Posted in Buildings, Business

Newsreel Theaters

A news cinema or newsreel theatre is a cinema specializing in short films, shown continuously. They also occasionally show feature films.

Newsreel Theatre on Broadway

It was announced in July of 1941 that Oakland was to have a Newsreel Theater, a sister to the one in San Francisco.

Oakland Tribune August 1941


The 300 seat theater had spacious lounge rooms which provided accommodations for writing a letter, holding a business conference, reading the latest newspapers, magazines, etc.

Was Regent Theater

Oakland Tribune 1912

The building first housed the Regent Theater later the Regent Photo Theater.

Regent Theater
Broadway at 12th circa 1917 – showing the Regent Theater. Photo by CHeney Photo Advertising

Peerlex Theater 

Oakland Tribune Sept 10, 1954

In the mid-1950s, the Regent was renamed the Peerlex. The Peerlex offered three action hits for 50 cents.  

Pussycat Theater

By 1972 the Regent was rechristened the Pussycat Theater showing XXX adult movies.

Pussycat Theater

The city of Oakland acquired the theater by eminent domain in 1987.

Franklin Theater

The theater located at 1518 Franklin opened as the Bishop Theater in 1916 and then became the Fulton Playhouse in 1918. The building was designed by Edward T. Foulkes

The Bishop Playhouse – undated Oakland History Room Photo

In 1935 the Fulton reopened as the Franklin, taking its name from the previous Franklin Theater which had closed.

Newsreel Theater

The Franklin Theater closed and was reopened as the Newsreel Theater in October of 1939.

Telenews Theater at the Franklin Theater

Oakland Tribune October 1939

The Newsreel Theater closed and transformed into the Telenews Theatre at Franklin and 15th opened July 18, 1941

Oakland Tribune July 18, 1941

The theatre was the first to include local newsreel stories as part of the regular week’s program. Each program or show comprised some fifty news events, including the “Ringside Seat to World War Two” series with Regan McCrary.

Oakland Tribune July 18, 1941

During the opening week, they showed a “Salute to Oakland,” a film on Oakland’s industrial, civic, and community life. The film showed the new Woodminster Amphitheater, Lake Merritt, Mills College, Oakland’s High Schools, and City Hall.

Oakland Tribune July 18, 1941

The lobby included a large “Progressive War Map,” which was updated daily. Twelve clocks, showing the current time in cities throughout Europe, American, and Asia, and a teletype machine was also in the lobby.

Oakland Tribune July 18, 1941

Franklin Theater Once Again

When Telenews took over the Fox News Theater’s operation on Broadway in 1943, this theater became the Franklin once again and showed first-run movies.

Closed and Demolished 

The theater went dark in 1951.

Oakland Tribune April 17, 1953

Fox News Theater on Broadway

Regent Theatre

Located at 1906 Broadway, the 552-seat Fox News Theatre opened on July 3, 1942.  

Oakland Tribune July 1942

Fox Offers Timely Topics in Modern Show House.” – Oakland Tribune July 5, 1942

The Fox News Theater had a broadcasting studio in the downstairs lounge. Vital news programs, topics of the day were broadcasted on the KQW CBS outlet.

Telenews took over the operation on April 30, 1943. The theater was renamed The Broadway Telenews Theater.

Oakland Tribune Feb 22, 1953

Globe Theater

Oakland Tribune April 1954

On April 16, 1954, it was renamed Globe Theater and went over to screening feature films, with Dinah Sheridan in “Genevieve.” The latest newsreels were also shown.

Oakland Tribune April 1954

More Info:

The End

Author:

I grew up in the Montclair District of Oakland, CA. I attended Thornhill Elementary School, Montera Junior High, Skyline High School, and spent some time at Merritt College.

One thought on “Newsreel Theaters

  1. Thanks for this wonderful tidbit, Dots.
    Mother and Father would talk about their ‘dating days’ in the late 40’s, going to the shows and the restaurants in downtown.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s