Obispo Theatre

993 Monterey Street,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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Showing 26 - 29 of 29 comments

tomdelay on October 5, 2005 at 11:47 am

The Obispo Theatre had a small 2 manual 7 rank Wurlitzer/Maas organ that had been moved from the SLO Elmo Theatre (It is believed Elmo was shortened from El Monterey). When installed in the Elmo Theatre, this organ was a 2 manual 4 rank style 135 piano console Wurlitzer opus 260.

The organ was removed from the Elmo and rebuilt by Maas for the new Obispo theatre. The organ still exists and is installed in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Visalia. The organ is in very poor condition. The Obispo organ was removed in the early 1950s by organ builder Richard S. Villemin and reinstalled in the Visalia church.
The original piano console is gone and was replaced by a 2 manual style B Wurlitzer console from the Temple Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Elmo/Obispo Wurlitzer had a large collection of rolls for the player in the piano console to accompany the silent films.

Som close friends of mine attended a film at the Obispo just before the fire. They said the theatre was a step back in time and in magnificent condition.

buster on July 13, 2005 at 6:25 am

I miss the Obispo. I now teach film, and I saw the movies of my youth (without knowing who Samuel Fuller and Nicholas Ray were) at the Obispo, the Fremont, and the Elmo (the Flea Bag). I wish someone would post a photograph. My mother took me to my first movie in a stroller—Fremont, house of dreams.

Manwithnoname on January 1, 2005 at 8:54 am

The Obispo, as I remember it, was not large. When I was a student at Cal Poly I saw “The Godfather”, “Gone With the Wind” and “Two-Lane Blacktop” here and it was still a single screen then. The fire would have been about 3 years later. I remember vsiting the area again after the fire and there was not much left on the lot. There was another theater in the area as well called the Madonna Plaza 3 which played “The French Connection”. Interestingly, this film’s composer and Cheech and Chong appeared on campus. Admission: $1.00.

GaryParks on October 16, 2004 at 1:24 pm

For some years the vertical sign from the Obispo was stored outside behind the Central Coast (formerly Pismo) Theatre in Pismo Beach. It’s no longer there, though, and I have no idea what happened to it.