Cornell Theatre

1212 N. San Fernando Boulevard,
Burbank, CA 91504

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Showing 26 - 33 of 33 comments

allmmm on October 3, 2005 at 9:14 pm

Actually K-Mart didn’t take over the Cornell site.

To the left of where the Cornell Theater stood, towards Mr. Big Burger, McCambridge Park and Scott Rd., is Tommys Burgers, which in 1967 was a Der Wienerschnitzel, then on the corner is Shakey’s Pizza, then traveling South across the street from Shakey’s on the next block is where the Cornell Theater sat, now a strip mall with a dry cleaners, beuty shop and Ti Vegetarian Restaurant. To the right of which and on the corner is Popeye’s Chicken, previously a KFC. Across the street from Popeye’s on the next block is Ralph’s Supermarket which used to be a Hughes Market and in the 1960’s was a McDonald’s Market (no connection to the restaurant).
Then on the next block is Big-K, which in the 1960’s-1970’s was a Zody’s Department Store. The giant “graham-cracker”-textured facing which originated with Zody’s can still be seen on the front of Big-K, but painted over.

As for the Cornell Theater, in the early 1960’s you could buy a Burgundy Soda Pop from a cup dispensing machine as a non-alcohol substitute for sophisticates, or a comb, a hankerchief or a cigarette holder from the vending machine inside the Men’s Room. The cigarette machine was within easy access of any teen and the tough kids were always around on a Saturday night in the mid-late 1960’s.

Through the mid-1960’s the local McDonald’s Restaurant sponsored free kids/teen Saturday matinees with special red coupons available from the restaurant while admission was $0.50 with a valid John Muir Student I.D.
I used mine to see Michael Antonioni’s Blow-Up uncut in 1967.


Senorsock on February 4, 2005 at 7:05 pm

Pictures of the theater, lobby cards and more information on this lost California theater can be found at:
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 21, 2004 at 5:42 am

I have only just realized, looking at the photograph, that I went to this theatre once. I was about six years old. We were visiting friends of my parents who lived in Burbank, one Saturday afternoon. The adults decided to send all of us kids off to the movies for the afternoon. I remember that there were multiple cartoons, and that one of the movies on the double bill was Disney’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The pumpkin scared the hell out of me. I remember coming out of the theatre after the show, and seeing the blinding afternoon sunlight of a hot summer day glinting off the marquee. The Cornell must have been only about two or three years old then. It was a splendid theatre. How sad to know that it’s gone.

bimsie01 on June 23, 2004 at 5:31 pm

I lived in Sun Valley,a small suburb next to Burbank during my youth,and my first bus trips by myself as a tween and teen were always to the Cornell Theatre.I remember those great double bills(I miss those!)–“Jaws"and "The Great Spider Invasion”,“The Passenger” and “All The Presidents Men"and a hundred more just like them.The floor was always sticky,the ceiling was enormous(was it a dome?I think so….)and the screen looked a mile high.I can trace my lifelong love of movies directly to an overstuffed seat on all those hot summer afternoons.

crapshot on May 7, 2004 at 9:10 am

I use to live on Scott Rd right next to the theatre and the Kmart was one block south of the theatre. I lived in burbank for 17 years and saw many flicks their. I was bummed when the theatre was torn down and havnt been to the area since 1980. Hate to think that a place of history was replaced by an upgraded Kmart. Wasnt aware that a Kmart could be upgraded.

frank on May 5, 2004 at 9:33 am

The Cornell was a beautiful place. I saw a double feature here with my parents in August 1976 when we were on vacation (from NJ). The double feature was Clint Eastwood’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and Charles Bronson in “Chino”. When I visited the site in 1997, a Big K-mart had replaced it.
I still have the ticket stubs.

NeilShattuc on April 8, 2004 at 4:20 pm

I went to Cornell the first week it opened. I remember seeing D.O.A
in a sneak preview in 1949. Edmond Obrien and others in the
cast were there. John Ireland and Joanne Dru were with him.
It was a big improvement for down town Burbank. I could see some new films with out going to Hollywood

William on December 16, 2003 at 5:12 pm

The Cornell Theatre in Burbank, California opened on November 18th, 1949. As a first-run house in the main business section of the town it features western and action pictures. A double marquee on the front and an impressive sign tower both spell out the name of the theatre forcefully. The plain green walls of the lobby and foyer blend effectively with the red, yellow and gray circular pattern of the carpeting, Indirect lighting and conditioned air emanate from a huge ceiling oval. Red couches are situated at either side of the doors to the men’s and ladies lounges. Scattered stars twinkle in the blue ceiling of the auditorium, while ornate scroll work decorates side and front walls. Loge seats are blue, the others red.
The owner and operator at the time of opening was Principal Theatres Corp. of America. Which Pacific Theatres would later pick-up the house. In 1949 the cost of the building was $185,000 and the lot size was 100' x 200'. And the theatre opened with 1468 seats.