Campus Theater

2510 Durant Avenue,
Berkeley, CA 94704

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Additional Info

Architects: Walter H. Ratcliff Jr.

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Majestic Theater

Nearby Theaters

Campus Theater, Berkeley, California, 1916

The Majestic Theater was built and opened in 1914. It was still named Majestic Theater in 1915, but changed hands within a year and was renamed Campus Theater by 1916.

Contributed by Margot Lind

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

scottfavareille on November 23, 2004 at 4:48 pm

Ironically, the Tower Records in Berkeley is no more, either!

mlind on November 30, 2004 at 10:36 am

It was located at 2510 Durant Avenue and was originally called the Campus. No idea how (or if) it was related to the Campus Theater located on Bancroft Way.

gsmurph on December 3, 2004 at 3:51 am

It turns out that this is indeed the same building that would house Tower Records years later.

gsmurph on September 11, 2006 at 7:15 am

The Campus (later Majestic as noted above, and not to be confused with the later Campus on Bancroft Way) was built in 1914 at a cost of $9,800 (Building Trust #4013, September 11, 1914) and was said to consist of “a two-story auditorium and two rooms.” The architect was Walter H. Ratcliffe, Jr.; the owners were J.A. Elston and George Clark for the Isis Motion Picture Company.


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 26, 2011 at 2:54 am

If this theater opened as the Campus in 1914, it didn’t keep the name for long. The August, 1915, issue of professional journal The Architect & Engineer mentioned that the construction firm of Gaspard & Hamilton, builders of the Majestic Theatre in Berkeley, had been dissolved. It must have been the same Majestic Theatre, as the item said that it had been designed by architect W.H. Ratcliffe, Jr..

chronicler on January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

This cinema opened as the Majestic Theatre, as listed in the 1915 Berkeley city directory. The address was “s side Durant av bet Telegraph av and Bowditch.”

The architect was Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr. (not Ratcliffe). The original owners, J. Arthur Elston and George Clark, were law partners who built (and resided in) the adjacent Cambridge Apartments, also designed by Ratcliff.

When the cinema was acquired by the Campus Motion Picture Company, the name was changed to Campus Theater.

See “Telegraph & Durant: from ritzy enclave to commercial hub”:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Per chronicler’s information above, this house should be listed as the Campus Theater (a 1916 photo in The Moving Picture World shows that it used the -er spelling of the T word.)

chronicler’s Berkeley Heritage link says that this theater had been converted into a retail store by the late 1920s.

The Campus Theater most likely closed in 1925 or 1926. A list of the neighborhood’s cultural resources from Joseph Stubbs' Berkeley Southside Project (PDF file) dates the building of the second Campus Theatre on Bancroft Way to 1925. It might not have opened until 1926, though.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

An item about a proposed theater on Bancroft Way near Telegraph Avenue appeared in the July, 1924, issue of The Archtiect & Engineer. Given the location and the date, the project was probably the second Campus Theatre. As plans for that house were being completed in mid-1924, and the second Campus was built in 1925, it seems likely that it was also opened in 1925, so the first Campus Theater probably closed that year.

chronicler on January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

The correct name for this listing should be either Majestic Theatre (later name: Campus Theater) or Campus Theater (previous name: Majestic Theatre).

chronicler on January 17, 2021 at 3:07 pm

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