Rafael Film Center
1118 4th Street,
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Operated by: California Film Institute
Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit
Firms: Reid Brothers
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Orpheus Theatre, New Rafael Theatre, Rafael Theatre
Originally opened on January 21, 1920 as the Orpheus Theatre. It was designed by the Reid Brothers architects and had 1,500-seats. It was equipped with a Seeburg-Smith organ. The Orpheus Theatre was gutted by a fire on November 29, 1937.
It was restored in an Art Moderne style to the plans of architect A.J. Hopper with murals painted by artist Henry Martin. It reopened as the New Rafael Theatre in June 1938 with 1,100-seats. It was closed on October 7, 1989 by the Loma Prieta earthquake. Renovations began in 1997 to the plans of architect Mark Cavagnero.
The California Film Institute, officially called the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center has restored the theatre. It now houses three screens, specializing in independent and foreign films.
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