Adams Theatre

3325 Adams Boulevard,
San Diego, CA 92116

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres

Architects: Clifford A. Balch, Louis John Gill

Firms: Gill & Gill

Functions: Retail

Styles: Spanish Renaissance, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Carteri Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Adams Theatre, San Diego, CA

The 450-seat Carteri Theatre was opened by 1926 at 3675 Adams Boulevard (since renumbered). It was designed in a Spanish Renaissance style by architect Louis John Gill (nephew of architect Irving Gill). It was built for and operated by Bertram Carteri.

In 1935 it was renamed Adams Theatre and in 1940 it was closed for a remodel in a Streamline Moderne style to the plans of architect Clifford A. Balch. It was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres and the seating capacity had been increased to 626. The Adams Theatre was closed in 1961. It currently functions as a fabric store.

Contributed by Jim Rankin

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 26, 2004 at 1:20 pm

The Adams Theatre opened in 1935 and had 626 seats. It closed in 1961 and is currently in retail use as a discount fabrics store.

JimRankin on May 27, 2004 at 2:02 am

The ANNUAL referred to is available from:
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2005 at 4:23 am

Although I have been unable to discover the original architect of the Adams Theatre, I have found that it was extensively remodeled for its then-operators, Fox-West Coast Theatres, by architect Clifford A. Balch. The changes included a new front, foyer, lobby, and restrooms, plus alterations to the auditorium. This was announced in the October 11th, 1940, issue of Southwest Builder and Contractor.

Kusandra on February 2, 2005 at 7:50 pm

In 1984 I saw the band Black Flag perform in the Adams. The seats were long gone, there was no ventilation and minimal lighting. However trashed, it did maintain some of the wall decoration.

The show was great!!!

kencmcintyre on April 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Scroll down on this site for some photos of the Adams. The blog author mentions an aka of Carteri.

moviebuff82 on May 16, 2017 at 11:43 am

Was it the first ever theater in San Diego?

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on August 10, 2022 at 1:00 am

Looks like it might be going to be restored as a theater.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.