Circle Star Theater

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The Circle Star Theatre was a performing arts venue in San Carlos, San Mateo County, California. Its name is based on it being a theater in the round, featuring a rotating circular stage with none of its 3,743 seats further than 50 feet (15 m) from the stage. Unlike similar venues across the United States, the Circle Star Theatre stage had the ability to rotate in either direction without limit, thanks to the slip ring and brush system that supplied electrical/audio to and from the stage. The theatre's address was 2 Circle Star Way, San Carlos, CA 94070.

Its original concept when it opened in the early 1960s was a dinner theater similar to the Hyatt House Theatre in nearby Burlingame. Lewis & Dare productions hosted many Broadway touring shows, such as The Odd Couple, with Ernest Borgnine and Don Rickles.

In 1971, the theatre was purchased by Marquee Entertainment, run by Don Jo Medlevine of the famed Chicago nightclub Chez Paree. Marquee Entertainment booked Las Vegas acts such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and Liberace, among many others. In the mid-1970s the theatre was kept solvent by booking Motown acts to increase its diversity.[1]


Don Jo Medlevine sold the Circle Star Theater to Leonard Bloom. Bloom later sold the theater to a local car dealer. The new ownership did not have the same elite relationships with the top entertainers as Bloom had, so it was closed in December 1993.[2] The building caught fire on April 18, 1997, damaging much of the backstage area, though by this time plans had already been made for its demolition.[3] The theater was ultimately demolished to make way for the Circle Star Center, a complex containing two four-story office buildings and a small hotel, since 2015 or 2014 Softbank owns the buildings and uses them as offices. The hotel is now an Extended Stay America.


The following musicians, actors, and comedians are among those who appeared at the Circle Star:


  1. ^ Svanevik, Michael; Burgett, Shirley (2006-09-30). "Matters Historical: A brief time in the spotlight". San Mateo Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  2. ^ Wildermouth, John (1995-01-06). "Bank Buys Circle Star Theater". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-27.
  3. ^ Wilson, Marshall (1997-04-19). "Fire Damages Closed Theater: Cause unknown in smoky blaze at Circle Star Center". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-27.

Coordinates: 37°29′52″N 122°14′26″W / 37.49778°N 122.24056°W / 37.49778; -122.24056