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“This is what going to the movies should be” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Lake Theater

Grand Lake Theater
Ranked #14 of 115 things to do in Oakland
Attraction details
Oakland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“This is what going to the movies should be”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

If you pay to go to a movie you shouldn't have to watch advertising like on TV but even louder. The Grand Lake has none of that. If you are lucky enough to be coming to see a great film shown in the main theater, you are likely to be surrounded by a crowd with a similar appreciation for the film - whatever the genre. Come a little early to find the seat you want and to look around at the traditional theater decor. Soak it all in.

On the other hand you may be lucky enough to see a film in the little theater to the left of the main lobby. This room is decorated like a tomb from ancient Egypt - beautiful, not creepy.

Worst case, you are in one of the two theaters scrunched into the old balcony. Then, at least, you get to go up and down the grand staircase. This is an old Oakland favorite so take good care of it.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank ktgOakland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    19
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    2
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A treasure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

The decor is fabulous. The seats are comfortable. Live concerts as well as movies are always enjoyable.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank boy1duh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Politically correct and current, and more”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

These folks are dedicated to the Oakland community and do benefits, etc plus show first-run films in a funky, classic setting that attracts a broad range of patrons. Make sure your movie is on the main floor if you need accessibility.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank JesseaOaklandCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Alright, Tolerable”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

I thought the theater was alright. It's pretty small and seems like it hasn't been renovated at all. I appreciate the old-time feel, but not the grimy feel that also came along with it. Other than that, getting seats to see the movie was no problem and the sound and everything was fine.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Victoria C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piedmont, California
Level Contributor
252 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
“Classic movie palace and anchor of the neighborhood”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

The Grand Lake Theater is the symbol of an entire Oakland neighborhood, but also is a great place to see movies. It's been there since the 1920s and has been through the ups and downs of the film industry ever since. It is a classic movie palace that, unfortunately due to the economics of that industry, has had to split the main auditorium into two screening venues (main floor and balcony), plus add two other smaller auditoriums. But its magnificent lobby is still as impressive as ever and the main floor especially is still a great place to watch a big screen film. The theater is individually owned, not part of a large chain, which partly accounts for its continued success and identification with the neighborhood. The huge marquee at the front is visible from several directions due its location at a major intersection and its closeness to the MacArthur Freeway. We love going to the movies here and also supporting a local business.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank mrancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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