot of long time Sacramentians talk about the drama that surrounded destroying this theater and the movement of trying to save it. Why was such an old and historic building torn down for a grocery store?

GaryMeyer on April 9, 2015 at 7:20 am

I booked the theater in it’s last year and it was spectacular and if I remember correctly it did have D-150.

JohnRice on April 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm

I don’t believe D-150 was ever installed at the Alhambra although it possibly was planned to do so. United Artists Theatres did build a D-150 house in the Sacramento suburbs (Carmichael) named Cinema 150 (later Crestview Cinema), very similar if not identical to it’s identically named D-150 theatre in Santa Clara CA. That Carmichael theatre opened in September 1966, rarely if ever showed anything in D-150 or 70mm, and has long since been demolished.

The Alhambra did have 70mm (Norelco DP70) capability and showed a few films in the 1960’s including “My Fair Lady” in that format, but all on it’s flat screen.

Darrellt on December 31, 2015 at 6:55 pm

I saw Fantastic Voyage there as a kid. It was the “go to” event for birthday parties. I was very sad to see it torn down and to this day will never shop at a Safeway.

Talisman on November 18, 2016 at 12:10 am

Can anyone confirm what the last film showing at the Alhambra was? I saw Nicholas and Alexandra in late 1972. I believe I was there on the last night before they turned out the lights. Grand old place, for sure.

loafersman on March 23, 2017 at 5:20 am

The last movie shown at the Alahambra Theatre before it closed on September 4, 1972 was a double feature (A Man for All Seasons and Nicholas and Alexandra).

Scroll down to the “Sacramento Trivia” section, Question 10.

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