La Moda Theatre

El Camino Real,
Atascadero, CA 93422

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Originally opened by 1925 as the Atascadero Playhouse, located on El Camino Real (US Route 101), the theater was renamed the La Moda by the 40s. Later converted into a bowling alley, the Atascadero Bowl, the building was destroyed in a fire in 1987.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Here is a November 1926 item from the Placerville Mountain Democrat:

A $40,000 motion-picture theater was opened October 28 in Atascadero. The theater has been built with a seating capacity of 550 and is equipped with an $8,000 pipe organ, the report indicated.

jerryelsea on July 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

This was a charming little theater, well run and nicely equipped — right down to a crying room for patrons with infants. It offered double features on weekends and single features on weekdays. In 1954, it encountered a crisis: introduction of CinemaScope. With the marvelous Fremont in San Luis Obispo (20 miles south) and the Fox in Paso Robles (10 miles north) installing wide screens, Atascadero’s La Moda desperately needed an upgrade. Problem was, the auditorium was almost too narrow. But the owners, the Pecks (who also owned the town newspaper), persevered. They installed a wide screen that, while slightly irregular, nicely accommodated the big-screen hits of the day. My 3-year friendship with the La Moda ended when my family left Atascadero in 1955. I later was saddened to read that it had been converted into a bowling alley. Alas, CinemaScope, heralded as one of the movies' answers to television, couldn’t save the small-town movie houses for very long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2014 at 7:16 pm

I’m not sure if this item refers to this theater or some other early house in Atascadero, but this is what the July 31, 1915, issue of The Moving Picture World had to say:

“The theater recently opened at Atascadero, Calif, by Emil Clark has been taken over by the Atascadero Colony and Mr. Clark has been retained as the operator.”
There was a movie theater operating in Atascadero in November, 1918, as it was listed as one of the houses ordered to close by State officials due to the influenza epidemic, but the list didn’t give its name.

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