Pacific's Hastings 8

355 N. Rosemead Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91107

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Showing 76 - 85 of 85 comments

Coate
Coate on June 29, 2005 at 10:22 pm

Hastings was among the handful of theaters equipped with Cinema Digital Sound (CDS), the 1990-1991 precursor to the contemporary digital sound formats.

willorwell
willorwell on June 23, 2005 at 11:23 am

I was in this theater (the biggest) as late as circa 1996 or 1997. I think the last film I saw there was AIR FORCE ONE. The big theater was still a 60 foot wide screen, with row widths in excess of 40 seats. I estimated that it sat about 900 people. At least then the big theater was still rather intact and not “split” as someone claims. The extra theaters were added around the big one. I’d like more clarity. I’ve seen in addition, STAR WARS and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK special editions, INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE RIGHT STUFF, BLUE THUNDER, KRULL, 2010 at the big Hastings over the years.

willorwell
willorwell on June 23, 2005 at 11:17 am

I was in this theater (the biggest) as late as circa 1996 or 1997. I think the last film I saw there was AIR FORCE ONE. The big theater was still a 60 foot wide screen, with row widths in excess of 40 seats. I estimated that it sat about 900 people. At least then the big theater was still rather intact and not “split” as someone claims. The extra theaters were added around the big one. I’d like more clarity. I’ve seen in addition, STAR WARS and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK special editions, INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE RIGHT STUFF, BLUE THUNDER, KRULL, 2010 at the big Hastings over the years.

JimRankin
JimRankin on December 10, 2004 at 5:17 am

REVERSE THEATRE
This is one of the few “Reverse” or ‘backwards’ theatres in the world, of which 10 were in the USA and 2 in England, of those that are known. This unusual format had the audience entering the front as usual, but the screen was at their backs as they entered, and the projection room/booth faced them! In some cases it was a construction demanded by the topography, as when the land at the rear sloped up sharply at the rear of the building (as with the DARRESS ( /theaters/1645/ ) and the little LINCOLN in Limon Colorado), but for others as with the WHITEHOUSE in Milwaukee ( /theaters/2642/ ), it was purely a gimmick to make the place memorable in competition with the dozens of other show houses in most communities in the ‘golden days!’ The known Reverse Theatres are:

Existing in the USA, if not also operating:
1) The SEBASTIAN, Ft. Smith, AR ( /theaters/257/ )
2) The DARRESS, Boonton, NJ ( /theaters/1645/ )
3) The LINCOLN, Limon, CO ( /theaters/7595/ )
4) The HASTINGS, Pasadena, CA (/theaters/8487/ ) now the “PACIFIC HASTINGS 8”.

No longer existing as a theatre, if still standing at all (USA):
5) The PHIEL, St. Petersburg, FL
6) The METROPOLITAN, 3308 W. Lawrence, Chicago, IL (later TERMINAL, METRO)
7) The E.A.R. (for Earl A. Reisden), Chicago, IL ( /theaters/7597/ )
8) The FAMILY, Quincy, IL
9) The HAPPY HOUR, New Orleans, LA
10) The WHITEHOUSE, Milwaukee, WI ( /theaters/2642/ )

These two are known of in England, but status unknown (courtesy of Louis Barfe):
11) The CINEMA ROYAL, Epsom, Surrey (1910—1938)
12) The CINEMA LUXE, Lake, Isle of Wight (1989—?)

And then there is the FOX Theatre, Taft, CA, ( /theaters/7564/ )where one “entered on the side, the back corner, actually,” to round out our little list of eccentric theatres.

120305
120305 on December 8, 2004 at 10:32 am

I wonder what the future holds for this theatre. If you think about it, this area is over-saturated. With the newer Pacific Paseo Colorado, the modern Krikorian Monrovia theatre and the just opened AMC Santa Anita 16 in Arcadia, Pasadena residents can get to these other theatres within 10 minutes. Any thoughts on this? Not all of these theatres can survive.

sergem
sergem on December 5, 2004 at 2:00 am

Has any one noticed how slow business has become at the Pacific Hastings?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2004 at 4:33 am

mattepntr:

I find it easier to remember the details of places I’ve seen once as an adult than of places I saw several times as a child. But I don’t remember everything about the Hastings, it seems, as I have no clear recollection of the tile mural. I remember that there was some sort of decoration on that wall, but have no mental picture of it. I do now recall one thing I didn’t mention earlier, though. The theater had a sort of outdoor lounge area, accessible only through the lobby. I didn’t go out to inspect it- I think there was rain the night I was there- so I can’t describe it, but from what I saw as I glanced through the glass doors, there were a lot of plants and some benches out there. It was probably a pleasant place on a warm summer evening.

mattepntr
mattepntr on November 12, 2004 at 10:50 pm

My goodness, joe!! How did you remember all that detail from one visit?? I’ve been there numerous times, and I couldn’t recall it that well! But you’re absolutely correct on all points- what a rush down memory lane I had reading your post! My parents took me to see “The Poseidon Adventure” and we were a little late, missing the titles. When we walked in I could see the light from the screen on hundreds of faces and I remember thinking they’re facing the wrong way! One more detail- do you remember that mosaic tiled wall in the lobby? Now that I think of it, that was the back of the wall that held the screen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2004 at 6:50 am

My only visit to the Hastings was in the late 1970’s, to see the re-issue of Disney’s “Fantasia.” This was several years after the theater had opened, and before it was converted to a multiplex. It was probably the last really big single-screen theater built in the Los Angeles area, and was quite impressive, despite the rather austere late sixties-early seventies architecture.

A unique feature of the Hastings was the configuration of the auditorium. The spacious, glass-walled lobby was actually behind the screen, and the auditorium was entered through a pair of passages leading either way from a large doorway. These low-ceilinged hallways sloped downward, and curved around the corners, then back upward and along the sides of the auditorium.

The seating was continental style, meaning that there were no aisles cutting through the rows. Instead, the rows were entered from the broad side aisles, which could be screened from the auditorium by drapes hung between a series of square columns. The distance between rows was greater than in most theaters, leaving room for entering and departing patrons to pass along them without forcing the seated patrons to rise from their seats. The auditorium also had a steeper rake than was normal for most theaters without stadium seating, providing better than usual sight lines. Entering from the sides, and from the screen-end of the hall also made it easier to find empty seats while the movie was in progress, or find your way back to your own seat if you had gone out for more popcorn, as the light reflected from the screen illuminated the faces of the seated crowd.

I found the theater impressive, the seats comfortable, and the sound and projection were first rate, and the huge screen was the largest in the San Gabriel Valley. The main reason I never went there again was that the location was a bit out of the way for me. Had it been more conveniently located, it probably would have become my preferred location for seeing movies, especially those which are best seen on a big, big screen.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on October 11, 2004 at 11:47 am

Just a few doors down from the now-gutted-for-retail Mann Hastings 3 / Mann Hastings Ranch Triplex / Pasadena Hastings Tri-Plex, this theatre boasts a 60-foot screen (in a spacious, if cold, auditorium) and use to be a 5-plex. It was split into 8 screens in 1994, but you can still see evidence of its former life as a 5-plex on some of the placards just before you go into the far auditoriums. There also use to be a Hastings Drive-In Theatre at Rosemead & Foothill in Pasadena, but that’s another story.