The Pantages Theatre (1912–1946) at 416 - 12th Street near Broadway was built as a vaudeville theater by Alex Pantages, owner of a theater chain. 1 It later also showed films. Over its 34-year existence as a theater, the building had multiple owners and “numerous” name changes; it was known as the Lurie (1923), Hippodrome (1926), Premier (1931), Roosevelt (1934), and finally the Downtown (1939). 2,5,6,9,10
While O'Brien and Werner were the original architects, apparently this was a pet project of Pantages, who brought in his own architect, B. Marcus Priteca. 2,7,8
The building is a member of the Downtown Oakland Historic District.
[The Pantages] is a Beaux Arts derivative theater and store building located at 400-16 Twelfth Street / 1201-11 Franklin Street, Oakland, California. Designed by architect O'Brien & Werner, and constructed by S. Kulchar Company in 1912. Remodeling took place in 1946.
The building is a three story steel frame and concrete former theater, office, and commercial building on a corner lot. The building is faced with scored stucco, with a modillion cornice, Tuscan pilasters, and entablature on the ground floor, and paneling at the west end where the theater entry was located. Set back on the roof is a two story penthouse housing the auditorium and fly tower of the theater. On the street fronts windows are punched out in regular rows, many of them now covered over.
The theater in this mixed use building opened as the Pantages vaudeville house, and was subsequently known as the Lurie, Hippodrome, Premier, Roosevelt, and Downtown. Architects O'Brien & Werner were especially known for Masonic temples and auditoriums. The Tribune Publishing Company bought the building in 1927 to expand its printing plant from next door into the office areas, and then occupied the theater space in 1946. The Tribune vacated its downtown buildings in 1992.
This historic building is #36 on the list of District Contributors for the Downtown Oakland Historic District Registration Form. 4
Links and References
- Pantages Theater Building gets another shot at life by Annalee Allen Oakland Tribune August 27, 2007
- Downtown Theatre in Oakland, CA (Cinematreasures)
- Tribune Press Building today
- National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Downtown Oakland Historic District
- Stage Stock Returns Oakland Tribune March 16, 1934
- Downtown Theater Opens With Great Vaudeville, Film Bill Oakland Tribune November 9, 1939
- Theatres of Oakland by Jack Tillmany and Jennifer Dowling
- Pantages' Theater Building Will Add Attractiveness to Business Section Oakland Tribune October 18, 1911
- Crowded House At Lurie Opening Oakland Tribune October 9, 1923
- Lurie Theater To Re-Open As The Hippodrome Oakland Tribune January 10, 1926
- ad for Premier Theater Oakland Tribune August 12, 1931
- ad for "The Bride Shop" at the Pantages Oakland Tribune February 19, 1918
- Tales From Oakland: The Tribune Tower by Live/Love Oakland