Topanga Theatre

6360 Topanga Canyon Boulevard,
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

realam99
realam99 on August 17, 2014 at 6:45 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….

smaggy
smaggy on May 17, 2014 at 9:36 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.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

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

LOCAL150IATSE
LOCAL150IATSE on June 7, 2012 at 10:49 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.

fieldight
fieldight on May 31, 2011 at 9:02 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.

William
William on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 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”.

Mark Tufiftee
Mark Tufiftee on April 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

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.

adjuster66
adjuster66 on December 29, 2009 at 3:02 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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2009 at 6:39 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.

Damon Packard
Damon Packard on December 13, 2008 at 4:54 am

Many fond memories of this theater in the early 80’s, I remember the long lines for new releases. I believe this where i first saw “Raiders” and “American Werewolf in London” and sat through them both twice in a row. I remember waiting in line for “The Dead Zone” and “Halloween III” after buying a stack of records near-by. Going to the miniature golf center next door and hopping the trampolines was a ritual as a child. Didn’t realize they were equipped with 70mm, this sounds like it was quite the happening place at the time, Kim Basinger used to hang out, Jackie Earle Haley applied for work,..wow this was the spot!

drb
drb on September 29, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Drove by today, and there’s a new Crate and Barrel where the Topanga was that’s just about to open. There was a temporary circus tent set up behind it, so I couldn’t tell if the abandoned miniature golf course next to it was still there or not.

The one thing that I remember about the Topanga is that while the multiplexes were installing more and more narrow seats with huge cupholders (before they came up with the fold-up armrests), the Topanga’s seats were always nice and roomy.

BobaFett
BobaFett on March 10, 2008 at 1:59 pm

For those of you who knew Horace Sun & haven’t heard, Horace passed away March 5th 2008 at the age of 41. He had a major stroke on February 28th. He had a page on facebook which you might be able to view.
He took me under his wing when I first started at Topanga in the mid 80’s & I had great fun working with him there. Farewell, my fellow fanboy & friend.

BobaFett
BobaFett on March 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Yes, John Coltrane’s son Ravi worked at Topanga. He’s one hip dude & a cool cat & not to mention, a nice guy.

William
William on November 27, 2007 at 6:32 pm

The Topanga Theatre when it opened it was part of the Stanley Warner Theatres chain. Pacific Theatres would buy the Southern California locations from the Stanley Warner chain. That fun zone park was just another tenant of the property and not part of Pacific Theatres.

Lavarus
Lavarus on November 27, 2007 at 5:12 pm

The Topanga Theatre began running The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a weekly midnight movie in October 1996.

For the record: It later became a second-run theater in 1998, then ceased operating as a movie house altogether in the month of March 2000.

Lavarus
Lavarus on September 28, 2007 at 5:04 pm

On Friday night (9/21/2007), I drove by The Topanga Theatre and noted that it was being torn down. Have not been by there again since, but can imagine it may be completely razed by now. A real shame.

Does anyone know of pictures (or a web site) that exists out there, somewhere, with history about the amusement park this theater was (sorta) part of? Ya know…photos and/or notes from back when there was a huge fun slide, miniature golf course, etc.??

Would be sad to think that Topanga—the last existing piece of said fun zone—will soon disappear, and take all physical remnants of that former park with it.

aerogami
aerogami on September 20, 2007 at 12:07 am

They tored down the Topanga Theater building today (Sep 19, 2007).

As of 7PM, the front of the building remained intact (probably to keep a “pretty” face aiming at Topanga Plaza overnight) But I imagine they will level that first thing in the morning.

Anyone who worked there in the past will no doubt recognize some of the pieces of upstairs dangling from the few remaining girders.

If you want one last chance to see it before it’s all gone, you should drive by in the morning, otherwise next time you see it, it’ll be flat as a pancake

Steve777777
Steve777777 on September 19, 2007 at 9:47 pm

A very young and beautiful Kim Basinger spent many an afternoon at the Topanga during the summer of 1978 watching The Eyes of Laura Mars starring Faye Dunaway. I must have seen her there at least 5 or 6 times as I worked that summer in the snack bar. If any former employees read this, I’ll never forget you! Debbie Brady, Leslie DiMascio, Steve Tish, John Hinkle, Andy Wiedlin, Adam Doban, Kathy and Karen Adams, what a great crew!

Steve777777
Steve777777 on September 19, 2007 at 9:41 pm

I was surprised to see former Topanga Theatre 1970’s projectionist on Larry King Live Monday. Alfred “Al” Beardsley, the OJ Simpson Las Vegas robbery victim worked the relief shifts back then, with husband and wife team Richard and Robin Smith as the primary projectionists. Beardsley was a young and rather quiet guy who kept to himself. I saw Woody’s name listed above, coincidentally, I just spoke to Woody today. He’s on his way back to NYC soon.

bporter
bporter on September 16, 2007 at 3:29 pm

It looks like the structure is about to be torn down. The furniture store has vacated and they’ve put a barrier around it. It makes sense that it would be the first structure to be demolished to make way for the Westfield “Village,” the planned connector between the Topanga Plaza and the Promenade Mall.

I guess I’ll have to give up my pipe dream of it being bought and reopened by a benevolent billionare.

William
William on April 24, 2007 at 4:07 am

DKwheels, The small theatre north of Vanowen was the Boulevard Theatre and later known as the Baronet Theatre. It was at 6937 Topanga Blvd. on the West side of the street.

DKwheels
DKwheels on April 23, 2007 at 6:37 pm

By the way, does anyone remember that much smaller theatre that was also located on Topanga, but either south or north of Vanowen? It was really small, and sort of upstairs from the street level. I can’t find it on this site because I can’t remember the name. I remember seeing “Billy Jack” there with my friend and his mother.

DKwheels
DKwheels on April 23, 2007 at 5:59 pm

I remember during the early or mid 1970s, when the movie “What’s Up Doc?” (with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal) played there for what seemed like a year. There was a scene in the film where they take a ride on this messenger bike with a box on the front (kind of a backwards tricycle) that was a highlight of the movie. Someone from either the studio or the theate chain mounted a replica of it with mannequins of the actors to the corner of the roof. That thing stayed up there FOREVER! We lived in Northridge, but my mother would have occasion to go to the old Topanga Plaza now and then. My brother and I would be blown away when that diorama was STILL up there month after month.

Steve777777
Steve777777 on March 9, 2007 at 6:14 pm

I worked there from 1978 – 1980 and it was already a twin theatre at that point. Pacific Theatres ruined the gigantic 800 seat theatre #1 by making the Topanga into a triplex. All the employees knew about the room above theatre #1 – where employees drank and smoked after hours. Andy Wiedlin worked there, his sister Jane was and still is a member of The Go-Go’s. Oscar tidbit – Jackie Earle Haley applied for a job there in 1979 – he explained that he was between roles, he was not hired. I have great memories of those days when 15 employees ran the place and all became great friends.