Cordova 3

5020 Bayou Boulevard,
Pensacola, FL 32504

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Showing 5 comments

Greenwood Brave
Greenwood Brave on January 6, 2014 at 9:24 am

I lived in Gulf Breeze 1995-1999 and saw some movies at the mall. I had completely forgotten there was two movie theaters there. The info and history is very interesting.

reed4
reed4 on September 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I was there opening night, 1972, I think it was. The opening night feature on one screen was “Living Free,” the sequel to “Born Free.” I wasn’t old enough to drive yet, so my father was gracious enough to take me. The other film was likely rated R, which I why I ended up watching a stinker of a film like “Living Free.” At least I can say I was there opening night. After I got old enough to get in R-rated movies, I saw “Woodstock” there at a midnight show. I didn’t realize it was about three hours long, so it was about 3 AM or so when I got out.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on January 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Would someone please put out more information on the Florida theatre downtown and which I attended many times in the late 50’s-1966. Also I remember a great theatre just up Palafox not to far from the Hotel. It had a big screen, stereo and I believe 70mm. I saw many U.A. movies including the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, Khartoum, and many other big movies, What was its name?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Thanks Allen.Love reading stories from Theatre people.

ahollis
ahollis on April 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm

It is closed and has been torn down for retail stores.

The Cordova 3 was opened as a twin in the mid 60’s on the backside of Cordova Mall. It was owned and operated by Giddens & Rester Theatre Corp located out of Mobile, AL. Giddens & Rester was a family owned circuit with three theatres in Mobile and one location in Meridian, MS besides this theatre. It was built as a replacement for the Florida Theatre, which was then torn down. During its heyday it ran the better of the films and Roadshow attractions. Not sure if it ever had 70mm, but would not be surprised if it did. ABC Florida Theatres was its main completion with The Rex and Saenger Theatres operating downtown. As other theatre circuits moved into town, United Artists at University Mall (3 screen, then 6, then finally 11 screens) and AMC with Mariner Mall 4, ABC opened a twin and closed their downtown locations in the middle 70’s. Giddens & Rester still remained the prime outlet for good films.

In the early 80’s the smaller of the two screens was twined. G/R loved the presentation of the big screen and could not see it destroyed by twining. Giddens/Rester sold their theatre interests by the middle 80’s to Litchfield Theatres located in the Carolinas which in turn sold to United Artists in the late 80’s with the Justice Department not allowing the Cordova 3 to be acquired so it was sold to Regal Theatres. Regal also opened a four screen complex attached to the Cordova Mall in a newly constructed wing which was located across a parking lot from the Cordova 4.

Rave and Carmike built theatres in the Pensacola area and both Cordova Mall 3 and 4 were closed in the early 2000’s. Cordova Mall 4 was reconfigured into retail space in the mall and the grand and glorious Cordova Mall 3 was destroyed and a small strip center is located in its place. Ironically Rave opened a theatre not far from the Cordova location in 2007.

The Cordova Twin has a lot of memories for a lot of people with some of the best films showing there. The front had a beautiful overhang where guests could be dropped off if the weather was bad. It had that general 60’s suburban look with a low middle rising up on each end to give the screens some height. The seats were Irwin plush. And the outside was surrounded by palm trees.

As it stands today, The Rex and Saenger Theatres are still standing downtown with the Saenger as a performing arts center. The AMC Mariner Mall 4 is gone. The ABC twin was sold to Plitt Theatres, then to Cineplex-Odeon. It was torn down in the late 90’s as a triple. The University Mall 11 is now operated by an independent as a sub-run house in 8 auditoriums with the other three operated by a church.