Academy Cinemas

1003 E. Colorado Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91106

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 4, 2014 at 9:46 am

Bard’s Colorado Theatre looms in the background of this 1927 photo from the Pasadena Digital Archive.

mattnhormann on September 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm

“Mobbed by some 200 young film fans last night as he left the preview of ‘Blue Skies’ at the Academy Theater here, Fred Astaire lost his $1,200 watch, a gift from his wife, during the melee, when the crowd followed him to a nearby parking lot. Also snatched were his hat and handkerchief.”

  • Pasadena Star-News, 3/23/1946, Page 9, Column 7
mattnhormann on September 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm

“Darryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox Film head, reported to Pasadena police yesterday that his car was broken into and an imported Czechoslovakian Tyrolean hat, valued at $125, was taken last Friday night. Zanuck had been attending a preview at 1003 E. Colorado St. when the theft occurred.”

“Thieves Take Zanuck’s $125 Tyrolean Hat,” Los Angeles Times, October 20, 1952, p.19.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Linkrot repair: Here is a fresh link to the 1950 Gulistan Carpet ad with the photo of the Academy Theatre’s mezzanine lounge.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on February 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

While the Fairfax is temporarily closed, the Academy will be running Regency’s midnight shows on Saturdays this month. Go check out “Stargate”, “Jurassic Park”, “The Karate Kid”, and “Adventures in Babysitting”. No word yet on whether the Academy’s cheaper pricing will apply.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2009 at 12:29 am

Boxoffice Magazine reported on January 24, 1942, that Lou Bard had sold his Colorado Theatre in Pasadena to Fox West Coast. The house was to be closed soon for “extensive alterations.” The recent opening of Fox West Coast’s refurbished Academy Theatre was announced in Boxoffice of July 11, 1942.

I’ve always had the impression that the Academy lost its original Egyptian style and got its modern interior at the same time the exterior was remodeled in 1957, but the photo of the mezzanine lounge in this Gulistan Carpet ad in the April 1, 1950, issue of Boxoffice shows that at least this part of the interior had already been redone in the art moderne style by then. It’s possible that the interior was entirely modernized during the Fox project in 1942, and the carpeting touted in the Gulistan ad could have been part of a later refurbishing.

ChrisB on April 12, 2009 at 3:32 am

Thanks for posting that photo – just the way I remember it before it closed for the remodel in late ‘82. And yes, I remember Handlebars – that’s where Barbra Streisand is discovered by Kris Kristoffersen in the '76 remake of “A Star Is Born”.

Dublinboyo on January 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Does anybody remember when “Handlebars Saloon” was a drinking establishment (bar) that was located in the same building as the Academy and was entered from the back of the building along an alley near Catalina Street? It was later converetd into “Toe’s Tavern.” “Handlebars Saloon” was this faux 1890’s style saloon that had an interesting admittance policy. Men had to be 21 years old and wear a shirt with a collar to enter, but women only had to be 18 years old to get in! Oh the 1970’s were a great time!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm

The multiplexing of the Academy took place in the mid-1980s. I used to pass by the place frequently while the work was going on. As I recall, it had not yet re-opened at the time I left the area in August, 1986, but it was probably almost ready for business by then.

kencmcintyre on December 22, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 12/15/57:

Newly renovated Fox West Coast Theaters' Academy theater and building in Pasadena will be reopened next Thursday. Modernization project, which cost $192,000, includes relocation of building entrance from Catalina Street to Colorado Blvd., installation of elevator to second floor offices, renovation of facade and installation of aluminum store fronts. The theater tower was remodeled and the marquee was repainted and relighted.

drb on October 2, 2008 at 3:56 am

The link to the 1950s view of the tower seems to be dead, but I think it’s the same photo here:

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on January 4, 2008 at 7:35 am

I frequent this theatre quite regularly, to me it’s amazing it’s still open and lasted this long, granted i’m glad it has..but these places are the last of their kind, I just hope they can pull in enough business to keep the doors open. It seems very few even know of the existance of this theater now-days and in some ways thats what i like about it. I have an attraction to old, forgotten, inexpensive, lonely and empty places, but there are so few left. The sheep can flock to their Groves and AMC’s and Arclight’s where yuppies cuddle their girlfriends and you get stuck in parking structures for 40min, not me.
I’m curious as to when it was converted into a 6-plex, what year was it? Guessing the 80’s sometime, it’s really interesting the changes and remodeling this theater has undergone over the years, going from a classic movie palace (in the 30’s) Then remodeled in (the 50’s? again) ultimately to a strange archaic multiplex design, as the first poster mentioned “divided up haphazardly, projection varying screen to screen” In some ways it gives the theater an odd characteristic, with it’s long hallways seemingly leading to secret chambers, quiet atmosphere and age-old atmosphere. I can see how it would attract the homeless to live in these forgotten spaces, a place to bury and hide themselves away from the harsh streets. It’s a fascinating place, and i hope it can somehow stick around, until the end of the world.

mistertopps on June 12, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I remember driving from Orange County to see movies at this theatre before they’d be completely gone. It’s definitely improved over the years… I remember seeing Happiness on an insanely tiny screen with crappy sound there, and a few years later having a pristine projection of Rasing Victor Vargas. Glad to hear they’re renovating it even more!

Marcel on May 14, 2007 at 11:59 am

Glad to hear G.M.-good luck to you. Keep it alive-we’ve lost too much already-The State, Colorado, Esquire…

MagicLantern on December 13, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Zip code on this should be 91106, not 91101. Well, 91106-2310 to be precise, but you get the gist.

rduff1 on May 27, 2006 at 3:36 am

I saw “The Wake of the Red Witch” at the Academy when I was a kid… Some of the murals (if my old memory is right) were done in black light.

academy6 on March 5, 2006 at 1:05 pm

i am the current manager here at the academy. since regency took over they have done alot to improve it. they put new projectors and sound equipment, new carpets and driven out the undesirable patrons that practically lived here. they are planning on remodeling the snack bar and painting the theatre too. regency cares alot about the academy and are trying to kill the bad rep that it got from previous owners. it is a art house/second run theatre with low prices. i’ve worked in the theatre business for 12 years and it has the most origional layout i’ve ever seen.

ImpressivelyOrdinary on March 5, 2006 at 1:03 pm

The other day a gentleman came into the theatre and told me that he loved this theatre and it was the theatre where he saw his very first movie, Huck Finn, in 1930 when he was seven years old.

Patsy on October 23, 2005 at 5:36 pm

Since the Academy theatre is listed in Pasadena I’m sure anyone posting on this theatre link is also aware of the Raymond Theatre in Pasadena. The Raymond is in it’s 11th hour so anyone who would like to show their support to save this historical theatre please come to a Final Design Review hearing on Monday, the 24th at 7 (All Saints Church, Sweetland Hall 132 N. Euclid). To learn more about the Raymond Theatre and its past/present history go to Thank you.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2005 at 5:48 pm

The Academy Cinemas (its current name) is now being operated by Regency Theaters. Listings and showtimes can be found at its web site:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 15, 2005 at 5:45 am

What became of the duplicate posting of this theater under the name Fox Colorado? It had a photograph of the original facade, as designed by architect L.A. Smith. Can the photo be transfered to this post, now that the other has been deleted?

spikewriter on January 8, 2005 at 11:20 am

When I lived in Pasadena in the ‘80s, I saw several pictures at the Academy including Ghandi. At that point, it was very much the streamline moderne look, the Egyptian stylings long gone. After the theater was divided into six screens (and even the unique features of Moderne disapeared under white stucco, I didn’t go back as there were other theaters in town that were better suited to multiple screens. I did, however, continue to patronize the beauty salon on the corner until I moved to the Valley in the early 90s.