Information on:

Varsity Theater

Varsity Theater
616 Second Street

About Us:

There has been a Varsity Theatre in Davis since 1921. The original Varsity Theatre was built on the site of the Luft blacksmith shop and run by a businessman called Ben Nations. Today the site is home to the Carousel Stationery store on the southeast corner of Second St and F St. Mr Nations left town in the middle of the night leaving the Luft familoy to run the cinema. They ran it as a family operation until 1949, when they sold it to Westside Valley Theatres, Inc. Westside decided that the only bits of the original Varsity worth keeping were the projection equipment and the name.

The Lufts had invested their spare cash in the projection booth, but neglected the rest of the building. Westside Valley Theatres bought the Luft's rose garden and started building the new Varsity in 1949. The architect was William B. David, who is responsible for the look of many cinemas in northern California, including the Tower Theatre in Sacramento and the Eureka Theatre upstate. The original theatre featured art deco murals of agricultural scenes by Santocono of San Francisco.
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