Del Oro Theatre

165 Mill Street,
Grass Valley, CA 95945

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Del Oro HDR

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Named the Del Oro Theatre because of the surrounding area’s connection to gold mining, ‘oro’ being Spanish for gold.

This Art Moderne theater was built in 1942.

Contributed by jengod

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on December 1, 2004 at 5:44 pm


On October 7, 2004, the newly restored and repainted DEL ORO Theater switched on its beautiful Art Deco Moderne neon tower lights for the first time in many years, accompanied by a gala evening celebration at the theater hosted by owners Mike and Barbara Getz, who were also on hand for the festive evening which included suspending the regularly-scheduled program of movies for reels of preview trailers of current and recent films, free popcorn and soft drinks, a buffet table in the lobby, and a celebration of all things Art Deco with many in 1930s-1940s period costumes and classic cars out front of the entryway, plus a special screening of the new movie SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW in the main auditorium. A good time was had by all!
The DEL ORO Theater is once again the sparkling centerpiece of downtown Grass Valley city development.

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on March 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

Thanks! I worked at the Del Oro Theater for several months in 2004.
I was the maintenance and janitorial manager working for the Getzes.
They were really nice people to work for. It was a joy to clean up the theater every day and get her ready for showtime!
While I was there, the management was in the process of completing the theater’s restoration and now it is a jewel of California cinema.
There was an old sign backstage that stated the theater had its grand opening on May 24, 1942, after being under construction for two years beginning in early 1940. The sign also had a printed programme showing that the theater showed a Hollywood double feature of two 1942 classics, plus a WB cartoon, a newsreel of WWII coverage, and a travelogue about Mexico.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 6, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Various issues of Boxoffice Magazine indicate that the Del Oro Theatre was not built by United Artists, nor operated by that chain during its early years. Construction was begun in 1941 by Golden State Theatres, but apparently the house was being operated by Albert and William Forman’s United Theatres Circuit later in the 1940s.

An item in the April 16, 1949, issue of Boxoffice said that a $36,000 damage suit against United Theatres and Del Oro manager Jack Keegan was being tried in Nevada County superior court. Mr. Terry T. Whitesides of Grass Valley alleged that he had fallen in the aisle of the theater on September 28, 1947.

I’ve been unable to discover when United Artists took over the house, but they were operating it when it was triplexed in 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 19, 2010 at 2:21 am

The entry for architect Otto A. Deichmann in the 1956 edition of the AIA’s American Architect’s Directory includes the Del Oro Theatre at Grass Valley in the list of his works. The project is dated 1942. I’m not sure if Deichman’s partnership with Mark T. Jorgensen had been dissolved yet in 1942.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm

From Grass Valley in the mid 1950s a photo postcard that captured a portion of the Del Oro Theatre

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 9:36 am

A few photos can be seen here, here and here.

Mikeyisirish on October 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I restored the neon marquee in my photo. Check it out here.

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