Novato Theatre

924 Grant Avenue,
Novato, CA 94945

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Novato Box Office

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1948, the theater functioned as movie theater continuously until 1991, when it closed.

In 1996, the theater was purchased by a non-profit, which intends to restore the theater as a performing arts center for Toledo’s small downtown.

Contributed by Novato Theatre

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

CONVERT94 on December 18, 2005 at 1:02 am

I spent my childhood and teens in this theater under the iron
rule of Mr. Donohue who tossed me out a couple of times for
roudy behavior. I used to go up and visit with the projectionist
who was funny as hell and usually drunk. What a hoot. The little office next door was the taxi office.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 27, 2009 at 3:15 am

From the current text of the intro above: “In 1996, the theater was purchased by a non-profit, which intends to restore the theater as a performing arts center for Toledo’s small downtown.” What, Toledo doesn’t have a theater of its own to renovate?

On the photos: 1960s shingled mansardish roof extension. Ugh. If they renovate I hope they peel that thing off.

Don Donohue frequently wrote pieces for Boxoffice Magazine’s “The Exhibitor Has His Say” feature in the 1950s. Here’s a sample- from the December 8, 1951, issue, his comment on the Universal-International release “You Never Can Tell” with Dick Powell: “This is a real turkey— my poorest Sun., Mon. in many a week. I went along with U-I on top terms because of a saturation booking, but never again. My fingers will burn for weeks.” And that was one of his less acerbic reviews. I sure wouldn’t have wanted to cross Don.

amende on January 18, 2011 at 2:50 am

Check out Facebook page “Novato Theater”

mlcombs on June 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm

The Novato Cinema may re-open.
A non-profit group is trying to raise enough money to turn the old movie house into a place where they can show movies and have live stage performances. I wish the luck, I would love to see a movie in the old theater.

gd14lawn on December 14, 2011 at 5:38 am

Here are some articles dealing with the renovation of the theater:

gd14lawn on December 14, 2011 at 5:46 am

Here is another article:

Lee on September 12, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Here is the latest on the Novato:

pnelson on September 13, 2015 at 2:53 am

Wow the best and most beautiful box office design. Must be a lovely theatre.

DavidZornig on October 25, 2015 at 12:32 am

2015 photo added, photo credit Dan Young.

Website below has the Novato Theater’s IndieGoGo donation page link. Copy & paste to view.

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