Oaks Theater

1875 Solano Avenue,
Berkeley, CA 94707

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Oaks Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1925, the Oaks Theater was restored by the Renaissance Rialto chain in 1994.

From February 2005, it was taken over by Metropolitan Theatres. It was taken over by an independent operator in early-2010 and screened first run and Bollywood films.

Sadly, it was closed in late-December 2010.

Contributed by frenchjr25@hotmail.com

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on April 7, 2010 at 8:50 am

The Oaks has new operators according to this article: View link

The theater’s new website is http://www.berkeleyoaks.com

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on April 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm

The new owners want to add Bollywood fare and change the refreshment stand offerings: View link

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on January 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm

The Oaks has closed again; the owner is again looking for new managers: View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Thanks for all the pictures.Looks like a nice theatre.

misterken
misterken on April 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

Sad when this local community theatre closed. I enjoyed not only the movies but also the lit marque at night.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on October 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm

I am very glad to see this theatre still standing and I do hope it will open again before too long.

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David Junchen, the “Oaks Th.” in Berkeley, California had a two manual Leathurby-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1925.

Further information on the organ, such as size (# of ranks), and blower information, is not given in the book.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ or it’s parts, and where it is/they are today? Thanks!

Also, if anyone has photos of the organ chamber(s) in the theatre, that would be great!!!

Would the current owners be amenable to allowing a visitor to come and take pictures of the organ chambers in the closed theatre, if they’re still present?

-Andrew

jordanlage
jordanlage on September 6, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Saw a few movies at the Oaks in my time, but the only ones I remember was a double-feature of Don Taylor’s “Tom Sawyer” the musicalized version from 1973 I believe, and right after it, John Sturges’s “Joe Kidd” with Clint Eastwood. These would have been second or even third runs of these films. I saw this double-feature in July or August of 1973. Joe Kidd was released in July of 1972; Tom Sawyer’s release date was March 1973. I’ve always liked that the Oaks was perched prominently at the top of Solano Avenue in Albany (Berkeley), and looked forward to seeing what was on the marquee as you drove west out of the Northbrae Tunnel. That it’s closed now (and McCallum’s ice cream!) significantly diminishes the allure of the Solano Ave commercial district. Should Pegasus Books fold that will be the end of my visits to that neighborhood.

moviebear1
moviebear1 on March 14, 2017 at 9:05 am

At 8 years old I saw my first 3D movie here “IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE” I was so impressed that any time I had a chance to see 3-D I would go out of my way to do so. In 2004 I visited the theatre again. and was pleased to find it was still there and open for business. They were running Oceans Eleven. Great memories. They are closed now but It is still standing. Here’s hoping someone will bring it back to life.

walterk
walterk on May 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

A local article says the Oaks has been put up for sale, after 6 years of unsuccessfully trying to lease it. It's hoped that nonprofits that may have been put off by the thought of raising funds to refurbish a leased space will find it more attractive if they can own the building. Asking price is $4.25 million, the property includes 5 retail spaces and 5 offices. A vintage photograph accompanies the article, it appears to be from the late 1930s.

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