Los Gatos Theatre

41 Santa Cruz Avenue,
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Showing 20 comments

GaryParks on May 8, 2014 at 11:05 am

We attended “The Amazing Spiderman 2” last weekend. This theatre is a dazzler! T hey did it right. There is a seamless blend between old style and new presentation. No—the auditorium murals were not reproduced, which is disappointing, but there are authentically replicated old style Art Deco fixtures and features galore which would be at home in any movie palace of 1930. There is a waterfall curtain, comfortable seats, beautiful carpet, small, but beautifully-appointed restrooms, LED cove lighting…and even the theatre’s old Ten-O-Win wheel, which is displayed over the staircase landing. The staircase railing is a beautiful Deco custom design.

GaryParks on April 22, 2014 at 12:11 am

We stopped by the theatre this evening. It is about to reopen. All the neon, LED lighting, and interior were lit up. The effect is stunning. I strongly recommend that all who are nearby do so. We are looking forward to patronizing this theatre.

theatrix on February 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Observing the construction progress on this building, I do think they did a fine job with the rebuild. As Gary noted they did good work of incorporating the old neon signage, along with replicating historic elements. It is all quite visually appealing. Once they iron out the programming and find their niche, I have no doubt the theatre will see plenty of business.

GaryParks on January 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I would have to respectfully disagree with the above comment that “no significant preservation took place,” as preserving the vertical neon sign and incorporating elements from the old marquee onto the new are indeed significant. Also, the streamlined walls which house the poster cases have been exactly duplicated to match the configuration from the 1940s. But I will agree that what is on the site is essentially a brand new theatre, not a restored one.

theatrix on January 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Those who have referred to the current work on this property as a “remodel” are incorrect. There was no remodel. The original theater was DEMOLISHED. As a previous commenter said: the ONLY original thing remaining of this theater is the marquee. That’s it. They COMPLETELY GUTTED the original property, down to the walls; I witnessed this by peering through a hole in the construction barrier at the front. A bit sad. So for all practical purposes, whatever you eventually see on the site (save for the marquee) is simply a new theater. Better than no theater at all of course, but no significant preservation took place.

GaryParks on October 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I’m happy to say that the facade of the Los Gatos, as it’s shaping up, is on its way to actually being an improvement upon what was there before the current remodel began. The massing and proportions are well-balanced. The two porthole windows—which at first I thought might look hokey—are actually quite nice, and the new marquee structure, which actually will have a small porch on top, is neither overwhelming nor too small. Once the stucco and paint is applied, and the restored vertical sign and marquee “fins” mounted, the effect is, I believe, going to be excellent.

GaryParks on March 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm

The interior is almost entirely gutted down to the wood frame. The marquee and vertical sign have been removed for off-site refurbishing.

rivest266 on December 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

Closed. but will reopen in 2013 official web is at http://www.losgatostheater.com

GaryParks on July 1, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Regarding Joe Vogel’s assumption based on a 1974 comment made by William David in Box Office magazine: The Los Gatos was not twinned at that time. I attended there several times in 1989, and the auditorium was a single. The sidewalls had their original plasterwork—frames, moldings, medallions—from the Teens. There was a dropped ceiling of perforated acoustical tile, which was plainly hiding further ornament above it, as you could see some plaster pendant elements hanging down below the ceiling tile line on the sidewall pilasters. The proscenium and angled walls flanking it were of 1940s vintage, plain and streamlined, with the abovementioned maiden figures painted on them, these being the only historic interior decorative elements visible today.
The twinning was done after the Oct 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake closed the theatre for repairs and remodeling.

kencmcintyre on July 1, 2009 at 9:53 pm

That’s where the aka of Strand came from when they added the theater. Premier should also be added.

kencmcintyre on July 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm

So the Strand building, constructed in 1916, was burned in the 1929 fire but not destroyed. It was renovated and became the Premier. At some later date the name was changed from Premier to Los Gatos.

kencmcintyre on July 1, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Here is a 1935 view of the Premier:

kencmcintyre on July 1, 2009 at 9:45 pm

This is a 1944 photo. It looks like the earlier Strand was re-opened as the Premier after a fire in 1929, but then later became the Los Gatos listed here. The Premier was mentioned as an aka by Gary Parks on 9/21/08.

kencmcintyre on July 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Here is an earlier Strand in Los Gatos, circa 1920s:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 10, 2009 at 1:47 am

The most recent reference to a Premier Theatre in Los Gatos I can find is an item in Boxoffice Magazine, November 20, 1937.

Items from various issues of Boxoffice in late 1950 mention the Los Gatos Theatre celebrating its ninth anniversary. Apparently, this house was part of a small circuit operated by A. Blanco, taken over by partners William B. David and Bruno Vecchiarelli in 1941, according to an item in the September 13 issue of Boxoffice that year. The name change to Los Gatos must have been made about the time David and Vecchiarelli took over the house.

William B. David was still the owner of the Los Gatos in 1974. The September 9 issue of Boxoffice that year ran an item headed “Los Gatos Reconstruction Expected to Start Soon”, relating that the Los Gatos Theatre had been damaged by a fire which had spread to its attic from an adjoining building. The building suffered water damage as well. David was quoted as saying “It looks as though there will be two theaters instead of one.” Thus 1974 is the likely date of the twinning of the Los Gatos.

The article doesn’t mention it, but I’d surmise that David did the design for the reconstruction and remodeling himself, as he was the designer of many Northern California movie houses.

GaryParks on September 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm

This theater was earlier known at the Premier, a name which it still had by 1930. I long ago discovered one reference to its original name being Strand. During the silent era, it was equipped with a photoplayer instrument. I do not know the brand or type.

dictionary101 on September 20, 2005 at 1:33 pm

Per cameracinemas.com, each theatre seats 200; making total capacity 400, not 425.

“Each of its two auditoriums seat 200, and number 1 was recently refitted with brand-new seats and carpeting.”

See http://www.cameracinemas.com/cameras.html for the full story.

ranulimes on July 19, 2004 at 10:00 pm

The actual address is 41 N. Santa Cruz Ave. The two theaters now seat 200 and 225. There is talk of twinning theater #1.

William on November 13, 2003 at 4:59 pm

The Los Gatos Theatre is located at 43 Santa Cruz Ave., it seated during the 50’s 745 people.

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on November 19, 2002 at 4:25 pm

I have often gone to this quaint old theater to see art films from Europe. After the scary earthquake in October 1989, many were doubtful that this theater would ever open again. Happy to say after seismic retrofits and remodeling it did!