Edwards Village Theatre
602 N. Azusa Avenue,
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The Azusa Historical Society says that the 641-seat State opened in 1926. The $28,000 theatre consisted of ground-floor shops and second floor offices. Early newspaper accounts say that there was an earlier Azusa Theatre in the Azusa Arcade managed by Earl Halberg, who became the first manager of the State.
When it was called the State, it was always listed under independent theatres in the newspaper guides. Sometime in the early ‘50s it was listed as Edwards Azusa. In the early '60s, it became known as Edwards Village Theatre.
By 1972 it was determined that the building could not withstand a major earthquake and was marked for demolition. The defects had something to do with the failure of the mortar in the bricks, which could make them fall on to the front sidewalk. The Pasadena Star-News reported that the city gave Edwards Theatres a two-month reprieve in May of 1972 to come up with a plan to rehabilitate the building.
When Edwards reported back in August that the $60,000 cost to fix the building was prohibitive, the city council gave the abatement orders. No exact day of the demolition is available but it is assumed it happened shortly thereafter.
The land was donated to the city of Azusa, which developed a park on the site.
The plaque on display at the park reads: “Edwards Mini-Park. Funded By James Edwards. July 1984.”
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