Fremont Theatre

1025 Monterey Street,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

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Showing 26 - 40 of 40 comments

bonnach
bonnach on January 27, 2007 at 1:52 am

Quoting from “Images of America, San Luis Obispo: A History in Architecture” by Janet Penn Franks.
“The 1942 Memorial Day grand opening of the heralded Fremont Theater attracted Hollywood celebrities and local residents who gathered to support our troops, watch stars Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine in the preview screening of "This Above All”, and celebrate the birth of San Luis Obispo’s “theater of tomorrow.” Opening night was glamorous and exciting – San Luis Obispans crowded the streets, hoping to catch a glimpse of stars like Carol Landis, Constance Bennett, John Carroll, and Charlie Ruggles. The actors and actresses arrived by bus to sell war bonds at a rally that began in from of the courthouse across the street from the Fremnt."

SLOnative
SLOnative on May 29, 2006 at 9:59 pm

The Fremont is currently showing the Da Vinci Code. It opened in 1942, right after the war had started and was used for live shows which sold War Bonds to the public. Mel Venter, a Bay Area morning radio show host came down a couple of times to do live broadcasts of his west coast morning variety show. I still remember him using a local reference on one of his broadcasts—“Monterey Heights”. He asked his drop-dead beautiful girl singer. “Pretty Polly, Have any of the Cal Poly boys (no coeds then) showed you Monterey Heights?” (a famous lover’s lane parking spot that looked out over the city).

SLOnative
SLOnative on May 29, 2006 at 9:57 pm

The Fremont is currently showing the DiVinci Code. It opened in 1942, right after the war had started and was used for live shows which sold War Bonds to the public. Mel Venter, a Bay Area morning radio show host came down a couple of times to do live broadcasts of his west coast morning variety show. I still remember him using a local reference on one of his broadcasts—“Monterey Heights”. He asked his drop-dead beautiful girl singer. “Pretty Polly, Have any of the Cal Poly boys (no coeds then) showed you Monterey Heights?” (a famous lover’s lane parking spot that looked out over the city).

Evan39
Evan39 on November 12, 2005 at 4:04 pm

This is one of the most beautiful theaters in America. Recently when driving through SLO we stopped in downtown so I could take some photos. The Fremont was showing Corpse Bride that Sunday and was open so I walked in and took some interior photos. I told the manager what I was up to and about CT and she was very friendly about it. Unfortunately the auditorium was dark so couldn’t see that part.

Harold
Harold on July 20, 2005 at 6:36 pm

The Fremont is now operated by The Movie Experience. And stepping into the lobby is an experience. The interior is beautiful. It is in operation as a regular first run theatre – but once a month it screens classic films that are very well attended. A recent screening of “Rebel Without A Cause” brought in over 600 fans. The town really supports this theatre. On the opening night in 1940, among the attending stars were Laurel & Hardy.(The photo hangs in the managers office to this day) This theatre is one of the most photographed and painted buildings in California. A real S. Charles Lee beauty.

buster
buster on July 13, 2005 at 2:21 pm

When the Fremont opened my mother took me to my first movie there in my stroller. I grew up in SLO, and I saw most of the movies of my youth at the Fremont, the Obispo (just down the street, now demolished), and the Elmo, long gone, known as the Flea Bag. The Fremont was the queen, full of fact and fantasy for me. For my photograph of it, see View link

raoul88
raoul88 on February 15, 2005 at 9:41 pm

In 1993, Edwards took over the Fremont from Mann Theatres, closed it down for a period and performed a major restoration of its Art Deco interior and gorgeous neon marquee. The Fremont was re-opened on a Thursday night with two screenings of JURASSIC PARK (the night before the movie’s official release), a major event in SLO. Edwards no longer operates the Fremont; twelve years later, I can only hope that the current operators are taking care with Edwards' good work.

hudsony777
hudsony777 on January 6, 2005 at 2:14 pm

I remember visiting San Luis Obispo on vacation during the late 80s and marvelling at this beautiful theatre. It’s one of the most charming interiors I’ve seen and I was amazed at the swirling murals on the walls. I’m glad this theatre survives.

Also glad the theatre has a bigger screen, but sorry if it no longer has any curtains, or are they simply smaller? “Manwithoutname” is right though, the way a movie starts is as important as the house it plays in, and is as important as the movie itself. Forget DVDs!

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on January 1, 2005 at 5:02 pm

I have recently seen photos of the auditorium since the remodel and it seems to make room for the larger screen the impressive curtains I discussed above are now history. I am pleased this theater was not carved up but unfortunately it did not survive intact. Probably the one thing even harder to find than a classic movie house today is showmanship.

rp2813
rp2813 on September 23, 2004 at 4:47 pm

I was happy to read the the Fremont’s auditorium has not been chopped up. When I was a student at Cal Poly in the mid 70’s the Fremont, for probably the first time in its history, began to offer independent and more arty films on a one-night-only basis to attract the college crowd. I went to the first program, which was a double feature of Neal Young’s “Journey to the Past” and “Steppenwolf” along with a short subject about early television which included the famous Jayne Mansfield/Mickey Rooney scene at the Oscars podium. I also saw the re-released “Fantasia” at the Fremont, which couldn’t have been a more appropriate venue considering it was built the year “Fantasia” came out. I remember the stepped ceiling in the auditorium and the way it was backlit with recessed neon, and just being impressed with the fact that this theatre had not been touched architecturally since the day it was completed. I’m happy to see this theatre has survived intact and continues to be a successful operation.

MaxAPrice
MaxAPrice on August 12, 2004 at 12:53 pm

What a wonderful place. I’m about to move from UK (Liverpool) to San Luis Obispo, and this clinches it! Max Price

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on August 1, 2004 at 7:42 am

Incredibly beautiful at night – “The Village” was playing and the wildly flashing marquee was a sight to behold. Possibly even more inspired a vision than the Academy in Inglewood or the Alex in Glendale…

Eric
Eric on July 20, 2004 at 6:11 pm

I just recently visited this theatre and saw Spiderman 2. What an awesome place! This is a perfect example of what these older style theatres can do to upgrade themselves to compete with the new megaplexes. They installed a larger screen and upgraded the sound system. The sound and projection blew me away, while still conserving the theatres original charm. More older movie palaces need to live by this wonderful example! Otherwise, we are just going to contiune to lose them. I’d rather visit an older theatre with charm and character rather than a boxed drab uncharacteristic megaplex anyday! Great Job Fremont! Keep it going….

moviegal
moviegal on September 11, 2002 at 6:02 pm

The original building has not been chopped up and turned into a multiplex — it is still one theater with a big screen. There is another building next door with three screens under the same ownership, thus a total of four screens. Still a beauty!!

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on February 26, 2002 at 12:47 pm

This was a magnificent house and, in the ‘70s at least, the presentation was pure showmanship. The lights would dim and the curtain would open to reveal not a bare screen but a design slide being projected on it. If memory serves, a second transparent curtain would rise and as the theater went dark the slide would fade away and the film begin. My memory may be a little off, but it was very impressive. Leave it to Edwards to chop up this beautiful building.