Northridge Center Cinemas

9301 Tampa Avenue,
Northridge, CA 91324

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When the Northridge Fashion Center opened in the early-1970’s, this triplex was nestled inside, across the mall from Bullocks. Ultra modern (some would say sterile), with a frontage inside the mall that gave no clue to how much space the theatre took up. You could grab an early dinner next door at the sit-down Don Ricardo’s Mexican restaurant, but when the last show let out you were stuck exiting from only one set of mall doors closest to the theatre. If your car was parked on the other side, too bad! Mall security guards would shoot everyone to the nearer door (probably to keep kids from running amok inside the mall).

If the theatre was still open in early-1994 (I had moved out of the area by then), the large earthquake nearly destroyed the entire mall and led to a major renovation. The theatre never came back, and the area where it was locacted is comepletely different now.

Contributed by Dave

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on December 13, 2008 at 6:55 am

This is probably one of more obscure and forgotten mall theaters but it was a regular hang out for me as a kid in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I think mainly because they had a DEFENDER (video game) machine in their tiny lobby and it was right across from the Malibu Grand Prix arcade which was a 2nd home for me around 1980-82. Though i remember seeing a lot of films here at the time as well, hopping from screen to screen, things like “Heavy Metal”, “Megaforce” and “Tron”. The one i think i saw the most here was WIZARDS (Bakshi) i guess i was just old enough to be dropped off by myself (around 10) at the mall and this film was a childhood obsession, must have seen it 50 times. I remember walking past that Mexican restaurant (Don something or other) and a jewelry shop right on the corner every day for years. Haven’t been back there since the 80’s and really don’t care to see how it’s changed, i’m sure it looks like every other modern homogenized place.

Logan5 on June 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Address was/is 9301 Tampa Ave., Northridge, CA 91324

nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 7:02 pm

The Mexican place was “Don Ricardo’s.” Nice frozen margaritas and good food at most times, but I went there once for breakfast (I worked at the American Handicrafts store next door while going to grad school), and was served a cup of coffee with a dead “cucaracha” floating on top. I don’t think I went back after that.

The theatres…I saw a number of films there, but have virtually no memory of the place rather than it being a standard small mall multiplex. The one thing I do remember was that the marquee was located on the front of the parking garage at the opposite end of the mall, which probably confused a lot of moviegoers.

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Here is a February 1977 ad from the LA Times:

William on September 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

The GCC Northridge Cinemas 1,2,3 opened on Dec. 12, 1972. The opening films were “The Getaway” on screens 1 & 3 and “Snowball Express on screen 2.

bansheee on February 28, 2011 at 3:55 am

I knew this theater as a Pacific Theaters theater when I first came across it in the late 1990’s. Shortly before the theater was completely destroyed, the marque that I knew and had seen every time I went there was removed. And what appeared to be there was the “original” marque behind that one.

The theater was called, “Sun Cinema.” Here’s another time I wish I had a camera handy. It was a very nice looking marque too. I was there to see “Reign of Fire” one time, and after the movie was done running there, the manager let me have the bus-stop-size poster of that movie hanging inside the theater.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm

What stupid design for a Mall cinema.I worked at two, both GCC and it was easy access to the parking be it 2 pm or 2am.

smaggy on August 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I worked there in 1981 for Mr. Carr who was the manager there. I really liked working there. At the time, I think Stripes, Zorro the Gay Blade, and Blow Out were playing at the time. He hired me when I was there one morning playing Asteroids. We got to talking and he asked me if I’d like a job. He gave me a can of freeze and a scraper and asked me to scrape the gum off the floor.

When Stripes was coming out, he asked everyone working there to go to an Army Surplus and get uniforms which he reimbursed us for, so we could wear them on opening night. That was a lot of fun.

That was my last summer before my parents moved and I ended up on the other side of the country. I didn’t get back until around 1997. The valley had changed so much after the 94 quake.

Sheila_S1 on September 18, 2013 at 1:37 am

This site is a kick. I was one of the original employees there at Fashion Center Cinema. Jules Pincus was the manager, Sam Buchanan assistant. Was such a fun place to work. Was there 3 yrs. Lots of good memories.

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