Auctions by the Bay

2700 Saratoga Street,
Alameda, CA 94501

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Additional Info

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: NAS Alameda Theatre

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Auctions by the Bay

A lavishly-restored movie theater located in the former Alameda Naval Air Station. Used as an auction house and until recently, a showcase for classic cinema.

After making a million dollars in improvements to the theatre and leasing the 420-seat theatre for 10 years, in 2011, it was reported that Allen Michaan would cease leasing it, but is seeking to work out another arrangement with the City of Alameda. Michaan is well known for his operation of Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

scottfavareille on February 11, 2004 at 10:28 am

Allen Michaan, who operates Renaissance Rialto theaters, operates both this theater and the auction operation. The theater operates on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

stefoscope on February 20, 2004 at 9:43 pm

Having seen photos of what this former Naval Air Station theatre looked like before the current management renovated it, I can say that they did a fantastic job of transforming it into a deco-style venue for vintage films. The selection of movies run is very impressive, and the presentation of them is generally a class act. Hopefully the turnout continues to grow, so they will be able to keep this going. It’s a jewl for the bay area!

gsmurph on August 9, 2004 at 2:08 am

Sadly, Auctions by the Bay has shown its last film as of earlier tonight (August 8); an article in Saturday’s Oakland Tribune mentioned this awful news. However, the auction operation continues there (so it’s not endangered), and perhaps someday this theater will show films once again.

gsmurph on August 12, 2004 at 5:14 am

Auctions by the Bay seats 450 people.

bruceanthony on August 12, 2004 at 3:14 pm

I attended the last day Auctions by the Bay showed movies in this beautiful auditorium. I saw the last double bill of “North By Northwest” and “Out of the Past.” It was my first time attending and I guess my last. I think the name and the location prevented it from being more successful besides cheap DVD rentals of the classics.brucec

Gogo on May 4, 2005 at 2:18 pm

I loved going to this theater. Absolutely great movie line up and a gorgeous interior to boot. Unfortunately it didn’t last very long. About 1 year maybe? I think the problem was the lack of advertising. Really the only way that one would’ve heard about the theater was by attending the auctions (the theater’s primary function) or by going to the monthly Alameda antique fair. I think more exposure in local “free” papers such as East Bay Express or the Guardian would’ve helped substantially.

In addition, the exterior of the building was somewhat nondescript. The Alameda Navy base is fairly large and with so many deserted looking structures, the theater wasn’t the easiest thing to find.

It’s a shame because the only other theater in the San Francsico Bay Area that shows classic movies is the Stanford in Palo Alto.

DevilDoll on May 4, 2005 at 2:36 pm

I agree, the theatre at the old Alameda NAS should have done more advertising. I also wish they had showed some obscure films; most of the movies that I saw on their calendar I have already seen many times.

The Paramount in Oakland shows classic movies on occasion…..although I’m not sure how the last one, “You’ve Got Mail” would qualify as such.

I sure do miss the U.C. Theatre in Berkeley. The seats were uncomfortable& the floor was sticky, but they showed an amazing variety of movies, including silents, which are hard to find on a big screen these days.

e4kbb on July 31, 2005 at 5:51 pm

This is a beautiful theater, but “restored” is a misnomer. It was made grander in interior decoration than it ever was originally when it was rehabbed. I don’t have a problem with what was done but I think “restoration” should be used carefully, or people will think that the historical theater looked as it does now.

shoeshoe14 on March 6, 2007 at 3:39 pm

It closed in 2004.

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