Center 3 Cinemas
2120 Camino del Rio North,
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The Center Theatre opened on February 17, 1965 with a showing of “Circus World”. It would continue to specialize in Hollywood blockbusters playing “The Hallelujah Trail”, “The Battle of the Bulge”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and “Ryan’s Daughter”, (its last single screen engagement) before being triplexed in 1971.
At the time, it was one of the first multiplexes in San Diego, and the first single theater in San Diego to be split into multiple screens.
Designed by the firm Arthur Froehlich and Associates, and built by San Diego construction baron R.E. Hazard, the Center Theatre contained something unique to any movie theatre: a reflecting pool and fountain in an outdoor patio built into the lobby.
The Center Theatre was located less than one mile from the Mission Valley Shopping Center, and shared that section of San Diego with the Cinema 21, the Valley Circle, Mann Hazard 7, and the AMC Fashion Valley 4.
After being tripled in 1971 to three screens by its parent company, Pacific Theaters, the Center 3 Cinemas continued to operate until 1995. Fortunately, it was not torn down, as other single screens in the area were, but remodeled (losing the pool and fountain) and transformed into a Shoe Pavilion store.
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