Baronet Theatre

6937 Topanga Canyon Boulvard,
Canoga Park, CA 91303

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culcune
culcune on February 13, 2016 at 11:16 pm

I believe this was the theater I saw “Day of the Dead” and “Reanimator” at as a double feature. My friend was just getting into special effects at the time (we were in high school, and he was a very natural sculptor who could make all kinds of masks/wounds/creatures/etc.) so we wanted to see “..Dead” because a few of our friends worked on it and played zombies in it. However, the second feature, “Reanimator” proved to be the better, and more memorable, film. The funniest thing I still remember was the crowd was mostly heavy metal fans of the mid-80s at least based on their looks, long-haired and rowdy. Drunk, too, because I remember hearing many empty glass bottles rolling down the floor. Between films, they played a couple trailers, but more memorable, they played A-Ha’s ‘Take on Me.’ The parts where the singing gets high-pitched, it seemed like everyone in the theater was screaming in a sarcastic high-pitched scream. Me and my two friends were doubled over laughing so hard! Good fun!! Then, I was blown away by “Reanimator”. Will remember that night, even if it wasn’t this particular theater but the other one plex on Topanga. I am pretty sure this was the place, however…

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2009 at 1:03 am

Here is a 1983 photo of the Baronet:
http://tinyurl.com/r6yxhd

Lavarus
Lavarus on June 17, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Address (city) should be updated to read: Canoga Park

Function should be updated to read: Retail

hank
hank on November 28, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Ok, here is the “official scoop”. My dad owned the theatre through the late 1970’s-early 1980’s. I always thought of it as the “final era”, as it wasnt the “heyday” of the theatre, but definately a second run movie house. (the rock and roll movies and concerts, as well as re-runs of Star Wars) Back then, (amazing to anyone under 40)there were no movie theatres in the San Fernando Valley with more than one screen, until the Topanga (at Victory and Topanga) opened a second/third screen. That was the beginning of the end for small theatres like the Baronet. Eveything became multiplex corporate cinemas.

Several subsequent owners did re-name it, and the photos posted are of the same place. The address discrepancy is this: right next to the theatre was the restaurant “Two Guys from Italy”. I worked there as well for years. When the theatre closed, the restaurant did shortly thereafter. The wall was torn down, and it became one big location, as Savinar luggage.

I will never forget being a teenager, loving all of the dumpy little single screen theatres in the Valley, such as the Art Theatre (Ventura at Topanga), the Valley Circle (Valley Circle Blvd) the Holiday (Topanga) and of course the Baronet. It should be listed as such, as no one would really know or appreciate the subsequent names.

For years and years, since its opening, it was the Baronet Theatre. The address was 6937 Topanga.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 27, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Most likely the luggage store now sprawls through several buildings. I noticed that in the Flickr photo you linked to there’s an arrow marked “Entrance” pointing south above the door where the theatre’s foyer once was.

Also I’m not positive about the Valley West name as an aka. Lavar reported it only as a rumor, and I haven’t found any confirmation anywhere. In the 1966 ad ken mc linked to it’s the Baronet, and as the building was built in 1961 and the place probably closed not long after August 1986, that doesn’t leave much time for the Valley West name to have been in use, if it ever was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 27, 2007 at 10:58 pm

No, wait, it’s not Woodland Hills. I rechecked the map and Vanowen marks the change from 6700/6800 N block of Topanga Canyon, so the 6900 block remains in Canoga Park.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 27, 2007 at 10:47 pm

I should clarify that the theatre was in Canoga Park, but the building’s postal address today is in Woodland Hills due to a change made in 1992. A quarter section bounded by Victory, Vanowen, Topanga and Shoup was withdrawn from Canoga Park and added to Woodland Hills that year.

Boulevard is the name under which the theatre is listed in the L.A. Times Calender section on August 24, 1986. It is showing two features but there’s no indication that it’s a twin theatre. Admission price was $1.50. Quite a few older theatres were still showing double features in 1986, so I’m thinking it was probably a discount double feature house at that time.

In one comment above Lavar says that it closed in 1985, but it was still open in August 1986, so I’d guess that it probably closed not long after then and never got twinned.

William
William on November 27, 2007 at 10:33 pm

I always remember it as a single screen house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 27, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Yes, the Baronet is the same theatre as the Boulevard. Boulevard is the more recent name. Comment by Lavar on January 25 above says that it may have been aka the Valley West for a time. Assessor information says the building at 6937-6939 Topanga Canyon was built in 1961. Lavar also pointed out that the theatre was in the Canoga Park district, not the Woodland Hills District.

William
William on November 27, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Yes, Joe Vogel posted a picture back on Jan. 25th, 2007.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 21, 2007 at 9:34 am

Here is a February 1968 ad from the Van Nuys News:
http://tinyurl.com/ys77ro

mandofrets
mandofrets on August 9, 2007 at 4:43 pm

This comment is for hankg who posted on July 10, 2007:

I know it’s been 30 years, but a big belated thanks to your family – your father in particular – for putting on the rock movies. As a young and budding musician, it was the greatest thing in the world to immerse yourself and see movies that no one had even heard of. I saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Rock and Roll Your Eyes” there, along with Neil Young’s “Journey Through The Past” and Led Zep and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. What a great way to grow up. And I seem to recall there were live bands there every once in a while, or is my memory failing with age??? And yes, I recall that smoking pot was part of the experience. It was one of the very few theaters in existence where there were no worries about getting busted. And since cigarettes hadn’t been banned yet from indoor venues, the smog on the inside was frequently thicker than the smog outside…Thanks again!

mandofrets
mandofrets on August 9, 2007 at 4:43 pm

This comment is for hankg who posted on July 10, 2007:

I know it’s been 30 years, but a big belated thanks to your family – your father in particular – for putting on the rock movies. As a young and budding musician, it was the greatest thing in the world to immerse yourself and see movies that no one had even heard of. I saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Rock and Roll Your Eyes” there, along with Neil Young’s “Journey Through The Past” and Led Zep and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. What a great way to grow up. And I seem to recall there were live bands there every once in a while, or is my memory failing with age??? And yes, I recall that smoking pot was part of the experience. It was one of the very few theaters in existence where there were no worries about getting busted. And since cigarettes hadn’t been banned yet from indoor venues, the smog on the inside was frequently thicker than the smog outside…Thanks again!

DKwheels
DKwheels on July 13, 2007 at 6:33 am

I remember seeing Billy Jack there! Wasn’t the lobby realy small and cramped, and you had to climb these steep stairs to get to the seats. Probably no way ANY of it would be up to code today.

hank
hank on July 10, 2007 at 4:51 pm

My father owned the Baronet in the late 70’s—early 80’s. We had a lot of fun. For a long time, we ran nothing but rock concert movies—Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same” played over and over. Lots of pot smoke was part of the experience.

The theatre had two tiny bathrooms, which would never be up to code now. Still, it was a popular date location, with cheap prices, and Two Guys from Italy restaurant right next door.

Steve777777
Steve777777 on March 9, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Went to Canoga Park High School right across the street. My greatest Baronet experience was seeing Billy Jack there every Friday night for 4 or 5 weeks. I remember the marquee read, “Billy Jack” now in it’s 14th week! Great little theatre, I think it became a carpet store at one point. What a shame.

Lavarus
Lavarus on January 25, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Joe: that is a great picture! There must have been several name changes for this particular venue over the course of its lifetime, because in addition to Baronet, it was supposedly called Valley West at some point also.

Although seeing the outside of this venue all the time as a student of Canoga Park High School from 1984-‘88, I regret never having seen the inside before it was shut down and converted into retail space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 25, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Here is a 1985 photo of the Boulevard Cinema in Canoga Park from the L.A. Public Library collection. The L.A. Times Calender section of August 24, 1986, lists the Boulevard at 6937 Topanga, so this must be the place!

Lavarus
Lavarus on January 18, 2007 at 12:01 pm

CORRECTION: This theater/address is listed under “Woodland Hills” when it is actually in the city of Canoga Park, CA. Both building & marquee remain intact even though the theater itself was shut down in 1985. I think the space may have been a mattress outlet before converting into a luggage store.

bpatrick666
bpatrick666 on December 12, 2006 at 3:11 am

I remember this little theater just a stones throw away from the IHOP and across from CANOGA HIGH. The theater became a luggage shop after it closed.

HawaiiGuy
HawaiiGuy on May 10, 2004 at 7:13 am

The address is listed in the last posting but not updated at the top.

William
William on November 13, 2003 at 8:34 pm

The Baronet Theatre was located at 6937 Topanga Blvd..