California Theatre

1808 Chester Avenue,
Bakersfield, CA 93301

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres

Architects: Orville L. Clark, Phillip Schwerdt

Firms: Laist & Schwerdt

Functions: Bank

Previous Names: Scribner Opera House, Fox California Theatre

Nearby Theaters

California Theatre

The Scribner Opera House was opened January 16, 1899 and was designed by architect Pillip Schwerdt of architectural firm Laist & Schwerdt. It was partially demolished and the California Theatre was built on its foundations, opening September 14, 1920. In January 1921 it was sold to the West Coast Theatres chain.

The California Theatre was closed on November 23, 1966 with Jack Lemmon in “The Fortune Cookie” & Kirk Douglas in “Cast a Dark Sharow”. It has been converted into a bank.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

plinfesty on January 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm

1/10/62: Breakfast at Tiffany’s; The Long and the Short and the Tall
1/17/62: Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Imitation of Life
1/24/62: Flight of the Lost Balloon; Jet Pilot
1/28/62: Question 7; All Mine to Give
1/31/62: The George Raft Story; Twenty Plus Two
2/04/62: Battleground; Go For Broke
2/07/62: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules; The Underwater City
2/14/62: Sail a Crooked Ship; A Weekend With Lulu
2/21/62: The Errand Boy; Hey, Let’s Twist (2/23: ADDED: Colonial John Glenn, Astronaut
2/28/62: Light in the Piazza; Invasion Quartet
3/04/62: Journey to the Seventh Planet; The Pirate of Black Hawk
3/07/62: Satan Never Sleeps; North to Alaska
3/14/62: Summer and Smoke; Anatomy of a Psycho
3/21/62: King of Kings
4/11/62: The Hustler; Two Women
(4/13/62: Late Night Spook Show – 2 features)
4/18/62: State Fair; Swingin' Along
4/25/62: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Brushfire!
5/02/62: All Fall Down; The Children’s Hour
5/09/62: Five Finger Exercise; Loss of Innocence (5/11: Major Sneak)
5/16/62: Safe at Home!; Don’t Knock the Twist
5/22/62: Paradisio (3-D); Come Dance With Me!
6/01/62: Hell Is for Heroes; Airborne
6/06/62: Black Tights; Oklahoma!
6/13/62: Escape From Zahrain; Siege of Syracuse
6/19/62: Aida; Madame Butterfly (1 day only)
6/20/62: The Nudist Story; And God Created Women
6/27/62: Zotz!; Mothra
7/03/62: Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation; Air Patrol
7/11/62: Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation; Come September
7/18/62: Hatari!; Up the Creek
7/25/62: Hatari!; The Hired Gun
8/01/62: The Notorious Landlady; 13 West Street
8/08/62: The Notorious Landlady; Brteakfast at Tiffany's
8/15/62: Advise and Consent; Only Two Can Play
8/22/62: Tales of Terror; Burn, Witch, Burn
8/29/62: The Three Stooges in Orbit; The Hellions
9/05/62: My Geisha; The Late Blues
9/12/62: The Sad Sack; The Delicate Delinquet
9/19/62: The Phantom of the Opera; Night Creatures
9/26/62: Panic in the Year Zero; Eegah (9/27: ADDED: Patterson-Liston Fight film)
10/02/62: The Mongols; The Trojan Horse (10/03: Sneak Preview)
10/10/62: The Sky Above, The Mud Below; No Place Like Homicide
10/17/62: The 300 Spartans; The Firebrand
10/24/62: Rear Window; The Proud and Profane
10/31/62: The Pit and the Pendulum; Premature Burial; Horros of the Black Museum (1 day only)
11/01/62: The Pigeon That Took Rome; It Started in Naples
11/08/62: The Legend of Lobo; Whistle Down the Wind
11/16/62: The Humanoids; The SIlent Witness
11/21/62: Girls! Girls! Girls!; Two and Two Make Six
12/05/62: Tarzan Goes to India; The Tarters
12/12/62: Two Adult Only Titles (not given)
12/19/62: It’s Only Money; Make Way For Lila
12/31/62: Barabbas (featurettes: Wonderful Switzerland; Cruise of the Eagle)

plinfesty on February 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

1/16/63: Young Gunbs of Texas; The Day Mars Invaded Earth
1/23/63: White Slave Ship; The Huns
1/30/63: Marco Polo; Reptizicus
2/06/63: The Raven; Warriors Five
2/13/63: The Lion; It Happened in Athens
2/20/63: Who’s Got the Action?; Fancy Pants
2/27/63: The Birdman of Alcatraz; The Miracle Worker
3/06/63: Phaedra; Peeping Tom
3/13/63: Kipling’s Women; Dentist in the Chair
3/20/63: A Girl Named Tamiko; The Rat Race
3/27/63: Papa’s Delicate Condition; A Girl Named Tamiko
4/03/63: Papa’s Delicate Condition; War and Peace
4/10/63: The Miracle of the White Stallions; The Brave Ones
4/17/63: Duel of the Titans; Tarzan the Magnificent
4/24/63: Samson and 7 Miracles of the World; Prisoner of the Iron Mask
5/01/63: The Parent Trap; Mysterious Island
5/06/63: Operation Bikini; Playgirl After Dark

5/15/63: In the Cool of the Day; The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (5/17: Major Studeio Preview)
5/22/63: The Yellow Canary; Harold Lloyd’s World of Comedy
5/25/63: Rio Bravo; Oceans 11
5/29/63: My Six Loves; Wonderful to be Young
(5/29/63: Sat mat: Magic Boy; 3 Stooges in Orbit; Jack the Giant Killer)
6/05/63: The Balcony; Operation Snatch
6/12/63: Hud; The Young and the Brave
6/19/63: Hud; Operation Bullshine
6/26/63: Bye Bye Birdie (featurette: Pleasure Highway; cartoon)
7/03/63: Bye Bye Birdie; Dine With a Halo
7/10/63: The Nutty Professor; The Great Chase
7/17/63: The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm; Cattle King
7/24/63: The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm; Sergeants 3
7/31/63: Mutiny on the Bounty
8/14/63: Donovan’s Reef; Where the Truth Lies
8/21/63: Beach Party; Erik the Conquerer
8/28/63: Gidget Goes To Rome; Constatine and the Cross
9/04/63: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; The Raiders of Leyte Gulf
9/11/63: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; 13 Frightened Girls
9/18/63: Don’t Give Up the Ship; Rock-a-Bye Baby
9/25/63: David & Lisa; The Wrong Arm of the Law
10/02/63: Women of the World; What a Chassis
10/09/63: The Condemned of Altona; Viva Zapata
10/16/63: The Haunting; Square of Violence
10/23/63: Twilight of Honor; Ballad of a Gunfighter
10/30/63: The Terror; Dementia 13
11/06/63: Lawrence of Arabia
11/27/63: Fun in Acapulco; When the Girls Take Over
12/11/63: Promises! Promises!;…and God Created Women
12/18/63: Katu; (call theatre for provocative title)
12/25/63: Who’s Minding the Store; Watch Your Stern (12/31/63: Major Studio Preview)

plinfesty on February 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm

1/15/64: Strait-Jacket; Siege of the Saxons
1/22/64: The Comedy of Terrors; Madmen of Mandoras
1/29/64: Children of the Damned; Gladiators 7
2/05/64: Man in the Middle; Surf Party
2/12/64: A Global Affair; Palm Springs Weekend
2/19/64: The Victors (featurette: Wonderful Africa)
2/26/64: The Victors; The Swingin' Maiden
3/04/64: Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed?; A New Kind of Love
3/11/64: Goliath and the Sin of Babylon; Samson and the Slave Queen
(3/13/64: Friday 13th Midnight Show: Screaming Skull; The Spider)
3/18/64: Kissin' Cousins; The Music Man
3/25/64: Muscle Beach Party; Summer Holiday
4/08/64: Paris When It Sizzles; Tiara Tahiti
4/15/64: Hud; The L-Shaped Room
4/22/64: Seven Days in May; The Deep Six
4/29/64: Seven Days in May; Hatari
5/06/64: The Last Man On Earth; Circus of Horrors
5/13/64: Goliath and the Vampires; Pyro
5/20/64: Black Sabbath; The Evil Eye
5/27/64: South Pacific; Oklahoma!
6/03/64: Rhino!; 7 Faces of Dr. Lao
6/10/64: 3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt; The Thin Red Line
6/17/64: Hey There It’s Yogi Bear; The Crimson Blade
6/24/64: The Evil of Frankenstein; Dead Ringer
7/01/64: The Carpetbaggers (short: The World Starts Next Door)
7/15/64: The Carpetbaggers; Hot Spell
7/22/64: The Long Ships; The Quick Gun
8/12/64: The Patsy; Ensign Puller
8/19/64: Good Neighbor Sam; Please Don’t Eat the Daisies
(8/20/64: Free Thurs morning KWAC radioshow: Imitation General; cartoons)
8/25/64: Good Neighbor Sam; The Matchmaker
(8/29/64: Free Sage Dept Store morning show: Let’s Go Navy)
9/02/64: Robinson Crusoe on Mars; For Those Who Think Young
(9/05/64: Free Janitorial Supply morning show: Dance With Me Henry)
9/09/64: Ride the Wild Surf; Looking For Love
9/16/64: You’re Never Too Young; The Caddy
9/23/64: Witchcraft; The Horror of it All
9/30/64: The Visit; Night Train to Paris
10/07/64: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Boy’s Night Out
10/14/64: A House Is Not a Home; Zulu
10/19/64: Fabulous Spain (mat and eve – 1 day only)
10/20/64: A House is not a Home; Zulu
10/21/64: The Fall of the Roman Empire; Devil Ship Pirates
10/28/64: Malamondo; Women of the World
(10/32/64: Kids Halloween Mat: Bride of the Gorilla; Curse of the Undead; Snake Women)
11/04/64: Lilith; Dr. No
11/10/64: Cleopatra (short – Road to Independence) (5 weeks, 1 day)
(11/28/64: Sat-Sun matinees: The Magic Christmas Tree)
(12/05/64: Sat Toys For Tots Show: Bowery Boys; cartoons)
12/16/64: Lili; It Started WEith a Kiss
(12/19/64: Kern Radio kids show: The Bashful Elephant; cartoons)
12/23/64: How the West Was Won

8/26/64: Good Neighbor Sam; The Matchmaker

7/29/64: Viva Las Vegas; Tomahine

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

Great work. I want to the samething with a few of my theatres,just gotta take the time.

plinfesty on May 15, 2010 at 9:19 am

1965 bookings:
1/13/65: Goldfinger (football highlights of 1964)
1/20/65: Goldfinger; Kitten With a Whip
1/27/65: Goldfinger; The Time Traveller
1/10/65: Goldfinger; 633 Squadron
2/17/65: Those Calloways; The Three Lives of Thomasina
3/3/65: 36 Hours; Jigsaw
3/10/65: Where Love Has Gone; Lady in a Cage
3/17/65: Quick! Before it Melts; Get Yourself a College Girl
3/24/65: The Outrage; Beath the Devil
3/31/65: Psycho; Vertigo
4/07/65: The Rounders; The Walls of Hell
4/14/65: Girl Happy; Ferry Cross the Mersey
4/28/65: Your Cheatin' Heart; The Sheepman
5/05/65: Crack in the World; Tomb of Ligeia
5/12/65: The Human Duplicators; Mutiny in Outer Space
5/19/65: Love Has Many Faces; Sylvia
5/26/65: A High Wind in Jamaica; Dear Brigette
6/02/65: Lawrence of Arabia; Paris Pick-Up
6/09/65: Young Cassidy; Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte
6/16/65: Joy in the Morning; Deart Heart
6/23/65: The Family Jewels; Roustabout
6/30/65: I’ll Take Sweden; The Satan Bug
7/07/65: Dr. No; From Russia, With Love
7/21/65: The Great Spy Mission (AKA Operation Crossbow); Sandokan the Great
7/28/65: She; Hercules, Samson and Ulysses
8/04/65: The Sons of Katie Elder; Take Her, She’s Mine
8/11/65: The Sons of Katie Elder; Genghis Khan
8/18/65: Morituri; The Sons of Katie Elder
8/25/65: Harlow (Caroll Baker); Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders
9/01/65: Help!; Ferry Cross the Mersey (added: The Rolling Stones)
9/08/65: Help!; Love is a Ball (added: The Rolling Stones)
9/15/65: Living It Up; Pardners
9/22//65: Up From the Beach; Ski Party
9/29/65: Love and Kisses; That Funny Feeling
10/06/65: Situation Hopeless…But Not Serious
10/13/65: Beach Ball; Sergeant Deadhead
10/20/65: A Rage to Live; The Great Escape
10/27/65: Once a Thief; Sighnpost to Murder
11/03/65: The Ipcress File; The Art of Love
11/10/65: The Ipcress File; Charade
11/17/65: Return From the Ashes; The Third Day
11/24/65: King Rat; Station Six-Sahara
12/01/65: King Rat; The Comancheros
12/08/65: Casanova ‘70; And God Created Women
12/15/65: Agent 8 ¾; The Hustler
12/22/65: Boeing! Boeing!; Town Tamer
12/29/65: Boeing! Boeing!; Sand of the Kalahari

plinfesty on May 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

1966 Bookings:
1/05/66: 7 Women; The Hill
1/12/66: Never Too Late; Captain Newman, M.D.
1/19/66: The Big TNT Show; Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine
1/26/66: Darling; Love With the Proper Stranger
2/02/66: Life At the Top; Sex and the Single Girl
2/09/66: Othello (Olivier) (2 days only)
2/11/66: Do Not Disturb; The Nanny
2/18/66: The Ugly Dachshund (added: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree)
3/09/66: The Heroes of Telemark; red Line 7000
3/16/66: The Heroes of Telemark; Shane
(3/19-3/20/66: matinees: Snow White (all new); 5 carttoons)
3/23/66: The Silencers; The Hallelujah Trail
4/06/66: The Chase; That Man in Instabul
4/20/66: Darling; The Pawnbroker
(4/23/66: Kids mat: Abott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd; A Boy 10 Feet Tall; cartoons)
4/27/66: The Spy With My Face; To Trap a Spy
5/04/66: The Pink Panther; A Shot in the Dark
5/11/66: A Patch of Blue; The Oscar
5/18/66: The Agony and the Ecstacy
5/25/66: The Agony and the Ecstacy; Inside Daisy Clover
6/01/66: The 2nd Best Secret Agent; The 10th Victim
6/08/66: Guns of Navarone; Lord Jim
6/15/66: Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!; Frankie and Johnny
6/22/66: Lost Command; Operation CIA
6/29/66: Battle of the Bulge
7/06/66: Battle of the Bulge; Harper
7/20/66: A Fine Madness; Stop the World I Want To Get Off
7/27/66: Walk Don’t Run; Cat Ballou
8/10/66: Torn Curtain; Blindfold
8/17/66: Torn Curtain; Father Goose
8/24/66: Torn Curtain; Charade
8/31/66: What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?; Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!
9/14/66: Fireball 500; Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine
9/21/66: The Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary; The Pit and the Pendulum (2 days)
9/23/66: Flame and the Fire; Slave Trade in the World Today
9/27/66: Ambush Bay; Duel at Diablo
10/05/66: A Man Called Adam; The Dirty Game
10/12/66: My Fair Lady; Gypsy
10/19/66: Poor White Trash; Common Law Wife
10/26/66: The Gospel According to St. Matthew (2 days only)
10/28/66: Tomb of Ligela; The Raven; House of Usher
11/02/66: Door-to-Door Maniac; Psycopath
11/09/66: The Navy vs the Night Monsters; Women of the Prehistoric Planet
11/16/66: Our Man Flint; Von Ryan’s Express
11/23/66: The Fortune Cookie; Cast a Giant Shadow

And… that’s all, folks! The California’s last day of operation was Saturday, December 3, 1966!

rivest266 on August 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

September 14th, 1920 grand opening ad uploaded here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

Not to be nitpicky, but the 1921 sale mentioned in the description was not to Fox West Coast Theatres, which didn’t exist until 1928, but to its predecessor, West Coast Theatres, founded in 1920.

Chris1982 on December 28, 2015 at 12:24 am

I am a little confused, was this theatre ever called the Garrick? There is a photo on the photo page of the Garrick.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 7, 2018 at 10:51 pm

San Francisco architect Phillip Schwerdt of the firm of Laist & Schwerdt was the original architect of the Scribner Opera House. The Scribner was an upstairs house, and the 1919 rebuild designed by O. L. Clark gutted the building to put the California Theatre on the ground floor. It also increased the seating capacity from 800 to the 1,200 with which the house was listed in the 1926 FDY.

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