Historic Structures

Building Description Paramount Theatre, Oakland California

The following description was issued by J. R. Miller & T. L. Pflueger, Architects. Cubage of the building was given as approximately 2,760,000 cubic feet.

A complete theatre building located on southerly portion of main part of lot and extending full 50' wide to Broadway and with secondary exit and stage entrance units to Hobart (now 21st) Street and passages from courts to 20th and Hobart Streets.

It shall be of strictly fireproof class "A" construction with steel frame and concrete walls, built in accordance with all city, county, state laws or regulations and to obtain for insurance purposes the lowest rate of insurance for a theatre granted by the National or Local Board of Underwriters.

The building contains an Auditorium, seating approximately 3500 persons, complete with orchestra foyer (projected seating total was 3528; actual original seating was 3434) mezzanine lounge and foyer, upper connecting foyer, ramp, stairs, etc; grand lobby directly behind vestibule and outer lobby connects at same level with orchestra foyer and with mezzanine foyer by two grand stairways; public toilets and lounging facilities of ample size both in basement and mezzanine; stage complete with gridiron, switchboard, twelve dressing rooms, storage space, shops and accommodations for orchestra, organist, stage hands, etc.; organ lofts complete and wired for installation of organs; general basement containing machinery space and accommodations for ushers, janitors and other help; office suite for managers, treasurer, cashier, publicity men, etc., on mezzanine; projection booth complete with non-synchronous room, rewind room, battery room, rheostat room, generator room etc.

Design of entire interior shall be in a restrained modern treatment with special lighting and surface effects.

Broadway street front of building complete with vestibule, ticket booth, marquise (except advertising signs), frame for large vertical sign, etc., shall be in the form of a tower flanking the main sign and full width of lot for the major part of its height. It shall also be designed in modern style and built of ornamental non-corosive weather resisting materials.

All units shall be adequately ventilated and heated where necessary. Ventilating system in general shall be of overhead distribution re-circulating type with air, spray washed, heated or cooled to maintain a temperature of 70 degrees. City steam shall be used for steam supply.

Provision shall be made for adequately lighting the entire interior and exterior of the building. Auditorium, grand lobby and mezzanine foyer shall have provisions for special diffused lighting effects.

The theatre has a frontage of fifty feet on Broadway. The theatre is entered through a grand lobby, this approximately 50' wide, 50' high and 80' long, which is entered directly from the vestibule fronting on Broadway. (The actual interior width of the grand lobby is about 40') This lobby will be finished in elaborate materials, marble mirrors and extensive lighting effects. From this lobby, the grand stairway leads to the mezzanine foyer. Further stairways also lead to upper foyer levels, all of which extend the full width of the theatre at the rear of same. The foyer for the orchestra floor is also entered directly from the end of this lobby and is 18' wide by the full width of the orchestra.

The theatre is of the type called by Gillespie "De Luxe". It has a total seating capacity of 3528 seats (3434 as built), of which 2268 (2126 as built) are on the first or orchestra floor, 312 (324 as built) in the balcony loge section and 948 (984 as built) in the balance of the balcony.

The theatre is to be equipped with a full stage for de luxe productions.

The theatre will have no mezzanine loge seats, it being planned for the showing of the future large size motion picture productions now being developed.

There will he no posts on the orchestra floor, the balcony being supported on a girder which extends from outer wall to outer wall.