Did You Know?
Before construction on the Empress could begin, an agreement between Mr. Jasper Doan and the Odd Fellows had to be recorded to exempt Mr. Doan's house which encroached a full 7 inches over the Empress Theatre property line.
The Empress Theatre
Theatre was built by Independent Order of Odd Fellows and crowned the Empress Theatre. The building, designed by local architect, William A. Jones, was two-tiered with gold-leafed clouds on the ceiling, red velvet seats, and a pipe organ. The managers were ex-pats from San Francisco, Abe Marks and Gus Cohen.
The Vallejo Evening Chronicle anticipated the theatre to be "...one of the prettiest small theatres on the coast" (January, 23, 1912).
The curtain of The Empress Theatre rose for the first time on Valentine's Day with a Sullivan and Considine vaudeville act (at the time, widely regarded as the most influential promoters of vaudeville acts in the country) where there were two performances each night with matinees on Saturday and Sunday. There were 940 seats and admission prices were 10¢, 20¢, and 30¢. Ushers wore red military uniforms trimmed with gold braid.