c.1938-1941 1

The Hopkins Theater was a movie theater at 3525 MacArthur, opening in 1939. Theatres of Oakland says it had 892 seats.

There was a gala grand opening in July 1939, featuring actor Alan Hale, dancer Sally Rand, and NBC radio commentator "Budda" in person. The movies were "Dodge City" (1939) which featured Hale in a supporting role, and "Topper Takes a Trip" (1938). A wedding was performed on stage. 2 As part of the publicity build-up, the reels for "Dodge City" were to be delivered by blimp! 4

1939 opening ad 2

The theater was developed by Lawrence H. Goldsmith, who also owned the nearby Allendale Theater. The building was designed by S. Charles Lee, an architect associated with Douglas Dacre Stone. R.T. LaMarre was the manager. 5

In 1945, a fire did an estimated $50,000 in damage. The fire was apparently started by a young smoker jamming a lit cigarette into his seat. 6

At some point the theater closed, and in 1953, the building was re-opened as a Hagstrom's grocery store. 3 That eventually closed, and it became a video store. Today it is home to an AutoZone auto parts store and a Goodwill store.

Links and References

  1. Hopkins Theatre University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections
  2. New $150,000 Hopkins Theater to Open Tonight Oakland Tribune July 19, 1939
  3. Hagstrom's grand opening ad Oakland Tribune April 29, 1953
  4. Sally Rand to Open Theater Oakland Tribune July 18, 1939
  5. Hopkins Theater Near Completion Oakland Tribune June 11, 1939
  6. $50,000 Fire in Theater Here Oakland Tribune September 27, 1945