United Artists Torrance

2735 Pacific Coast Highway,
Torrance, CA 90505

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The UA Torrance was located on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Crenshaw Boulevard. This was a rather non-descript, bland-looking theatre that seated about 600 in a short but wide auditorium.

Contributed by Dennis Pierce

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on September 2, 2006 at 7:21 am

This was a great theater and had a huge screen. I worked at the UA Del Amo 1972-1973 also during the Rolling Hills murders. I knew Al Lee. The photo linked above indeed shows the now converted theater building to the left of Circuit City. The theater entrance and lobby were on the corner of the building closest to PCH but I also remember only one lane of parking so that part may have been shortened. The other offices are still there. After entering the front doors, there was a waiting area with benches on the street side and the box office on the right. You would then proceed through another set of doors directly in front of the snack bar then make a hard right to enter the auditorium which faced North behind the offices. The small building on the corner was always a fast food joint (Arby’s at one time I think) and on the other side of the bank building there was a small street marquee barely big enough to display the title of the film. Another wraparound marquee went down the PCH side of the building. Except for some starburst shaped light fixtures on the auditorium walls it was simply a box but what a screen. Two poster cases were to the right of the entrance doors.

While the Rolling Hills across the street played the Disney stuff, at the UA I saw “Bonnie and Clyde”, “The Odd Couple” (single bills in the ‘60s), “Bikini Beach”, “The Green Berets”, “The Graduate”, “Fantastic Voyage”, “For a Few Dollars More”, “The Hot Rock”, “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3”, “Our Man Flint”, “Once Upon a Time in the West” and many others. The last film I remember seeing here was “Once Upon a Time in America” in 1984.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on October 3, 2006 at 2:15 pm

OK, I drove past the old location and either this building has been drastically altered or the theater building was demolished and another built. The end of the current structure is definitely much farther away from PCH than the theater was. If it’s the same building it’s beyond recognition.

tonyo2448
tonyo2448 on October 5, 2006 at 11:58 am

The theater end of the structure was torn down in the late 80’s. As for the structure seen in the arial photo, I believe it was the northern end of the old theater building or directly adjacent to it and was renovated again recently to accomodate a spa and a couple of resturants.

KelleyHodgetts
KelleyHodgetts on September 29, 2008 at 2:07 am

I worked at UA Torrance as the house manager under Al Lee from late 1975 to 1977.
Anyone at this sight from that time period?

KimReynolds
KimReynolds on December 2, 2008 at 1:45 pm

So many midnight movies. I remember the nurse on duty for those with weak hearts.

LawMann
LawMann on December 15, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Hi Kelley, I remember you. Local 150 used to send me there to work in projectionist Joe Gillams place many times. I worked there on and off in late 1975. Do you remember MASH, Bananas, Young Frankenstein and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest that was shown there during that time?

oopie
oopie on February 1, 2010 at 12:25 am

I worked at this theatre as a teenager up unitl the the last week. This was a truly great theatre with curtains that opened at the beginning of the movie, a balcony, and 600 or more seats. I loved working there and was sad when they closed it and demolished half of it. The last movie to play there was the “Untouchables”…it played there for almost three months.

mongo1018
mongo1018 on February 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I went to a party in 1973 with my brother and my wife to be. It was being given by the man who turned the murderer of the Rolling Hills Theatre people as well as 2 more the very next night at the Thrifty drug store on Yukon in Torrance. the murderer committed suicide in jail. The informant was involved with 2 bikers being stabbed to death outside a bar in Hermosa earlier,The papers all implicated 2 people being involved with these murders but only one was accused of the crime. my personal involvement in this story always made me wonder about that 2nd suspect. By the way they were all killed by a knife by having their throats cut by the cowardly scum that did this

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on April 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm

The first film to play this theater was “Toys in the Attic” and a sneak preview. In attendance were Chuck Connors, Chill Wills and George Peppard among others. This house, the Rolling Hills Theater and the FOX Palos Verdes all opened about the same time.

cali70s
cali70s on February 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I lived within a few blocks of the UA Torrance Theatre, at the time of the robbery-murders in the late 70s. Very sad and scary. Loved the Rolling Hills Plaza..The Parasol Restaurant, and Revel’s bakery..which I work a few weeks for, and found a higher paying job.

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