612 F Street,
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Construction of the Eureka Theater began in 1938 by George Mann, the founder of the Redwood Theatres Corporation. Mr. Mann, a well known name in the movie business went on to construct and manage many movie houses across the western United States. The Eureka Theater’s grand opening was on March 4, 1939, and showed the film “Going Places” starring Dick Powell.
The theater was converted to a triplex (with the balcony being split into two separate theatres) in 1978. The Eureka Theater closed its doors in 1996 due to the building of new multiplex theaters in the Eureka area.
In the late-1990’s, Bob Rickard, a longtime resident of Humboldt County and former Eureka Theater assistant manager, called George Mann II, grandson of the man who built the Eureka Theater, to talk about the theater’s lack of use and potential for restoration. With Mann’s blessing, Rickard began drumming up local interest in the theater’s rebirth.
In 1999, Eureka businessman Rob Arkley purchased the building from Mann and gave it to Rickard’s newly-formed Eureka Concert and Film Center. Shortly thereafter, the Eureka Theater reopened for the community to use.
The ECFC board, currently under the leadership of Wendy Petty, is now focused on restoring the building to its original state, while still making it available for event and performance rentals.
Currently, the theater has stage lighting and in-house sound system suitable for musical performances, and is also equipped to show 35mm films, with optical mono, stereo, or digital surround sound.
Recent improvements include a new roof, new smoke & fire detection systems, lighting and sound system upgrades, and new marquees installed.
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