Orinda Theatre

Moraga Way and Brookwood Road,
Orinda, CA 94563

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Orinda Theater at Sunset

The Orinda Theatre opened on December 27, 1941 with William Holden in “Texas”. The theatre was built for and operated by Donald Rheem.

Slated for demolition in 1984, it was saved through the efforts of preservationists and reopened in 1989 as the center of the Theater Square Project – a retail/entertainment redevelopment project.

Two extra screens have been constructed within adjoining retail space, leaving the original screen intact.

Contributed by Jeremy Sanford

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

mcmikecroaro on July 5, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Hi Folks:

My understanding is that the hot greasy steam from a popcorn machine could potentialy damage the ceiling murial in the lobby. This is what I was told and it seems to make sense.

This was an EXCELLENT theatre under Renaissance Rialto / Alan Michaan. It’s hard for me to believe anyone would think otherwise.


scottfavareille on April 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

It is now the only theater left after the Rheem in nearby Moraga closes for good after tonight’s performances. My concern is will this theater be next??

darquil on May 24, 2010 at 12:55 am

Seating capacity, per posted sign at box office:
1 – 750
2 – 178
3 – 47
Total seats: 975

darquil on May 26, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I’ve posted information and photos from a recent visit here.

DonSolosan on August 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

The address should be 2 Orinda Theater Square.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

paulvideo on April 6, 2015 at 3:40 am

Very nice. I lhave seen a long shot on fb of the lobby-excellent.

jordanlage on July 30, 2017 at 9:01 am

I remember seeing a double feature of AGAINST ALL ODDS and MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON here in… 1984. Preferred the Bridges film. A recent visit to the theater (July 2017) finds it still beautifully kept up.

terrywade on June 9, 2020 at 11:35 am

For many years the stereo surround sound in the large original Orinda Theatre has been turned way down as the former IA union projectionist did not care for people looking up when they heard effect surround speaker volume so he turned the ceiling/wall surround speakers way down. That projectionist is no longer in the booth so the volume has been turned back up like It was in the past. Hope they can re open soon so we can go and see this classic deco neon cinema with better sound at least in the large cinema space. Turn on the marquee neon and bring back the movie crowd!

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