Gardena Cinema

14948 Crenshaw Boulevard,
Gardena, CA 90249

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 35 comments

GardenaCinema on April 12, 2021 at 9:15 pm Music video shot at the Gardena Cinema.

GardenaCinema on April 27, 2018 at 11:41 am

Hi Everyone. This is Judy, the daughter of the owners of the Gardena Cinema. Thanks for all the info and feedback on our big little theater. As many of you know, my parents are in their 70s and need to retire from the daily management of the business. I’m trying to come up with ideas on how to retire them without selling the place. I really cannot run the business on my own. Any ideas to keep the place running and still allow my parents to break free from the day-to-day business responsibilities?

Adam on November 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I saw the youtube video about this theater need to take a road trip to this theater I love the vintage look

Mister_Comics on January 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm

EdSchaff on March 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

WOW! I can’t beleive this place is still there. I used to go the movies there back in the mid 50’s. It was .35 cents for a double feature !!! My parents would drop us off there with a dollar and we got candy and popcorn. This is were I developed the fine art of sailing popcorn boxes… I could hit the screen from way back there.. Saw a lot of classics there (The BLOB, War of the Colossal Beast, well a lot of memories…

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on September 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I am a retired union projectionist, and on my travels around the country I seek out single-screen theaters. I visited the Gardena a few years ago and liked it very much, except for the fact that they didn’t have a CinemaScope screen. Everything was shown in 1.85:1, which resulted in the edges being cut off on a scope picture.

bobboren on June 19, 2011 at 1:14 am

I remember this theater. I saw Easy Rider there – I was under 17 but the Park would let younger folks in – I was probably 16 when I saw it. In earlier days I saw a lot of movies there – it was a cheap second run theater then. I haven’t been by there for along time – last time I was by there it was showing Mexican films only.

kencmcintyre on April 19, 2011 at 7:35 am

There was an article about this theater and digital projection in the LA Times today.

Scubbie on April 13, 2011 at 1:54 am

I worked here from 1971 to 1977 under the Park Theater as a young boy into a teenager. I was 11 years old and I was big for my age , I started out cleaning the parking lot before movies to get in free for the Saturday Kid movies , it went from there to cleaning the bathrooms and ash trays , to tearing tickets , stocking and retrieving candy and goodies from the store room that was once upstairs across from the projection room and working the snack bar from time to time when things got really buy. After a while I was doing the markee lettering for a time. I did everything but run the movies , I had the opertunity but passed. They were the old carbon rod burning projectors were you needed to change the reels on Q’s from each other. The Park Theater became my second home away from home , I didn’t make alot of money but the owners Joe and Mary Donato were good to me. I worked hard for them but I was having fun at the same time. I met my first true love there as she worked the box office in 1974. On Saturday afternoon shows they had drawings for bikes and goodies after the double shows were over. I used to get to put the new bikes together. Back then it was 50 cents for the Saturday and Sunday shows. And 1.50 for the adult type movies in the evenings. On some Tuesday nights during the weeks they would have special screenings for the Japanese people , WOW !! this is when you would see 700 people easy !! it was amazing and those people were so nice and I got to see some pretty interesting Samari type movies with english sub-titles. I had a great time at the old Park Theater and met alot of good people , hell !! everybody knew who I was from Gardena to Hawthorne , Lawndale , Torrance. Well High School and that 70s show started to slow me down and I started to find other things that were more important to me . I wasn’t working as much and Joe and Mary wouldn’t be very happy with me. After 5 good years or so , I basically done . They acted like they could care less about me anymore. i guess I can’t blame them anymore , Mary was still kind to me to a certain degree,I remember when the day final came that I came and bought a ticket to get in , they said hello to me like I was just another customer )–: it was weird for me , I loved that place and those people it’s just that my life had changed , there were times I was there 7 days a week 12 hours Saturdays and Sundays and 4 or 5 hours on the week days , IM not complaining about that , I did it because I wanted to.There’s a piece of my heart in that building to this day. I just drove by last week , just don’t want to pay 9 dollars to see how things are inside , Im 51 years old now and I live in Ontario Calif. the last movie I saw at the theater was early 1978 Saturday Night Fever. I have been looking for a picture of the old P Park theater sigh tower that was on top of the building ,if anyone has one I would even be willing to buy it . I have not been able to find a picture of the building on the Internet anyway. Any help would be great. My name is Chris and my email address is . Thank you all so much for letting me share.

kencmcintyre on August 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm

“GI Joe” was playing when I drove by there today. Continually amazed at the first run films that run at this place.

ZAPP on November 10, 2008 at 4:18 pm

I agree with Eros Sinclair. I can enjoy this theater with my family without all of the extra nonsense that is found in the “Mega Theaters. This building is a great icon in the Gardena community. We need more family atmosphere, famliy own theaters in more communities. My sons aren’t worried about stadium seating, fancy video machines, and several expense meal combinations that breaks your wallet, all they want is to be able to see and enjoy the movie that they have come to see. Matter of fact, we’re going tonight.

kencmcintyre on November 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm

El Camino College is right down the street. They might attract some students if they try repertory/revival shows. The first run films aren’t drawing, obviously.

ErosSinclair on November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Gardena Cinema stands now as a great independent theater in a neighborhood with a dearth of any cultural institutions let alone great theaters. Upon visiting there several weeks ago my friend and I were the only two people in attendance. The elderly couple who run the theater, and were unfairly and rudely addressed by the Fierros (see above), cranked up the projector just for us. The theater is a great relic with classic bathroom fixtures and a prime example of a cry-room. More people should be supporting this affordable alternative to the faceless Edwards theaters closing in all around.

kencmcintyre on September 20, 2008 at 12:51 pm

In 1963, Grand Theaters, Inc. ran the Park in Gardena and the Stadium and Grand in Torrance. President was Harry Milstein and general manager/purchasing head was J.N. Dabbs. Helen Mellinkoff ran the Park at that time.

GardenaCinema on August 3, 2008 at 9:03 pm

To the Fierros: We have refunded your popcorn and soda money and we know you cashed the check because we have the canceled check. We even provided you two free movie tickets to any movie of your choice at the local competitor movie theater just to show you that we care and we try to make every one of our patrons happy. We have been running this movie theater for 32 years. Over the past 32 years, we hope we have mostly happy patrons, but once in a while we have an unhappy person because they didn’t get a free refill on a half-finished soda or popcorn or refund on a half-eaten hot dog. We appreciate all our patrons, but it always ruins our day when we have the ones who purposefully make a big stink trying to get a free refill or their money back using some lame excuse. We try to be friendly and we recognize almost every one of our regular customers, especially since we live in the neighborhood. We have consistently tried to provide good service at a reasonable price. We consistently set our prices less expensive than the large circuit theaters located at the pricey malls. Our concession snacks are very reasonably priced. We challenge anyone to compare our prices w/ any other local movie theater and you will find we are lower-priced 99% of the time. But don’t treat us cheaply because our prices are cheaper. We pop our popcorn fresh everyday and our fountain drinks are poured from Coca Cola maintained machines. Our carpets are professionally cleaned every two to four months, depending on how high foot traffic is. We apologize that you happened to visit at a time when there was high foot traffic and we had not cleaned the carpets yet. But they were cleaned soon thereafter. There is no way to prevent patrons from spilling soda or stomping on buttery popcorn into the carpet. It’s just a matter of one day when the carpet gets a stain. All we can do is make a conscious effort to shampoo it often. After 32 years, we are ready to retire. Maybe you would like to run the movie theater?
It’s for sale for $3.5M and we’ll even finance the mortgage for you. You won’t have to go through a bank.
As you know, it’s 12,000 s.f. and has a seating capacity of 800. It may look little on the outside, but as you know, it’s a big auditorium with a screen that’s 37 feet wide and the sound is awesome with Dolby Digital and DTS Digital sound systems. This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you!

William on May 28, 2008 at 5:40 pm

The theatre was built in 1947.

kencmcintyre on May 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm

No way. Not in that neighborhood.

longislandmovies on May 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm


MagicLantern on November 26, 2007 at 6:11 pm

The Embassy was in business from 1945 at least.