Cascade Theatre

1731 Market Street,
Redding, CA 96001

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Exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

When the Cascade Theatre was built in 1935, Redding’s population was only 7000, but this opulent movie palace seated almost 1350. Designed by San Francisco architect J. Lloyd Conrich, and built by T & D, Jr. Enterprises, the Cascade was constructed in the midst of the Depression as a showcase for first run movies and vaudeville.

Architecturally, the Cascade is still one of the finest examples of Art Deco in northern California, complete with gold and silver gilded walls, ornate plasterwork, a grand neon marquee, and intricate decorative painting. Other signifcant architectural elements include a detailed cast concrete frieze at its parapet, an original painted WPA-style mural depicting north state industry, magnificent chandeliers, ornate cast iron seat end standards, and period balustrades.

For six decades, the Cascade Theatre was a staple attraction for Redding’s downtown, drawing people in to see motion pictures, vaudeville acts, and music performances. Local businesses thrived, restaurants had a stream of customers, and downtown Redding was a bustling center for culture and commerce. And the community had a place to call its own; for films, concerts, recitals, church services, and civic ceremonies—the Cascade was the heart and soul of downtown Redding.

But like many downtown theaters of its era, the Cascade struggled with the rise of multiplex cinemas. After years of struggling, the Cascade closed in 1997.

In August of 2004, the Cascade was reopened after a restoration project as a multi-use performing arts venue and movie theater.

Contributed by Paul Westhelle, Victoria Graham

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Very nice slidshow jwballer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Salih Brothers was the construction and contracting firm that built this theater. I can’t find any evidence anywhere that the firm was ever engaged in architecture or design.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

A few 2009 photos can be seen here and here.

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on January 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

A few more photos can be seen here and here.

plenbart
plenbart on August 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

In the dark years of competition with other theaters (definitely the 80’s and into early 90’s), they split it into 4 screens: 2 enormously tall but narrow downstairs theaters and 2 theaters in the balcony. The separating walls on either floor were very poorly insulated and you could often hear if there was a noisy movie next door.

Patsy
Patsy on October 2, 2013 at 6:12 am

Came upon this art deco gem by accident…trying to find a theatre in California by the name of REDMOND. It was featured in the movie, First Daughter.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 2, 2013 at 7:48 am

Patsy, the Redmond Theatre in the movie was fictional, like the town of Redmond, California, and the University of Redmond. The theater exterior in the movie was the former Orange Theatre in Orange, California, the town where many of the outside scenes were shot. It is now a church, but was dressed as a theater once again for the movie.

The theater auditorium interior shots were filmed at the Los Angeles Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. It no longer operates as a theater, except for the annual Last Remaining Seats events held by the Los Angeles Conservancy, but in recent years it has been the shooting location for many movies, television shows, and commercials.

The lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre also served as a location for one of the movie’s early scenes, but it wasn’t presented as a theater.

This page at Seeing Stars has some information about the shooting locations for First Daughter, and has a number of stills from the film you’ll probably recognize.

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