172 N. Glassell Street,
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In 1923, plans were announced for a new Adams Theatre, intended to be the largest and most luxurious in Orange. After several years of litigation delayed the construction, it finally opened on May 22, 1929 and was known as the Orange Theatre, with A.B. Crawford as resident manager. The theatre boasted 1,100 seats, a green plush curtain with rich folds, gold braided rope and trimmings, and the latest in sound equipment. The theatre presented first run films for many decades, and for part of the time being part of the Pantages circuit.
Over the years, modernizations covered up some original decorative details. The theatre, still containing its original operating organ closed in the early-1970’s, but was reopened to kick off a $60,000 renovation project in 1974. The renovations included new curtains in a brown and orange clor scheme, making the outdoor foyer part of the interior, and extensive behind the scenes improvements, and renovation of the beveled glass mirrors on the stair landings. It reopened as the Orange Playhouse, which immediately incurred financial difficulties. Late in September it passed on to the Pacific Academy of Performing Arts, but by Spring 1975, PAPA folded.
In late-1975, plans were underway to convert the Orange Theatre into a porno movie theatre, when Mr. Joe Magnlioto, assistant pastor at the Amazing Prophecy Center untertook an ‘Impossible mission’, establishing a new ministry, the Son Light Christian Center, which was able to buy the theatre, clean and renovate it and open it as their new church. The Pasadena Playhouse was interested for a time in 1994, with opening a second stage at the Orange Theatre, but Sons of Light was not interested in moving, and has remained to this day. In 2003, the Son Light Christian Center was turned into the ‘Redmond Theatre’ for the location filming of scenes for the movie “First Daughter”.
A Wicks 2Manual/8Ranks organ, Opus 279 was installed during the original construction of the theatre, but has now been removed. This was one of the last Wicks theatre organs manufactured.
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