Cornell Theatre

1212 N. San Fernando Boulevard,
Burbank, CA 91504

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Showing 1 - 25 of 27 comments

drb
drb on December 21, 2011 at 2:57 am

Just to give a better idea of exactly where this was, you can see the sign in the background here: http://wesclark.com/burbank/san_fern_rd_zodys.jpg

The Zody’s in the foreground is now K-Mart. The Cornell is two blocks away at, not surprisingly, Cornell Street.

hondo59
hondo59 on December 20, 2011 at 4:16 am

Hi Art,

That was me in NJ. I saw Josey and Chino at the Cornell. There was a pretty good size crowd that night. My parents and I were driving around the country in August of 1976. We stayed at a motel closeby (almost across the street) and we had a free evening so we took in two of our favorite actors. I have the ticket stubs to this day. I can’t believe it’s so long ago. I was sad to see a K-mart or something like that in its place. Double features were common then at the 2nd run theaters. What a way to catch up on movies! I hope you enjoyed the Wiltern. I’m sorry we didn’t get to go there as I know it’s a beautiful building.

aracinggrace
aracinggrace on July 22, 2011 at 5:29 am

I am looking for a Bill Darnell that use to hang out there in 1968-69. He rode a motorcycle and knew Dona Fleming.

Art1956
Art1956 on June 15, 2011 at 6:22 am

Someone mentioned seeing the double feature of Outlaw Josey Wales and Chino at the Cornell in 1976. I remember seeing the same double feature at the Wiltern in 1976. What great memories.Here’s a good link about the Cornell and other Burbank theatres of days gone by.

http://www.jbhs1967.com/burbanktheaters/Cornelltheater.htm

blauble
blauble on March 12, 2011 at 3:58 am

I grew up and Burbank and have many memories of the Cornell. We used to go in to watch a movie on Saturday morning and sometimes stay thru 2 showings all for 49 cents. Saw my first James Bond (Thunderball) on one of those Saturdays. Because the Cornell was such a big part of our teenage lives, BHS class of 73 group pic was taken out front.

scoie71
scoie71 on December 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

My Father managed the Cornell in the 70’s. His name was Tom Kalcoff. I was excited to see people talk about the Theatre I grew up in. I saw Jaws there and many other movies. When it closed down I remember we were all very sad. They built condos and a mini mall on the site. What a waste.. to a beautiful Burbank landmark. I was “as” devastated when they shut the doors on Big Dons Arcade as well. The old Burbank I grew up in.. how I miss it!

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on June 18, 2010 at 12:21 am

Now a pretty little avocado green strip mall.

tubbytwo
tubbytwo on January 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm

The street has always been BLVD. It’s RD in Glendale and Sun Valley. If you see BLVD on a map, it’s wrong. Common mistake.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 3, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Here is another ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/6pqsz9

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 13, 2007 at 4:01 am

Here is a January 1955 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/34kpvj

kendalloei
kendalloei on June 8, 2007 at 7:22 pm

The Cornell brings back so many memories. Used to buy strange toys from the vending machine in the men’s room like a doll that blows smoke rings and a little, treasure chest. Used to buy bullion soup from the concession stand. I used to love staring at the ceiling, which had stars painted on it. But the odd thing was that the a/c vents must never have been cleaned, because there were long veils of dust that reached half way across the ceiling. I remember seeing the following movies there:
Swiss Family Robinson X6
Dumbo
Bambi
The Sting
The Great Waldo Pepper
Jaws/Giant Spider Invasion
Robin Hood (Disney animated)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Rooster Cogborn
Friends
Logan’s Run
Gone in 60 Seconds

Man! I miss the Cornell! When I win the lottery, I’m gonna build the Cornell and Marlindo Lanes back exactly as I remember them!

Lavarus
Lavarus on May 10, 2007 at 9:24 pm

I was born in Burbank, and lived there my first five years in a house on Beachwood, just off Burbank Blvd., from 1969-‘74.

Although very young, memories of going to the Cornell and seeing a variety of films (usually Disney movies) are very strong. Saw several animated features, like Bambi, along with a couple of Herbie The Love Bug movies. Can remember how sticky the floor always was—a permanent condition I could never understand.

Even after moving to nearby Sun Valley, Mom & I would still catch occasional flicks at the Cornell up until the time it closed for “remodeling.” What a cruel joke that turned out to be.

But I’ll always remember it as my very first movie theater.

MBentz
MBentz on March 21, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Oh my gosh. What great memories. My brother and I used to come here on Saturday’s when we were kids in the early 70s. We’d each get to bring a friend. Mom would drop us off and then pick us up about four hours later…after a double feature. Which got us thinking…does anyone out there remember, in 1973 what film was showing with The Legend Of Hell House? For some goofy reason we have this stuck in our heads and we really want to remember what played with. Also saw “The Sting” there. I loved that place.

edgwlkr
edgwlkr on February 7, 2007 at 9:48 pm

I met my first wife at the Cornell in 1957. She worked at the snack bar and I was there with friends to see a sneek preview. This month, February, we will celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary. Next month, March, we will have been together for 50 years. The Cornell has to be the greatest theater in the world, at least for me. It may be gone but the memories are still here. Any of you sit on the left side of the theater on Friday or Saturday nights as a teenager…?? Oh yeah, the first wife thing… My first and only wife…. Thank you Burbank. Thank you Cornell. Thank you Jeanne. Paulie Still Luvs Ya……

DamonC
DamonC on May 17, 2006 at 9:21 pm

I recall seeing the original “Jaws” at that theater. I must have been 6 or 7 at the time. I don’t remember seeing many more movies but recall the theater being so HUGE, but everything is larger to a kid I guess. Sticky floors… that I’ll never forget.

It was a sad day when the wrecking ball came to town for the Cornell. I remember the strip mall being built on the new vacant land… One of the first businesses to inhabit that mall was “VIDEO DEPOT”. This must have been around 1982/83… this was one of the first video rental places in Burbank when Betamax and VHS were the options of tape format for watching movies at home.

I left Burbank after high school in the late 80’s but return to visit the folks. Nice to know that Tommy’s and Shakey’s are still around on San Fernando Rd. Pioneer Chicken has been replaced with Popeyes (I think).

drb
drb on February 26, 2006 at 11:48 am

In one of the later photos at the Bijou Memories link above, you can see the sign from Pioneer Chicken, which is now Popeye’s, peeking out from behind the Cornell. The current Cornell site is now the Exotic Thai restaurant, Pizza Hut, Rocky’s Fish & Chicken, and a few other assorted businesses.

tessi
tessi on November 15, 2005 at 4:27 pm

C-O-R-N-E-L-L-….CORNELL..
First word i learned to spell..over and over i would repeat it..
Taco Bell then off to the Movie ..took a paper sack in with goodies to supplement what we got at the stand…allways bought a set of magnitic dogs from the vending machine….i just found this site today and just discovered my place no longer exists..i Remember going there with my Grandfather many times to see the NEW Movies ,BAMBI,UNCLE TOMS CABIN,ECT….
No other walk ins has ever compared to this one in my Heart..
Tessi
lost in great memories .
Thank You…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 4, 2005 at 7:41 am

Burgundy soda was sold from the soft drink machine at the Garfield Theatre in Alhambra, too. I hadn’t thought about that in ages, but I used to buy it every time I went to a movie there, as that was the only place I knew of where it was available. It had a nice, subtle grape flavor, not as sweet as the concord grape based sodas that were more common in those days, as I recall. Heh. I guess I was a budding wine snob, even at twelve years old. I remember now that I used to wish that I could get burgundy soda outside the theatre, because I thought it would make a great flavor for a float. Thanks for the reminder of a long forgotten delight, Watcher.

allmmm
allmmm on October 4, 2005 at 3:14 am

Actually K-Mart didn’t take over the Cornell site.

To the left of where the Cornell Theater stood, towards Mr. Big Burger, McCambridge Park and Scott Rd., is Tommys Burgers, which in 1967 was a Der Wienerschnitzel, then on the corner is Shakey’s Pizza, then traveling South across the street from Shakey’s on the next block is where the Cornell Theater sat, now a strip mall with a dry cleaners, beuty shop and Ti Vegetarian Restaurant. To the right of which and on the corner is Popeye’s Chicken, previously a KFC. Across the street from Popeye’s on the next block is Ralph’s Supermarket which used to be a Hughes Market and in the 1960’s was a McDonald’s Market (no connection to the restaurant).
Then on the next block is Big-K, which in the 1960’s-1970’s was a Zody’s Department Store. The giant “graham-cracker”-textured facing which originated with Zody’s can still be seen on the front of Big-K, but painted over.

As for the Cornell Theater, in the early 1960’s you could buy a Burgundy Soda Pop from a cup dispensing machine as a non-alcohol substitute for sophisticates, or a comb, a hankerchief or a cigarette holder from the vending machine inside the Men’s Room. The cigarette machine was within easy access of any teen and the tough kids were always around on a Saturday night in the mid-late 1960’s.

Through the mid-1960’s the local McDonald’s Restaurant sponsored free kids/teen Saturday matinees with special red coupons available from the restaurant while admission was $0.50 with a valid John Muir Student I.D.
I used mine to see Michael Antonioni’s Blow-Up uncut in 1967.

Arnold

Senorsock
Senorsock on February 5, 2005 at 1:05 am

Pictures of the theater, lobby cards and more information on this lost California theater can be found at:
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 21, 2004 at 11:42 am

I have only just realized, looking at the photograph, that I went to this theatre once. I was about six years old. We were visiting friends of my parents who lived in Burbank, one Saturday afternoon. The adults decided to send all of us kids off to the movies for the afternoon. I remember that there were multiple cartoons, and that one of the movies on the double bill was Disney’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The pumpkin scared the hell out of me. I remember coming out of the theatre after the show, and seeing the blinding afternoon sunlight of a hot summer day glinting off the marquee. The Cornell must have been only about two or three years old then. It was a splendid theatre. How sad to know that it’s gone.

bimsie01
bimsie01 on June 23, 2004 at 11:31 pm

I lived in Sun Valley,a small suburb next to Burbank during my youth,and my first bus trips by myself as a tween and teen were always to the Cornell Theatre.I remember those great double bills(I miss those!)–“Jaws"and "The Great Spider Invasion”,“The Passenger” and “All The Presidents Men"and a hundred more just like them.The floor was always sticky,the ceiling was enormous(was it a dome?I think so….)and the screen looked a mile high.I can trace my lifelong love of movies directly to an overstuffed seat on all those hot summer afternoons.

crapshot
crapshot on May 7, 2004 at 3:10 pm

I use to live on Scott Rd right next to the theatre and the Kmart was one block south of the theatre. I lived in burbank for 17 years and saw many flicks their. I was bummed when the theatre was torn down and havnt been to the area since 1980. Hate to think that a place of history was replaced by an upgraded Kmart. Wasnt aware that a Kmart could be upgraded.

frank
frank on May 5, 2004 at 3:33 pm

The Cornell was a beautiful place. I saw a double feature here with my parents in August 1976 when we were on vacation (from NJ). The double feature was Clint Eastwood’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and Charles Bronson in “Chino”. When I visited the site in 1997, a Big K-mart had replaced it.
I still have the ticket stubs.