Showing 251 - 275 of 388 comments
One other comment—In its last days as a movie house in the early 1970’s, they operated as an “All seats 49 cents” theater.
They are already running radio ads for the upcoming opera of “The Marriage of Figaro” by Opera San Jose at the “California” theater. (They do not use the word Fox in the ads)
Syufy also operated a number of drive-ins in the San Francisco Bay Area and now they operate only 2—The Solano 1 & 2 (seasonal—Memorial Day to Labor Day) in Concord and the Capitol 6 in San Jose. Both are still popular, although there have been rumors of the Solano’s demise for the last two years.
Sacramento had a number of drive-ins at one point. Syufy had the Sacramento 6 and the 49er Drive-in, UA had the Southgate(which had both indoor and outdoor screens) and the Westlane(which ended its career as a XXX drive-in for almost a decade), and there were several independent drive-ins.
The Regency III was not in the same location as the Regency I & II. The Regency I & II were located at Sutter and Van Ness. The Regency III was seven blocks away on Mason Street.
I personally would prefer this listed as the Stage Door, since during most of its life as a theater, this is what it was called.
Opened around Christmas 2002.
Not to be confused with the Jack London Square Cinemas on Broadway(now Xanadu), which is an adult moviehouse.
I think Signature theaters is the operator of this moviehouse.
The 1966 film Mondo Bizarro(SWV DVD) has footage of the Sunset(old marquee) and some of its lobby(with art paintings of nudes)—This would have been filmed shortly after Vince Miranda took over the theater. (The Sunset and the Lyric in Huntington Park were the first two he operated under the Pussycat banner—Miranda later bought Pussycat from its founders Dave Friedman and Dan Sonney.)
Deep Throat/Devil in Miss Jones played here for over 8 years continuously! The film to replace it was the John Holmes “documentary” called Exhausted (1981), a film which largely served as the inspiration for the 1997 film Boogie Nights.
Brief footage of this theater(as the New View) pops up on the DVD of Meatrack/Sticks and Stones by SWV/Image. One of the bonus features is footage from a 1970 Hollywood Gay Pride Parade and you can see the theater’s marquee.
During the early-mid 1970’s, this theater(along with the Pussycat in Buena Park aka the Grand) was Pussycat’s premiere showhouse. Porn films for the Los Angeles area would premier here and play at this theater(and Buena Park) first before filtering through to the rest of the Pussycat chain. Unusual (for porn theater standards) was that during this period, there were also no double bills. Also, the films often would have multiple month runs instead of weekly changeovers. Other notable porn films that premiered here: Devil in Miss Jones, Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, Naked Came the Stranger, Opening of Misty Beethoven
This would largely change in 1977, when business dropped due largely to the LA Times new policy of no longer carrying advertisements for X-rated films. Pussycat had spent over $1 million a year advertising in the LA Times alone. Business dipped by over 10% as a result. Both this theater and Buena Park would become like most any Pussycat theater, showing double bills. It had lost its “uniqueness”.
This was the last Pussycat theater in the Bay Area to shut down. The opening bill under Pussycat on Jan 1, 1976 was “Sensations”(billed as “The senation of the Cannes film festival” and it was a French porn film) and “Seduction of Lyn Carter”.
When it operated as the Tower, adult films did well here. Films that did have long runs here included “Les Amants”(aka The Lovers, 1959) and Putney Swope(played for many months in 1969) Last Tango in Paris did well here as second-run. Also playing here, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (in 3-D) and Andy Warhol’s Dracula, Together(Marilyn Chambers' film debut as well as Wes Craven’s directing debut in 1972), and Succubus(1969)
Other Pussycat theaters in the Bay Area(former names before converting to the Pussycat name):
Tower(Oakland—Became a Pussycat theater on Jan 1, 1976 and changed its name a year later—Closed in 1989)
Showcase(Concord—1976 to close in mid-1980’s)
Camera One(San Jose—Pussycat operated it for one year in 1970-1971, remaming it the Pussycat 1)
Gay(San Jose—Became Pussycat II in 1970 until late 1980’s)
Guild(San Francisco—1972 until close in mid-1980’s)
Grand(San Francisco—operated by Pussycat in late 1960’s after the Steiner Art theater had closed—Wound up reverting to subrun fare by 1970)
The Steiner Art Theater and the Hub in San Francisco did run films that Pussycat would play in the mid-late 1960s during periods that Pussycat did not have a San Francisco theater.
Unfortunately, it appears to be another strip-mall. Good luck.
As of today, only two drive-ins still operate in the Bay Area(both Century Theaters owned)—The Capitol 6 in San Jose(year-round) and the Solano 1 & 2 in Concord (Memorial Day to Labor Day only). The latter has had rumors of closing during the past two years.
Other drive-ins operated by Syufy in the Bay Area over the years(all closed):
Winchester 3(San Jose)
Moffitt 3(Mountain View)
Geneva 4(Daly City/San Francisco border)
Mission 1 & 2 (Daly City)
One other Concord one called the Automovie
Over 1 ½ years later, the building still sits, empty.
Still empty with all windows blacked out.
I did drive-by this theater recently & it looked like someone was doing some work on it. I doubt that it will be showing movies, but who knows.
Updated comment—They only show religious films now on Sundays at 9:35 AM. Apparently, the second-run films weren’t drawing too well.
I liked the last post. I live in an area where graffiti is a problem. And I think a lot of the problem is those who call it art, which encourages more of these lawbreakers(yes, defacing private property is a crime) to do it. Recently, a maintenance man at my condo complex caught two teenage girls tagging one of our buildings with black spraypaint. The police were called and part of the punishment imposed by the juvenile court was for them to go (supervised) into our complex and clean off any graffiti they found, including the stuff they created.
Graffiti leads to vandalism and other property crimes like break-ins of parked cars and burglary. Also, many who do graffiti are in street gangs, who are involved in other crimes like drug dealing, armed robbery, assults, and murder.
In reading these comments about movie palaces, I would like to add comments about San Francisco’s Market Street. Market Street was at one time a major street for movie theater going and you had all levels of theaters on that street, from first-run/roadshow(United Artists, St Francis, Fox, Paramount, Orpheum(a Cinerama house), RKO Golden Gate) to second-run (Fox Warfield, Esquire) to last run(grindhouses like Pix, Regal, and Hub). The early 1960’s saw major changes as Market Street started going into decline. Some theaters would close(Fox & Paramount in early 1960’s, Orpheum in the mid-1960’s which resulted in the Golden Gate becoming a Cinerama theater), some would turn to “adults only”(Hub, Centre, Pix), and the others would hang on. Around 1970, BART construction began, which tore up Market Street and claim some more theaters(most notably Esquire and Pix). The three first-run houses changed as well. Both the Golden Gate and St Francis had twinned. Golden Gate would largely show action and kung-fu films. The St Francis alternated between action and second-run product. United Artists changed its name to Market Street Cinema, and largely showed blaxploitation and some second-run. Several more theaters turned to hard porn(Centre, Guild became Pussycat, Regal became Mitchell Brothers Bijou—Even Market Street Cinema went porn in 1980). Second-run theaters like the Warfield and the Esquire had deteriorated and largely became havens for bums to get a cheap place to sleep. About 1 ½ yrs ago, the last theater to show movies on Market Street closed—The Strand. It was a theater that went from second run to grindhouse to revival house and ended as a seedy porn theater(showing video) and it was shut by the police due to open drug dealing that was rampant there.
Luckily, the Orpheum and the Golden Gate show Broadway shows there now.
Regal owns the UA theaters chain nowadays. They still use the UA name on numerous theaters.
According to the film “Badassss”, the legendary blaxploitation film, “Sweet Sweetbacks Badasss Song” premiered here in 1970.
This drive-in closed in the early 1980’s.
Apparently, this also suffered earthquake damage about a year ago.
The Fox primarily played second-run fare after theaters in San Luis Obispo played them first-run. The same outfit(this was late 1970’s-mid-1980’s) also operated the Bay in Morro Bay and the Fair Oaks in Arroyo Grande.
Paso Robles also had the Oaks Drive-in, outside of town near Hwy 101 and State Route 46 West. This drive-in, now demolished, played a lot of XXX fare in the winter months before it closed in the 1980’s.
This drive-in is owned by a drive-in buff! Originally opened in 1951, a great drive-in. I regularly went there in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s when I lived in the area. Also has Sunday swap meets. Amongst the films I saw there: Friday the 13th, Road Games, Grand Theft Auto/Eat My Dust