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Opened as a twin. I think it was a Jerry Lewis. But definitely two screens with the typical JL setup which was a pair of Ballantynes running big reels with automated changeover. Later cut into 4 screens. They already had 4 projectors so just added platters.
It opened if not the late 60’s then at least the early 70’s. I saw Jaws there.
As someone else said it was originally the Western-Lincoln. Later Western Heights.
Gene Buzzelli, are you out there?
Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe two screens were mono to the end. No excuse for that a quarter century after Dolby Stereo allowed for inexpensive stereo on every movie, every print.
That’s why, despite living just minutes away for the duration of this place’s existence, I only attended movies here two or possibly three times. And one of those was only because it was a freebie.
As of Monday 7/9/12, this theatre is closed. (I don’t know if Saturday or Sunday was the last day.)
Why are they saying 1600 seats? Unless they are including the addition next door that is way off. The Motion Picture Herald article shown says 1200. I think that is probably rounded up a bit but no way to 1600.
If anyone has any knowledge of whatever crew Loews Cineplex sent in to clear stuff out when this theatre closed (just before AMC took over) I would like you to contact me. I’m trying to find out where some items went. Please drop me an email at
I’d be surprised if 2 and 3 were both 500 seats since 2 was equipped for 70mm so I’m guessing it was larger but I’ll leave that be until I can be sure.
I think PopcornFan’s memory about theatre numbers is a bit off even though he worked there. Here’s how I recall it.
There was the original theatre with the big, deeply curved D150 screen built by ABC Great States before Plitt was formed.
A two screener across Torrance was called 2 & 3 so the original became #1. Then they built a new addition to the original building which was called #4. So far so good.
5&6 was a two screener on the far west side of the River Oaks West plaza. 7&8 was on the south side of the main River Oaks east of Fields, northeast of the ¼ building. I do not recall that this was ever called 5&6 because 5 & 6 was there long before 7 & 8.
THEN a block of store space near Sears became a 6-screener. Since the mall was enclosed this now has an entry way within the mall. These new screens were numbered 1-6. 7&8 remained 7&8.
1 & 4 became 9 & 10.
5 & 6 (far west side) became 11 & 12.
2 & 3 just across Torrance became 13 & 14. That seemed odd at first since it wasn’t in order but it became clear when that 2-plex closed while the old 5 &6, now 11 & 12 remained open.
The 2/3 (13/14) building was indeed gutted but I don’t remember Circuit City there. I think it was a Fretter appliance store. Contrary to the article, the building is no longer standing. It was razed and a new building was put up.
I have never been there and would love to see some of the things people have been writing about. Could someone please point me to some photos showing the nautical details and the auditorium and lobby in general? My web searches are striking out. Thank you in advance.
Steve in Chicago