Chino Theater

Central Avenue at Riverside Drive,
Chino, CA 91710

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Bill (and Ken), Chino is one of those places that used to have a local numbering system but no longer does. The address from the 1948 directory is no longer in use. The current occupant of the former Chino Theatre is called T-Shirt Mart, and its address is 12931 Central Avenue.

BillCounter on March 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm

The 1948 (and later) city directories give an address of 134 S. Central Ave.

kencmcintyre on January 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Here is a photo from a 7/20/58 LA Times story about the Chino Theater. A group of Girl Scouts renovated the theater and re-opened it in an effort to raise money for a trip to Hawaii.

kencmcintyre on January 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Here is a picture of the foyer on opening night, from the UCLA collection:

anthony723 on September 23, 2007 at 12:36 pm

I spent alot of my teenage youth in the mid seventies bowling at the Chino Bowl,all ten lanes of it!,I remeber the snack bar and the counter with seating,the restrooms were upstairs,unsure if there was ever a balcony,would love to see pictures of the inside when it was a theater,I remeber the bowling alley as if it were yesterday…Does anybody remember the Woods Theater in Chino?,it used to be located in the old downtown section on 7th street,I remeber walikg by the old theater,never went inside it because it was closed,I remember when it was an army surplus store in the mid seneties,until it was razed sometime in the early 90’s….am curious to see what that theater looked like during its heyday..

kencmcintyre on September 16, 2007 at 9:23 am

Status should be closed.

KevinPreston on September 15, 2007 at 3:21 pm

I went down to the Chino Theater site and took some pictures of it today, September 15th 2007. I put them up on my own site for the enjoyment of others. Here it is:

View link

KevinPreston on September 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm

To answer Ken’s question, it is a few miles east of the 71. It is much closer to the 60, if you were to get off 60 at Central and go South it is a few blocks down, you can’t miss it.

A 10 lane bowling alley is pretty small!

We live in an amazing area. Only a few miles North of the Chino is the Pomona Fox. You may remember that this theater was very glamorous and used by Fox to preview movies to get reactions from non-city non-Hollywood audiences, as it was still relatively closeby.

KevinPreston on September 14, 2007 at 7:53 pm

A few comments.

I live 3 miles from this former theater. It is NOT in Riverside. It is in downtown Chino, near Riverside DRIVE. Perhaps this is what was meant!

The vertical signpost, if you will, is still there and spells out CHINO in letters that are in good shape. The facade is no longer indented as shown in the picture—which must have been gorgeous. It is now flat.

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2007 at 10:27 am

Is that close to one of the exits on the 71 freeway?

babydoll007 on July 21, 2007 at 12:34 am

i live in chino, and the theatre is on central in riverside. it had been turned into a t-shirt mart sadly, i could post pictures of what it looks like now. but we’d like to bring the old theatre back.

kencmcintyre on July 17, 2007 at 8:57 pm

An LA Times story dated 10/1/59 says that a Los Angeles construction company was granted a permit to build a bowling alley at Central and Philadelphia Avenues. This was to be part of a new 2.6 million dollar shopping center. An earlier story in July stated that the Chino city council vetoed a permit for construction of a 22-lane alley at Central Avenue north of Riverside Drive in Chino.

It could be that the bowling alley people decided to convert the Chino Theater instead of building from the ground up. That still leaves the question of the theater’s address, however.

kencmcintyre on July 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm

From the LA Times, 10/24/59:

The old Chino Theater building will be converted into a 10-lane bowling alley. A snack bar is also planned.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 15, 2007 at 4:23 am

Maggie Valentine’s book about architect S. Charles Lee ‘The Show Starts on the Sidewalk’ states the Chino Theatre was built in 1947 for Anderson Bros. Theatres.

It is listed in the 1950 & 1952 editions of Film Daily Yearbook with a seating capacity of 780. Unfortunately, no address is given.