First stop was The Key Route Inn, which was a major hotel in Oakland at the time. The wood framed structure opened in May, 1907 and was located at what is now Grand Avenue along the west side of Broadway. The major feature of the hotel was a large archway and corridor through which the tracks of one of the rail lines passed – it was there that a stop connected to the main lobby of the hotel. The Inn sustained major damage from a fire in September, 1930 so between that event and the Great Depression, the Inn was demolished in 1932, just 25 years after it had opened.
Key Route Inn
The archway can be seen under the “hotel” sign
And here’s another menu that shows a pretty nice meal for $1.00. I definitely inherited the “love” of collecting menus from Grandma!
Next stop was the Industrial Fair Coliseum. Not sure what this was but Grandma thought it was odd.
After a few days rest, it was time to go to the theater. October 23 found Grandma at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco to see a “poor show” with her cousin, Irene Gunzendorfer.
And the next day she went to The Columbia Theater to see Disraeli.
I researched this play a bit and found that George Arliss was awarded the Best Actor Oscar in 1930 for his portrayal of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, the role he played in 1914 in the play Grandma attended at the Columbia Theater. He began his career in theater and toured the United States for 5 years in Disraeli. He then went on to star in silent films before transitioning to the “talkies”. Coincidentally, he was also nominated that year for Best Actor for his role in The Green Goddess, a remake of the 1923 silent film. Interesting piece of trivia to learn on the day we will celebrate the 85th Academy Awards. Who will join George Arliss as Best Actor this year?
George Arliss as Benjamin Disraeli
The Theatre magazine, 1911
Next stop was a “surprise party at Balkin’s” on October 25, 1914. I don’t know anything about the Balkins – was it a person or a place – but she must have enjoyed it enough to keep a napkin in her memory book.
My grandmother sure got around and had a pretty full week in October, 1914. And all of this while she was still in high school!