(KTXL) — Sacramento, a city that goes to great lengths to highlight art and performance, is home to several theaters still in operation that were built during the early days of cinema and some from the early 1900s.
Below, the historic theaters in the city that are still showing movies and performances.
The Crest Theatre, which originally opened in 1912, is located in Downtown Sacramento, just a few blocks away from California’s State Capitol. When it first opened, the Crest was known as the Empress Theatre and then later as the Hippodrome Theatre.
According to the Crest Theatre, on Sept. 14, 1946, the Hippodrome’s marquee fell to the pavement and killed a bystander. Due to the incident, in 1949 the building was remodeled into the current art deco form which is now known as the Crest Theatre.
The Crest Theatre labels itself as one of the “premier first-run movie palaces in the Sacramento area” in the 1950s and 1960s. However, in the 1970s, the Crest Theatre was “reduced to mostly sub-run fare and eventually closed in the early 1980s.”
After the theatre closed, there were many attempts to reopen the theatre and it eventually did reopen in 1986. However, in 1993, the building next door caught on fire, causing the Crest smoke damage. With the money earned during the insurance settlement and grants from the city of Sacramento, the theatre could be restored and two basement screening rooms were added.
Again in 2009, the Crest underwent another restoration where the neon marquee was refurbished.
Currently, the theatre is going under a modernization project which includes converting “the basement screening rooms into an on-site full-service restaurant, installation of high-speed internet for the ticketing system, structural upgrades to support concert sound and lighting systems, installation of DCP compliant digital movie projection, and replacement of the 65-year old HVAC system.”
According to the Crest Theatre, during this project, the theatre will still remain operational and will continue “hosting community events, concerts, and exhibiting foreign and independent films.”
The Tower Theatre, built in 1938, is the oldest continuously running picture palace in the city, according to the Tower Theatre.
The Tower Theatre is located on Broadway St. in Downtown Sacramento and has showcased some of Sacramento’s local filmmaker premieres such as Colin Hanks’ “All Things Must Pass” and Greta Gerwig’s “Ladybird.”
According to the Tower Theatre, they are dedicated to bringing “the finest in independent, foreign, and specialty film to Sacramento’s film lovers.”
The Guild Theater
The Guild Theater, originally named the Victor Theater, is a nonprofit theater located at 2828 35th St. and is managed by St. Hope Academy. It was built in 1915 and was the largest theater in Oak Park at the time, according to St. Hope.
St. Hope is a nonprofit created by former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson that educates, empowers, and trains residents in low-income areas to change the landscape, beginning with Oak Park, according to St. Hope.
In 2003, St. Hope updated and restored the Guild Theater after it was vacant for many years. According to St. Hope, despite being restored and renovated, the Guild Theater still has historic charm and remains a venue “for corporate events, plays, concerts, trainings, movie screenings, and weddings.”