Larkspur Landing Cinemas

500 Larkspur Landing Circle,
Larkspur, CA 94939

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Larkspur Landing Cinemas

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Larkspur Landing Cinemas opened in August of 1978 on the edge of a new shopping center that was built on an old rock quarry site on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkspur.

Mann Theaters originally called it Festival Cinemas, and it marked the very first multiplex to be built in the Marin County area. In the early Eighties, such hits as “ET” played here, and lines would snake around the block as people waited. The Festival Cinemas was not without troubles, though, as parking lot restrictions forced the theater to not operate during the daytime on weekdays with the exception of the final week of each year. Then its operators got into a heated argument with Disney in the mid-Eighties, and no further Disney films were ever played there again. By the early Nineties, the Festival suffered from lack of maintenence, as screens started sporting rips, and numerous seats were left broken and “bagged”.

Century Theaters bought the Festival around 1999, and did a fantastic job of refurbishing the entire theater. The most dramatic change was in the front lobby, which was converted to have a more “cafe” style snack bar while also creating much more room for traffic flow. Cinemark Theaters recently bought the entire Century Theaters chain, so it has yet to be seen what, if any, further changes will take place.

After almost 30 years, Larkspur Landing Cinemas still survives with its smaller four screen operation despite the era of the megaplex.

Contributed by Christian Hansen
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