Clairemont Twin Theatre

4140 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard,
San Diego, CA 92117

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Clairemont - San Diego, CA

The Clairemont Theatre was opened by Stanley-Warner in 1965 as a single screen with 1,200-seats. The opening movie was “Lord Jim” starring Peter O'Toole. Around 1976 it was twinned with seating for 1,104 (552 & 552). Since closing it is now a 99 cent store.

Contributed by Robert R

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

William on July 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm

When Pacific Theatres operated this theatre the seating capacities were 552, 552.

Morris29 on November 8, 2008 at 12:39 pm

In the 60s and the 70s, I saw Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, True Grit, The Undefeated, Krakatoa East of Java, Mrs. Pollifax Spy, Soylent Green. Westworld, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Battle Beneath the Earth, The Neptune Factor, The Getaway, The Daring Dobermans, Harry in your Pocket, Latitude Zero, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Ice Station Zebra, Breakheart Pass, Billy Jack, The Born Losers, Race with the Devil, The Devil’s Rain, Fear is the Key, Vanashing Point, Grand Theft Auto, Trog, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, The Land that Time Forgot, At the Earth’s Core, Elvis On Tour, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Night of the Lepus, Sleeper, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Cold Turkey, Electra Glide in Blue, Rage, Dog Day Afternoon, What’s Up Doc?, On Any Sunday, The Posiedon Adventure, Billy Two-Hats, Emporer of the North, Tom Sawyer, Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and I can’t remember the others.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 24, 2008 at 9:07 pm

This theater is probably the one about which Boxoffice Magazine published an item in its issue of September 28, 1964. The item said that the Stanley Warner Management Company was planning a theater on a four acre site adjacent to the Clairemont Shopping Center in San Diego, and that groundbreaking would take place soon. The company was projecting an opening date of March, 1965, for the $1,000,000 project. It was to be a first-run house, equipped to handle all screen processes, and would be operated by the Stanley Warner Circuit.

missewon on July 25, 2009 at 11:45 am

I loved this theatre! I worked there from 1983-1987, but remember seeing “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” as a single screen feature when I was a youngun.

Working here was so much fun, even if the management was overwhelmingly too freakin' serious for their own good. The only thing that would’ve made this place better would’ve been if they used FRESH popcorn. Or um… if they used real butter…

I like the 99 cent store, but everytime I go there I can’t stop the memories of the great times I had there when it was a theatre.

Coate on February 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

< The Clairemont Theatre held a special place in my life as well. I grew up in Clairemont. In fact, the first movie I ever saw was at that theatre. I was four years old, and the movie was The Sound of Music, which played a whole year at that threatre. >

The Clairemont is not the San Diego theater where the year-plus engagement of “The Sound Of Music” played. That would be the Loma. Perhaps you saw it at the Clairemont during one of its re-issues.

Coate on February 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

< It was also the theatre I saw Star Wars at for the first time, first showing. I wish I knew what date that was, as I know the theatre did not show it on May 25th, opening day, but later. >

The San Diego first-run of the original “Star Wars” was at Valley Circle, where it played exclusively for 57 weeks. Perhaps you saw it at the Clairemont during one of its many re-issues.

TrailSurfer on September 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I have many fond memories of this theater. When I first moved to San Diego in 1969, I was 7 years old and we lived about a block from it.Later, we lived over on Jutland Drive and it was a second run theater where you could see a double feature and a cartoon for the tidy sum of 49 cents. My brother and I got a dollar a week for allowance, so my mom would drop us off at Rascos dime store in the Clairemont Square where we could buy candy by the bulk. We could get ¼ lb, of candy for 50 cents. Then we walked over to the theater around noon and mom picked us up around 5. Good deal for us AND Mom!

Busterkeys on November 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm

I remember when the Clairemont Theatre was built in 1965. Completion of the theatre was eagerly awaited by throngs of bored kids who had was very little to do in 1965, apart from roaming the empty fields and canyons of Clairemont When the theatre opened in 1965 tickets cost only 35 cents each. Hundreds of kids would line up outside the theatre waiting for it to open on weekends and during the summer when school was out. The theatre manager was a scowling, overweight man with a thick German accent. He ruled the theatre with an iron fist. He would grab kids who made noise during the movie or were throwing candy at other patrons by the arm and make them sit in his office until their parents came to pick them up. I remember seeing the Longest Day, Dr. Zhivago, Night of The Grizzly, The Collector, Green Berets, Follow Me, Boys, War Wagon, Casino Royale, In Like Flynt, Grand Prix, Love Bug, Fortune Cookie, Born Free, Tammy, How to Murder Your Wife, It’s a Mad, Mad World, The Longships, The Vikings, Night of the Generals, The Warlord, Krakatoa East Of Jave and many other movies during the mid to late 1960s. The most memorable incident at the theatre occurred around 1966 when an usher fell to his death while replacing burned out light bulbs in the ceiling. The usher was walking on a catwalk in a crawl space between the false ceiling and the roof when he tripped and plunged head first through the ceiling tiles to his death on the seats below. Everyone knew the location of the seats where the usher had been killed, in the center front rows, and nobody sat in those seats for years afterward. The area of the ceiling that he fell through was also evident because the replacement ceiling tiles were lighter in color than the surrounding tiles. About 1976 or 1977 the theatre was converted into two theatres and became the Clairemont Twin Theatre. The Theatre closed and remained empty for many years before being converted into a 99 Cent store.

rivest266 on April 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm

The June 29th, 1965 grand opening ad has been posted here.

dallasmovietheaters on May 3, 2019 at 6:40 pm

The $300,000 Clairemont Theatre launched in 1965 to the plans of Drew Eberson with seats for 1,200 patrons for Stanley Warner Circuit.

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