Silent Era Information*Progressive Silent Film List*Lost Films*People*Theaters
Taylorology*Articles*Home Video*Books*Store*Search
Flicker Alley MOD DVDs
Silent Era Home Page  >  Theaters  >  United States  >  California  >  Pittsburg  >  Palace
Motion picture theaters from the silent era.
Copyright © 1999-2018 by Carl Bennett and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
Palace Theater  
Address Black Diamond Street between
West Third Street and West Fourth Street
Opening Night Seating Capacity 600
Original Theater Owner David Solari, Sylvester Enea and Salvatore Enea
Original Theater Architect David Solari
Years of Operation Opened in 1910
Operated as Palace Theatre: 1910-?
Type of Musical Accompaniment Theatre organ and piano
Current Status Demolished

Palace Theater was established for motion picture exhibition and vaudeville.

The Palace Theater ended up as a Spanish language movie house into the 1960s. The Palace was demolished in the 1970s for redevelopment, as was Pittsburg’s Grand Opera House.

Tom LaFleur: The architect of the Palace Theater was one of the owners, David Solari. He was a brother-in-law to the Enea family. / Solari first exhibited film in Black Diamond (now Pittsburg) in 1903 at a livery stable. Solari subsequently opened the Diamond Theatre on Railroad Avenue, Black Diamond, circa 1905. / The story goes that Solari in partnership with Sylvester Enea rented the Siri Brothers’ Grand Opera House at 4th and West, Black Diamond, and called it the Princess Theatre. Another version of the story of early film exhibition in Black Diamond is that a group of local Italian businessmen operated the Princess in competition to Solari. It is unknown which version of the story is correct. / The Palace Theater was built and opened in 1910. At the time Solari was operating in Pittsburg, he knew W.G. Turner (later of the Turner & Dahnken circuit) who was a Black Diamond Saloon owner with stores also in Antioch and Vallejo. Turner served as mayor of Black Diamond at some point, and Dahnken was from neighboring Antioch, California. / At some point between 1911 and 1919, David Solari left the partnership with the Eneas and opened theaters in other towns, probably for Turner & Dahnken. He was killed at the very end of World War I, and subsequently the Pittsburg veterans hall was named David Solari Post and so it remained until it was demolished in the 1990s. Solari was a talented and energetic businessman and a pioneer in the film business.

References: Additional information provided by Tom LaFleur.


Report Palace Theatre Errors or Omissions


[Argus magazine, (unknown month and date) 1911, page 23] Palace Theater / Most Modern Show House in Contra Costa County — Managed by David Solari and Company / The Palace Theater was especially built for David Solari & Company in the summer of 1910. Mr. Solari has spared neither time nor expense to make this show house one of the finest in Contra Costa County. It is a strictly fireproof building, being built with plaster, brick, iron and cement. There are five double door exits and three single ones, complying in every way with the laws relating to theaters. The place is well ventilated and sanitary in every respect. The house is equipped with 600 up-to-date opera chairs and the public can feel assured that every comfort can be found at this popular playhouse. The stage is a very large one and can easily accommodate the best shows in the country. Looking at the main entrance one would actually think he was going into the Orpheum. Two large double doors and a handsomely fitted up box office are features which catch the public eye. One of the finest and most expensive organs to be purchased anywhere has been installed by these popular young men. The organ is known as “Welts Orchestration” and is used to play overtures and accompany the motion pictures. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each week, high-class vaudeville acts, direct from San Francisco, are staged, and many people come in from Antioch, Bay Point and surrounding towns to see this up-to-date vaudeville show. Mr. David Solari, manager of the theater, books with the same people who supply talent for “Pantages Circuit,” thus assuring the public of classy vaudeville. Mr. A.E. Gerdts, popular musician of the Palace Theater plays the piano for the vaudeville and illustrated songs. The latest and most up-to-date motion pictures will be seen at this playhouse. Pictures are changed every day. / The theater is situated on Black Diamond street, right in the heart of town, and is within a few minutes’ walk of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroad stations. The company is composed of Mr. David Solari and Mr. Sylvester Eneo [sic], bother enterprising young men of Black Diamond. Mr. David Solari designed the theater and had it built according to his own ideas. This is a big boost for Mr. Solari, as the building is certainly a very beautiful one. After finishing his grammar studies here six years ago, Mr. Solari took two years’ course at Heald’s Engineering School in Stockton, and up to the time the theater was built, about nine months ago, he had been engaged in mechanical and patent drawing. “Dave” has been very successful as a draftsman and always likes to use the pen and brush. He is a very energetic young man and has a score of friends in Black Diamond as well as in other parts of the county. Mr. David Solari and Mr. Sylvester Eneo [sic] were the first to start a theater in Black Diamond and their success in this venture is due to their popularity amongst the people and their ability to give the public a rattling good show at popular prices. / The above illustration gives the reader a very good idea of the exterior of this modern showhouse. The photograph shows the many young people gathering to see one of the matinees. These afternoon shows are very popular with the public and many a pleasant afternoon is spent there with mothers and their children.

Silent Era Home Page  >  Theaters  >  United States  >  California  >  Pittsburg  >  Palace
Pioneers of Africian American Cinema



Sherlock Holmes (1916) BD/DVD Combo

Silent Era Ads
Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology (1902-1943). Films by Blaché, Weber, Dulac and more!
from Amazon

Ancient Law BD/DVD

Good Bad Man BD

Holy Mountain BD

Stage Struck BD