Jewel Theatre

Pacific Avenue,
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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The Jewel Theatre was housed in a narrow, three story commercial building on the East side of Pacific Avenue between the terminus of Soquel Avenue and the terminus of Cooper Street, a few doors South of where the Hotel Palomar (now Palomar Inn) was later built.

The Jewel Theatre was likely closed by the mid-1920’s, as it does not appear in the Film Daily Yearbook in the final years of the decade. One grainy, early photograph has been seen, looking up Pacific Avenue when the theater was still operating, and it can be observed that the building was then more ornate than it appeared following a subsequent remodeling, probably in the 1920’s.

The building was destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, and a Postmodern style, stone-clad facade building of similar proportions and height stands there today.

Contributed by Gary Parks

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 20, 2011 at 5:16 am

Can anyone come up with the address? More info and photos are always welcome.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm

The Jewel Theatre was listed in the 1916 and 1918 editions of the Western Directory Company’s Santa Cruz County Directory, but not in the 1921 edition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Edward E. Prince, who lived in Santa Cruz from June 21, 1910, to December 16, 1911, kept a diary in which he mentions attending theaters in Santa Cruz. He mentions the Jewel Theatre by name on September 24, 1910. He also saw the movies at the Unique Theatre the same day.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 8, 2014 at 9:52 pm

The historic address of the Jewel Theatre was 161 Pacific Avenue. A bit farther up Pacific, at 145, was another movie house called the Princess Theatre. Both were listed in the 1916 and 1918 directories, but no longer listed in the 1921 directory. The lots that once had those numbers should appear on Sanborn maps from the period.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2014 at 8:01 am

The modern address of the lot the Jewel Theatre was on is 1220 Pacific Avenue. The current building is occupied by Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture, by John Chase, says that the Jewel Theatre operated from 1908 to 1920 on the ground floor of a three story building that housed the Masonic Lodge on the upper floors.

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