Building Description Studio Theater, Sacramento California

The Studio Theater is of concrete construction and was designed in the Moderne style, which was popular for theaters of the 1930s and 1940s. The symmetrical south (front) facade, the building's most distinctive extant feature, consists of a lower level surfaced primarily masonry tile veneer and an upper portion that includes decorative vertical and horizontal channel grooves and three large fluted sections joined by arris-like flat wall sections.

The footprint of the whole theater complex is symmetrical and rectangular in shape. The building is approximately 40 feet long at the north and south sides, and is approximately 161 feet long at the east and west sides. The east and west sides of the building maintain an elevation height of 28 feet, 6 inches from ground surface level to the top of the parapet wall. The central portion of the north and south sides, which have taller parapets, reach a height of 32 feet, 4 inches from ground surface level to the top of the parapets.

A marquee extends to the south approximately 8.5 feet over the south (front) main recessed entry. The marquee is faced with diamond-patterned stainless steel. Four bands of neon lighting remain fixed to the east side of the marquee. Originally, the marquee face included two signs. The southeast face had a sign that read "Studio Theater," and it is likely that the northwest face had the same sign. The remaining open areas had bands of neon lighting (Anonymous ca. 1942). The marquee's underside is surfaced in plaster and has 12 recessed lights. The top of the marquee is surfaced with composition sheeting and can be accessed from a doorway/door at the central fluted section of the south (front) facade. The doorway/door were later alterations to the building; the doorway originally was a window opening that contained 5-light glazing. Just underneath the marquee is a bulletin board which extends over the entire length of the main theater entry area.

The basement floor and round columns which support the concrete floor system above are of concrete construction. The basement was finished/renovated for public use as part of a nightclub, probably in the 1990s. All partition walls are of frame construction with plaster finish. Some wall areas at the landing of the western stairwell contain glass block construction. The northernmost basement includes a sump pump. The original floor plan of the basement is unknown. By 1996, the plan included a kitchen, pantry, storage areas, main nightclub floor with a bar, and rest room facilities for men and women.

The original first floor plan was likely symmetrical, accommodating aisles and theater-style seating. Today, the first floor consists of the lobby area at the south end and a large auditorium space with stage area to the north. The lobby contains two small closets, a ticket sale room, and two restrooms, one on each side of the lobby. The auditorium space contains a bar area (with refrigerator units and a pantry), stepped platforms, and a dance floor in front of the stage. The stage is raised four feet higher than the dance floor area, is curved and vented at its south face, and has a large, semicircular, metallic-painted column flanking each side. A mechanical equipment room is located behind the stage on the north end of the first floor.

There are two second floor areas in the Studio Theater building. The entire second story area at the south end of the building is directly above the lobby area of the first floor and is accessed by two stairways, one at the east and one at the west side of the building. This area consists of the projection room to the north, a small office, two rest rooms, storage areas (including a tiled closet originally used for cold film storage), and closets. A second equipment room is located above the mechanical room on the north end of the building. There are two small (4-foot by 8-foot) dressing rooms, one on the east and one on the west side of the equipment room. These rooms have stairs on the south end that lead to wood platforms flanking the stage.