Cerrito Theater

El Cerrito, California

• 2006 Preservation Award, Art Deco Society of California
• 2007 Rehabilitation Award, California Preservation Foundation
• 2007 Small Firms, Great Projects Exhibit, AIA, San Francisco


Originally an Art Deco neighborhood theater from 1937-1962, this building was a furniture storage building until 2002 when the City purchased the building in order to restore its theater functions. Lerner + Holan renovated the theater into a two-screen movie and pizza pub facility featuring a café. The building was upgraded to meet current codes, including seismic and accessibility improvements.

The exterior of the building had no original historic material. The only information available for the theater’s exterior restoration was an old photo of the marquee, sign board and ticket booth and it provided the basis for the theater’s facade. The building’s historic interiors were intact and feature original Art Deco etched glass, murals, chandeliers, and doors and poster cases. All original materials and fixtures were restored and new elements were designed in keeping with the Art Deco era.