1653 Cravens Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Pussycat Theatres
Architects: Clarence Eugene Noerenberg
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Stadium Theatre
The Stadium Theatre was opened in April 1949 screening William Bendix in “Life of Riley” & The Bowery Boys in “Fighting Fools”. It and was a popular movie house until the 1960’s when falling profits forced a switch to X-rated films. Renamed Pussycat Theatre on July 11, 1969 with “Starlet”, it remained opened until 1991 and has been decaying ever since.
Recently a group formed to raise enough capital to buy and restore the theatre, but the City Council approved a plan to demolish it and replace the old movie house with new condominiums.
The council had earlier been given the group sixty days to finalize their plans.
Supporters had begun to raise money for its purchase, but finances were never resolved and the council, without any other viable alternative, granted Michael Mulligan Development permission to demolish the theatre.
The Stadium Theatre, like many of the area’s old movie houses, will now join other ghosts of Southern California’s past.
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Recent comments (view all 18 comments)
Disney films played there in the 60’s. Ironic that it was turned into a porno house.
Here is a February 1972 ad from the LA Times:
New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
Great article, JayAllen… Thanks!
Here is a 1983 photo:
Heers another one!!!!
It’d have been better if they’d have kept the AURORA lettering and just named it Pussycat on the marquee, rather than destoying the original history.. what a great design!
July 11th, 1969 grand opening as Pussycat in photo section
The Pussycat Theatre opened with “Starlet”.
Opened in April 1949 with “Life Of Riley” starring William Bendix & Rosemary DeCamp, and “Fighting Fools” starring the Bowery Boys. Image added indicates Rosemary DeCamp was in person at the grand opening.