UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall

2036 University Avenue,
Berkeley, CA 94704

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UC Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Landmark Theatres (USA)

Architects: James W. Plachek

Functions: Concerts, Live Music Venue, Movies (Classic)

Previous Names: UC Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 510.356.4000

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The UC Theatre was opened in 1917. The 1,300-seat UC Theatre closed in March 2001 after 84 years in business when the downtown art house was no longer able to survive on poor ticket sales.

An upcoming seismic retrofitting had been deemed too expensive by Landmark Theatres and its parent company, Silver Cinemas, which recently filed for bankruptcy. Already in debt and littered with unpaid bills, the UC Theatre could not afford the $300,000 retrofitting cost.

The only hope now is with the city of Berkeley itself, where the mayor is still looking into a plan to keep the theatre in business and, possibly, even renovate the structure.

Many local residents hope that Gary Meyer, who co-founded Landmark Theatres and ran the UC Theatre in the late-1970’s, will save the theatre and reopen it —a feat he accomplished with the Balboa Theatre in nearby San Francisco.

In March 2015, work began on a renovation/restoration project to convert the theatre into a live music venue which opened May 2016 as the UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 46 comments)

DavidZornig on July 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Print ad added.
Berkley California Daily Gazette-Tuesday July 8th, 1924 Edition. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Allan.

GaryMeyer on May 7, 2016 at 11:55 am

After some electrical problems that caused the grand-reopening of the U.C. Theatre to be delayed, the theater is up and running with a solid schedule of live music. Plans include some film showings, festivals and a revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show where the UC’s 22 year run was the longest continuously running engagement of any movie, anywhere.

Some photos of the first concerts http://www.theuctheatre.org/gallery/

GaryMeyer on May 7, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Cool drone flight video during remodel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEux2Qv8qSk

GaryMeyer on May 7, 2016 at 12:29 pm

And how do we show the theater as reopened here?

Check this article http://www.berkeleyside.com/2016/04/12/dark-star-orchestra-opens-revived-uc-theatre/

walterk on May 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Here’s a clickable link to the Berkeleyside article and here’s the drone tour!

I took some pictures of the auditorium about an hour after the final seats were removed last March, I’ll look through them and perhaps upload a few.

Chromejob on March 4, 2019 at 10:03 pm

I remember seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey there in 1980? … my 17th viewing of the film at the age of 17. It was one of the few revival theaters in the Bay Area that could do Kubrick’s classic justice with its huge screen and capable sound system.

GaryMeyer on March 5, 2019 at 2:16 am

We had magnetic sound and would demand prints with a mag stipe. Made for a fantastic sound experience. Check out www.EatDrinkFilms.com for some interesting articles on 2001. Another coming soon.

Bill_Lonee on August 3, 2020 at 3:22 am

Used to love going there in the early-to-late 80s, when it was a revival house. Saw the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup with a full house. I laughed so hare, I thought I would pass out, several times! It was the first place I’d been that showed all three original Star Wars films in on order, in one day! Saw great films from some of the best filmmakers, from all over the world. Even got to see a few silent films, accompanied by live organ music! Having a baby is what stopped me from going and of course, home video killed the whole thing off, eventually. It was great in it’s day, though. I wish there were still revival houses. Seeing a film with a theater full of fans is a great experience.

erilaz on December 31, 2022 at 2:41 pm

SO MANY great memories of this place! “Spider Baby” with director Jack Hill in attendance; Kate Bush’s “The Line, the Cross, and the Curve” back-to-back with Katja von Garnier’s “Abgeschminkt” at the Berkeley Women’s Film Festival; all-night movie marathons (I remember going to a Halloween horror marathon and a Pam Grier marathon); weekly Hong Kong double features; silent films with the Club Foot Orchestra… not to mention the anniversary shows with cake, champagne, and Louise Brooks in “Pandora’s Box”!

gsmurph on May 22, 2023 at 12:19 am

UC’s full name is now UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall; as the name implies, it’s primarily a concert hall, seldom if ever showing movies.

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