Grand Lake Theatre
3200 Grand Avenue,
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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 in 1981, and in 1985 storefronts were converted into two more screens, 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.
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