Tamalpais Theatre

328 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard,
San Anselmo, CA 94960

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit, Pacific Theatres

Architects: Harold G. Stoner

Functions: Office Space, Retail

Previous Names: Tamalpais Community Playhouse

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Tamalpais Theatre, San Anselmo, CA

Opened on February 22, 1924 as the Tamalpais Community Playhouse. The opening movie was Gloria Swanson in “The Humming Bird”. A concert was performed on the stage, headed by female vocalist and pianist Uda Waldrop who also opened the $25,000 organ. It became a full time movie house a year later as the Tamalpais Theatre. It was operated until 1976 by the Blumenfeld Theatre chain and from 1976 until closing in 1989 by Pacific Theatres.

The 1,086-seat auditorium was demolished after the Tamalpais Theatre closed to make way for a parking lot. The remaining interior at the front of the building was gutted, with the lower level becoming retail space and the upper floor becoming offices. The fa├žade was restored and the marquee is now used to announce community events.

Contributed by frenchjr25, David Guastavino

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

DavidG on April 13, 2004 at 1:32 am

A correction to the above —-
The Tam Theatre, as the locals new it, was originally opened in 1924-25 as the Tamalpais Community Playhouse, and one year later, became the Tamalpais Theatre and was operated as a movie theatre until its closing in 1989. It was built and operated for most of its existence by the Blumenfeld Theatre circuit of San Francisco, and later (from 1976 until its closing) by Pacific Theatres of Los Angeles. The theatre was named after a local geological landmark, Mount Tamalpais, which dominates views for most of central and southern Marin County, north of San Francisco.
It seated 1086, all on one main floor, with about 250 of these seats, located at the back of the theare, being rocking-back loges (cost 50 cents extra to sit in them when I was a kid!)

GaryParks on November 27, 2004 at 5:37 pm

Prior to demolition, the auditorium chandeliers visible in the photo were salvaged. I remeber seeing them sitting in the lobby as demolition of the auditorium commenced.

marinwestend on March 27, 2007 at 11:06 am

Harold G stoner was the Architect of Tamalpais Theatre. He was my Grandfather.

DavidZornig on June 17, 2019 at 8:00 am

Link with multiple vintage photos.


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