Rockridge Showcase

5144 Broadway,
Oakland, CA 94611

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Additional Info

Architects: Gale Santocono

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This small cinema was a part of the Rockridge shopping center for a number of years. Originally opened in 1968 as a single-screen, it was expanded to two cinemas. In the mid-1980’s, three more screens were added, not to the original, but in a separate building two blocks south (at Broadway and Whitmore Street). This new triplex was known as Rockridge Showcase West.

The original Rockridge Showcase duplex quietly expired about 1989 and was subsequently absorbed by the shopping center in an expansion/makeover. The Rockridge Showcase West continued a little longer (dropping the “West” from its name after the original Showcase closed), but eventually it too faded away.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

bago1 on April 30, 2005 at 5:57 am

i remember going to see movies at this theater back in the mid 80s

kencmcintyre on July 14, 2007 at 10:42 am

Lippert’s crystal ball, from the LA Times dated 8/25/68:

New Concept Puts Theaters in Shop Marts

The days of the big downtown movie palaces are numbered, believes Robert L. Lippert, operator of 58 theaters from Oregon to the Mexican border. “Young moderns do not want to leave their neighborhoods to see movies now”, he said. “And they especially do not want to send their youngsters to Saturday matinees in congested downtown areas”.

Lippert, who plans to open the 275-seat Showcase Theater next month in Oakland’s suburban Rockridge Shopping Center, said shopping center theaters are a new concept of motion picture presentation. “The theaters are easily accessible by car, with no parking problems, and they are frequented by young people in the community with the same interests”, he said.

The new theater will feature the continental seating style which eliminates center aisles and provides a full view of the screen at all times. Architect was Gale Santocono.

bago1 on April 17, 2009 at 10:39 am

i remember going to see movies at this theater many times in the mid 1980s with my father i remember this theater being next to a payless drug store and also safway being in the same shopping center. one of the last movies i remember seeing here was masters of the universe that was about 1988 or 87 good old school memorys ……

JCL on April 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

The above article by The LA Times is fairly accurate. Original Rockridge was a single screen small house. Robert Lippert built with intention of mainly being a ‘Arts & Foreign’ film house. His hope was a draw of elite patronage from surrounding Oakland hills, as well as the Berkeley student crowd. Rockridge Center was not that far down from the Piedmont Theatre and then Berkeley Campus.

The small lobby entry had the ticket counter and snack bar combined. On either side of lobby was a short staircase that led to the auditorium, as well as entry to the office and projection booth, (both above the snack bar lobby).

At the time, I was a manager for Lippert’s new Showcase Twin in Alameda at Southshore Shopping Center (see entry under Southshore
Twin). I later was district mgr for the Rockridge as well. JCL

BJB on July 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I remember seeing a Marty Feldman movie there around ‘80 or so. Tiny, tiny theater. I can see why it closed. I think the shopping center is still there, but haven’t been there in a while.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

Could it have been “LAST REMAKE OF BEAU GESTE” released in the late 70’s or so.,BJB.

freezetag168 on June 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

There was so many fond memories there as this was my very first after-school job growing up in Oakland. Little did I know I’d outlast my years there as compared to my “real adult” jobs. JCL: were you one of the district mgr under Enea? I was the asst relief mgr there. It went through so many management changes during my time there.

JCL on June 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

Hi freezetag 168,

Good timing..I have not been visiting ‘Treasures’ lately. In fact just got home yesterday (road trip).

Sorry to say did not know person you noted. I was at Rockridge year after it opened. Manager at time was young woman, sad to say do not remember her name, she had younger sister working ‘ticket and consessions’. I was hired on by Robert Lippert for opening of new twin in Alameda. Lippert offices were shared with Richard Mann (Theatre management) in S.F. Richard was son of Geo. Mann (founder of Redwood Theatres).

I worked for Mr. Richard Mann prior at the Briggsmore in Modesto, before transferring to Lippert.

Alameda showcase opened in 1969.

Still a big ‘movie fan’. Cheers, JCL

gsmurph on December 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm

The Rockridge Shopping Center has been undergoing a massive overhaul and renovation in recent months (and is now referred to as “The Ridge.” As a result, nearly all of its original structures, including the one that formerly housed the Rockridge Showcase, have been demolished and are bring supplanted by new ones.

Jamey_monroe45 on October 12, 2023 at 12:00 pm

True story! When I was working box office at the twin, Carl Weathers of Rocky fame came by with his 2 daughters to see Splash in ‘84! THAT’S RIGHT APOLLO CREED IN THE FLESH! Stunned is an understatement! 🥳🥳🥳

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