Golden State Theatre

3745 7th Street,
Riverside, CA 92501

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Mark_Adams on February 4, 2015 at 12:21 am

I have a fun little story about the Golden State and the movie Cinema Paradiso, which I’ve posted on my movie blog:

Nancesca on September 6, 2011 at 12:58 am

I have a great picture of my mother in the late 1940’s in the ticket booth. She worked at the Golden State theater from about age 16 to probably age 20+. She worked in the ticket booth and also as a bookeeper. She loved that job and the people that owned it then for giving her a job when needed and the belief of her abilities. My mom, now in 2011 age 83, is still married to the young fighter pilot stationed at Victorville!! I wish I had known it was demolished in 1990. I would love to give her some memorabilia. I will try to scan the photo to post of her in the theater booth… she looked like a starlette herself!!

kencmcintyre on January 15, 2009 at 3:09 am

Riverside seems to have improved in the ten years since I first went there, at least in the downtown area. We had lunch in the old fruit company building that is now the Spaghetti Factory. Once the Fox is a performing arts center, I think you will see some real gentrification in that area. It was pretty shabby looking in the late 1990s, like Old Town Pasadena was in the early to mid 1980s.

MPol on January 15, 2009 at 3:05 am

Interesting article, ken mc, even though it’s from 1930. Thanks for that, and the expanded photograph of the Golden State Theatre.

kencmcintyre on January 15, 2009 at 1:33 am

Here is an expanded view of the photo at the top of the page:

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Here is an excerpt from an LA Times article dated June 16, 1930:

RIVERSIDE, June 15-Saving them the disgrace of terms in San Quentin by granting probation, Superior Judge Morton yesterday refused to turn loose without punishment two of the three boys who staged the bold Golden State Theater safe robbery, and sentenced them to serve terms of six months at the junior division of the county prison camp in the San Jacinto mountains.

The three boys gained entrance to the Seventh Street theater building through a balcony door, wheeled the safe to a side fire exit and onto a platform. They were frightened away by a door opening in a nearby restaurant, but returned forty five minutes later, toppled the safe into a car they had stolen, and drove away.

The safe was left in the car on a lonely West Riverside quarry road. There it was discovered about eight hours later by officials of the theater who started out in search of the strong box and became suspicious upon seeing the three boys returning from West Riverside.

Fearing they were suspected, the three fled to Arizona. The third youth got off the freight train to get a drink and was left behind. Pricking consciences sent the other two back to their homes.

vipmovie on September 11, 2008 at 1:34 am

I worked at the Golden State Theatre as an assistant manager in the early sixties. It was a wonderful old theatre, considered to be a B level or “move over” theatre from the Fox Riverside. Once in awhile, The Fox would hold a film several additional weeks if the seats were needed. This is how, we got to open “Dr. No” first run and pack the house for weeks.

Some of the odd memories were the wooden floors. The theatre had wooden floors and it was difficult for patrons to quietly leave their seats for a smoke.

Another memory was the extraordinary keystone angle of the balcony. Being first a legit theatre, the balcony was steep and intimate to the stage. Heaven help you on a change of program and as an employee you carried the film cans up through the balcony. If they ever got away from you, they wouldn’t stop until they hit the main floor.

Sometimes on a morning, I would take the box of keys that had long ago lost their name tags and would explore all the rooms in the theatre building. It took a great deal of patience but over time, I managed to open doors closed for decades. It was a wonderful time.

I was sad to learn of the fire. I don’t think anyone really appreciated the theatre for it was always in the shadow of the Fox, but any of us that worked there loved it as a very special place, not to be duplicated…ever again.

kencmcintyre on September 10, 2008 at 8:13 pm

I would like to have seen this theater when it was still standing. It’s a pity that more effort is not made to reuse the buildings instead of demolishing them.

kencmcintyre on September 10, 2008 at 8:05 pm

I have to go out there tomorrow, but since the theater is now a parking lot, no need for any photos. Too bad.

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2007 at 3:52 am

Advertised as the Loring Theater in the LA Times in 1924.

BobHarlow on July 11, 2007 at 4:06 am

Saw “Rock-A-Bye Baby” with Jerry Lewis and “My Man Godfry”(‘57 version)

kencmcintyre on May 26, 2007 at 1:06 am

This blurb from the LA Times is dated 5/13/14. It doesn’t seem to correspond with the opening date of any Riverside theater listed, so perhaps the construction was delayed or canceled:

Riverside to Have Theater on Modern Lines

RIVERSIDE, May 12.—Plans for the demolition of a good building in the heart of the business district and the erection on the site of a motion picture theater to cost $75,000, were announced today.

thedove76 on February 13, 2006 at 7:44 pm

I just stumbled on this website today and had to find out what had happened to the Golden State. I was saddened, but not surprised, to read that it was gone. I was there only once in its last days as a movie theater in the early 1970s. The Golden State was the place that sparked my interest in classic theaters. If my memory serves me correct, the Golden State was just a couple of blocks from the Fox Theater.

Patsy on March 30, 2005 at 5:40 am

Was this an atmospheric theatre? The Golden State in Monterey is listed as being a “budget atmospheric”. Such a shame to read that the Golden State in Riverside is “now a parking lot”. :–(

rootmedia on February 8, 2005 at 4:04 am

My father worked at the Golden State Theater as a kid. He used to tell me that back then he had to wear an usher suit with cherub wings. I used to get into the theater as a kid and run around the back rooms and aisles. There were about 300 cats living in the theater. The theater was gutted by a fire and was torn down back in about 1990 or so.

Before the theater was renovated it was the Loring Opera House where Sarah Bernhardt performed. Many famous people performed in that old building. There was a famous oyster house in the basement during this time. When I ran around there it was a used bookstore.

It’s now a parking lot.

Albert888 on May 15, 2004 at 10:28 am

As it says above, The Golden State Cinema was originally The Loring Opera House. Many great stars appeared at the Golden State in it’s heyday. Sarah Bernhart gave several apperances here on her US tours. The last reigning King of Hawaii, King Kameyameya was guest at the Loring on Opening night. The Golden State had a lovely but neglected interior, very Beauxs Arts, much like the large European Opera Houses of the 19th Century. The locals affectionately refered to the Golden State as the “Flea Pit”. I spent many hours in the Golden State Cinema as a child. I was watching the film “Cinema Paradiso” the night before the Golden State burned to the grown, how fitting for such a demise. Sadly Missed!

William on November 13, 2003 at 9:19 pm

The Golden State Theatre was located at 3745 7th Street.

William on February 21, 2003 at 2:24 am

The Golden State Theatre has been razed.