PPPSSSTTT. Let me tell you a secret – Go to Port Costa, NOW. An old wheat shipping port well past it’s glory days; this tiny bayshore town is picturesque, eccentric, and situated in a geographic pocket of idyllic timelessness. In other words, it’s well worth the treacherous, winding drive from Crockett. Built into the cleft of a small canyon, the town ends at the shoreline parking lot for the infamous Warehouse Cafe. Per the New York Times, “The Warehouse Cafe was built in 1886 for the storage of wheat, hay and potatoes. Three stories tall and made of concrete with huge redwood beams, it has survived four fires, three earthquakes and countless wild parties.” Words simply cannot do it justice. Go there, drink beer from a mason jar, stare at the polar bear, and befriend old bikers. Just do it.
After exploring the area last weekend, I fell in love with the old theater marque sitting in the parking lot. Broken in two, it says State Theater and is decorated with poppies.
But Port Costa, even at it’s height, was never large enough to support a theater. So what is the provenance of this sign? And why is it sitting in the middle of nowhere, silently rotting away along the bayshore? Frankly, if this were a more generic, non-theater sign the question would be pointless – an internet rabbit hole leading nowhere. However, theater buffs are a meticulous and internet savvy breed making the sign’s origin easier to unravel.