Lux Theatre

1220 Broadway,
Oakland, CA 94612

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The Lux Theatre opened in 1948. This small downtown Oakland theater was one of many that slowly disappeared from the scene (it was one of the last to do so). This was a particularly stylish if somewhat seedy cinema. The Lux was last used (as a theater) for Chinese movies. It is now a branch of Goodwill.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

robertcampbell on April 15, 2005 at 5:52 am

Going to the Lux in Downtown Oakland in the early 70’s was a treat. It was open all night on the weekends, and had double bills of usually horror movies or kung fu style flicks. Saw “Mark of The Devil” there and they gave us free barf bags. On Saturday nights they had what was called “spino bingo” and it drew large crowds, mostly of a black audience. The snack bar was great you could buy pizza by the slice. They even sold it and all their other concessions (hot dogs were killer) from the outside at a glass window connected to the snack bar. When the lux disappeared, the old downtown feel was gone.

JohnRice on June 17, 2005 at 1:04 am

I loved the Lux in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. It was an exceptionally clean and well managed second run house. Continuous showings of recent double features starting at 10:00 am with a nightly Spino game. A speaker was mounted outside so you could hear the movie soundtrack as you browsed the posters. Nice concession stand and as several people pointed out, the hot dogs were great! I would take the Key System bus from Richmond just to catch a double feature at the Lux. I think the last movie I saw there was “The Wild Bunch”. When they went to kung fu and other exploitation fare, I lost interest and heard in the final days the audiences were as rough as the movies on the screen. Every time I’m in downtown Oakland I stroll into the Goodwill store and look up at the portholes in the old projection room (now a storage area or office) and remember those pleasant days at the Lux.

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2006 at 2:50 pm

An ad in the Oakland Tribune on 11/24/52 puts the theater at Broadway and 15th, which is a bit at odds with the address listed above. The phone number was TW3-3786. The feature on that day was “He Walked by Night”.

kencmcintyre on September 17, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Here is a 1950 ad from the Oakland Tribune:

kencmcintyre on September 22, 2008 at 6:28 am

Here is a September 1960 ad from the same paper:

staw on January 17, 2009 at 4:23 am

The Lux Theater was between 12th and 13th streets on Broadway. Not 15th. It was relatively new theater and had a unique feature where the seats slide fore and aft about 12 inches so that you can let people squeeze by in front of you without having to stand up. I remember seeing West Point with James Cagney there.

kencmcintyre on August 9, 2009 at 9:24 am

Here is a November 1955 ad from the Tribune:

seymourcox on May 2, 2011 at 5:34 am

Around 1980 I visited the Lux. It was very clean, well kept, and still had a classy 1940s look. The auditorium was packed. I watched an entertaining horror flick that took place in a carnival fun house, but didn’t stay for the second feature because the tempature was too warm and stuffy.

sardi on August 20, 2014 at 3:41 am

saw Enter the Dragon about 10 times there when it came out!. How about “pizza pups” Does anyone remember those? A hot dog wrapped in a slice of cheese pizza then popped in a toaster over for a couple of minutes. Put a bit of mustard on when they were done and you talk about heaven! I still remember what the lady who worked the concession stand looked like. She was there for years and years.

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