Rolling Hills Theater

2535 Pacific Coast Highway,
Torrance, CA 90505

Unfavorite 11 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 146 comments

brianmarshall on October 30, 2014 at 4:40 am

T G &Y store murder, I remember going there the next day, police there and i looked through the window and saw blood on the floor. Strange looking back then.

LAMADDOGMADDIN on September 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I remember that real well. My older brothers girlfriend was one of the people murdered. She was a nice person. He was and we all were real sad for her and her family. As I remember I think they did not find the murderers.

Kittiecat0000 on March 16, 2013 at 12:37 am

I was with my mom that morning. She was friends with Don Nash, the Torrance Chief of Police. He said that the victims were taken in to the office and their throats were slit from ear to ear. It was a blood bath in there. I think at least two were in high school. This really left a horrible impression on me since I was young and the details were graphic. A few weeks later the T G &Y store had the same thing happen but it was just the manager or whoever closed. I heard about Torrance cops doing that and I believe it. You never saw much on either story. It still makes me sick and sad to think about what happened in that room.

TheEDGE on February 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

Dimensions in Stereo – from Old Towne Mall??? Been trying to find Mark since they closed one of the best Audiophile stores in Torrance ever.

dimensionsinstereo on February 10, 2013 at 7:48 am

@filmex2000 Awe (Boo-Hoo-At The Zoo for the scumbag! LOL) He got what he COMPLETELY deserved! And YUP what you said about TPD is EXACTLY true and Torrance at that time was one of the safest city’s, not only in the South Bay but ANYWHERE in Ca!!! AWE THE GOOD OLE DAYS of Law-Enforcement…I can varify what you said cause I worked for TPD and Del Amo Mall Security in the mid 80’s. Great bunch of LawLugs and was still a great city untill the ‘Libs’ DESTROYED TPD AND TORRANCE! Last time I was their in 04 Del Amo was a crime hell hole and by the looks of it Torrance ta boot. What a shame!!! Born and raised in the South Bay 1960, but left the South Bay fer good in 86! Could see that the LIBS were gonna be destroying GOOD OLE TORRANCE and ALL of Southern Ca…Loved that theater and went to see a lotta movies there when we lived in the Rolling Hills…

bbqbob on January 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Anyone still interested in seeing the old Rolling Hills Theatre may want to checkout the classic short film SKATER DATER. They filmed a pretty good segment in the Rolling Hills Plaza. I worked @ the theatre @ the time of the murders,and also hung around the village and port o call I did not know the little killer hung around there.But I’m glad they got the SOB. no telling how many times he may have repeated his MO. 4 2 theatre & then TG&Y

WyndeeLee on August 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Earlier today I was remembering the Rolling Hills Movie theater, of having a few dates there, and then thought of the tragic murders. Went to South, from Rocket Park we watched 4th of July fireworks, school was South High and Calle Mayor Elementary School before that. So did a Google search, and ended up here. RocketShipParkGirl you brought back memories. Smiled when you mentioned your first boyfriend’s name because he was Eric. Our brother Eric went to South High and we lived right under Rocket Ship Park. Our kitchen’s dinning area windows looked up to the top of the hill and the rocket was seen outlined against the sky when we ate our meals at our table. The news of that murder really horrified and saddened me, maybe even more so since the movies there were Disney movies so often and it was a wonderful, and safe place until that moment. Never have gotten over the grief of it when it does come to mind. Enjoyed the street map here, and zooming in found our old street on it. Wish it had photos. The photo above is really nostalgic and spun it around to view the street there in a 360 degree curve. Looks almost the same at that spot on PCH as it did many years ago. A lot has changed along PCH now. Happy to read from fellow Torrance people here.

KimF on July 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

RocketShipParkGirl, wonderful post; I’m sorry that you experienced so much so young. Wow.

And I think I know “Rat Theater”… Great name for it! You mean The Stadium, right? LOL! I remember the $.25 admission and Atomic Fireballs to go with “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “Robot Monster” and other really bad ones! A vivid memory of the pre-movie Muzac, too… A strange instrumental that was interrupted every few bars by some guy saying “Meet me at the clubhouse.” Very bizarre and that place was a pit, but cheap!

RocketShipParkGirl on July 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Wow! With what has just happened in Colorado I am again reminded of the terrible murders at Rolling Hills Theater. Agreed, it was the time of the end of innocence for those of us kids who had grown up “on the hill” and on the beaches of Torrance to Manhatan Beach. Vietnam, Manson, and The Rolling Hills Theater Murders.

I have read some, but not all, of the posts here and I am sure that I know Seatard and Danno, sweet boys :).

The second youngest of 1boy (oldest) & 4 girls (Yes catholic – Saint Laurance. lol) we spent many week end days at RHTheater. I remember the intermission games and prizes well! We looked so forward to it!

I have many Great memories of growing up in Hollywood Riviara :~) But end of innocence? In the 1st grade my best friends father tried to murder her and her 2 younger siblings, ( i also had my first boy friend, Eric <3).In 7th grade a class mate was murdered, his body was found in pieces in trash bags strune around a park, the Man at the end of our street was arrested for trieson and our friends on Newtons plain crashed, the entire family was killed.

So was it really the End of our Inocence?

I chose to remember meeting up with the other families at Burn Out to watch my big brother surf and hope that he would take me out for a ride. And his friends coming to our house to play foot ball and ride the Radio Flier Wagons down the hill from Rocket Ship Park. Making out at Torrance Drive inn, and The Roller Skaters at A&W. Rat Theater for $.25!

I’m so glad that I stumbled apon this page, I was brought here by a bad memory and reminded of the good times, wonderful people, and beautiful area that was my childhood.

I left the South Bay right after high school (75) for San Diego and have remained here since. I realize now that I left my heart in the South Bay <3

KimF on June 12, 2011 at 5:49 am

We need a good photo taken of the building. It’s still there, but the street view can’t be adjusted to show it. Must be somewhere behind the strip mall shown in the foreground.

Manwithnoname on April 14, 2011 at 11:59 am

This theater is now, among other things, a BevMo.

filmex2000 on December 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Interesting thread. I graduated from South High in 1971 and virtually lived at many of the theatres mentioned here. I would eventually start Video Out-Takes in Redondo and later Video Archives in Manhattan Beach where Tarantino worked for years.

Anyway, in the early 70s, I had a good friend who worked for the LAPD, and he swore that the Torrance police were a rather rogue bunch with a nefarious reputation. I always felt they really acted like Brownshirts about that time, far more aggressive and physical than other PDs even on simple traffic stops. We were continually rousted by them for merely driving around at night…for them, probable cause never entered into it.

My friend at the LAPD stated it was well known the guy who was arrested for the Rolling Hills Theatre murders was a victim of vigilante justice. He said a couple of Torrance officers went into his cell that night and hung him with a bed-sheet, that the whole OD ruse was simply a cover-up, and that the lynching became common knowledge underground because the Torrance PD wanted to send a message to any other criminals who had murder on their mind. I’ve always believed my LAPD friend’s version over the official account.

seatard on October 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

A Torrance cop that went to South High in the Sixties named Chuck Hrehor was an investigating officer. I was told by a mutual friend that the scene was a nightmare. The people were bound & then forced to watch as each one had his or her throat cut. This was just a few years after the Tate murders. A few of the Manson zombies were from the southbay. Food for thought !

gonefishing on October 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I’m from San Diego but I live close by The AMC Rolling Hills theatres now. I had no idea this happened. Absolutely disturbing to read about this. I worked as a projectionist for 10+ years and I was alone every Thursday night/Friday morning. Many times people would fall asleep in the theatre after the last show and the night usher wouldn’t catch them so they would wake up 5am or so and wander around the theatre.

I had one guy come up to me around 6am and ask what time the concession stand opens. I told him we were closed and asked him what he was doing here. He said he feel asleep during the last show and was waiting for the movie to start up again? For all I know he could of easy did the samething to me.

Anyhow I will take some pictures and post them soon.

seatard on October 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

the killer was seen hanging out in a local Riv. beer bar called “The Port of Call, just prior to being arrested. A fellow South high alum named Mike Montgomery owned it. Anybody ever hear anything about that?

KathyML on August 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I remember the TG&Y manager who was murdered, Jack Sweeten. I worked with him when he was assistant manager at Long Beach TG&Y, and my Dad was manager. He was such a nice man, and very funny. I had a secret crush on him. It was devastating to hear of his murder.

TheEDGE on March 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Happened upon this thread looking for tidbits on Clancy’s Hamburgers (Torrance Bv, East of Hawthorne Bv). What a stroll down memory lane! RE: post by C (B) G on Aug 13, 2005 at 6:38pm. Hey, thanks for all the coinage! That was my band “86 Proof” in the Summer ’68 (Stones & CCR). We always won the Battle of the Bands and it made for a nice “Live Audition venue” when the talent scouts were passing through town. Free movies were a nice bonus on the big screen too. Transplanted to Nor-Cal in ‘95 but good to visit the Great South Bay electronically. Keep Rawkin and movie going!

BobandElaine on March 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm

The murders actually occurred in the projectionist room, I know, I worked there at the time. I only said my 2 cents worth in their memory. We played nothing but Disney movies for a whole year afterwards.

mongo1018 on February 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

The theatres in the South Bay when I moved here right before Kennedy was shot in 63 were the Strand [up from the Redondo pier] and the Fox Redondo [ near the ocean at the north end of the pier] .the Hermosa theatre in Hermosa [on Hermosa Avenue ] the La Mar theatre in Manhattan Bch ,as well as an old silent theatre in El Segundo that was still there into the 80s.Fairfusa organ and all. There was also this tent set up for a few w eeks on the Hermosa pier in 64 that showed silent films and film clips at the site of an old bowling alley next to the old Taco Bill restaurant

KimF on February 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Meant to pop back in here a few months ago with a bit of an update. I spent some time in and around Torrance/LA/the beaches with my dad back in September. While we were driving back to the hotel from Long Beach, I had him pull into the shopping center. I recognized the theater building immediately – the roof line, textured walls, etc., are still the same. Seeing it really pulled at my heartstrings…

Hope you all are doing well. :–)

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Here is a January 1964 ad from the LA Times:

lordbyron777 on February 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm

While cruising the web,
I came across this remarkable site and read everything with great interest. I lived on the hill from 1969-74 and after reading the threads and watching “scaterdater” short I was taken back to that time in history.
A time of true innocence.
But let me put in my two cents worth of history.
I was in college and was taking flying lesson at Torrance airport and to help pay for this, I worked at the BBQ joint across the parking lot from the theater. it was called “Love’s Wood pit BBQ” and it was a chain from the SF valley, they also had a store on Hawthorn bl.just north of Torrance blvd. but for some reason, resturants seem to fail at that corner, eeven the Parosol as good as it was
however,no matter how many good memories we had of theater,
the one blight that will always over shadowed it was the gruesome murders that took place there.
like many that wrote, most forgot details.
and after more than 3 decades later,
I could'nt remember if anyone was ever arrested, but
this column cleared up that curiosity
yes indeed, in many ways, it was the beginning of an end and shortly there after,
I left for Las Vegas and never returned………

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm

OK, I know which one that is. I will take a few photos the next time I’m out there. Thanks.

William on December 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Ken mc, Jeff Arellano posted a overhead shot of where the theatre building is on Apr. 6th, 2006 and Ed Collins agreed that it was the former theatre building near the AMC 20 plex.

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm

This is one of the businesses at the former theater address. As much as I go to this mall, I still don’t understand where the theater was. I assume we’re talking about the east side with Trader Joes’s, Islands, and the rest, correct?