Cinema

1155 E. Clark Avenue,
Orcutt, CA 93455

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This was a stand alone, single screen theatre that opened on June 1, 1965, in the Oak Knolls shopping center located in Orcutt. It ran first run features initially, and then as the years progressed it was sold to the Pussycat Theatre chain.

I spoke to a former manager, and he said that there were people picketing the theatre, and one of the local clergyman showed up to talk the owner in to showing G-rated films. It didn’t go to well, as the owner kicked the man all the way down the stairs! True Story! It was closed sometime around 1979 or 1980.

It is currently an Ace Hardware store. When you enter the store, to the right are the stairs to the projection booth area. It still has a feel of an abandoned movie theatre.

Contributed by David Sorensen

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on October 22, 2005 at 12:06 pm

The Peppertree Plaza theater in the north end of Santa Maria would occasionally show X-rated product in the 1970’s as well.

X-rated fare in this part of California has had significant opposition from law enforcement &/or religious groups in the past. In the early 1980’s, Pussycat bought a building (whose previous use was as a meeting hall) right outside the city limits of San Luis Obispo. After a month of showing foreign language films, they turned it to a porn house. Within a week, it got raided by the sheriff. It reopened again shortly thereafter trying to show porn only to be raided again & shut for good by the sheriff. The second time it was open about 3 days.

Around 1982, the Central Coast Theater in Pismo Beach tried showing XXX films at midnight shows. A local pastor organized a group and picketed the theater for about 2 months, and the theater decided not to show those films anymore. That same pastor then targeted stores that sold “pornographic” magazines and got many stores in the area to not sell Playboy, Penthouse, etc.

Today, there is one strip club in Santa Maria called Spearmint Rhinos.

bonnach
bonnach on January 27, 2007 at 7:37 pm

I remember standing in a long line as a kid to see Airport there. It was also pretty large, about as large as the Fremont in San Luis Obispo. In the early 70s it was pretty inexpensive for kids to get in. I know I was able to have a lot of allowance left over after my Saturday morning jaunt to the Cinema.

They had a pretty eclectic selection of films there over the years. They would have film series on different themes during the summers and, of course, kiddie flicks. So many great memories of the Cinema…

decoteau
decoteau on July 17, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Interesting article on PUSSYCAT….

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 10, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I missed out on this one the other day. We drove from San Luis Obispo to LA on Highway 1. I caught the Royal in Guadalupe, but I saw the left turn sign for Orcutt, too late, just before we did a stretch on the 135. I had a hunch that there was an old theater in Orcutt. Maybe next time.

JayAllenSanford
JayAllenSanford on August 8, 2008 at 10:20 am

New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
View link

danwhitehead1
danwhitehead1 on August 12, 2008 at 11:13 am

This is one of the few houses owned by Walnut/Pussycat to which I was never sent and never even saw. There was another in, I think, Eagle Rock.

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