Peppertree Cinemas

10155 Reseda Boulevard,
Northridge, CA 91324

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I first came to the Peppertree Cinemas in the fall of 1986 when I began attending nearby California State University, Northridge. At the time the theater showed deep run movies for one dollar. It had three screens. This was a great bargain for a college student on a limited budget. In the parking lot was a Farrell’s (later briefly Barrell’s). This was a novelty ice cream chain that closed around 1987. A film for one dollar and then ice cream afterwards was quite the bargain.

The Peppertree Cinemas slowly raised their prices 25 cents here and there. They eventually required everyone to buy a card — for about one dollar — valid for six months to pay the cheaper price to see a film. Eventually the Peppertree Cinemas remodeled around 1990 and acquired the space next door. They built two new screens with very narrow auditoriums.

Sometime in the mid-1990’s the Peppertree Cinemas became the Five Star Cinema. It closed not long after that in the late-1990’s. A gym is now located in the space.

Contributed by David Knatcal

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

arclight
arclight on August 18, 2007 at 2:18 pm

The the last few years of its existence, it became somewhat of an art house. I remember seeing Gods & Monsters and The Wedding Banquet there. In addition, I remember 1 screen was devote to Indian films. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on December 13, 2008 at 4:09 am

I grew up in Chatsworth and saw many films here in the 70’s/80’s. This was my grandmothers favorite theater because of the prices, she was extremely thrifty. $1 admission suited her just right.
All i remember is alot of small screens with murky image and tinny sound, but a lot of fond memories of the whole area, including Farrell’s ice cream parlor and the “Okinawa Karate” center near-by where i made it to a green belt as a child!

Logan5
Logan5 on June 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

Zip code was/is 91324

nightfly
nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm

The Peppertree was a nice, small triple-plex. No great shakes, but not a bad place to watch a film. When I lived in the area (‘79-'82), the site was anchored by a Ralph’s (not Pretty Good) Grocery, and the Peppertree was flanked, if I recall correctly, by a tiny disco and a health-food store and restaurant that served lots of sandwiches with avocado and alfalfa sprouts on thick, whole-grain bread. The Farrell’s was at the south end of the parking lot.

sconnell1
sconnell1 on January 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I saw “Heat” there on March 17, 1997. That’s the one with DeNiro, and Pacino.

shatter
shatter on August 3, 2010 at 10:25 am

I remember going there around ‘89 or '90 when I was attending CSUN and dating a girl who lived in Northridge. She thought I was the ultimate cheapskate for taking her there. Whatever. The announcement on the phone advertised the “real butter” on their “fresh popcorn”…not a great theater by any means and a lot of brats running around on the sticky floors from what I recall.

Shane
Shane on August 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Actually Dennis it was Grandpa (Stanley Livingston) who owned it and your Dad who was the projectionist-Assistant Manager he also was the first Projectionist. Dennis Sr. worked their before Grandpa took it over.

When Mr Robert Lippert Sr. passed on November 16,1976 he bequeathed Grandpa ½ ownership of the Americana on Van Nuys Blvd in Panorama City with the other half going to Mr. Robert Lippert Jr. Lippert Jr. Inhereted the rest of the Lippert chain of theaters of 162 In-Door Theaters including 21 Drive-in Theaters.

The Americana was doing so well that Lippert Jr. bought Grandpa out giving him cash and the sole ownership of the Peppetree 3 theater which was only a couple of miles from Grandpas home. With Grandpa and and your dad making the Peppertree one of the best Independent chains around. Grandpa sold the Theater to move to Vegas because Grandma was sick and wanted to retire to Vegas.

secretpuppy
secretpuppy on December 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Actually the Peppertree Theater was owned by Stan, Dolores, Lauren, and Cate Livingston. Dennis Sr. was the Projectionist . I worked their from the beginning up til it was sold. And know the family very well. And knew them better than any of their estranged relatives. Shane, your info is right on! Also, Dennis Sr did not have any part in the sale of ownership. That is a falsity. Please get your facts straight before you print stuff. The theater sold in 1986 when Dolores got sick and they retired to Las Vegas. Dennis Sr was no longer working for them at that time. He was only the Assistant mgr. Not part owner.

dennislivingston
dennislivingston on September 26, 2012 at 2:25 am

@secretpuppy – not sure who you are, but your comments and incorrect posts seem to have a bit of anger behind them, not sure why!? But if you were that close to my grandparents I’m not sure why you would keep your name withheld in a comment that clearly is false and inaccurate.

Anyway, to set the record straight, I’m Dennis Jr. one of Stan’s grandchildren and I was actively involved in my grandparents life on a regular basis. My sister and I were frequently visible at the Peppertree on the weekends and helped out when needed. I spent long days and nights there not only with my grandfather but with my dad as he prepared and spliced movies as they were delivered for viewing. Not sure who your referring to when you mention “estranged relatives” but Shane and I know who the “estranged realitives” were and why. Anywhy, The Peppertree was willed to my late father when Mr. Lippert passed. He thought of my father as a son and didn’t have a very good relationship with his own. I have a copy of the will and deed that my father left after he passed in Sept. 1992 in Las Vegas. My grandfather, Stan took over the financial aspect of the business considering my father was involved in other activities outside of the business that my family and especiallly my grandfather didn’t condone. My mother, Tina maintained the books and payroll for a short period of time. My aunts, Lori and Cathy Livingston didn’t have ANY financial interest in the Peppertree what so ever. So your post, again is incorrect. Also my aunts and uncles on my mom’s side all were employed at one time or another by my father and grandfather. I don’t remember any one employee being employed from the begining until the Peppertree was sold in 1997.
Please be respectfull when blogging about my family and our family business. The Peppertree and its success made a lot of things in life possible for my sister, my parents and I and gave financial freedom for my grandparents to have a rewarding life together. I started this blog for customers and friends of my late family to post their memories, good times and personal relationships they had with my deceased family.

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