Varsity Theatre

616 Second Street,
Davis, CA 95616

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Varsity Theatre Davis

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1950 with 850 seats, the interior design was by San Francisco based designer Gale Santocono. It operated as a single screen movie house until 1975. From 1975 to 1990 movies shown on twin screens.

In 1992, it was de-twinned and from October 1992 to present, it has been run by the City of Davis as a community theater presenting live entertainment and occasional movies.

Contributed by Bob Bowen

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

There were indeed two Varsity Theatres in Davis. The August 5, 1950, issue of Boxoffice carries this brief item: “The old Varsity Theatre building will be razed in Davis to make way for a new store.”

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm

There is a 400 seat Varsity Theater listed for Davis in the 1940 Film Daily so there was a Varsity Theater operating prior to 1950. No address is given.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I found the address and I’m going to submit the other Varsity Theater. I’m adding both of your names (ken mc/Joe Vogel) to the new Varsity Theater listing.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

This is a close-up shot of the Varsity.

alabhaois on May 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Does anyone know who created the original murals? As a kid, I used to stare at them every time I went to a movie (I was always a bit early) and they utterly fascinated me.

AlanSmithee on September 20, 2010 at 2:14 am

Sometime last year they added a 2nd screen, but this time it’s behind the current one in an area that used to be a backstage area when they did live shows. I haven’t been in since this was done so I don’t know what’s changed- the screen they put in the main auditorium upon re-opening was MUCH too small though, and they’ve been pretty lackadaisical presentation-wise. Several movies I’ve seen there were platter-scratched- how dumb do you have to be to do that when you’re only running ONE screen?

GeorgeStrum on June 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

On June 28, 2012 The Theatre Historical Society will be visiting the Varsity. Phone 630-782-1800 for more information.

Prof David Ducay
Prof David Ducay on October 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I recall double dating with my girlfriend back in 1987 at the Varsity theatre. Remembering that it was a really small theatre with stadium type seats if I recall correctly. A screwball comedy film that we watched called “Ishstar” with Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. The film was not one of their best, it was the first time and last time I ever saw a movie at this theatre.

Mikeyisirish on January 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

A few January 2014 photos can be seen here, here and here.

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