Napa Valley: December 2010 Archives

Uptown Rises

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uptown-theater.jpgNapa's art deco theater reopens as Wine Country's coolest music venue.

by Peter Crooks

Longtime Napa residents remember Napa's Uptown Theatre as a neighborhood cinema that screened everything from Casablanca to Ben-Hur to Sling Blade. Hollywood legends Clark Gable and Carole Lombard even visited this art deco jewel while passing through Northern California. Alas, by the 1990s, the theater had been split into four tiny screening rooms and slid into disrepair. It went dark in 1999.

But like a feel-good Hollywood tale, this story has a hero. Napa businessman George Altamura purchased the building and spent five years restoring it to its original glory. Early in the process, construction workers peeled back paint and were astonished to find original art deco murals--still in very good shape--on the ceiling and walls.

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