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This theater opened in 1947 as the Contra Costa Motor-In. Around 1958 the El Cerrito Motor Movies also operated by R.L. Lippert closed and they took the nice back lit reader boards changed the El Cerrito neon to Pleasant Hill and the Motor-In was now the Motor Movies. The old reader boards were just wooden reader boards lit with flood lights. The theater closed in late 1977 because of re-developement and declining business. Booth details: Motiograph AA with RCA 9030 sound heads and Ashcraft Super Power lamps. Sometime in the last 10 years the picture heads were changed to Century. The car capacity during the later years was a max of 768. If you watch the Drive in scene in “Grease” where
Danny sings “Sandy” I would swear it was filmed at
the Motor Movies even though I know it wasn’t.
In 1948 the Enea bros. leased the Enean Theater for twenty years to Blumenfeld Theaters. When the lease expired in 1968 things were changing big time in the Concord area and Blumenfeld did not renew so the Enea Bros took it back and after an extensive remodel it became the Showcase. They tried to run it as sort of an Art House but with a few exceptions it was not successful. I always felt the timing was off by about 10 years. I worked at the Enean as a union projectionist from July 1, 1964 steady for about a year and a half and then off and on till near the end of the Enea Bros run. I relieved John M. Nunes as projectionist when he became too ill to continue working. The Enean was a bit rundown during the last years but was a very well run movie theater and Bob Reeves was a very good theater manager. The Enean was also IMHO an Art Deco Gem waiting to be discovered and restored. There was extensive Art Deco neon all over the front of the building and on the vertical sign. If only the Enean had not been turned into the Showcase and could have lasted another 10 years. How many times has that been said.