Tulare Theatre

229 E. Tulare Avenue,
Tulare, CA 93274

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Tulare Theatre.

Opened in 1927 and located on Tulare Avenue near L Street, the Tulare Theatre was designed by Timothy L. Pflueger. The theatre closed in 1975 and was demolished five years later to make way for a new bank building.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 29, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Here is part of an article dated 7/13/75 from the Fresno Bee Republican:

Her Glory Days Gone, Tulare Theater Hangs By X-Rated String

TULARE â€" Over the years the Tulare Theater has frequently been called the “white castle” and the “magic white towers.” It looks like a castle, an old one now. When constructed in 1927 it was one of the most elegant movie houses between Los Angeles and San Francisco. “A monument to the silver screen,” people said. “Getting Gertie’s Garter'‘ was its first silent movie offering.

Alas, the once proud and splendorous baroque castle with her ornate rococo grandeur, is today a brooding landmark to the old days of downtown Tulare. She sits at the fringe of a vast redevelopment project, her future uncertain.

The other day as I looked upon her, imagining lines of people down the block waiting to see the newest Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald spectacular, I could not help but think of fallen honor. Alas, she was now playing a lascivious “adults only” double feature. Remember how we thought “The Outlaw” was rotten because Jane Russell wore her blouse unbuttoned? “You will go to hell for sure if you go to see that rotten movie,” my mother said.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a number of drawings by Timothy Pflueger that can be seen on-line, including some depicting the Tulare Theatre. Enter Tulare in the search box. You can also search on Pflueger and then select the resulting “works by” link to see drawings of some of his other projects.

Also, the “firm” listing on this page should show Miller & Pflueger.

kencmcintyre on May 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm

This is supposed to be the State Theater in Tulare, in 1942. I would like someone to confirm that this theater was actually in Tulare before I add it, since the source is prone to geographical errors.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm

With regard to the photo of the State, a couple of 1973 issues of Boxoffice said that the former State Theatre in Tulare was being refurbished for use as a retail shop. The address was 225 E. Kern Avenue. Today there’s a photo studio and frame shop called Gainsborough Studio operating at 227 E. Kern, which appears to be in the theater building, though the facade has been substantially altered.

danwhitehead1 on December 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Does anyone remember a multi-screen house in Tulare called the Tower Square Cinemas? I think it had four screens. The manager’s name was Randy Schull. I was sent there a couple times for service calls by Mr. Tate of Walnut Properties/Pussycat Theatres (and no, the Tower Square Cinemas never showed porno as far as I can recall. Walnut Properties/Pussycat Theatres did have some houses that were not porno).

CSWalczak on December 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I have submitted an entry for Tower Square Cinemas; it should appear soon.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 21, 2009 at 1:22 am

CinemaTour has three photos of the Tower Square Cinemas (the vertical sign seen in one photos just says Tower Cinema) at 50 N. Tower Square in Tulare. The photos are dated 1999. CinemaTour doesn’t give the number of screens, but Mike Rivest lists it as a triplex. I haven’t found it mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine.

A couple of web sites say that the former Tower Square Cinemas building was converted into an indoor paintball venue in 2008, but I can’t find a listing for it on the Internet. Maybe it didn’t last long.

In addition to the Tulare, State, and Tower Square, Tulare had a theater called the El Rey operating from at least 1940 into the 1950s, and a small twin (2x180 seats) opened in the Town and Country Village shopping center in 1973. I found a single reference to a Lake Theatre in Tulare in a 1944 Boxoffice item, but that might have been a misplacing of a Lake Theatre somewhere else— perhaps the one in Corcoran.

There are also a few items about theaters in Tulare that appeared in Southwest Builder & Contractor as far back as 1912, and one of these was probably the first Tulare Theatre, but I don’t know which of them it was. Other projects the magazine announced might never have been built.

Tulare now has a multiplex called the Galaxy Tulare 10, opened in 2004.

Tulareborn on February 5, 2010 at 1:06 am

I Have fond memory’s of the Tower Square Cinemas, i was about 10 yrs old when it opened, heck i can even remember when the big clock was finished and i could hear it chime from home almost a mile away but they soon turn the VERY HUGE speakers down. I can remember very well riding my bicycle or walking with friends/family.
i loved going to the movies and if i didn’t have money i would just ride my bicycle around the Tower District, when ever i had enough money i would go eat at round table “now VIP” then head to the theater, yes i still bought the popcorn and soda LOL. just around the corner you could walk right up to the glass at B95 = KBOSS and request a song.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

The twin towers of the Tulare Theatre still had their Moorish grillwork when this photo from the Huntington Digital Library’s Southern California Edison Company collection was taken by photographer G. Haven Bishop on October 6, 1936.

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