Rolling Hills Theatre

2535 Pacific Coast Highway,
Torrance, CA 90505

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Showing 51 - 75 of 156 comments

ghatanaka on April 13, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I saw Jaws at this cinema during its 1979 re-release and was hooked on films ever since. Although at this time, it had been duplexed, nevertheless it was a fantastic auditorium with what seemed to be a 1000 seats to me, a 6 year old at that time! It’s a shame the youth of today no longer have this sort of glorious filmgoing experience with the curtains opening upon the presentation and none of the barrage of commercials bombarding their psyches, much less even viewing the films themselves on 12 inch computer monitors. I say it is time we bring the Cinema Experience back to new generations!

ccg on November 28, 2007 at 8:28 pm

I had my first cup of coffee at the parasol on a weekend morning, and saw several horror movies in the early 80’s at the Marina theater. I’ll have to go look for any old photos online! Is Pioneer Chicken still next to what used to be Savon on PCH there?

KimReynolds on November 28, 2007 at 11:59 am

Clancy’s was the best. I can still taste those burgers. My first date was there with Debbie Meyers (mom drove us). I’m pretty sure, in order from the corner, was a gas station (Chevron?), Clancy’s, United Artist theater, a go-cart track with a Super Slide, a miniature golf course, batting cages and an Orange Julius. After that, I’m pretty sure, was an open field and a couple of car lots. After that, before you hit the small residential area before Hawthorne, was fields with crops. Oh, and a motel/restaurant named “Half Way House” around there. Throw in a Christmas tree lot and the occasional rodeo and it was a happening place!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 27, 2007 at 11:40 pm

BC: The Marina 3 is listed at Cinema Treasures under its original name, the Strand Theater.

BCinTorrance on November 27, 2007 at 11:19 pm

Remember the Super Slide next to the Miniature Golf place? The UA Theater was located about 200 yards west of the PCH/Crenshaw intersection. There was a Drive-in fast food place called “Clancy’s” at the corner. Anyone remember that?. It was later torn down and a BBQ restaurant was built, which later became “Miguel’s Burritos”. It’s now a Jack in the Box. I remember seeing “Rocky” and the “Towering Inferno” at the UA. It was a really nice theater. The Circuit City used to be a store called “Leonards” then it was “National Lumber”. The National Lumber cartoon characters were “Shorty” and “Cheap Chicken”. Sambo’s was located at the corner of Anza and PCH, about 3 miles west of the UA Theater. I was at the RH Theater the day of the murders. It always haunted me that the killer stole money that I once held in my hands. It was a Holiday weekend. Lincoln’s Birthday. Very Sad. Also Very Sad……I REALLY MISS The Parasol. Anyone remember the Marina Theaters in Redondo Beach? Thanks for letting me go down memory lane.

mooveez on July 8, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Don’t remember the golf course or the crazy murals. (Are you sure they weren’t a product of what you were smoking in the bathroom at Rolling Hills?) Hard to believe there ever was a Sambo’s chain – with the story of “Little Black Sambo” told over the counter. Egads!!

Mud on July 8, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Mooveez: I remember the Sambo’s. Do you remember a miniature golf place? And I think, right next door was a restaurant that we went to a lot…. it had crazy murals on the walls.

mooveez on July 8, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Oh yes, the Bird Farm! That was a couple of miles west on PCH from Rolling Hills. Don’t remember the BBQ place, but there was a Shakee’s Pizza there, and a Sambo’s across the street.

Mud on July 6, 2007 at 7:18 pm

I remember the United Artists, the Rolling Hills Theater and the Palos Verdes Fox up at the Peninsula Center. This would be 1967-1971. My parents would drop us teens off in the evenings. We would often leave the show and go to the Slot Car Arcade or the Parasol. I remember Jeans West behind the Rolling Hills. We were troublemakers at the theater back then, smoking in the bathrooms and often getting thrown out. Sorry about that now! I remember the Bird Farm…. does anyone remember a BBQ place somewhere by the Bird Farm? It had wild drawings inside. Mud

meengreen on June 12, 2007 at 10:57 am

In regards to the question about Circuit City. I was born in 1978 but I do remember there being a National Lumber store there. It was a large Hardware Store. I remember it featured store flyers with comic book style drawings of a boy with a white hat? and his pet bird that looked like a pelican. Anyone remember this? Oh and the Original Parasol had the best Monte Christo sandwiches. When it changed owners, (its last attempt at being a restaurant), we ordered a Monte Christo and the staff had never heard of one. The waitress was nice enough to have the cook recreate it. But it was horrible. Now its a Walgreens. It’s a shame the old structure is gone.

mooveez on March 16, 2007 at 10:15 am

FYI “SkaterDater” fans: “SkaterDater” won the Palme D'Or for Best Short Film at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film the same year. The young director, Noel Black, went on to a long career in television.

KimF on March 16, 2007 at 8:23 am

What a great site, Steve! Thanks for sharing! Man… Seeing the beautiful interior of the Fox Redondo sure makes us realize what we’re missing today thanks to the cookie-cutter multi-plex syndrome. :–( It’s sad that after our generation, no one has even had the experience.

stevebopp on March 16, 2007 at 6:33 am

I like to share these pics with as many people as possible, so here’s the link to my Old South Bay album, including pics of the Fox Redondo. Check out the overhead shot of the Torrance Drive-In, surrounded by oil derricks.

KimF on March 16, 2007 at 4:27 am

Joe!! Thanks SO much for confirming “Hi Clyde!” for me! I felt certain that we did holler out to him, but it was tucked so far back in my memory that I really needed to hear it from another Rolling Hills matinee fan! And yes… While we were there, it was TRIPLE features… and the contests occasionally included local bands. Those days were such great fun! They truly did put on a big show for all us kids. Sounds like you’re a year or two older than I am, but in 1968/early ‘69, I was in 5th grade at Fern Elementary School and would have attended Greenwood Middle School and eventually Torrance High (1974/'75 was my Junior year) if my family had stayed in Torrance. And yes… “SkaterDater” did win the Oscar. :–) Wish I could help you with the Fox Redondo Theater. We spent a lot of time at the pier and the beach, but I don’t remember the theater, specifically. My parents took us to the movies a lot, though… They’d definitely remember it.

alohajoe007 on March 16, 2007 at 12:03 am

Wow! It’s nice to know the other “kids” who were probably sitting close by me long ago in the 60’s. The RH theater was the one of the last grand Saturday Matinee triple feature venues. Thanks to whoever posted the other activities we would do on those Saturdays the dance contest which was either doing the limbo or the twist. During those Saturdays the owner would always come in go up on stage and have the audience say “Hi Clyde!” the projectionist. In other words this theater was owned by a showman the last of his kind. Sigh. I too remember the murders which happened by the time I was a junior at Miraleste High School. I was shocked. At the time there was this awful serial killer
making headlines first as the 5&10 killer later updated to the TG&Y killer. Also during those days the term “serial killer” was not used in the Daily Breeze. The murders rocked the community to it’s core. Btw my name is Joe Hall in case anyone from the ‘old days’ knows me. I would have liked to have seen some of the other names of the kids that went there who have posted here. I remember most the Elvis movies and the cheap Japanese Godzilla and Mothra movies. Admission was 60 cents but it used to be only 50 cents. Cudos to all who remember the details of the shopping center as well. The old J.J. Newberry’s with the old fashioned lunch counter, Foods Co., Swedish Smorgasbord, and of course the fabulous Parasol restaurant. And yes to that guy who seems so worked up about the UA theater located EXACTLY on the corner of PCH & Crenshaw but on the opposite side of Crenshaw. Also although the location was and is Torrance the area was referred to as the Palos Verdes Penninsula by all who lived there even though technically it was quite on the penninsula. Yes it was safe back then parents thought nothing of letting all us kids walk down to the theater on our own and be rid of us for the day for a mere $3 or less. Didn’t “SkaterDater” win an Oscar for best short? I’ll have to look that up. I have not been back for awhile but isn’t Seymor’s Jewlers still there. Btw I grew up with Scott, Seymor’s son the family’s last name is Billowit and both Scott and his sister Gail are both very successful jewlers Scott has his store in Hermosa Bch. now and he had one in Marina Del Rey as well but may have lost that in a divorce. So many memories of that time of innocence and of the area where one could hike in the hills nearby and look for snakes. While I’m posting does anyone remember the VERY OLD Fox Redondo Theater down at the pier???? Any pictures of it as a movie theater not the old 1927 pic shown on this site? One last detail the Lucky’s super market used to be called Shopper’s Market was back in the early 60’s.

KimF on March 13, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Hey SoBay… It’s a bittersweet reminisce, that’s for sure. I miss Torrance a lot. Went back for a visit in November to show my husband around – it’s now high on our list as a perfect place to retire in a few years or so. I just ordered “SkaterDater” from the source KimReynolds recommended – can’t wait to see it again… It’s been 40 years! :–)

sobay on March 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm

I remember Skaterdater. We would see it on rainy days at Newton Middle School. I didn’t remember it as a love story, but it is. I have a copy of it on VHS somewhere. I believe it was a student film at UCLA and won some awards. It is fun to see what Rolling Hills Plaza looked like before the big box retailers took it over. There was Newberry’s, Florence Fabrics, Seymor’s Jewelers and the Tea House. I remember the murders even after all these years. Some of my childhood innocence was lost after the tragedy. The double features were great. The UA Theatre across the street was a nice theatre as well. There was also The Parasol, Lucky Market and a Go Cart Track near by.

KimF on March 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm

Thanks William… :–) No worries, my player is only about a year old.

William on March 12, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Some DVD discs made at home on some DVD recorders will not work on old DVD players. It’s not a bad disc, the older players can’t play them.

KimF on March 12, 2007 at 3:51 pm

Super… I’ll give him a holler! Thanks again, KimReynolds. :–)

KimReynolds on March 12, 2007 at 6:24 am

Same here, a couple of times a month was how I spent my Saturday afternoons at the theater. I found a very nice copy of ‘Skaterdater’ by following the link below. The seller, Scott, dosn’t list it but you can email him through ebay. For some reason it will not work on my older DVD player but it works great on newer ones and on the computer. Enjoy! (

KimF on March 9, 2007 at 11:23 am

mooveez and KimReynolds… Thank you, thank you! I definitely remember both the Parasol and the Swedish Smorgasbord restaurants. One night after eating at the smorgasbord, my family and I spotted an abandoned terrier puppy… Took her home and named her “Coco.” And Del Amo Mall was another favorite place for my brother and I (We were young, too… I was probably 9 and he was only 4 or 5 – Torrance was so safe – my mother even let me ride my bike from home – on Teri Ave. – to the library downtown). We’d catch the bus on Torrance Blvd. (I think it stopped at Hickory on both sides) and spend the day just browsing through the stores and have lunch at the cafeteria-style restaurant. You missed a lot of crazy sixties fun, mooveez… The audience participation stuff was amazing! KimReynolds, no doubt in my mind that you and I must have been there on the same Saturday(s) – probably many times. I actually won the dance contests a couple of times – once it was a Hula contest of all things! LOL The prizes were $1 and a free admission pass for another Saturday. And there was this really nice Asian usher (I wish so much that I could remember his name) who would occasionally slip a folded-up pass into my palm as I left the dance floor – after NOT winning. And Skaterdater… Yep! Excellent short. Do you happen to know if it’s available on DVD or VHS? I know we saw it a few times (along with the numerous viewings of “The Time Machine,” “Help!” and “A Hard Day’s Night” amongst all the horror movies with Vincent Price and friends. That skateboarding photo page is great… I haven’t seen any other photos of the Rolling Hills Theater, so I really appreciate it. My brother (he passed away in 2003… I’d love to be able to talk with him now about these old times) and I were there with various friends at least a couple of times per month. As I mentioned in a post above, we were there when Adam West and Burt Ward made a special visit during intermission – too cool! Anyway, I only hope that Clyde and the others knew how much joy they brought to a bunch of silly ‘60s kids who thought nothing of playing hide-and-seek and running the aisles if the movie wasn’t enthralling or it happened to be the sixth or seventh time we saw it. They were such a big part of our childhood experience.

KimReynolds on March 6, 2007 at 11:10 am

A couple of shots of Rolling Hills Theater can be seen here ( This was around 1964/65.

KimReynolds on March 6, 2007 at 8:55 am

I do remember clearly those Saturday double bill matinees in the 60’s. Some times they would have dance contests between movies. Mostly surf tunes and the audience voted via cheers. I do remember a clown/magic show one time. The clown had long shoes that he used to run across the tops of the seats chasing a kid or two. Funny stuff. I remember being short on cash so I asked the snack bar girl if she had anything for free. She responded by saying “kisses”. I was too young to know exactly what she meant… but now I do! The men’s restroom had a vending machine on the wall that sold goofy little things. I loved buying the plastic skeletons with the suction cup hanging from his head. I grew up in that area of Torrance and my parents still live on Dalemead Street. We ate at the ‘Parasol’ restaurant almost every Friday night. ‘Stellino’s Deli’ was catty-corner from the ‘Rolling Hills Plaza’ and next to Stellino’s was a ‘Lucky’s’ supermarket. The Rolling Hills theater was featured in the short film “Skaterdater” along with other South Bay landmarks. You can clearly see the theater in a couple of shots. Seems like every kid had a skateboard at the time and the theater parking lot was the place to ride them. It was a wonderful time to grow up. Shame it ended like it did for the theater. I can still remember the smell of the place and the fun my brothers and I had there. But I also remember that horrible day and it haunts me.

mooveez on March 6, 2007 at 7:45 am

Hi Kim. I honestly don’t remember any live shows or audience participation activities at the Rolling Hills Theater, but my time there was around ‘69-'73. Things I do remember: The L-shaped shopping mall that stood on the western edge of the RHT parking lot included a JJ Newberry’s (where my mother worked in the '50s, and where we would often go to sit at the counter for lunch or ice cream), and a large fabric store (where my mother would spend seemingly endless hours looking through pattern books). A small strip of stores stood on the east side of the RHT parking lot, and included a Swedish Smorgasbord (buffet-style) restaurant that seemed wildly exciting at the time. Then, of course, there was the fabulous Parasol restaurant across PCH, and the UA Torrance theatre across Crenshaw. Both the UA and Rolling Hills had huge screens and curtains that opened dramatically before screenings. (I can vividly remember the Buena Vista logo before Disney films at the RHT undulating as it was projected on the opening curtains.) This block at that time – with the two theatres, Newberry’s, Swedish Smorgasbord and The Parasol – was a real center of attraction for my family during those years. After the murders, focus moved to the Del Amo Mall a couple of miles northwest, and then briefly to the Old Towne Mall (a creepy carnival-themed disaster) another mile north. By the end of the '70s, with Torrance having quickly developed, there was no “center” of anything anymore. I remember going back to the now-split Rolling Hills Theater in '79 or '80 to see 'Apocalypse Now’, and finding the place full of too many sad memories. The murders were the stuff of legend in high school, but for those of us who had actually spent our younger years there, they were a distinct dividing line in our lives.