Stamm Theatre, Antioch CA – Project 365

The Stamm Theatre opened in November 1948. Once a gathering spot for the local community, and a key part of the city’s main cruise.

The Stamm’s Moderne marquee tower still stands, its futuristic spire looking like the nose of a Flash Gordon rocket ship pointed at the stars – albeit with the original colors (red, chartreuse, dark green and gold) muted to a conservative gray and white. It was once a landmark in town, especially at night in its mostly residential neighborhood, and it adorned the Stamm’s daily ads in the Antioch Ledger. The Stamm was at that time the place to be.

Many a blockbuster film was shown here in it’s heyday. Beautiful alfresco murals of Portuguese fishing men and women lined the walls on both sides of the auditorium with deep maroon carpeting and high loges for those attendees wishing for a spectacular view from above. The Stamm family seems to have neglected to photograph it before the building was gutted to the bare concrete walls in the late 1990s.

The Stamm family chose not to maintain the theatre due to the newer and bigger screens opening around the area and sold to a church group in the 1990s who have turned this once welcoming theatre into another church. Sadly the interior was gutted when it was converted into a church.

The Stamm is gone now – all but that looming facade – converted wall-to-wall into an Apostolic church. Paradoxically, the El Campanil survives virtually intact, a multi-use performing arts center (just as it was 50-plus years ago) saved from the wrecking ball by a citizens’ preservation drive in 2003. Not enough people cared to preserve the Stamm, evidently; it was doomed, no doubt, by its late-’40s movies-only design. But in its day – and probably for some time after its day had passed – it was where you went if you wanted to see a movie anywhere around Antioch.

  • Location: Antioch, CA
  • Camera: Sony SLT-A77V
  • Lens Model:
    • Photo 1 & 2 – Sony DT 16–105mm F/3.5–5.6 (SAL–16105)
    • Photo 3 & 4 – Tamron SP 10–24MM F/3.5–4.5 Di II (B001)
  • Focal Length (FF): 60mm, 36mm, 15mm & 30mm
  • FNumber: 10, 10, 9 & 9
  • Exposure Times: 1/320, 1/320, 1/320 & 1/250
  • Exposure Mode: Auto bracket
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Exposure Bias Value: 0
  • Metering Mode: Pattern
  • White Balance: Daylight
  • Sensitivity (ISO): 100
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