Rolling Hills Theatre

2535 Pacific Coast Highway,
Torrance, CA 90505

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Showing 26 - 50 of 156 comments

KathyML on August 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I remember the TG&Y manager who was murdered, Jack Sweeten. I worked with him when he was assistant manager at Long Beach TG&Y, and my Dad was manager. He was such a nice man, and very funny. I had a secret crush on him. It was devastating to hear of his murder.

TheEDGE on March 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Happened upon this thread looking for tidbits on Clancy’s Hamburgers (Torrance Bv, East of Hawthorne Bv). What a stroll down memory lane! RE: post by C (B) G on Aug 13, 2005 at 6:38pm. Hey, thanks for all the coinage! That was my band “86 Proof” in the Summer ’68 (Stones & CCR). We always won the Battle of the Bands and it made for a nice “Live Audition venue” when the talent scouts were passing through town. Free movies were a nice bonus on the big screen too. Transplanted to Nor-Cal in ‘95 but good to visit the Great South Bay electronically. Keep Rawkin and movie going!

BobandElaine on March 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm

The murders actually occurred in the projectionist room, I know, I worked there at the time. I only said my 2 cents worth in their memory. We played nothing but Disney movies for a whole year afterwards.

mongo1018 on February 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

The theatres in the South Bay when I moved here right before Kennedy was shot in 63 were the Strand [up from the Redondo pier] and the Fox Redondo [ near the ocean at the north end of the pier] .the Hermosa theatre in Hermosa [on Hermosa Avenue ] the La Mar theatre in Manhattan Bch ,as well as an old silent theatre in El Segundo that was still there into the 80s.Fairfusa organ and all. There was also this tent set up for a few w eeks on the Hermosa pier in 64 that showed silent films and film clips at the site of an old bowling alley next to the old Taco Bill restaurant

KimF on February 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Meant to pop back in here a few months ago with a bit of an update. I spent some time in and around Torrance/LA/the beaches with my dad back in September. While we were driving back to the hotel from Long Beach, I had him pull into the shopping center. I recognized the theater building immediately – the roof line, textured walls, etc., are still the same. Seeing it really pulled at my heartstrings…

Hope you all are doing well. :–)

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Here is a January 1964 ad from the LA Times:

lordbyron777 on February 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm

While cruising the web,
I came across this remarkable site and read everything with great interest. I lived on the hill from 1969-74 and after reading the threads and watching “scaterdater” short I was taken back to that time in history.
A time of true innocence.
But let me put in my two cents worth of history.
I was in college and was taking flying lesson at Torrance airport and to help pay for this, I worked at the BBQ joint across the parking lot from the theater. it was called “Love’s Wood pit BBQ” and it was a chain from the SF valley, they also had a store on Hawthorn bl.just north of Torrance blvd. but for some reason, resturants seem to fail at that corner, eeven the Parosol as good as it was
however,no matter how many good memories we had of theater,
the one blight that will always over shadowed it was the gruesome murders that took place there.
like many that wrote, most forgot details.
and after more than 3 decades later,
I could'nt remember if anyone was ever arrested, but
this column cleared up that curiosity
yes indeed, in many ways, it was the beginning of an end and shortly there after,
I left for Las Vegas and never returned………

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm

OK, I know which one that is. I will take a few photos the next time I’m out there. Thanks.

William on December 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Ken mc, Jeff Arellano posted a overhead shot of where the theatre building is on Apr. 6th, 2006 and Ed Collins agreed that it was the former theatre building near the AMC 20 plex.

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm

This is one of the businesses at the former theater address. As much as I go to this mall, I still don’t understand where the theater was. I assume we’re talking about the east side with Trader Joes’s, Islands, and the rest, correct?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 16, 2008 at 9:58 pm

The architect of this theatre was Roland Decker Pierson. Sterling’s Rolling Hills was one of several theaters featured in an article on theater concession stands published in the October 19, 1964, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

The November 30, 1970, issue of Boxoffice had an item saying that Sterling had again hired Pierson, this time to design a two-screen addition to the Rolling Hills Theatre. Each of the new auditoriums would seat 500, and would have been stacked one above the other. This would have been the first such theater in the Los Angeles area had the plans been carried out.

After designing the Rolling Hills Theatre, Pierson also designed at least two other theaters for Sterling: The Montclair, in the city of the same name, and the Hastings in Pasadena.

KimReynolds on December 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Sorry, that was the short version of Skaterdater. Oh well, enjoy!

KimReynolds on December 2, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Here is a screen capture from the short film “Skaterdater” that shows the theater.
View link
And the movie Skaterdater.
View link

KimReynolds on December 2, 2008 at 10:09 am

Swedish Corner Smorgasbord owned by Kurt Elming. My very first job back in the early 70’s. Great meatballs! That little shopping center was my world growing up. So much has changed I almost dread going there these days. Far from being quaint. “Drdan” remembers it as well. For a kid that place had everything. But to me the Theater was the jewel in the crown.

sc55 on December 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm

I can shed some light on the man accused of committing the murders. My husband and I were very young, (I was 17) living in Redondo
Beach, in late 1972/early 1973. It was an age of ‘crash pads’ and hippies, and our door was always open to friends. A rather round man named John Mahue was one of our friends. we were pretty much always broke, and he always seemed to have money, even though I don’t think he had a job. So he would sometimes take us out to eat (we went a lot to Norms on Hawthorne Blvd.) Other times he would leave money for us in places where he knew we would find it, like in our books or in the tv guide.
We thought he was just a regular guy. Never would have suspected he could commit such a gruesome murder.
A day or so after the murders, he was arrested and taken to the jail in Torrance. The night he was jailed, he died of a massive overdose of barbituates. I have always found it odd that he had access to downers, since he would have been searched before being put in a cell. Nevertheless, upon his death, the police said that he was the killer. We’ll never know if he was or not. I’ll leave the conclusion to the reader.

cgarza on November 12, 2008 at 9:04 am

I’m right there with you, I grew up on Calle Mayor 1966-1987 :)

dano on November 12, 2008 at 6:17 am

Who remembers? The small little play ground with sand, steel slides and monkey bars across from the Rolling Hills Theater? The Smorgesboard in the Rolling Hills Plaza? The Gumm’s who owned the barber shop who did Chuck Norris' hair. The moto-cross track behind Food’s Co. and the Rolling Hills Theater? 5 cent ice creams at Thrifty and 15 cents for a triple? That “Scater Dater” was one of the first 8mm movies about skate boarding filmed all around the Rolling Hills Plaza? The time when an armed robber took hostages in the Rolling Hills Plaza jewelry store and fired shots all day with SWAT outside? The Parasol Restaurant across the street? UA Theater’s with its upstairs balcony on the NE corner of PCH and Crenshaw? And for a bonus quetion…the eating place Farrel’s where if you ordered “the zoo”, a huge steel tub of ice cream. They would bring it out on a stretcher with siren’s sounding. Oohh baby I got lots more!

dano on November 12, 2008 at 6:06 am

OK..Who remember’s? As a side note my brother and I were dropped off as we normally were for the full day to stay at the theaters. We watched the bodies being brought out on gurney’s with blood seaping through the white cloth’s covering the head side of the bodies. The movie was The World’s Greatest Athlete with Jan Micheal Vincent. Including my brother and I, there were only about 6 people in the whole theater that day! We were absolutely terrified that one of the other people in the dark theater was the murderer coming back to do more harm. Does anyone remember the intermissions half way through the movie and the raffles for prizes that would take place?

kencmcintyre on May 23, 2008 at 11:00 am

OK. I will look for the market. Thanks.

KimF on May 23, 2008 at 11:00 am

Wow, this thread has been quiet for awhile and what an incredible message from Outdoorsman for those of us who remember so very fondly our Saturdays at the Rolling Hills in the ‘60s. Next time I’m in So. Cal. / Torrance on vacation, I’m going to make a point to visit the building (haven’t seen it since 1969 when my family moved to Nev.) Thanks much, guys.

KimReynolds on May 23, 2008 at 10:51 am

It’s on the opposite (East) side of the Rolling Hills Plaza. The building has a sloped roof and is connected to another building now (Najiya market) on Pacific Coast Hwy.

kencmcintyre on May 23, 2008 at 10:01 am

I drive by this intersection all the time. Is the old theater in the mall with Trader Joes and Whole Foods? Can you narrow down the location for me? I would like to see it.

KimReynolds on May 23, 2008 at 9:50 am

Outdoorsman, thank you for sharing this. Whenever I visit that shopping center and see the old theater building it still haunts me to this day. I’ll have to go in there next time I’m at Trader Joe’s and pay it a visit. I was reminded of the theater just the other day while watching Skaterdater. You can find it on Google search under videos. When one of the kids does a head stand on his skateboard, you can see the theater in back of him. Aside from what happened there I still have great memories of the theater back in the 60’s.

outdoorsman on May 23, 2008 at 12:08 am

I currently work in the building where the rolling hills theater used to be. The projection window were Clyde Felts worked is still visible from inside the Adventure 16 outdoor outfitter store. The projection room is upstairs in the japanese market Najiya next door. I helped construct the interior of the new store in 2005. The acoustics in the store are characteristic to the old theater to this day. The walls still absorb sound. I was working when friends of the deceased came in the store to remember and to have closure 32 years after the murders. I was honored to talk with them. They told me all that transpired that Feb 11th night in 1973 like it was yesterday. They are still haunted by the memories and I too.