Topanga Theatre

6360 Topanga Canyon Boulevard,
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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The Topanga Theatre was opened as a single screen movie house in the 1960s.

It was twinned in the early 80’s, triplexed in the early 90s.

Pacific Theatres was the last chain to operate the Topanga, which became a second-run theatre in 1998 and closed altogether in early 2000.

What killed the Topanga theatre was a 16 screen AMC multiplex opened one block away. In the same area there was also the GCC Woodland Hills Triplex, the UA Warner Center 6, the single screen Baronet and, down the road, the GCC Fallbrook 10.

Pacific Theatres was going to build a large multi-screen plex on the Topanga Theatre’s site, but AMC converted an old department store into the AMC 16 screen multiplex. Pacific Theatres dropped the project and let the Topanga die the slow death.

By the time it closed, the Topanga’s 60s-era architecture stuck out amongst the more modern strip malls and shopping malls around it.

The former Topanga Theatre last housed a furniture store and was demolished in September 2007.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 43 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm

The October 11, 1965, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Stanley Warner’s new Topanga Theatre was scheduled to open on October 26 with the premier of “The Bedford Incident”. The regular opening would be on the 27th, with “Ship of Fools.”

The seating capacity of the new house was given as 1350, which would be in line with the other theaters Stanley Warner was building at the time. There’s a small reproduction of a rendering of the theater in Boxoffice, but it isn’t clear enough in the scan that I can read the architect’s name, which is not mentioned in the article.

adjuster66
adjuster66 on December 29, 2009 at 1:02 am

I saw “Midway”, Airport ‘77, “Shadows and Fog”, “The Dead Zone”, “For All Mankind”, “The Line King (not The Lion King) -The Al Hirschfeld Story”, “Logan’s Run”, “Gone In 60 Seconds” (the original one), “Law and Disorder”, “An American Werewolf In London”, “Stranger Than Paradise”, “Roger and Me”, “Prince of the City” and many other films at that theater. “Midway” was in Sensurround. “Roger and Me” was packed; very strange for a documentary. Everyone applauded at the end. “Stranger Than Paradise” was almost empty. It’s hard to believe that movie played in such a big theater. It was great to go there when I was a kid. The 70’s was the heyday of the Topanga theater. It felt special to be there for some reason. Still pass that intersection often.

Mark Tufiftee
Mark Tufiftee on April 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

Unfortunately I only have vague memories of going to the movies in the valley in the 70’s or early 80’s when I was a kid. I do remember seeing the Star Wars re-release in 1979 and Superman 2 in 1981, and I know I saw one of those at least at the Topanga. I was looking forward to visiting the furniture store and seeing the dining room sets sitting on the slanted floors and smelling the old popcorn smell, but I see now that I am too late. I have visited at least four theatres in California that were eventually closed and/or torn down, and it makes me sad to see a part of history fading away.

William
William on September 29, 2010 at 5:58 am

The Topanga theatre was twinned in 1972. The opening films as a twin cinema were in #1 “Skyjacked” and in #2 “Silent Running” and “The Andromeda Strain”.

fieldight
fieldight on May 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Awww now bittersweet memories as I watch more and more theatres and music/book stores from our youth disappear. The Topanga theatre I first saw Raiders Of the Lost Ark in 1981; back when your parents took you to movies you didn’t even know what they were going to be about. Later remember seeing Popeye, Nightmare On Elm Street, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. So funny how these movie theatres are like churches or old friends. I am forever fascinated by these lost movie houses. So sad that Tower records across the street is gone as well.

LOCAL150IATSE
LOCAL150IATSE on June 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

I WORKED THERE IN 1982 AS A UNION PROJECTIONIST. IT WAS A TWIN USING PLATTERS. JOHN COLTRANE’S SON RAVI DID WORK THERE IN THE SNACK BAR! HE DROVE A BUG WITH RAVI ON HIS PLATE. MY DAD DIED WHILE I WAS THERE. IT WAS A NICE PLACE TO WORK.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 23, 2012 at 6:22 am

Described in this 1965 trade report: Boxoffice

rivest266
rivest266 on August 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

This opened on October 26th, 1965. Grand opening ad uploaded here.

smaggy
smaggy on May 17, 2014 at 6:36 am

I remember working there in 1984 and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom just came out. There was all this hoopla about being the first PG-13 movie and so many parents would ask us when they should shield their child’s eyes.

The other screen was showing Top Secret! and one of the trailers was for a movie called Streets of Fire where it was basically a music video for the song ‘Nowhere Fast’ and everybody used to stand up and dance to that song.

realam99
realam99 on August 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I remember working there from 1990-1992.

I can’t believe I remember this…. On my first day, the movies that were playing there were: in the 1st screen was “Another 48 Hours”; 2nd screen was “Days of Thunder” and 3rd screen was “Ghost”.

Being smaller than the Fallbrook 7 (at the time) and UA 6, it was hard for this theater to receive the better films once Paramount stopped working with this theater. While the other Pacific Theaters received “Dances With Wolves”, Topanga 3 received it second run….

I also remember Cocoas & Ruebins restaurants being next to the theater. The irony… I moved from CA in ‘93… I flew back 1 month ago and both the theater and restaurants were demolished….

While working at theater, we all would play basketball on Saturdays, midnight bowling and other activities. Lots of memories….

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