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Press Building

PRESS BUILDING  The Press Building opened as the Pantages Theatre on  August 5, 1912. Retail and office uses enveloped the  building, with ground-floor tenants including a candy  store, dry cleaner, ...

PRESS BUILDING 

The Press Building opened as the Pantages Theatre on 
August 5, 1912. Retail and office uses enveloped the 
building, with ground-floor tenants including a candy 
store, dry cleaner, and smoke shop. Offices on the 
second and third floors ranged from upscale women's 
tailoring to an engineering firm. The theater held over 
2,000 patrons in mahogany and Russian leather chairs 
and featured vaudeville acts from gymnasts, vocalists, 
and violinists to animal acts with ponies and monkeys. 

In 1923, Louis Lurie acquired the building, opening the 
movie-only Lurie Theater. The chain was short-lived, 
and the theater was renamed The Hippodrome in 1926, 
The Premier in 1932, The Roosevelt in 1934, and finally 
The Downtown in 1939 with a return to live performances. 

In 1946 during the economic boom after World War II, 
the neighboring Oakland Tribune newspaper purchased 
the outdated theater for its printing press and newspaper 
distribution operations. The storefronts were enclosed 
with concrete block in 1955, along with the upper floor 
windows in 1963. The building was then vacated by the 
Tribune in the early 1990s. In 2007, the retail and 
office spaces were restored along the street fronts, 
and the large interior space now contains self storage 
units instead of a theater or printing plant 
 
Plaque placed by Madison Park Financial Corporation 
August, 2007 
 

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