California Theatre

5741 Dunsmuir Avenue,
Dunsmuir, CA 96025

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Showing 25 comments

DonaldKirk
DonaldKirk on February 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Brian: If you are still working on the theatre, I was the media manager in 2005, during the brief live-stage reopening. I need to talk with you! Don Kirk

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

A 2011 photo can be seen here.

DonLewis
DonLewis on October 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm

From 1954 a view of Dunsmuir Avenue including the California Theatre in Dunsmuir.

keithrankin70
keithrankin70 on August 8, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I delivered film to that theater for many years. never forget falling on my butt when getting out of the truck in the winter, and then over the hill tom meet the manager from tule lake. Always stoped at Sweet Briar exit and went home with a nice limit of Rainbow's
Good memmories. hope it is a good as it used to be after those knot heads spilled chemicals in it.
The 50s and 60s were good old days

bryantaylor
bryantaylor on July 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Greetings, I am now working on the restoration of the California in Dunsmuir. we are trying to reopen it with a new flare including community arts, plays, etc. We are interested in gathering volunteers for this project. We decided to do this without money exchange for the benefit of the town. Any comments or ideas would be greatly appreciated. We are also selling some of the vintage seating in the theater.

Holli4949
Holli4949 on October 27, 2008 at 5:42 am

I lived in Dunsmuir as a child and managed this movie theater when I was 18 years old. I can tell you the ghosts there are VERY real. :)

jrhine
jrhine on December 30, 2007 at 7:29 am

According to theatreorgans.com, the California Theater has its original organ back.

WurliTzer Opus 1232
STATUS INST LOCATION CITY STATE COUNTRY
SD A CALIFORNIA TH DUNSMUIR CA USA
SD B JOHN LEININGER RS REDDING CA USA
SD C VERN GREGORY SAN FRANCISCO CA USA
AD CA +6 RANKS (SMITH) SAN FRANCISCO CA USA
SD D FRED BEEKS RS RENO NV USA
SD E FRED BEEKS RS SKAGWAY AK USA
OK F CALIFORNIA TH DUNSMUIR CA USA

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on July 26, 2007 at 1:15 pm

Having visited Dunsmuir on several occasions, my wife and I were very much impressed with this charming city. We were kindly afforded a memorable tour of the theater, of which, has remained with us.

Presently living in the greater Los Angeles area, I have run aground in trying to find a theater in which to offer the benefits of my past cinema/theater experiences, both professionally and volunteer in England, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Should owners of the California Theatre contemplate reopening soon, then we are prepared to relocate if anyone wishes to contact me at

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on April 26, 2007 at 7:41 am

Are there any new developments with the California Theatre regarding its recent restoration, closure and sale and is it still a tri-plex?
I’m very curious!

MilesRichmond
MilesRichmond on June 16, 2006 at 8:01 pm

How sad and disappointing it is to think how hard the young people worked to put Dunsmuir on the map and then some of the people in Dunsmuir are so small minded not to see a good thing right in front of them. There is no doubt in my mind that it can be a success.
There was a lot of work done and I hope it can be saved. Miles Richmond

DonLKirk
DonLKirk on June 16, 2006 at 6:08 pm

To Clarify. Mr. Naify does not now own the CA Theatre. He was great to us; helping us reopen it and he donated the two original backdrops, from when the theater first opened in the 1920’s.

DonLKirk
DonLKirk on June 16, 2006 at 5:52 pm

The California is again closed. Apparantly a number of local citizens do not like the building’s owner; and they told us that unless we bought the place from him, they would not attend. While I never heard or saw the ghosts, several are rumored to live there. I’m President of the American Theatre Development Corporation; and we will soon see if we can purchase the CA. BTW… It’s 3 stories; and my office was 3 flights up in the old Mason’s office; with no elevator to help me get there. We’d like help getting ownership of it. funds/volunteers, etc. It’s partly refurbished; and we would like to restore it (and add an elevator) Don L. Kirk

rroberts
rroberts on January 1, 2006 at 7:23 am

Any idea of what is happening in this great theatre?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 4:56 pm

Here is another photo, from the same source:

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 18, 2005 at 3:07 pm

From the UC Davis collection:

View link

GaryParks
GaryParks on July 2, 2005 at 12:24 pm

Clarification: The CALIFORNIA vertical sign was one of a number of identical or near-identical signs made for many theatres under the T&D banner which were named “California.” The example in Dunsmuir is identical in design to that of the 1927 California Theatre in San Jose, a sign which was originally applied to the 1912 T&D Theatre DeLuxe when it was renamed California, and then later moved over to the new 1927 namesake. The DeLuxe/California of 1912 date was then renamed the Mission, and was torn down in 1953.
The Dunsmuir California vertical was indeed studied in detail in recent years, so that a replica could be made by Wagner Electric Sign Co. for the restored California in San Jose.

rroberts
rroberts on July 2, 2005 at 6:54 am

Fantastic theatre in a neat town. I was in it a few years ago when there was talk to reopen it. Mr. Naify did a great job keeping it open and alive. Good luck and congrats! Have you thought about doing a real Murder Mystery in there? I would be happy to work on it! (630) 480-3345.

MilesRichmond
MilesRichmond on June 28, 2005 at 6:15 am

The opening on June 26 was a fantastic time for all who attended. The “Boyz Nite Out” gave the audience a chance to dance and conga around the theater. Kerrie and Carter and all the wonderful volunteers of Dunmuir are to be applauded for such a great job of putting “life” back into the old city of Pusher. Miles Richmond

DonKirk
DonKirk on June 4, 2005 at 8:11 pm

Written in the third party by Don Kirk

On Thursday June 3, 2005, Director Kerrie Wilson appointed former Redding/LA Radio & Tv broadcaster and event promoter Don Kirk as General Manager of Media at the theater. Don’s job at the California Theater will be to license, set-up and run both an FM radio station and a UHF TV station; with the main broadcast studio’s and offices in the theater. Don will also oversee the set-up and operation of both audio and video recording studios in the California Theater. Don expects that many of the events held at the California theater will be audio, or video, or audio & Video recorded; and broadcast live or by tape, on the theater’s radio & TV stations.

Don is currently setting up his office (temporarily on the 3rd. floor) at the theater; and Don has already begun the radio station’s licensing process.

As an independent, Don will also be renting parts of the theater for one and two day events, promoting, producing and hosting many events held in the California Theater.

Anyone wanting to contact Don to help set-up the broadcasting, or recording aspects, or to help operate them, once completed, or to work in one of his events (actor, musician, stage hand), can email Don at , or call Don at (530) 515-2119. Don currently lives in Redding and will be commuting 2 or 3 days per week, to his office at the California Theater.

kerrie
kerrie on January 18, 2005 at 10:51 am

The theatre is now occupied by the American Institute for Arts and Communities. Please view our website at www.institutearts.org for more information. Kerrie Wilson, Director

MilesRichmond
MilesRichmond on December 19, 2004 at 7:28 am

The History of the California Theatre has been completed by Miles Richmond and a copy is in the office of the California Theatre, Dunsmuir

MilesRichmond
MilesRichmond on August 1, 2004 at 11:26 am

I lived in Dunsmuir from 1934-1954 and lived the evolution of the California Theatre. I have written a chapter about the theatre and the culture that was created by the patrons in my book entitled MY STORY. I would be glad to give a bried 30 minute lecture on the Theatre any time if anyone was interessted. I am a retired school administrator and live in Gold River, Ca. Miles Richmond