Roxie Theatre

517 17th Street,
Oakland, CA 94612

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Roxie, 1982

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Dufwin Theatre opened on October 14, 1928 with 1,400 seats, and was used initially for live theater. It was converted for movies and renamed the Roxie Theatre, in which capacity it continued until its closure in the early 1980’s.

It was eventually gutted and converted into office space and renamed Dufwin Towers, though a trio of mosaics depicting its original function on the front (which was restored during the conversion after being painted over for years) remains, as does the lettering “Dufwin Theater” above.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

robertcampbell on April 15, 2005 at 12:30 am

The Roxie was great and the Queen of B Triple Bills during the early seventies. It had a lobby with the snack bar in the center, stairs on both sides that went up to the balcony (it didn’t have a loge) ) where everyone did pot and drank nite train. There were no murals or paintings, as the walls and the sides of the screen were curtained over. Fights were always going down in there. All of a sudden the screen would go blank, the lights would come on, and about 20 uniformed Oakland police would come in, snatch some guy sitting in the front for no reason an drag him out. the lights would go out and the movie would come back on, and everyone would be catcalling out loud and kackling, it was great fun.

airjor1 on February 28, 2007 at 4:04 am

I used to attend the Roxie in the early 1980’s when I was in the United States Navy stationed at Naval Air Station in Alameda, California on the USS Kansas City (AOR 3). The majority of the movies had all black actors, and the patrons were mostly black. I remember watching “Superfly” for the first time and “Pipe Dreams” featuring Gladys Knight. I remember only paying 2 or 3 dollars to watch movies all afternoon and evening. The place used to get a good crowd on the weekend. I enjoyed the Roxie very much. Radioman third class, Anthony Jordan

terrywade on August 8, 2007 at 6:18 am

Same thing went on at the Roxie that the Fox Grand Lake was doing. The Blumenfelds booked the Roxie at times like a road show house. had in the adds even 70mm listed. They didn’t have 70mm even had mono sound till many people got upset. Disney made them put in 4 track stereo for Mary Popins.Most people went to San francisco to see Cinerama, Todd-Ao and the other 70mm systems. The poor guys who went to the small Roxie screen missed all the presentation that SF had. It wasn’t till Ray S put in his Dome Century 21/22 big curved 70mm screens in San Jose that the 70mm hold had been let out of the SF theatres.

kencmcintyre on September 17, 2007 at 6:51 am

Here is a 1950 ad from the Oakland Tribune:

seymourcox on May 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm

In the early 1980s I patronized the Roxie. All the staff were Asian, very polite, friendly. I remember the lobby was spacious and regal. The concession stand offered a broader menu than a Dairy Queen. They sold Nochos, hamburgers, cheese fries, softserve, etc. The auditorium still looked exactly like the above 1928 photo, though kids had used Magic Markers to scribble graffiti over everything, which had ruined once lovely wood panelling. A triple feature was on the bill, but crowds of noisy teens were so loud I stayed only long enough to get a good look at architectural details.

Mikeyisirish on August 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

A few July 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

xsallnow on January 7, 2014 at 9:34 pm

I remember the Roxie as a top-notch first-run house. Always enjoyed going there. A nice theater.

annewandering on April 3, 2016 at 5:51 am

My husband worked there around 1970. I remember he talked about several others who worked there, Mary McGee and ..?.Ring. Apparently Mary McGee, who I did met years later, used to take the entrance money. He had some pretty good stories of his time there, many involving Mary’s ‘delicious’ brownies. I would be very interested in hearing from people who worked there at that time.

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