When I was out walking the self-guided tour of the historic buildings of downtown Tracy, CA, the coolest place I saw was the Grand Theatre.
According to the walking tour brochure,
The Grand Theatre was built in 1923 by German born John Droge to present vaudeville acts and then-silent motion pictures. The first “talkies” were show in 1929. Remodeled in 1940 in an Art Deco style, the movie house continued until 1977. In 2007 the city restored the theater complex and it was reopened as The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.
According to the theatre’s website,
The classical Grand Theatre, designed by architect Albert W. Cornelius, opened on August 11, 1923 as a premiere vaudeville half-house in the area.
The facility received a major remodel during its heyday between 1939 and 1941 (under the Allen’s ownership), garnered with bold new art deco features including a sculptural marquee designed by Alexander Cantin and futuristic mural by Anthony (Antoon) Heinsbergen.
The 37,000+ square foot facility opened in September of 2007, hosts 50,000 patrons a year and is currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary Season.
I went inside to have a look around, and was surprised to find free Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) activities underway. I grabbed a free piece of pan dulce and exited the building.
There were some cool murals on the theatre’s 7th Street wall. They caught my attention, and I stopped to give them a good look.
The murals are part of the Tracy Mural Project. According to the project’s website,
The Downtown Tracy Mural Project began in the summer of 2015 in conjunction with the Tracy Artwalk. The Project invites local and regional artists to create murals and street art at 7th Street and in Jackson Alley on the walls of the Grand. This innovative project features temporary murals owned by the City of Tracy. They remain on display from weeks to years, rotating as new works are presented. The public appreciation of these projects has led to futhur interest to create murals at other locations in downtown Tracy.
I really liked the robots decorating the wall during my visit.
I also liked the mural featuring the wolf and the crow. The mural was painted by Ilena Finocchi. According to Finocchi’s website,
In nature, the wolf and the crow can be frequently found in each other’s company. They have been linked together in play and in foraging for food.
The other cool mural is “Planet of the Apes” Kenney Mencher.
According to the Tracy Press,
Mencher, who is the Grand’s artist in residence this summer , will create a streetscape with a “Planet of the Apes” theme on Seventh Street. Wilson said the piece will provide a photo opportunity for visitors to pose on a bench with the mural wrapping around them.
From what I surmise, Mencher painted the robots too.
The Tracy Press also reported in the aforementioned article,
The murals are designed to be temporary projects, lasting from a few weeks to a few years.
I’ve grown to think of murals (especially murals approved by a municipality) as permanent. As the Merry Pranksters proclaimed, art is not eternal. Apparently the murals in Tracy prove this idea to be true.
I took all of the photos in this post.
I live just over the hill in Fremont and never knew all of this was in Tracy. I enjoy your writing so much, and the pictures add to the interest and flow of the story. Thanks for the information, I’ll have to take a trip over there one of these days.
So glad you enjoy my writing and this story in particular. Once you visit Tracy, I would love for you to leave a comment telling us what you thought. Thanks for reading and for leaving this comment.