Campus Theatre

2440 Bancroft Way,
Berkeley, CA 94704

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Golden State Theater & Realty Corp.

Architects: James T. Narbett

Functions: Office Space, Retail

Styles: Moorish

Previous Names: Fox Campus Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Campus Theatre

The Campus Theatre was opened on January 20, 1926 with Reginald Denny in “California Straight Ahead”. It was operated by Golden State Theatres.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

GaryParks on October 28, 2003 at 1:48 pm

The concrete shell of the Campus survives, its fly tower calling attention to anyone who cares to look that there once was a theatre on the spot. The 1951 Film Daily Yearbook lists it as operating, but judging from the architectural style of the facade that was applied in its long-ago conversion to office and retail, it couldn’t have operated as a theatre much beyond that date.

mlind on November 24, 2004 at 10:11 am

This was also listed as the Fox Campus.

mlind on December 9, 2004 at 3:22 pm

Vertical sign on the right in this picture.

gsmurph on March 4, 2006 at 8:30 am

The Campus Theatre was built in 1914.

GaryParks on April 16, 2007 at 5:27 pm

Nice to at least see a view of the vertical. This is the only photo I’ve ever seen of the Campus while still a theatre. I can see the dome of UC Berkeley’s International House (still extant) in the distance at the end of the street. I recall that building was opened in 1931. My landlady when I was living in Oakland in the ‘80s was a resident of International House that year that it opened, so the photo would date after 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

A list of cultural resources in Berkeley’s Southside Project area gives 1925 as the date for the Campus Theatre building.

PDF file.

The Campus Theatre built in 1914 (comment by gsmurph, March 4, 2006) was a different house, located on Durant Avenue, originally called the Majestic Theatre and renamed Campus Theater in 1915. It is listed on this Cinema Treasures page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Given its location and the date of its construction, it is likely that the Campus Theatre was the project mentioned in the July, 1924, issue of The Architect and Engineer:

“Berkeley Theatre

“Plans are being completed by Architects James T. Narbett and R. F. de Sano, associated, of Richmond, for a two-story brick store and theatre to be erected on Bancroft Way, near Telegraph avenue, Berkeley, for Mr. Frank Atkins.”

When the project was noted in the January 10, 1925, issue of Building and Engineering News, associate architect Raymond de Sano was not mentioned, so perhaps he had withdrawn. The building was no longer to be built of brick, either:
“THEATRE, ETC. Cost, $100,000

“BERKELEY, Alameda Co., Cal., Bancroft W of Telegraph Ave. Steel and reinforced concrete theatre and store building. Owner — Frank Atkins. Architect — James T. Narbett, 910 Macdonald Ave., Richmond. Contract is shortly to be awarded to the low bidder, F. W. Maurice, 1362 E 25th St., Oakland.”

The Campus Theatre was probably completed and opened before the end of 1925, and so the earlier Campus Theater on Durant Avenue was most likely closed that same year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm

The March 6, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News reported that the Campus Theatre in Berkeley had opened on January 20. The item noted that the new Golden State Theatres house was of Moorish design, and that it had been decorated by the Robert E. Powers Studios, but failed to mention architect James E. Narbett.

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