Cinema 21

1440 Hotel Circle N.,
San Diego, CA 92108

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Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments

neeb on December 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

kagemusha98, Do you have some of those flyers? I’d love to get a look at them.

There was a similar issue when THE DEVILS played at the Cinema Grossmont. I had to look up the Daily Aztec to confirm that it was indeed THE DEVILS and not something else.

kagemusha98 on December 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm

We played A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and we had to leave flyers all over the city as the film was X rated.

kagemusha98 on December 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I worked at the Valley Circle from 1969-1973. What memories . A few years ago I spent days at the downtown San Diego Public library copying movie sections from the SD Union and Tribune.

RSM3853 on November 18, 2017 at 8:38 am

Attn: neeb Thank you ever so much for your research. Very helpful to those of us who live somewhere where the San Diego papers aren’t available on microfilm…I have had to ILL them in, here in Pittsburgh, PA. Regarding the missing ads for August 13, 1969 through December 23, 1969…the papers at one point refused to carry ads for X-rated films any more, and since the Cinema 21 was a mainstream theater, I am guessing (not really sure)that all of those missing weeks were the San Diego premiere engagement of Midnight Cowboy, which started out as being X-rated, before being resubmitted and lowered to an R. Alas, there were some mainstream non-pornographic films in those years (1968-1980s)that were art but were still rated X and whose advertising was not permitted by conservative editorial policies.

rnorton on June 21, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Hey Zubi. I worked at the 21 from early 1982 (Chariots of Fire) until Silverado. I started as an usher and worked my way up to Asst. Manager. I remember the flood of ‘82. We had to remove the seats from the first 8-10 rows as the water was rising. I was part of the leftover beer with Mickey – Pressl was pretty upset. Mike G. worked there when I started.

Zubi on May 16, 2017 at 12:40 pm

No. Even the Loma, which opened in the 40s, shows a higher seating capacity on this website (admittedly, it actually seems a little too high from what I remember when working there). There was also the Fox-Downtown, which was much, much larger than either the Loma or the 21 and opened in ‘29 (originally a movie house, the Fox was converted into Copley Symphony Hall in the 80s).

moviebuff82 on May 16, 2017 at 11:39 am

When this theater opened was it the largest in San Diego?

geekness on April 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I also worked at Cinema 21 and have some good memories here. The back doors never seemed to close right and I’m surprised more people hadn’t figured that out and didn’t sneak in more often. I have seen Dick Tracy, the Rocketeer, and Presumed Innocent more times than I can count. Would love to talk to anyone who also worked there in 90 and 91. We used to take breaks on the roof and I remember as a going away present I was given one of the “H"s from the marquis for my first name. I kept that thing for years hanging on the gate of my house.

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).

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.

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.

rivest266 on April 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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

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?

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:

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.

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

gonefishing on October 3, 2010 at 2:20 am

Great memories at this theatre. I remember watching “Presumed Innocent” and “The Godfather III” with my high school girlfriend. I believe the last movie I saw there was “Dances with Wolves”. I wish I would have watched a few more movies there before it closed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Did you guys play it? We opened a new twin theatre with it and within a week or two it had died.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm

“Nickleodeon” had a seven week run here!Must not have been playing day and date with other locations in that city.7 weeks for that O'Neal-Reynolds turkey.

Zubi on April 7, 2010 at 9:12 am

Roger L – Someone told me once the film was moved to the Loma. The Cinema Grossmont was never a Mann. Also, the Cinema 21 may have flooded more than once. Mike Gran (who worked briefly at the 21): are you still around? How about Mickey, who some of us got into trouble after we indiscreetly left alchohol containers in the manager’s office one night? Are you still in SD? And, again, the quintessential twenty-oner: Eric Thompson, what ever happened to you?

Coate on April 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

Statewide: 1963-1967
National General: 1967-1973
Mann: 1973-1998

fred1 on April 6, 2010 at 5:23 am

Im trying to remebber was this theater a Mann property

rleather on April 6, 2010 at 12:15 am

The gap in early 1979 during the run of “Superman” was due to a bad storm that flooded the theatre and much of the west end of Mission Valley. I knew someone who worked at the theatre and it was selling out every show (3 a day I think) and the storm put the (raked and deep) auditorium under 10 feet of water. They had to dry out the seats, carpet, etc. and the manager was upset. “Superman” must have moved over someplace (not the Valley Circle, maybe one of the other Manns (Grossmont?) but I can’t remember.

My friend used to sit in the theatre and stop people from smoking, a policy that was only just beginning to be enforced in theatres.

Zubi on May 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Well, at least I got the time period right. Hey, if Eric Thompson, who worked at the 21 around this time, should stumble upon this site, please leave me a note with your email or a way to get a hold of you!