Palm Theater

1705 Palm Avenue,
San Mateo, CA 94402

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Westland Theatres

Architects: William Bernard David, William W. Wolf

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Paris Theater

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News About This Theater

Interior - Palm Theater San Mateo, CA

The Palm Theater opened March 10, 1949 with William Holden in “Dear Wife” & “The Boy and the Eagle”. It was a neighborhood theater, and on December 1, 1950 it was renamed Paris Theater. It later reverted back to the Palm Theatre name. It was closed as a regular movie theatre in 1975. It then operated as a adults only porn house for the next 30-years until it was closed in May of 2005 and was razed two months later. It was replaced by a condominium complex.

Contributed by scottfavareille

Recent comments (view all 88 comments)

scottfavareille on August 6, 2007 at 9:18 am

Article about the new Palm Residences:

The project’s recreation room has saved some of the Palm’s etched glass mirrors & panels for installation there. Also salvaged were “2 faded, framed posters-one of Mae West & WC Fields and one of West alone-in a style reminiscent of the late Al Hirschfeld” and 3 “frayed posters” with the message “If you are easily offended, please do not attend.”

Prices range from $549,000 for a 802 sq ft 1 bedroom unit to $858,000 for a 2 bd, 2 ½ bath unit of 1320 sq ft. HOA dues are $380-424 per month on top of that. 19 units are available for sale.

valvann on August 6, 2007 at 11:14 am

A rec room doesn’t sound like a good location for glass artifacts of historic value. I understood that in the EIR a mitigation for demolition was placement of the best artifacts with a historical society was required. Instead as so often happens the scavangers got there first and now it looks like the developers are getting to use the glass for decorating the project. It’s better than having them destroyed, but for a project that demolished a significant historic resource, with unavoidable (unmitigated) significant impacts on the environment requiring a finding of overriding public interest, this whole scene is a sad comment on how little protection there really is for historic resources against a determined developer. Once again the developer gets off scott free.

philbertgray on November 6, 2007 at 7:01 am

For those of you who might be interested here is the planning commissions meeting on the proposed demoltion of the Palm Theatre. Several people voiced requests to save the theatre, all in vain.

NOVEMBER 25, 2003

View link

Michael on March 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Does anyone have interior photos of this theatre?

SteveNY on April 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I was 10 years old in 1963 when I saw Ann Margaret in “Bye-Bye Birdie at the Palm Theater. It was the moment i discovered girls……

kencmcintyre on August 16, 2009 at 12:34 am

Here is a November 1953 ad from the San Mateo Times:

TLSLOEWS on April 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Palm Theatre what a name for a porno!

robertcampbell on February 24, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I finally found my photo of the interior of the Palm, and posted it. Enjoy!

rivest266 on July 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm

March 10th, 1949 grand opening ad in the photo section

MichaelKilgore on March 18, 2023 at 3:44 pm

For at least a while, the Palm became the Paris.

Boxoffice, Dec. 9, 1950: “The Paris Theatre, described as a "cinema for patrons tired of ordinary movies,” opened December 1 in San Mateo … The Paris in San Mateo was formerly the Palm."

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