Eastland 5 Theatres

2504 E. Workman Avenue,
West Covina, CA 91791

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Back in the 70’s and 80’s this was the place to go, if you wanted to see a new release in 70mm. Screens 1, 2, and 3 were all equipped to screen 6 track Dolby stereo, 70mm films. Three large auditoriums with giant clean screens and good Dolby sound. I do remember one auditorium, it might have been theater 5, it was so small, that were you walked into it, you felt like you were inside a closet with a screen.

In the 80’s when most of the new releases would come out in 70mm, most of the time, the Eastland would present them in 70mm. Films that I saw there in 70mm included “Close Encounters”, “Tron”, “Die Hard”, and one of the many re-releases of “Star Wars”.

The Eastland was demolished in February 2006.

Contributed by Roy Gonzales

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

ManhattanMovieBuff
ManhattanMovieBuff on March 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm

The Eastland opened in 1961, with the John Wayne movie, “The Comancheros.” I went to junior high and high school with the daughter of the theater’s owner. It was a terrific theater — Doris Day romantic comedies played there, as did movies direct from roadshows in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. “The Sound of Music” and “Doctor Zhivago” seemed like they kept coming back to the Eastland. I even saw “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” there. When it opened, the admission price was slightly higher than that at the musty old Covina Theatre (which showed “Dr. No” and Jerry Lewis' “The Nutty Professor” on a double feature, I vividly remember). I am very sorry to read of the demise of the Eastland, but I am not surprised. Perhaps my favorite movie there: “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.” Since I left West Covina (at age 17, in 1969), I’ve been a movie critic, film historian and entertainment editor — all in New York City. But I owe a lot to what I saw as a kid in West Covina.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2009 at 1:06 am

The Eastland Center neighborhood suffered some long delays before it got its movie house. A local exhibitor named Sid Pink had plans to build a 1000 seat theater there as early as 1956, according to the April 7, 1956, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, which said that ground was to be broken soon for the new theater.

Then the March 3, 1958, issue of Boxoffice published a drawing of Sid Pink’s new 1,100 seat theater, with a caption saying it was “…now being built.” The announcement was a bit premature, it seems.

When construction of the Eastland Theatre really began at last, in 1961, it was a project of the Sanborn Theatres circuit. I guess everybody got tired of waiting for Sid Pink to get his show on the road.

Here is a PDF file of the Winter, 1992, issue of SoCal Cinemas' house organ, with a brief article about the 30th anniversary celebration for the Eastland Theatre, which was held on November 21 that year. It mentions that Jayne Mansfield had made a personal appearance for the Eastland’s opening night.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on February 13, 2009 at 2:28 am

Turns out that The Temple Of Doom did play in 70mm, but the run didn’t start until August 31st.

matineeidol
matineeidol on August 12, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Saw FATAL ATTRACTION here in ‘87, and THE DEAD POETS SOCIETY two years later. Does anyone remember Joe Pirrelli, who was an usher here in the late 80s? Lol, I had a crush on him!

histfan71
histfan71 on October 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Hey matineeidol, I know Joe! You can contact me at for more info.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 19, 2010 at 1:49 am

Here is a May 1970 ad from the Pomona Progress-Bulletin:
http://tinyurl.com/ygnmmk6

LebowskiT1000
LebowskiT1000 on June 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm

When did this theater stop showing films? I see it was demolished in 2006, but I assume it was dormant for a while between shut down and demolition.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Described as West Covina’s first cinema in this 1963 trade article: Boxoffice

uklee
uklee on April 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I was working on an old VW bus I imported from California to the UK and found a used cinema ticket stub for Eastland. Did some Googling and found myself here :) I wonder what the ticket holder watched ? it has an issue number 138330 although I don’t suppose there are any records :|

LebowskiT1000
LebowskiT1000 on May 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm

uklee, take a pic of it and post it on this site. :)

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