Cinema 21

1440 Hotel Circle North,
San Diego, CA 92108

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Cinema 21 Theatre-San Diego

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in July 1963 with “55 Days at Peking”. Closed by the Mann Theatre chain in September 1998. After closing, served as a church and sporting goods store before being torn down to build rather ugly condos.

Contributed by Gabriel Neeb

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

imaxman on June 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I worked as a projectionist thru the Smokey Bandit series and a few more pictures, also when we upgraded from carbon arcs to zenon lamphouse during a B/W Woody Allen picture. When I retire in 3 months I will link a bunch of San Diego booth photos. IMAXJack

kagemusha98 on June 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

I grew up in San Diego during the 60’s and remember going to see the opening film at the Cinema 21 ( Originally part of “Statewide theatre chain….then FOX West Coast….then Mann theaters……55 DAYS AT PEKING. I used to write down every movie I saw there…..I found my partial list… here…not in necessarily in order are films that played at Cinema 21….. THE VIPS…IRMA LA DOUCE…TOM JONES. …THE CARPETBAGGERS…..MOVE OVER DARLING….TAKE HER SHE’S MINE….WHAT A WAY TO GO!….WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT?……THE PINK PANTHER…..SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL….36 HOURS….A SHOT IN THE DARK….TEN COMMANDMENTS (re-release)….HARPER…MARRIAGE ON THE ROCKS….HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE….FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX….ZORBA THE GREEK…..DARLING…..DOCTOR DOOLITTLE……DO NOT DISTURB….THE SANDPIPER….THE COMEDIANS…..TWO FOR THE ROAD…WAIT UNTIL DARK…….THE RED TENT….THE ANDERSON TAPES…..ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER……WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?….THE LION IN WINTER…..INSIDE DAISY CLOVER..LOVE STORY.. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS ( re release..cut version)..MIDNIGHT COWBOY..IS PARIS BURNING?..THE SAND PEBBLES….HAROLD AND MAUDE…PAINT YOUR WAGON….GODFATHER…..THE GODFATHER II…CHARIOTS OF FIRE. I spent many hours making copies of the San Diego Tribune movie section at the main library in downtown SD.( late 50’s—-60’s and early 70’s) Fun too look at all those great ads! I also worked at the Vally Circle…from 69-74.

plinfesty on July 2, 2011 at 12:40 am

Pictures and details of the Cinema 21 can be found in this Boxoffice Magazine 1964 issue:

Logan5 on February 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

I understand that MGM held a sneak preview of “Logan’s Run” somewhere in San Diego on Friday, May 7, 1976. Does anyone know which theatre? I wonder if it was Cinema 21, since sneaks for other films were held here in the ‘70s-'80s including “Blade Runner” in '82. Anybody know?

rivest266 on April 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

July 19th, 1963 grand opening ad has been posted here.

Tinseltoes on July 21, 2012 at 6:53 am

Featured on the front cover of this trade journal in January, 1964: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on July 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

Descriptive article in same issue: Boxoffice

zeussd on February 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I worked here from 1991 to 1997, and was a manager from 1994 – 1997. I’ve added a photo of the front of the theatre from the parking lot. (1995 – movie was SEVEN) I also have a large set of pictures from the 1992-1993 flood which I may post later. That flood was just as bad as the one in 1978, and I can confirm that Superman moved from here to the Loma theatre.

LomaUsher on March 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The Cinema 21 was also notably flooded during the epic rains of 1983. The normally minuscule San Diego River put the whole floor of Mission Valley under water, and I believe the water nearest the screen was upwards of six feet deep. It survived the flood, but not the video revolution.

Logan5 on September 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

“The Rocketeer” showed at the Cinema 21 in 70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo SR beginning on Friday June 21, 1991 (the film’s nationwide release date).

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