Grand Lake Theatre

3200 Grand Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94610

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Grand Lake Theater

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Built in 1926 with 1,700 seats in its single auditorium, Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre still shows first run movies.

Built as a vaudeville and silent movie house before switching to an all-movies format, the Grand Lake Theatre was bought and sold five times from 1926 to 1980. The most recent owner, Renaissance Rialto Inc., purchased the Grand Lake Theatre in 1980 and spent $3.5 million renovating the worn movie palace. Part of the renovation also added a second screen in the former balcony, and since then two more screens have been added to the building, bringing the total seating capacity to 1,600. It suffered damage in the 1989 earthquake, and repairs were carried out.

Despite the changes, the Grand Lake Theatre has retained the charm of its original appearance and its original illuminated roof top sign.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 82 comments)

Mikeyisirish on August 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

A 2012 photo can be seen here.

stevenj on September 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

New photos (some of the interior downstairs auditorium) taken yesterday.

Ian on March 14, 2013 at 2:42 am

Two photos from 2000 of the interior of the larger screen with the ornate curtains in place.



Logan5 on September 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

“The Rocketeer” was presented at the Grand Lake (#3) in 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo beginning on the film’s nationwide opening day Friday June 21, 1991.

tntim on February 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Here is a news story that was on ABC 7 news. Link

gabrielbarr on April 19, 2015 at 7:40 am

A snapshot of a man changing the sign in 2014. (He is taking down Interstellar and putting up Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.)

hdtv267 on September 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Thanks to a blurb on the website “”, learned that the upcoming movie “ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” shall be playing in 70mm, when it opens on 11/18/16.

Bay Area residents can plan accordingly.

hdtv267 on October 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

tickets are now on sale for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” unspooling in 70mm in this ‘grand’ venue.

I’ve noticed some showtimes are already sold out. Good on those whom got theirs!!

walterk on December 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

The Grand Lake lost their Assistant Manager, Denalda Renae (aka Denalda Nicole Siegrist) in the tragic warehouse fire in Oakland last week, I’ve just uploaded a picture of the marquee paying tribute to her and the other victims.

A memorial gathering for Denalda and all of the victims will be held in the main auditorium this Tuesday, December 13, all are welcome. More details are available on the Grand Lake’s website

hdtv267 on December 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Thanks for providing the info Walter.

During this season , especially, I hope everyone keeps Denalda , the other victims, their families & loved ones in their thoughts.

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