Extended History/Tour

To find out more about Crest's historic milestones, please click on the links/images on the following timeline.

1912 ~ The Empress
1949 ~ The Crest Theatre

1918 ~ The Hippodrome
1986 ~ Re-opening

1949 ~ The Crest Theatre

"They removed everything down to the thick brick outer walls"

1949 ~ The Crest Theatre

After the tragedy, Fox West Coast altered their plans to a far more radical remodeling. They demolished the square brick marquee tower in front and tore out every part of the Hippodrome in the main building. They removed everything down to the thick brick outer walls. They installed steel columns inside these walls, closed the exitway to K street and tore the dressing rooms out to provide access to the alley in back. The ceiling that you see now is about 15 feet below the original Hip ceiling. The ceiling and gold leafing were done with the use of a suspended scaffolding which was removed upon completion. The basic design of the theatre was common to Fox West Coast theatres, operated by Charles Skouras, up and down the state. As you can see from the opening night pictures, the drapery allowed only 1:33 projection (this was removed in the 50's with the advent of Cinemascope). The ventilation was moved and updated with twin Westinghouse 40 ton air conditioning compressors and a Bryant hot water heating system, both of which are still in use.

Opening night was October 6, 1949 and the picture was "That Midnight Kiss" from MGM. In attendance from Hollywood were Kathryn Grayson and Mario Lanza (then unknown) stars of the film, Ann Miller and George Miller (later US Senator). Government officials included Governor Earl Warren (later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) and the Honorable Belle Cooledge, the first woman mayor of Sacramento. Five thousand people jammed K street to see the stars and to hear Mario Lanza sing from a temporary stage on the street. Searchlights filled the air as the theatre was properly christened.

The theatre showcased films for thirty years until late 1979 when a variety of factors including the decline of the K Street mall, television and multiplexes forced it to close. From 1980 to 1986, various people tried to operate the theatre with out much luck.

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