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Just to note… The theater was actually located across the street from what is now the Hughes Center. There’s a strip mall with restaurants, etc., in its place.
Loved the Cinerama! Saw “Night of the Living Dead” for the first time there, plus tons of other movies.
RocketShipParkGirl, wonderful post; I’m sorry that you experienced so much so young. Wow.
And I think I know “Rat Theater”… Great name for it! You mean The Stadium, right? LOL! I remember the $.25 admission and Atomic Fireballs to go with “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “Robot Monster” and other really bad ones! A vivid memory of the pre-movie Muzac, too… A strange instrumental that was interrupted every few bars by some guy saying “Meet me at the clubhouse.” Very bizarre and that place was a pit, but cheap!
There’s a thread on the Cinerama Theater, Stunko. The building is gone and the entire area is built-up now. The former location is on Paradise across from the Hughes Business Center – a massive complex of office buildings and restaurants.
We need a good photo taken of the building. It’s still there, but the street view can’t be adjusted to show it. Must be somewhere behind the strip mall shown in the foreground.
LOL, Johnny! Little bits of William Castle’s goodies carried on into the ‘70s!
It was a single theater when it opened. The auditorium was definitely divided up. There was no room for expansion. The theater had other businesses attached on its left (as you faced it from the parking lot) and gov’t land (a flood control drain) to the right of a small parking lot on the other side.)
Theaters all over the country did the same thing to big, beautiful screens – it was all about the almighty dollar. Here in LV, the classic Huntridge Theater and the Boulevard received the same treatment (made into twins, though), along with at least one located on Fremont Street, as did my favorite theater in Torrance, CA – the Rolling Hills (another twin).
Sad, because they – at least the specific ones I mentioned – closed eventually anyway.
I want to say that the “butchering” took place around early 1976. I remember going to a midnight showings of “Tommy” and another featuring Beatles goodies (Shea Stadium, Magical Mystery Tour, etc.) in late 1974/early 1975 and it was still one large screen.
When my boyfriend and I went to see “Alice In Wonderland” with Kristine DeBell in late 1976 (the movie was released in December), it was in one of the divided theaters.
The Desert 5 drive-in was open well before the ‘80s… My friends and I went there during high school – I graduated in 1976. :–)
And yep, the Skyway shrunk in capacity as the years went by. They took out the speakers in the rear of the property – leaving just the poles.
When the drive-in was demolished, Syufy/Century built the multi-plex walk-in theater on the same property. I believe it housed either six or eight screens. Saw movies several times at both the drive-in and walk-in theater, but remember it being much better attended as a drive-in.
Now it’s a graffiti-covered walled/fenced-off parking lot full of dead trees, weed-laden asphalt and no structures. I’m surprised it’s been left like that for so long. The surrounding neighborhood is one of the oldest in town, but I’m sure the residents don’t appreciate the blight.
Meant to pop back in here a few months ago with a bit of an update. I spent some time in and around Torrance/LA/the beaches with my dad back in September. While we were driving back to the hotel from Long Beach, I had him pull into the shopping center. I recognized the theater building immediately – the roof line, textured walls, etc., are still the same. Seeing it really pulled at my heartstrings…
Hope you all are doing well. :–)
Great article, JayAllen… Thanks!
Wow, this thread has been quiet for awhile and what an incredible message from Outdoorsman for those of us who remember so very fondly our Saturdays at the Rolling Hills in the ‘60s. Next time I’m in So. Cal. / Torrance on vacation, I’m going to make a point to visit the building (haven’t seen it since 1969 when my family moved to Nev.) Thanks much, guys.
Hey Paul… The Cinedome Six was at Decatur and Desert Inn, right? That’s a Smith’s grocery store and strip mall with other shops now. There’s a Sinclair gas station on the corner. I think the Cinedome Six closed over 10 years ago, but I’m not sure of the actual year.
Thanks to Lost Memory, I was able to find this one here at Cinema Treasures. My brother and I went to this theater a few times in the ‘60s when it was the Park Theater. We always stopped first at the nearby Savon Drug Store to buy packages of candy – six for $.25 – before the show. The only movie I can positively remember seeing is “Farenheit 451.” Wish I could recall others. Just another piece of my childhood puzzle that’s come to fit together. :–)
Sure sounds like it, Lost Memory… Thanks!! Hard to believe it’s one that’s still standing after all these years. Very cool! I know we went to the Park a few times, but the only movie I definitely remember seeing there is “Farenheit 451.”
Update… My mom was able to pinpoint the Park Theater I was looking for… It was at Crenshaw and Compton Blvd. (now Marine Ave.) The Savon was at 149th.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like anyone has created a listing for it here, and my memory wouldn’t be much help for that.
Heh heh heh… Yep… You saw those at The Flick, too. I’m trying to remember for sure, but they may have had two, separate small screens – one accessed to the right of the box office and one to the left.
I think I’ll wait and let someone else create the listing. Since I haven’t created any others, I don’t really want the first one to be for a porno theater. LOL Glad I could help, though! :–)
Hey Lost Memory… I’m hoping you can help me out with another theater from the LA / suburbs area. I thought it was called the Park Theater, but it might have been another “P”… In the mid-‘60s, this one was located next door to a Sav-On or Thrifty Drug Store. I remember my brother and I used to stop in there before the movies to buy six packages of candy for just $.25… such a deal! Sound familiar to you? Thanks much! – Kim
LOL Ed! Yeah, I’m positive… (I saw the films, too… ;–) And yes… The actual name of the other one was the Four Star Theatre (whoever listed it originally, had the wrong name). When I moved here in 1969, the Four Star showed second run ‘regular’ films. My family and I went to see “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” “Fistful of Dollars,” and “For a Few Dollars More” at the Four Star. Later, in the early ‘80s, my ex and I went to a couple of big screen (it was always a single-screen, full-size theater) porn films (as opposed to 'video’) there. The Four Star was very popular with Asian tourists. Sounds weird, but those were kinda the ‘good old days’… before everything turned into tiny video theaters.
Slater, if I had to guess, I’d say it was during the late ‘80s that the Red Rock 11 shifted to a discount theatre. Honestly, I don’t recall ever paying discount prices for a movie at Red Rock, but that’s probably because I stopped going to movies there once so many other theatres opened in town.
Ed… It was on Fremont Street near 9th Street. The Orbit Inn was nearby… both places were across the street from and east of the El Cortez. It’s probably not listed because it was never anything other than a small, dirty movie house.
Hey Ed! The XXX theater you’re thinking of was The Flick… Don’t ask me how I know. ;–)
Yep… That’s it! Great site, Ken… Thanks!
No nightmares tonight, slim! ;–)
And the property has already changed it’s name to South Point. From what I understand, it’s a stand-alone now… owned by Michael Gaughn.