Art Deco Movie Theatres In California : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

I am researching Art Deco movie palaces in California, particularly those built for T&D Jr. Enterprises and/or designed by J. Lloyd Conrich. I have some listings of T&D properties which also includes M Naify, and Fred Salih as principles. Research from AIA lists over 190 projects designed by Conrich, 31 of which are theatres. I do not know how many are actually art deco in style. I am working with the Cascade Theatre Restoration Committee from Redding. Photos, movie trivia or design specifics for the mid 1930's would also be helpful. e-mail or

-- Warren E. Bechtolt (, June 21, 2001


the crest theater in sacramento,ca is definitely art deco and has been recently restored. (really a gorgeous movie theater). the alhambra theater also in sacramento,ca was a true deco masterpiece but it was sadly and with some controversy/disbelief torn down around the 80's if i remember correctly. (i ended up getting a window from the box office which is really nice and decorative). a safeway sits on the lot where it used to be, and all that remains is a fountain on the side of the parking lot. anyway, these are the only two that i know of and hope this helps.

-- draskin (, May 12, 2002.

The Uptown Theatre in Napa an art deco presently being restored by Francis Ford Coppola and myself.

-- George Altamura (, May 13, 2002.

I am the son of the late J. Lloyd Conrich, the San Francisco architect. I'm a historian, and live in Anguilla, a British Colony in the Caribbean. I recall my father speaking of Mike Naify and Fred Salih; he also designed theaters for a company called San Francisco Theaters. I think the owner's name might have been Levin. In fact, there were two of them, "the Levin brothers," he called them. He also designed a lot of small town banks for the Bank of America, many of which had deco influences. He loved art deco, and I can still remember him taking me to the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939 or 1940, to show me Ralph Stackpole's magnificent monumental theme sculpture, "Pacifica." I'm planning on buying a boat soon, a large sailing vessel, and I'm going to call it "Pacifica." He would have liked that.

For anyone doing historic preservation on his buildings, all of his original tracings are archived at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. He also kept a scrapbook, mostly of design material. Over the years, from about 1930 to 1965, it grew to dozens of three-ring binders. It can be seen at the library of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley.

I'd be pleased to hear from anyone seeking further information. He used to talk a lot about his work and his clients. I am the last of a pioneer San Francisco family.

-- Bob Conrich (, May 13, 2002.

JPR has had great success in the rstoration fo the theatre and we hope to have it completed by fall 2003. This week the truly gifted artisans from Evergreen Painting, whom by the way also restored Radio City Music Hall in in the final phase of repainting the ceiling murals. We have been restoring the theatre in phases as we have been able to raise supporting funds.

Once the interior painting is completed I think we are waiting to the replica ligthing fixtures and chairs to be reinstalled. The entire project has been a loabor of love for the entire community and will serve as the crown jewel in wha tthey hope will be a full downtown revilatization. Somewhat similar to the role the theatre must have palyed when it opened in the middle of the depression.

We have some web links which track some of the progress. I have not personally made it to UC to see your dad's collection of papers but I believe our historical architect has. I was ablel to track down the Levin family and in fact they had pictures of the old cascade that they let us copy. If you have anything related to the Cascade or your fathers work on the broadcast studios he designed, we would love to see it.

We have been so happy with this project they we are now making plans to build a Western States Museum of Broadcasting combined with a new studio plant, production facility, and headquarters for JPR here in Ashland, Oregon. The plans are tentitive on design but we hope to use the Art Deco style in some fashion.

I will be happy to keep you abreast of our progress. If you would consider traveling to the states we would be honored to have you attend the re-granding opening event for the theatre.

Best of Luck,


Warren Bechtolt

Director of Planning & Research Jefferson Public Radio 1250 Siskiyou Blvd AShland, OR 97520


-- Warren Bechtolt (, March 29, 2003.

There is one located in East Los Angeles which used to be called the Golden Gate theatre. The Front of the theatre use to have a old ticket booth with a red velvet like carpet leading to the main theatre, sadly that's all gone now. The main building is still standing I hope someone could save this lovely structure someday. It has been closed now for about 15 years and it does not appear that anyone has plans for it.....

-- Art Gutierrez (, November 16, 2003.

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