Lakewood Center 16

5200 Faculty Avenue,
Lakewood, CA 90712

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 23 comments

Coate on June 19, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Lakewood Center was among just eleven theaters in the United States that installed the then-new Dolby Digital sound system for their engagement of “Batman Returns” which opened twenty-five years ago today. And here’s the link to a retrospective article that commemorates the occasion.

stalker101 on September 22, 2015 at 4:15 am

Grew up going to this theater..moved away from Long beach and came back and saw a movie there in late 1990’s early 2000 and was sad to see the main huge theater changed.It was so deep and large originally you could throw a football around in it..saw many of great films there..Star Trek Wrath of Khan,Back To Future 2 and 3,Star Trek 5,Indiana Jones Last Crusade,Creepshow 2,Batman,Honey I shrunk the Kids,Who Framed Roger Rabbit and many others.

rivest266 on December 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

1968, 1974 and 1999 grand opening ad as well as a fake DJI Phantom aerial (Google Earth used) in the photo section.

Logan5 on October 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm

“The Rocketeer” was presented at Pacific’s Lakewood Center in 35mm Dolby Stereo beginning on Friday June 21, 1991.

Bruce D
Bruce D on August 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

The original theater #1 had to be the best movie theater in the Lakewood/Long Beach area.

monroe jones
monroe jones on August 14, 2013 at 4:46 am

Two of the best movies I got to see here was U2 Rattle and Hum and Back To The Future.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm

The major expansion of the Lakewood Center Theatres into the current 16-screen megaplex was the work of theater designer Dave Tanizaki, with GFBA Architects. The same team designed at least one other theater project, the Edwards Metro Pointe Stadium 12 in Costa Mesa, California, opened in 1996. This page at GFBA’s web site features a couple of exterior of the redesigned building.

Manwithnoname on October 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Michael & William: thanks for the info. I guess that makes the drawing a pretty rare piece of Cineramabilia!

William on October 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm

It was tobe a Cinerama house in the early days of planning. But the Roadshow and Cinerama days were about to end. So it became just a regular Pacific plex. Well the film “Battle of the Bulge” was produced by William Forman of the Pacific and Cinerama companies.

Coate on October 1, 2009 at 5:17 am

Yes, the original house was equipped for 70mm, but I don’t believe they played anything in 70 until their 1977-78 booking of “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.”

Manwithnoname on September 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

In the display case this week at the Cinerama Dome, there is a drawing of this theater with the title Pacific’s Lakewood Cinerama Theater. It certainly looked like a Cinerama house when I saw “American Graffiti” there. The drawing showed “Battle of the Bulge” as a Cinerama presentation on the marquee. I am unaware of any official Cinerama presentations showing here. Does anyone know? I don’t remember if the original house was equipped for 70mm. I do remember a sneak preview (remember when you had no idea what would be shown?) and it was “Oklahoma Crude”.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on September 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm
  1. Only believe half of what you read in Wikipedia. It’s based on people’s personal factoids and not true facts. Nearly every post on there contradicts itself since it just compliles info from different sources.

  2. About the theatre: 2 of the auditoriums at Lakewood Center have retained their original non-stadium, sloped floor configuration – the original “main auditorium” on the left hand side, and the 2nd large auditorium on the right. Both have had their seating decreased (to make room for the additions) but are still relatively decent in my book.

Zubi on August 3, 2009 at 2:33 am

The test you attended, was there an overwhelmingly negative audience response from what you could tell? At Pasadena, such wasn’t the case as mentioned; it was just an ordinary screening with typical feedback. Sony never disputed that they held tests, of course. Rather, they took issue with the “LA Times” reporting that there was this test that hadn’t gone well—contending that the story was simply made up. BTW Wikipedia perpetuates the rumor by claiming that “Sony then destroyed the test cards” but the article offers no citation to support this claim, so who knows if it’s true or not. Did Lakewood have oral feedback as well as cards?

Coate on August 3, 2009 at 12:26 am

I attended a test screening of “Last Action Hero” in Lakewood and can, therefore, attest to it having taken place. If, in fact, a screening took place in Pasadena, as you are recalling, then we can conclude there must have been at least two screenings.

Zubi on August 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm

It’s my understanding that that infamous test screening of “Last Action Hero” was held at UA Marketplace-Pasadena, not Lakewood. Perhaps there was more than one screening but the “LA Times” article that I read at the time of the incident never mentioned the theatre’s name. In fact, Sony disputed that any bad screening ever took place and they threatened to pull their advertising from the paper in response to what they regarded as a smear campaign against the film. However, I was told by the Marketplace’s manager directly that it was, in fact, her theatre where the screening took place and she felt the paper had, in fact, mischaracterized matters.

Coate on August 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

In the spring of ‘93, the Lakewood Center hosted the infamous sneak-preview test screening of “Last Action Hero” that prompted additional photography and-re-editing.

By the way, the Dallas sneak of “Jaws” (mentiond in the post above) was held at the Medallion, not the UA Cine 150.

EnnisCAdkins on July 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm

On a Saturday night, in the spring of 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal choose the Lakewood Center for the second sneak preview of JAWS for an audience. The first being the UA Cine 150 in Dallas the night before. The 1200 seat theatre was full long before the picture started at 8PM. I know because I was there. In all my years of going to sneak previews, I had never witnessed a audience reaction like what I saw that night. I had read the novel, so I was prepared, but the audience certainly wasn’t. It scared the hell out of everyone. People were jumping out of their seats and screaming in fear. But they loved it. A night to remember.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 29, 2009 at 8:04 am

While a couple of earlier items in Boxoffice attribute the design of the Lakewood Center Theatre only to architect George T. Nowak, an illustrated, multi-page article about the house in the May 20, 1968, issue of the magazine names both Nowak (George T. Nowak & Associates) and architect Mel Glatz of Mel C. Glatz & Associates as the architects of the theater. The article also says that the decoration of the house was handled by the Heinsbergen studio.

William on July 22, 2008 at 10:44 pm

When Pacific Theatre operated this theatre as a quad, the seating capacities were 1197, 742, 399, 371.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on June 30, 2008 at 3:51 pm

The only movie I specifically remember seeing in the big house at the original Lakewood Center Theatre was Rocky III. I don’t know why that’s the only one that stands out, as I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the film, but it is what it is. Memory is a funny thing. I remember walking in to that auditorium and being astounded by how massive it was. Growing up in Long Beach in the 70s and 80s, we had lost most of the classic single screen houses downtown, and the Belmont had already been turned in to a racquetball club, so the big houses at the UA Marketplace 6, which sat maybe 500, were what was big to me at the time. So that #1 house at the Lakewood Center Theatre was just mindblowing.

I did end up going back to the Lakewood Center 16 one in the late 1990s after its grand reopening. Pushing Tin was playing in one of the smaller, newer houses, but I peeked in to that big house. It was still pretty big, but it just didn’t have the same charm as before. Changes done in the name of progress rarely improve what was already a good thing.

leegard on February 8, 2008 at 6:18 am

I have to say this theater was way cooler before the renovation: it was lots of gaudy gold drapes and carpeting, and crystal chandeliers, almost reminiscent of a poor man’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. When I went here it was a 4 plex (although I have been there once as a 16 plex and swore never to go again), and the theater to be in was the main auditorium to your left, directly behind the snack bar.

Everything about this theater was big, from the screen and sound, to the restrooms the size of Montana. The main auditorium had four entrances, one per aisle, and the screen was rounded; I also seem to remember pre-show Muzak. I saw a ton of 70’s and 80’s films here: Alien, Back to the Future, Goonies, Purple Rain (?), Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist 2, Flashdance, Footloose, Superman III, Out of Africa, Color Purple, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The renovation completely neutered the character of this place.

jmarellano on January 28, 2008 at 3:50 am

Nevermind, i read the other article. So the 3 plex was to the east of the buffums store and then 6 screens added at the buffums.

jmarellano on January 28, 2008 at 3:49 am

Where was the 1,2,3 located at originally. I know the 9 plex opened when the old Buffums store closed and that was converted to the 9 plex.