WOMEN'S SMOKING ROOM
In 1931 few women smoked in public, so an elegant private room was
created on the lower level, adjoining the Women's Lounge. Prominent San Francisco painter Charles Stafford Duncan was commissioned to execute the murals over
a black lacquered background suggested by architect Timothy Pfleuger.
- Paraphrased from The Oakland Paramount by Susannah Harris Stone
"The women's smoking room (in the
basement) has black lacquer wooden walls accented by
vermilion bands above the high baseboard and at the cornice,
and by three bands of the same color dividing each
corner horizontally into quarters. Opposite the entrance,
a mural painted by Charles Stafford Duncan in a flat-color
technique takes up most of the wall. It depicts a man, a
summer-hatted woman, and two younger women picnicking
under a green-leaved tree with red trunk and branches.
Three sailboats and a cluster of small beige islands are
in the background, and a bird flies into the tree.
Half-figures by Duncan are centered on each side wall. One
represents a girl in a yellow dress holding a red comic
mask and a green tragic mask. There are shooting stars
behind her head. The half-figure opposite depicts a girl
in a red dress holding a small dark green harp.
The plaster ceiling has a series of receding planes, three
narrow ones nearest the walls, two wider ones, and a central
rectangular panel. The ceiling is finished in gold,
with the edges of the recessions painted green. A simple
lighting fixture in the form of an inverted half-tube of
frosted glass is suspended horizontally just under the
ceiling by metal straps. The plain carpet is vermilion.
A black, green, and gold Art Deco console table stands
before the large mural, its floral carving polychromed,
and its shaped top veneered in an exotic wood. A pair of
gold-upholstered semicircular armchairs in black, green,
gold, and exotic veneer flank the table.
This small, richly colorful room contains what are probably the most
elegant original examples of Art Deco furniture in the theatre."
- Historic American Buildings Survey Document No. CA-1976