Criterion Theatre

1315 3rd Street,
Santa Monica, CA 90401

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Criterion blade sign down the street, mid `50s. Photo courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful FB page.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Criterion Theatre was opened February 2, 1924. It was closed by Mann Theatres on December 20, 1977 and was taken over by independent operators.

It was demolished, apart from the facade, and the new Mann Criterion 6 opened on June 27, 1990.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

William
William on July 27, 2007 at 11:50 pm

The Criterion played it during that time as a double feature, but the print they got was a very splicey one.

William
William on April 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm

The 1981 photo is when theatre was leased by Metropolitan Theatres along with the Cine on the Mall (aka: El Miro).

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on December 19, 2009 at 6:30 am

That linked photo that Lost Memory posted on Dec 22, 2006 is more “new” Criterion than “old” Criterion. Like the El Miro down the street, it was so modified that it earned a new page here.

nixols
nixols on December 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm

12/7/12 Santa Monica Daily Press “…The property owner of the Criterion 6 received permission in November to convert the theater into general retail…” http://www.smdp.com/amc-backs-off-theater-development/115340

Navan
Navan on April 7, 2013 at 1:24 am

a crime to this historic theater is about to take place in the form of casual permission by a city that no longer cares about its past or citizens, for the owner to demolish and convert this into more expensive stores and unaffordable condos/apartments. If they did care, they would put a stop to this and declare it a landmark. Just another nail in the coffin of downtown Santa Monica.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on April 7, 2013 at 2:06 am

Nixols and Navan, the Criterion Theatre was (mostly) demolished. The Criterion 6 which stands there now (and has its own page here, where this discussion is ongoing) is the historic facade of the old building on a brand new structure.

Also, where did you get the idea that they’re going to demolish this? The article only talks about converting the building…

ScottyA
ScottyA on June 4, 2014 at 2:18 am

I loved this theater when I was a kid! What a grand auditorium! I spent every Saturday afternoon there, seeing Disney double features. In the early ‘70s, kiddie matinees were 75 cents a ticket! Which left 25 cents to buy candy across the mall, at Woolworths.

I made one end-of-the-road visit, in the late ‘80s. Whew! By then, it was a nasty grindhouse, with men sleeping. It was so beyond hope that they didn’t even have glass in the projection booth window anymore — so you could hear the equipment clanging away. Sad.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 2, 2017 at 4:13 am

Criterion photo in this article.

https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/how-santa-monicas-third-street-became-a-promenade?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=58e06932a167da000a98ca59&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook

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