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One year the Visalia Grand dipped it’s toes into foreign language films. While the bulk of the week was sub run or Spanish, they ran an “art film” one or two nights mid-week. (Wed-Thursday?)
I saw Kurosawa’s High and Low there. A 1963 film.
I would correct the opening to December 1975. I remember buying the first ticket and the film was Sam Peckinpah’s The Killer Elite which had it’s national release 12/19/75. I kept the ticket stub which was number 000001.
After having downtown theaters with 1200 to 2000 seats and more recent neighborhood houses like the 890 seat Tower and 980 seat single screen Manchester, Fresno in 1971 found itself saddled with this little concrete bunker with 4 screens with 190, 280, 340, and 190.
What I don’t see listed here is the nearby UA Movies 4 which opened 4 years later in December 1975 with Sam Peckinpah’s Killer Elite. It was easy to confuse the two 4-plexes as one was the UA Cinemas on Blackstone Ave just south of Barstow and the other was the UA Movies on Barstow Ave just east of Blackstone Ave. The more recent Movies 4 had two larger houses that were in the 400-500 seat range.
According to a Variety listing, late in 2000 the house record for the Orpheum was broken by the pre-Broadway tour of the London musical “Mamma-Mia”. The show grossed over a million dollars a week.