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That’s a great pic Gary! Any more??
Jim, though I’m younger than you(born ‘64 in the Valley then family left Van Nuys ten years later), I also recall seeing the air raid sirens around Van Nuys in late Sixties/early Seventies. Then on Fridays around 10 am there was a Civil Defense drill(?)siren, if I recall correctly…
johnmk, I saw that Grass Valley Gary(see post above)worked at GM at same time my dad did, so now I am wondering if our dads knew one another at GM! My dad(Herbert Sanchez)worked there from ‘61 to about '71 or '72 and then he went from there till his retirement to one of the parts divisions(I think that’s what it was)in Santa Fe Springs. My dad remembers still a lot of people from many different departments at GM in Van Nuys. What is your dad’s name so I can pass it on to my dad to see if he knew who he was? If you like, you can write me at
I too attended Van Nuys Elem…from ‘69-'74 till we moved out of area:( I have fond memories of that school! And of course, of Van Nuys:)
Gary, you say you worked at the GM plant in Van Nuys in 1963. By any chance do you recall working with someone by the name of Herbert Sanchez? He may have been better known at work as Herbie or Herb. That is my dad. He started working there in ‘61 and so was still at the Van Nuys plant in '63. If you like you can drop me a line at
BTW, I had posted a comment above about the Fox Theatre but I may have been mistaken…I think I really meant the Capri Theatre, since I believe that was the closest to Calvert St. where we lived.
Ah, so YOU were the one running those Disney films I used to see:)
If you could find those pics of the Whittwood that you took and post them here that would be great!!
I remember seeing “E.T.” here when it came out or shortly after it came out. This theatre was also my younger brother’s first job when he was still going to Whittier High. He loved movies and was getting into filmmaking so getting to see movies here while working and getting free passes/discounts was a big thing for a teenage boy interested in movies! He even made a short film back in the mid-Eighties there(using the rooms above the theatre…in lighthouse tower perhaps? I have to ask him) with the permission of the theatre while he was still working there. He still has the film and the opening sequence is a nighttime shot of the theatre and its marquee so it’s nice to have a little bit of the Whittier Theatre preserved on film.
The story of the Whittier Theatre is sad…true, the Spaghetti Factory was interested and I also agree that it was NOT because of the quake that the building was razed. Excuses, excuses. It is too bad the building could not be saved, whether for the Spaghetti Factory or some other establishment that could have preserved this building. I had read that the theatre was originally a vaudeville theatre and people like Al Jolson had performed there. A piece of history torn down, but it was very typical of Whittier to get rid of historic buildings. Guess perhaps the attitude has changed but too late to save the Whittier Theatre or the beautiful Carnegie Library. I have seen pics of this old library and I cannot BELIEVE it was torn down to build(in another location)the ugly looking current library. Ironically, some sample designs of what the new library(which is to be built on the old Hadley Alpha Beta site)will look like reminds one a little of the old Carnegie Library!
Re Stevebob’s question on who remembers the sun sculpture with the inscription, I think I recall that from the dusty recesses of my brain, lol!
Guess the new mall will be another generic type mall??
The Whittwood was NOT converted into Nickel Nickel…the theatre was a bit farther down, on the other side of what was once Farrell’s(which after it closed became other restaurants of which I only recall Hudson’s which is what it was circa ‘92-93).
I remember coming here with my brothers and sometimes friends many a Saturday in the Seventies to watch Disney movies like “Gus” and “Apple Dumpling Gang”. And even though it wasn’t a Disney film, I saw “The Goodbye Girl” here in ‘77.
It is too bad it is gone now. The multiplex that was built a few years later after the Whittwood closed was ok, but that is now gone. Too bad, but hey, at least Whittier has a movie theatre still(in Uptown). I remember there was a period in the Eighties when Whittier had NO theatres. The Wardman(which was a Pussycat theatre for awhile)closed, the Whittwood closed, the Sundown Drive-In had closed for awhile and then reopened later as a swap meet, etc. I don’t believe there are any other theatres near or in East Whittier, is there?? it’s only the Whittier Village Cinema for now
I spent most of my childhood in Van Nuys-we lived on Calvert St.-and I remember sometimes walking by the Fox Theatre on the way to school(Van Nuys Elementary). This was in the early Seventies. I never saw a movie there(but our parents did take us to the Van Nuys and Reseda Drive-Ins)but I recall two things about the Fox. First I remember when the movie “MASH” came out at the Fox(1970?)and the strange(to a six year old)movie poster outside the theatre. Next, I recall a year or so later when “The Godfather” was playing at the Fox and my parents went to go see it leaving me and my brothers with my grandparents who were visiting us at the time. I guess I remember the latter memory because my parents hardly ever went out without us and it was a big thing when they did, but don’t know why the other memory of the movie poster stuck with me all these years. Shame the Fox is gone, but the Van Nuys we all pretty much knew is gone now:( I didn’t know Cupids was gone or the Chris ‘n Pitts:(