Tower Theatre

103 D Street,
Marysville, CA 95901

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Tour of Marysville, California

Additional Info

Architects: William Bernard David

Functions: Museum, Office Space

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Tower Theatre Marysville CA

The Tower Theatre is located in downtown Marysville and opened January 17, 1941 with Gene Autry in “Carolina Moon” & The Three Stooges in “Quail Quest”. Located in a historic commercial district of an old gold rush town. Many beautiful brick buildings around it. Other historic sites include the Bok Kai temple and St. Joseph’s Church, a fine piece of Gothic style architecture built in 1853. About 10 mile drive from the Sacramento Valley auditorium.

It was abandoned since at least the 1970’s. I remember during my childhood, that it was a porno theatre, then, for a while, it was a Mexican hall, then some type of storefront church, and then a restaurant. The auditorium was converted into office space, and in late-2011, plans are to convert the foyer into a museum.

It would be nice if somebody did some research on it. There’s not much about it other than that it was designed by a William B. David of David Associates.

Contributed by Janet Ilacqua

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 8, 2008 at 1:07 am

Though there are some Internet sources which say that the State Theatre was built on the site of the Marysville Theatre, it was actually the Tower which was erected on the Marysville’s site. Links to photos of the Marysville can be found on its Cinema Treasures page.

Prior to the mid-1920s fire which destroyed it, the Marysville had been operating under the name Atkins Theatre. After the fire, for some time a small movie house called the Liberty Theatre occupied the location. There is a photo of the Liberty ca.1927 on page 121 of the Arcadia Publishing Company book Marysville, part of its Images of America series. The Tower, with its moderne design, apparently dates to the 1930s or early 1940s.

tspauld on August 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm

The theater at First and D that burned down on January 28, 1926 was operating as the National Theatre at that time. The new Liberty Theatre “Was Built On Site of Old National At First and D” (Marysville Appeal 1/8/1927) and opened on January 11, 1927. The new National Theatre on E St., which would become the State Theatre, was under construction at the time of the new Liberty Theatre’s opening. The old Liberty Theatre on 2nd St. had its last showing on January 9, 1927.

The Tower Theatre opened at First and D on January 17, 1941. The Liberty Theatre stopped showing up in advertisements in the Appeal-Democrat some time before the opening of the Tower, and both theaters advertised with the slogan, “The Family Theatre,” so I’m guessing that the Tower was a remodel of the new Liberty. But while I can find advertisements for the opening of the Tower, I haven’t found an article on its opening.

The first film at the Tower was Gene Autrey’s Carolina Moon. They advertised 1000 seats at 20 cents.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Boxoffice Magazine mentions the Tower twice in December, 1940. The December 14 issue said that the Tower would be opening on Christmas Day, but the December 21 issue said that the opening had been moved back until the middle of January. I can’t find anything in Boxoffice about the actual opening, though.

The last mention (in fact the only mention I can find) of the Liberty in Boxoffice is in the September 23, 1939, issue which mentions that the employees of the house had given operator Harry Hunsacher a birthday party.

The most recent mention of the Tower I’ve found in Boxoffice is a line in the March 7, 1958, issue which said that the house had been closed. The Tower had been closed for at least part of 1957 as well. The December 21 issue of Boxoffice that year said that it had been reopened by the United California circuit.

Here’s a photo of D Street north from 1st in the 1920s, showing the Tower’s predecessor at right. The source identifies the theater as the Atkins. Here’s a photo of the same theater dated 1908, when it was called the Marysville Theatre.

tspauld on August 5, 2009 at 12:25 am

There’s no doubt about the opening date of the Tower Theater. I’ve got a photocopy in front of me of the Appeal-Democrat from January 17, 1941 with the advertisement saying:


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 5, 2009 at 1:06 am

I wasn’t questioning the opening date the newspaper gave. I was just disappointed that Boxoffice didn’t run an item about the event. The magazine ran very few items about Marysville’s theaters, unfortunately. Other towns in the valley often got better coverage.

KrynMCPromotions on September 23, 2011 at 2:56 am

The Tower Theatre will now be home to a New Museum. The “Yuba County Museum of History” has currently signed a thirty month lease for the front area of the Tower Theater in Marysville on D Street, and must complete remodeling work prior to opening hopefully by the end of this year, December 2011.

The foyer and lobby area will provide approximately 2600 square feet and allow the museum to showcase large artifacts and exhibits. The remainder of the old Theatre/Restaurant is unfortunately now an office.

Mikeyisirish on September 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm

A September 2012 photo can be seen here.

netfreckles on April 22, 2015 at 11:01 am

to KrynMCPromotions, if they need volunteers for the museum, please let them know im interested.

DavidZornig on August 9, 2017 at 12:39 pm

1954 photo added courtesy of Derrick Gardner‎.

dallasmovietheaters on May 27, 2022 at 9:20 pm

Opened January 17, 1941 with “Carolina Moon” supported by by The Three Stooges in “Nurse to Worse” and other short subjects.

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