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In the 1970s, I took my young niece to see “That’s Entertainment!” here. I still look for the theater dome when driving through BH.
I have contacted the City of West Hollywood for further information about this unusual venue. Hopefully, I will have more info to post in the future.
At midnight screenings during the late 1970s, I saw John Waters films here, as well as “Reefer Madness” and other cult favorites. I lament its passing, and the new stores that exist in the theater building haven’t the charm, character, and dignity of the Bijou and the Hermosa.
I also remember seeing “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines” there. And “Dr. Zhivago,” “Far From The Madding Crowd,” too. I think Bill Korenbrott who managed Fresno’s Warner Theatre may have owned the Country Squire. But of this, I am unsure.
Another long ago memory of the Warners Theatre. In the mid 1950s, I was still a young boy living in Fresno. My parents bought tickets for us to see Betty Hutton, live, on stage, at the Warners Theatre. She was trying out what would be her Las Vegas stage show in several small towns, Fresno included. It was a very rainy Sunday afternoon when we went to Betty’s show at the Warners Theatre. Only a handful of people had bought tickets to see the famous motion picture star of “Annie Get Your Gun” and “The Greatest Show On Earth”. My parents, both born and raised in New York City, were embarrassed that Fresnans did not support this star in her live performance. But, back then, Fresno was a small agricultural town of about 50,000 people. Today the population is nearly 500,000. As I remember, Miss Hutton’s live show was a high-energy musical-comedy treat. But the audience was scant. It’s unlikely that anyone else who visits this site will remember Betty Hutton, live at Warner’s Theatre, because there were so few of us there.
Yes, the building that became the Sequoia Theatre first opened in 1890 as The Barton Opera House. This according to the book “Vintage Fresno”. In between the Opera House and The sequoia, the theatre had several names: Theatre Fresno and The Hippodrome, among them.
This is the movie palace where I saw most of the 1950s and 1960s movies from 20th Century-Fox. I always loved escaping the grueling Fresno summer heat in this Cooled by Refrigeration oasis.
Occasionally the Crest deviated from its A-list Fox films to show an exploitation epic. I remember when “Damaged Goods” played here many years ago. But mostly, I remember cuddling up to my box of hot, buttered popcorn, watching the likes of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Call Me Madam,” “Three Coins in The Fountain,” “Bus Stop,” and scores of Cinemascopic epics here.
How well I remember it as the Sequoia.
In his book, “Vintage Fresno,” Edwin M. Eaton states that the part of the building that became the Sequoia Theatre was originally opened in 1890 as the Barton Opera House. According to the author, John and Ethyl Barrymore, George M. Cohan, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillie Langtry, and many other luminaries of the day performed in the theatre. In 1937, the building was completely remodeled to accomodate the Roos Bros. store.
As a naughty teenager, I remember seeing “racy” European movies at the Fine Arts Theatre, though I do not remember its International and Mayfair Theatres incarnations.
Surprisingly, I have no memory of any Rivoli Theatre in 1950s' Fresno.
In childhood, I loved this theatre. Close to where my parents worked at Gottschalks on the Fulton Mall, I attended this theatre often. “Some Like It Hot,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” “Kismet,” “West Side Story,” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”,“Ben-Hur,” “King of Kings,” are a few of the hundreds of motion pictures that I saw at the Hardys, 1953-1969.
It must be “long” lost. I was an avid moviegoer in Fresno from 1953-1969, and this theater was already history at that point.
I remember well that Cinerama came to Fresno, California, at the Warner Cinerama Theatre. As a child, I saw “Gidget” there; “Auntie Mame,” “The Pajama Game,” and scores of other motion pictures. I remember the theatre manager, Bill Korenbrott (sp?) He once claimed that I spent almost as much time at the theatre as he. As a very young adult, I was working in advertising and publicity at Cinerama Releasing Corp., at 292 La Cienega, Beverly Hills. One day, Korenbrott walked into my office. Delighted and surprised to see one another, we chatted about the “old days” at the Warner Theatre. It didn’t become Warnor till sometime after I ankled Fresno in 1969.
In Cinerama, I remember “How The West Was Won,” “The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm,” “Cinerama Holiday,” and others in the 3-strip process, at the theatre.
How vividly I remember spending many hours in the darkness of the Tower Theater in Fresno, during the 1950s and 1960s. I spent the evening of my twelfth birthday at this theater. At my request, my parents took me there to see “Psycho.”
This is the theater where the risque Brigitte Bardot of the 50s and 60s played. Also some of the more prominent art films. I remember seeing Julie Christie in “Darling” there. Also Marilyn Monroe in “Let’s Make Love”.
Would love to hear from anyone else who remember the Tower during this time.