Shown above is the Parkside Theatre shortly before it opened in December of 1928. Located at 933 Taraval Street, just west of 19th Avenue, it served as the neighborhood theater until c1991.
In 1965, it closed for a short period to undergo remodeling and renovation. When the theater reopened, it was the Fox Parkside Theatre, but apparently not many people were aware of the change in its name.
Ken Wiltz now lives in Novato, but he lived in the Parkside District from 1924 until 1956, and remembers that the foundation forms for the Parkside Theater were first built on the south side of Taraval Street between 28th and 29th Avenues, not 19th Avenue.
In fact, while playing in the sand around the forms, he slipped into a pit and had to be rescued by a local garage man. He doesn't know why the theater site was changed, but agrees that west of 19th Avenue was probably a better location in the long run.
The lobby of the Parkside Theatre as it looked in 1943. Do you remember it?
The former Parkside Theatre 2001.
Although the tall, attractive, Parkside sign is gone, having been replaced by the three letter word FOX, there is no mistaking it for other than the former Parkside movie house.
Before biting the dust completely, the downstairs portion of the theater was transformed into a child care center and/or pre-school and used for that purpose during the day.
At night movies were shown as though nothing had happened, except they were viewed from the balcony only.
Christine Miller, a loyal customer of the Parkside in the early 80s, shares some memories of the theater.
"You had to have a sense of humor to appreciate a run down, cold, smelly theater with a pre-school on the ground floor. The Parkside had many smells. I remember it smelling like hot dogs, disinfectant and cigarette smoke. On nights when rock/concert movies were shown, the balcony would be engulfed in a cloud of marijuana smoke and you couldn't smell anything else."
Others remember the smell of urine and dirty diaper odors from the pre-school below.
Do they miss the Parkside Theater? You bet they do.
Going, going, gone, 2001.
This view was taken in early 2001 as buldozers were attacking the structure from the inside. By sometime in the year 2002, the old movie house is scheduled become apartments or condos.