A former dedicated manager can’t let go; not trusting the living.
Owned by Southern Oregon University, and operated by the JPR Foundation, The Cascade Theatre is described as fabulous Art Deco rectangular structure that is “a multi-use performing arts theatre” that also has a screen for movie days for kids, and hosts film tours for adults.
The theatre has 997 seats plus 10 seats for people in wheel chairs, with a stage large enough for live performances with all the equipment and tech needed to do so. During the renovation effort, “state-of-the-art sound, lighting, film and theater technology were all installed; making it capable of supporting a wide variety of dramatic, musical and film presentations.
Looking at all the fabulous Art Deco decor inside and outside, and the one of a kind ‘base-relief” murals depicting various California industry fields like mining, etched out of concrete that are located on the outside top of the building, the visitor should be aware of all the intense effort and talent that went into intricately recreating what Art Deco grandeur that was originally found in the 1935 Cascade Theatre. Visitors should also appreciate all the updating that went into the lights and technical items needed for a truly modern theatre that can be a showcase for a variety of performing arts and films.
No short-cuts were taken in facing the monumental task of restoring The Cascade Theatre to be as glorious as she was in her 1935 beginning. They more than followed the requirements set down by the California Register of Historic Sources.
Ronald Kramer of Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) who was very involved in this grand restoration effort explained.”We found the company that manufactured the wonderful chandeliers. We located sources of supply for the building’s many ceramic tile surfaces and, where we couldn’t locate exact replacements, we had them custom-created.”
“The original cast-iron, highly colored art deco seat standards have been recreated. The geometrically patterned carpet has been replicated and custom manufactured. Railings identical to the theatre’s originals were fabricated.”
“The magnificent ceiling murals, painted over in 1977, were lovingly restored by one of the nation’s premiere decorative painting companies. I knew when I first toured the Cascade that the ceiling was going to be something special but no one could have imagined the grandeur which Evergreene Painting Studio, of New York City, uncovered and recreated.”
“They also re-gilded the bas-relief murals, depicting northern California occupations, which adorn the top of the concrete exterior facade. The reliefs hadn’t been gilded since the early 1950’s. Redding’s McHale Signs undertook the restoration of the blazing neon marquee, including the racing neon at the top of the vertical Cascade sign and neon tubing rising up the building’s facade, which hadn’t been fully lighted in this way in over 50 years.”
The Cascade Theatre now is considered the economic anchor for downtown Redding which has inspired growth and development in small businesses. “It breathes new life into Redding’s downtown and brings people of all ages together to be entertained and inspired.”
When Tom and I visited Redding to see The Cascade Theatre, Redding certainly had a busy downtown area with a variety of businesses and services, as an economically successful city should have. People once again are shopping and patronizing businesses and restaurants in downtown Redding, thanks to the restoration and renewing efforts that were accomplished inside and outside of The Cascade Theatre that can offer both live performances and films.
1935 pledge of T & D Enterprises: “We promise: Our programs will be the finest – clean and wholesome – chosen for the entertainment of the entire family – worthy of your good will and loyal support.”
The Cascade Theatre was designed by San Francisco Architect J Lloyd Conrich in a flashy and impressive Art Deco style. This structure was built in 1934 for T & D Enterprises, a movie theater chain located in San Francisco. It opened with great flair and celebration on August 9th, 1935, promoted as a truly modern, state-of the art movie theater with dazzling beauty; a true movie palace that seated 1,348 patrons at a time.
The Cascade Theatre received glowing reviews. Once source gave this description: “An interior rich in beauty and fitted with all the latest discoveries of science designed to offer the most comfort and the greatest pleasure to theater goers.”
Two immigrant Lebanese Christian families, the Kassis Family and the Naify family who were related by marriage had vital roles in the creation and running of this theater. Mike Kassis became the general manager of The Cascade, and Mike Naify was President and General Manager of T & D Enterprises, a movie house chain.
Not only did Mike Kassis work at The Cascade, but so did members of his family. It was an extended family-run business. As long as they were in charge, the theater looked its best, much to the enjoyment of their patrons.
At some point, T & D Enterprises must of sold their theater to a new owner. As the years went by, the downtown area lost its drawing power and became depressed economically, as people started to shop where they lived outside the city area. This of course affected the ability for The Cascade Theatre to be economically successful as people also started to go to brand-new movie theater multi-plexes that offered several choices of films to see.
It didn’t help either that the structure of The Cascade Theatre was looking a bit dowdy and its Art Deco decor needed some restoration which would cost a boatload of money that the theatre owners didn’t have. The Cascade Theatre was on a downhill slide, and something had to done to keep The Cascade Theatre a viable business. A new business plan was needed.
The owners decided to modernize The Cascade Theatre to try to be competitive with the theaters out in the suburbs. In 1977, The Cascade Theatre was given a face lift to modernize the inside and was partitioned into two theatre auditoriums, like many big theaters that became multiplex venues in the 1970s’. This renovation would enable them to offer two choices of films that hopefully would boost ticket sales.
This 1977 renovation was devastating to the much loved Art Deco style of The Cascade Theatre. The gorgeous ceiling murals were painted over, and the majestic chandeliers were taken down. Other Art Deco embellishments also disappeared. These new improvements to modernize and expand theatre space didn’t help much, and the deed to the property eventually wound up in someone else’s hands.
The doors of this once glorious movie palace were shuttered, leaving an empty building devoid of the curtain and staging equipment, minus any of its Art Deco decor inside, and little of the old flashy Marquee remained. It was a sad shell of a theatre that once was so beautiful and so loved.
Apparently, the love for this theatre never went away; it just needed to be rekindled. In the late 1990s’, Jefferson Public Radio;(JPR), armed with an ambitious business plan for The Cascade Theatre got the rejuvenation project of The Cascade Theatre rolling, surprised at the overwhelming support.
This huge support from the community, the state of Calif., Southern Oregon University and the town officials started by JPR approaching the town officials, telling of their interest in being part of a restoration team to restore this grand old Dame to her former glory, with the intention of having a JPR studio in this building; as well as creating crowd-pleasing venue for the creative and performing arts.
Everyone enthusiastically embraced the idea of restoring their beloved Cascade Theatre to be both a live performance venue and film theatre that would make it an anchor for the revival of downtown Redding and provide a dynamite Art deco, multi-use performing arts center. Part of the update of this building included making it desirable venue for live performances, opening up new opportunities to bring in more income and expand the purpose of this Theater from being a movie house to a performing arts center.
Ron Kramer of JDR explains the significance of this enthusiasm in an article on The Cascade Theatre’s website. “Like JPR itself, bringing The Cascade Theatre back to life has been a broad-based, community-driven steamroller of commitment toward achieving a shared vision. The really important story about the Cascade’s restoration is the shared sense of community pride, purpose and accomplishment which this project symbolizes.” Together, $5.4 million dollars was raised to fully restore and update The Cascade Theatre.”
The year, 1999, proved to be an important milestone for the restoration and protection of The Cascade Theater building. In 1999, Southern Oregon University bought The Cascade Theatre because JPR asked them to do so. Southern Oregon University in turn leased The Cascade Theatre to JPR, who also assumed responsibility for the mortgage as well. On November 5th of 1999, The Cascade Theater was accepted onto the list of California’s Register of Historic Resources; getting legal protection.
On March 18th of 2000, their intense restoration plans and progress was noticed by The Art Deco Society of California Preservation, who honored them with their Art Deco Society of California Preservation award.
On January 17th of 2002, The Cascade Theatre got the ultimate protection when it was added to The National Register of Historic Places.
After 5 years of intense restoration of the Art Deco treasures as they were in 1935, and modernization of the theatre’s lighting and technology, The Cascade Theatre opened once again on August 4th, 2004 to the excitement and support of the Redding Community, community cultural organizations, performers and other supporting forces located outside of Redding.
Perhaps, all this rejuvenation of The Cascade Theatre has also acted as a environmental trigger, drawing a male spirit or two to visit often this restored crown jewel of an Art Deco style theatre in Redding, Calif.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Though not many clues have been given as to who could be possibly enjoying the theatre in their after-life. perhaps it would be people who were truly dedicated to this theatre; Perhaps a member of the Kassis family; Mike Kassis or others who may be so thrilled to see The Cascade Theater restored to her 1935 self. Or, perhaps it could be Mike Naify, or some dedicated projectionist. Or it could be another former owner or manager or employee of The Cascade. There is a possibility that this male spirit could also be a past patron. It is hard to tell at this point.
People who loved working and being involved in a theater sometimes love to visit while in spirit-form,especially if the theatre has been restored and renovated to become a great theatre again.
Probably a past owner or manager, or employee or patron.
Dressed in a past era black suit, this gentleman has been seen smoking a cigar; both inside and outside of The Cascade Theatre.
He seemed impatient as he walked outside the theatre.
Perhaps/Perhaps not. Not many personal experiences with this male spirit or perhaps two male spirits have been reported to public sources. Staff and patrons have not reported publicly any experiences with a few exceptions. Someone must of seen these apparitions or apparition at the theatre, because what is known became public on several websites.
I couldn’t find any hard paranormal evidence made known to the public.
I found one eye witness account of seeing the male apparition described above outside The Cascade Theatre. This witness was waiting at the corner for the bus, and he happened to see this solid-looking gentleman wearing a black suit pacing outside The Cascade Theatre. This witness saw him disappear but reappear again, much to his surprise.
Staff have not been forthcoming about any possible experiences. Something must have onominously leaked out for this entity has been reported on several paranormal sources.
No hard evidence caught by people on camera or EVPs have been posted to Utube or displayed on paranormal websites. No psychic investigations made by a medium have been made public either.
Someday, the truth always emerges one way or another. More personal experiences or even hard evidence may become available to point to a definite existence of a spirit or spirits.
The Cascade Theater
1731 Market Street
Redding, CA 96001
The Cascade Theatre is located in the heart of historical downtown in Redding.
- cascadetheatre.org/page.asp?navid=1023, “A Theatre that wouldn’t die”, by Ron Kramer
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr