Edwards Huntington Cinema
18543 Main Street,
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Edwards Huntington Cinema opened on December 25, 1964 with the movie “Goodbye Charlie”. This was Edwards' second county location, opening a few years after the Edwards Cinema in Costa Mesa. James Edwards II is probably better known as the founder of the modern Edwards chain that began in 1963 and grew to include 850 screens at 90 locations before its bankruptcy in 2000 and subsequent purchase by Regal Entertainment, which occurred after Mr. Edwards' passing.
After coming out of retirement, this was Edward’s second act as an exhibitor as he previously built up a chain in the Los Angeles suburbs beginning in the 1930s that lasted until his first retirement in the early 1960s, although he still retained control of some of these venues.
The 1,000-seat Huntington Cinema, whose architecture could be best described as Googie, was called in the opening day ad as “The newest and most modern theatre in America”. In the 1980’s the theatre was twinned, with two auditoriums of less than 500, and thereafter became known as the Huntington Twin Cinema.
Its last day of operation began on April 9, 1998, but it was probably no big loss to the Edwards chain as the same week they opened Aliso Viejo 20 in south Orange County.
Today some of the original exterior design elements of the theatre can be seen in its new life as an Old Navy clothing store. The “Huntington” portion of their signage was donated to Huntington Beach High School, about a mile and a half away, and can be seen above the entrance to the gymnasium.
A photo, which mistakenly locates the theater as being in Huntington Park, can be seen on the Los Angeles Public Library web site (lapl.org) in their photo collection.
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