UC Theatre

2036 University Avenue,
Berkeley, CA 94704

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Showing 1 - 25 of 35 comments

walterk on April 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I’ve just uploaded a picture of the new marquee installed earlier this week, here is a link to the Berkeleyside article mentioned in a previous post, and this is a link to the nonprofit that will be running the UC when it reopens.

mlind on April 15, 2014 at 9:24 am

Plans to reopen as a music venue.


ErinHaggerty on January 20, 2014 at 6:02 pm

I loved/love the UC Berkeley. Many a great night was spent there..Harold & Maude, Road Warrior, etc. etc. And I loved the folks that worked there!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm

The February, 1919, issue of The Architect and Engineer of California featured a portfolio of the work of James W. Plachek, architect of the UC Theatre. There are two exterior photos of the theater and, following a page of text, two interior photos depicting the foyer and lobby (scroll down.) Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on the + sign in the toolbar at the bottom right of the web page.

bmsinmd on March 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I was so sad to learn of the demise of the UC. After my marriage ended and I became the sole parent of two adolescent boys, I began bringing them from Orinda to Berkeley 2 or 3 times a month. We discovered samurai movies together there: Zatoichi, the blind masseur swordsman, was our favorite. One evening I arrived to find a line for tickets clear around the block; the show was 47 Ronin, a samurai epic cherished in Japan. Also saw The Last Waltz and Woodstock there, discovered many rock performers thereby. Wonderful memories of the movies, esp. the audiences, and the ambience. My kids, now in their 40s, dearly remember those times too.

idjones942 on December 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I’m curious to know if there are any photos of the inside of the house, prior to the fire in the 1940s?

juliagreen on March 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm

The UC was such a great place to see a film!
Growing up in 1970s Montana I did not have much of an opportunity to see anything but mainstream Hollywood movies. Moving to Berkeley in ‘86, it was the UC that made me a lover of the independent cinema. I too have been saddened when I have happened by there in recent years.

putman on September 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

The UC is coming back to life, as a live music venue…
View link

putman on March 10, 2008 at 10:51 am

Yeah, a great theatre.

View link

One that I miss daily.

zombie1007 on December 15, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Here is an article I wrote about the u.c., I loved that place…

View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 25, 2006 at 6:30 pm

The announcement of the UC Theatre was made in the October, 1916 issue of Architect & Engineer magazine. The owners were given as Messrs. Bradshaw and Williamson. The projected cost of the theatre was $100,000. The architect was James W. Plachek (1893-1948.)

Peasprout on March 1, 2006 at 5:06 pm

Older man here; went to the UC a lot back during the Taft administration. And back in my day I used to have to walk 14 miles through 8 feet of snow just to fight for a seat. Because there were only 9 seats back then. Grumble.

rkoch on March 1, 2006 at 3:20 pm

An old man here; went to the UC as a kid lots of times, depression days. but I think what all you kids are missing is when in the hell have you seen this many seats on one floor.

gsmurph on December 21, 2005 at 10:15 am

The UC was designed by Berkeley architect James W. Plachek.

scottfavareille on August 26, 2005 at 6:25 am

2 items not mentioned here:

  1. Prior to Gary Meyer taking over in 1976, when it became a revival house, Mann Theaters operated this as a first-run house (and the Fox theater chain prior to that)

  2. According to the 8/25/05 San Francisco Chronicle, it looks like Kimball’s East (a well known jazz club formerly in Emeryville) will be taking over, and turning it into a 650 seat facility with a restaurant, a bar, and a sidewalk cafe. This will be their new location.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on August 26, 2005 at 5:15 am

I was here once only, in July of 1978, to see an excellent and unusual double bill of Ramparts of Clay and the Egyptian-made The Night of Counting the Years.

bmilanio on July 31, 2005 at 4:25 am

We, as the resident Rocky Horror cast, spent 15 years (1980-1995) performing in this fabulous palace. Whether it was the 1387 seats which sold out on our final show as the Berkeley community said goodbye to us or the 300 faithful that would show up ever Saturday night at midnight, our audience was amazing. Our dressing room under the stage which we named Mouse City (no more mice, but the name stuck) would flood at least once during the rainy season. Gary Meyer and his staff were fantastic. Within those walls hold very special memories for us. We were deeply saddened by its closing and should the UC ever re-open, to reunite and perform at our theatre would be our honor.

BenK on June 20, 2005 at 2:30 pm

I saw hundreds of movies here in the 1970’s and 80’s. I loved the place – it was large, classy and a little run down. They showed great, imaginative double features. I watched a lot of classic films here in the pre-VCR era.

I also seem to remember going to some first run showings here in the 60’s when I was a kid. Does anyone know the history before it became a repertory house? Do I remember correctly that I saw MASH here on its initial release?

gsmurph on April 27, 2005 at 10:06 am

This is terrible. Possibly the lobby/concession area’s relatively good condition may derive from its being overhauled and renovated about the early 1980’s during the heyday of the Meyer years (does he know of the UC’s current state?). Still, what a tragedy!

JimC on March 12, 2005 at 4:38 pm

I recently (Feb 2005) had the opportunity to tour the inside of the long closed UC theatre. My first impression upon entering the lobby was that things were not all that bad. But that was a temporary illusion. For some reason the lobby and concession stand area were in inexplicably good shape compared to the rest of the interior and auditorium which have pretty much been totally trashed. The fabric on the auditorium auditorium walls was torn & moldy. All the surround speakers had their cones slashed, and the wall sconce lighting fixtures were either smashed or partly melted from having something flammable poured on them. Nothing is left of the screen, or up the projection room. Parts of the dressing rooms under the stage were under several feet of water from recent heavy rains in the SF Bay area. I took some pictures, but there’s really nothing to show. It was painful to see such a sad end to such a former showplace.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 20, 2004 at 4:14 am

For sale for $6,500,000 which seems outrageously high at

putman on September 8, 2004 at 2:07 pm

I put this was in my post of 4/8/04, but here it is again, I look forward to hearing from you.

PhiladelMike on September 3, 2004 at 2:03 am

This comment is specifically addressed to putman.

Putman, on your April 8 2004 posting, you mention:
“Contact me if you’d like to know why the theatre really
closed”. You neglected, however, to provide a contact
e-mail address. Will you please post your e-mail address
now? Thanks.

putman on April 8, 2004 at 11:10 am

I knew that seat well, the one with leg room. Mind was 2/3rd’s back, next to the wheelchair spaces. Had the best sound.
I still have those 4 chairs

Peasprout on April 8, 2004 at 12:58 am

Putman’s post reminded me…I too had “my” seat. It was up near the front, on the right side of the middle rows…there was this aisle that had a little bit more leg room. For a 6'3 guy, that is important. The fifth seat over…prime seating.