Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Aero Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built by the Donald Douglas Company in 1939, the Aero Theatre was originally opened as a continuous 24-hour movie theatre for aircraft workers who worked in shifts around the clock. It later became a beloved neighborhood theatre and has anchored the now posh Montana Avenue section of Santa Monica.

Robert Redford’s ill-fated Sundance Cinemas project was slated to take over the Aero Theatre, but pulled out after the bankruptcy of General Cinemas and its subsequent sale to AMC and it closed in 2003. The Aero Theatre was the boyhood cinema of the famous actor/director.

In January 2005, the Aero Theatre was reopened by the American Cinematheque after a $1 million dollar restoration including a new screen, sound and projection equipment, a new concession stand and reduced seating, from nearly 600 to 425. The screen is 38 feet wide and 18 feet high. The American Cinematheque also operates the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures, Jason Axe, Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 58 comments)

Cliffs on July 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm

It’s funny, but that May 2010 pic that monika just posted looks almost exactly like the 1981 pic posted on April 27, 09 by Lost Memory.

Ross Care
Ross Care on July 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Just saw a gorgeous stereo Panavision print of FIRST MEN ON THE MOON at the Aero. I LOVE this theater and what the American Cinematheque is doing there! It’s also easier access than fighting the Hollywood & Highland traffic at the Egyption.

There was also an exhibit in conjunction with a new Ray Harryhausen book at Every Picture Tells A Story across the street.

DonSolosan on July 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm

If you’re talking about “An Animated Life,” that’s several years old, but was just released in paperback.

Ross Care
Ross Care on July 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I’m not sure. They said this book was only available through Every Picture.
I was distracted by the original $4,500 Mary Blair when I was in the store!

Ross Care
Ross Care on October 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

Ken Russell & Richard Chamberlain at the Aero:
View link

Ross Care
Ross Care on October 22, 2010 at 12:08 am

Director Paul Verhoeven at the screening of STARSHIP TROOPERS at the Aero:
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

It was mentioned early on in the comments here that the exterior of the Aero is seen in the movie “Get Shorty.” In that film, the characters portrayed by John Travolta and Rene Russo are seen watching the end of Orson Welles' “Touch of Evil” in this theater. I don’t know if those interior shots were also filmed at the Aero, but a good deal of the auditorium decor can be seen.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on June 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Has been equipped with a 4K NEC projector with 3-D capability. Will run DCPs of the traditional classic fare all July…

Complete lowdown here

Ardith on September 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

Ahhh…The good old Aero where we kids used to sit scrunched down with our knees up against the seat in front, with an all day sucker watching the Saturday morning movies for 25 cents in 1952. And we have the dental fillings to prove it. Glad to see the joint is still there.

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