1226 Burlingame Avenue,
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The Garden Theater, designed by Ernest L. Norberg, was opened by Robert Gates September 23, 1918. It was later added to Ellis Arkush’s portfolio of theaters.
On December 29, 1925, The San Mateo Times announced that West Coast Theatres had purchased one-half interest in Mr. Arkush’s empire. The theaters included the Garden Theater, the Regent Theatre in San Mateo, the Sequoia Theatre in Redwood City, and the Varsity Theatre and New Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto. In 1927 Mr. Arkush enhanced his holdings with the purchase of the San Mateo Theatre.
The Garden Theater closed October 11, 1926 to make way for the opening of Mr. Arkush’s Peninsula Theatre the next day. It reopened briefly in November 1926 because of a demand for 25-cent movies. Film Daily Year Book 1926 lists the Garden Theater with 1,000 seats.
In October 1927 Robert Gates reconstructed the building and opened a haberdashery. Occupied by retail stores since, it seems fitting that most recently a former Garden Theater is the Pottery Barn.
For more information on the early theatres of San Mateo and Burlingame, see Donald Ringler’s article in the San Mateo Times on February 19,1977.
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