Union Theatre

Franklin Street,
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

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The Union Theatre was opened by P. W. Brubeck in 1910, and was still in operation as of 1914.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm

The following is from a biographical sketch of P. W. Brubeck in History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California, by Aurelius O. Carpenter and Percy H. Millberry, published in 1914:

“Nearly five years ago Mr. Brubeck saw the opportunity of engaging in the moving picture business. Accordingly he made arrangements, and in February, 1910, he opened the Union Theater on Franklin street, which has been run steadily and been a success ever since. It is the most centrally located theater in Fort Bragg and has a seating capacity of three hundred and seventy-five. He is catering to the best trade and is using the Mutual program, running four films each day, with a daily change of program.”
As “…the most centrally located theater in Fort Bragg….” the Union must have been within a block or two of Redwood Avenue on North Franklin Street. There are quite a few old buildings still standing in that area, so there’s a good chance that the theater’s building is among them.

In the section a short way down this web page headed “From the Sublime to the Ridiculous”, James Cahill recalls seeing the 1938 film Babes in Toyland at the Union Theatre in fort Bragg a year or two after it was released, but he places the theater on Main Street rather than Franklin Street. I don’t know if the Union Theatre moved after 1914, or if professor Cahill simply got the street wrong, or if he actually saw the movie at the State Theatre, which was on Main Street, and misremembered which theater he saw it at. In any case, it’s possible that the Union Theatre was still in operation at least as late as 1939 or 1940.

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