Azteca Theatre

214 N. Maclay Avenue,
San Fernando, CA 91340

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Rennie's Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Rennie’s Theatre was opened in 1925. In the early-1960’s it was operating as the Crest Theatre. It was still open as a movie theatre in the San Fernando Valley as of January 20, 1980, showing Spanish language films and re-named Azteca Theatre. Now operating as the Praise Chapel Christian Fellowship.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 7, 2007 at 1:05 am

This was known as the Crest Theater in 1963.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 8, 2007 at 10:44 pm

In Southwest Builder & Contractor, issue of 1 August, 1941, there is an announcement that Clifford Balch has made plans for a theatre on Maclay Avenue for Maude L. and John T. Rennie.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 15, 2008 at 3:22 am

The San Fernando Redevelopment Agency discussed plans to renovate the building back in June 2006. I don’t know if anything became of that.
http://tinyurl.com/59eo4s

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 4, 2008 at 7:30 am

There are some renovation photos on the church website:
http://tinyurl.com/3jxl3b

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on November 18, 2008 at 6:09 am

The Azteca is presently undergoing a complete remodeling, and it is unlikely that anything from the past will remain. Yesterday, part of the word “Azteca” was visible on one outside wall, but that too will soon be gone. We managed to go inside and talk to a few of the guys doing the work. It’s going to become a live venue. There’s a stage, and lighting already in place. It also appears that they enclosed and leveled off the balcony.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 24, 2009 at 12:29 am

Here is a part of a long article on Spanish-language theaters in the LA Times on December 31, 1984:

The line outside the Azteca Theater in San Fernando begins to form when the Spanish-language Mass ends at a church less than a mile away. Family after family arrived Sunday, close to 900 people eventually filing through the theater doors to see the double feature-“Nino Pobre, Nino Rico” and “Alla en Plaza Garibaldi.”

Move passers-by cannot read what is advertised on the marquee-the titles mean “Rich Boy, Poor Boy” and “There at Plaza Garibaldi”-and probably have not bought a ticket from the box office in 17 years, when English-language films last played inside. But for the area’s large Latino population, the Azteca, along with six other Spanish-language movie theaters, is a regular part of life.

The huge theaters, with heavy red or gold drapes covering the screens and auditoriums triple the size found in most modern cinema complexes, each weekend attract thousands of patrons-people able to turn a double feature into a mini-fiesta, and who seem to attend the show faithfully regardless of which movie is playing.

“When we bought the Fox, it was nothing”, said Jorge Bueno, who heads the company that for five years has operated the 660-seat Spanish-language theater on Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys. “It had been vacant for three or four months. Before that it couldn’t survive with those 99-cent action and kiddie films.”

The Lankershim Theater in North Hollywood had previously shown adult films, a theater in Chatsworth had been vacated and thee other movie houses played host to hundreds of empty seats every night, operators said. Of the seven Spanish-language theaters in the Valley, four are run by Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which operates 30 Spanish-language and 28 English-language theaters in Southern California. The Azteca in San Fernando and the Cinema 76 in Chatsworth are independently operated. The Fox is one of nine Spanish-language theaters operated by J. Bueno Corp.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on June 21, 2010 at 7:39 am

Wonder what ever happened to Cinema 76!

Looks like whoever was doing remodeling, judging from the photo on GoogleMaps, ran out of money. “Azteca” is still there.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on August 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm

MagicLantern, you must have been looking at an old photo. The street view now is dated 2011, and the name is gone.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 21, 2014 at 1:58 am

Now that I’ve seen photos of the Azteca Theatre, and the Town (Centre) Theatre has been added, with an approximate opening year of 1942, I suspect that the project that Clifford Balch designed for the Rennies in 1941 was the Town Theatre, which was referred to as Rennie’s Towne Theatre at least once in The Film Daily.

A history of the San Fernando Hardware Company Building (PDF here), which was designed by Edward J. Borgmeyer in 1925, says that Borgmeyer also designed the Rennie Theatre, which had opened earlier that year. Although the paper doesn’t cite a source for the claim, it does seem plausible. Before its remodeling, the theater definitely had the look of the mid-1920s, and Borgmeyer was a well-known theater architect by 1925.

Interestingly, Borgmeyer had designed another movie theater in San Fernando almost a decade earlier. The project was noted in the May 13, 1916, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer. So far I’ve been unable to find the name of that theater or any details about it.

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