The Crest Theatre sits on has housed a theatre since 1912. The first, the Empress, was a vaudeville theatre which opened in 1913. The second, The Hippodrome, was originally a vaudeville house which converted to a motion picture theatre in the late 1920's.
In 1946, the Hippodrome interior was demolished and the Crest was built inside the Hippodrome building shell. Opening night for the Crest was Thursday, October 6, 1949 and the picture was "That Midnight Kiss" from MGM. In attendance from Hollywood were stars of the film Kathryn Grayson and Mario Lanza. Government officials included Governor Earl Warren (later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), and the Honorable Belle Coolidge, the first woman mayor of Sacramento. Searchlights filled the air as the theatre was properly christened.
The theatre then began to showcase films for thirty years, until late 1979 when a variety of factors including the decline of the K Street mall, television and the multiplex forced it to close.
In 1986, the theatre was re-opened by a group of local Sacramentans with the vision of preserving the Crest for all of Sacramento to enjoy once again. The grand re-opening took place on November 18, 1986 with the MGM musical "Singin' in the Rain" starring Donald O'Connor who attended the event in person. Mr. O'Connor was given a pair of scissors and, with a smile, snipped the celluloid ribbon across the front doors and the Crest was in business again.
In 1995, the Crest received a one million dollar restoration bringing Sacramento's last picture palace back to it's glittery 1940's appearance. The Crest boasts one of the most elegant settings Sacramento has to offer, featuring a fabulous gold leaf art deco interior.
Over the past ten years, the Crest has been a host to many different types of shows and events. It continues to host a program of classic and recent films, concerts such as Cab Calloway, B.B. King, and Dave Brubeck and a variety of comedy shows such as Bernie Mac, Carrot Top, Sam Kinison and The Mommies. Community events include the popular Sacramento Symphony "Jeans and Beer" and "Mocha and Mozart" series. In addition, the Crest is frequently used for private events such as political fundraisers, receptions, movie screenings, conferences employee orientations and weddings.