Redondo Beach Cinema 3

1509 Hawthorne Boulevard,
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

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Redondo Beach Cinema 3

At one time, this was actually three separate free standing buildings — each one a large, modern single screen theater.

The first, simply called the South Bay Theater when it opened on December 20, 1964, was built close to Hawthorne Boulevard. Next to it were storefronts and a bowling alley. On the other side of the alley, Cinema 2 was built, another large, modern single screen house. A little further down, #3 was built which was the nicest of all and may have been equipped for 70mm.

Eventually, Cinema 2 was twinned, and then the original theater was tri-plexed in the 1980’s.

General Cinema later built a large multiplex in the adjacent shopping center and the two newer houses were closed.

The original theater operated as an independent, second-run triplex as the Redondo Beach Cinema 3 until it was closed on March 11, 2010. It was demolished in summer of 2010

Contributed by Manwithnoname

Recent comments (view all 49 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

Looks like they are building something on the site.

ChasSmith on August 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I hope I’ve positioned the street view accurately. Don’t have any photos yet. The theaters were just to the south of the (then) South Bay Galleria Mall, which is what I remember it being called in the 1980s.

Manwithnoname on July 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

Tinseltoes: Nice post. The theaters were managed by Loew’s before General Cinema and the page needs to be updated. This was the second building built which was nice until it was twinned. I also didn’t realize that cinema 2 was originally equipped for 70mm. I don’t remember any films playing in that format in this house but they certainly did in the cinema 3 building. Interesting to me that the oldest of the three buildings was the last to be demolished.

LawMann on June 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm

South Bay Cinema 3 which was next to Levitz furniture never ran 70mm. In fact it didn’t even have stereo sound. The booth has two Simplex XL projectors. When I worked there in the early to mid 1970’s General Cinema operated the three theatres.

Manwithnoname on June 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

LawMann, The original Cinema 3 (furthest back from the street) did have 70mm capability but may have been installed later. It seems likely that the 70mm equipment was moved over after Cinema 2 was twinned. The first film I remember being in 70mm was “The Mission” which was released in 1986.

jimtheactor on January 25, 2015 at 11:40 pm

I saw SNOW WHITE there at a very young age, JAWS there when it first came out, and then upon my return to the area in the 1980s, I saw CHUCK BERRY: HAIL HAIL ROCK AND ROLL. Good memories.

plasticvengeance on February 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm

So so many amazing memories here. The screen nearest Hawthorne Blvd. most often, I saw Sixteen Candles, The Karate Kid and more in the 80’s. The twinned house in the middle also showed Rocky Horror and other midnight movies (Dawn of the Dead, Cheech & Chong flicks) on the weekends. And that bowling alley complex was AMAZING, complete with an ice cream parlor, a coffee shop, a bar and an arcade. You could live there. ;)

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on December 26, 2018 at 8:13 pm

So near as I can figure from LA Times ads, and if anybody knows differently please correct me:

12/29/1964 Statewide Theatres opens the South Bay Theatre

Loews acquired Statewide Theatres

08/21/1969 Loews opens South Bay 2

12/24/1971 Loews opens South Bay 3

General Cinema acquires Loews in Southern California

12/20/1974 GCC splits South Bay 2 causing a name shift to all three buildings. South Bay 1 > South Bay I South Bay 2 > South Bay II-III South Bay 3 > South Bay IV

11/14/1986 South Bay 1 is split into three, causing a name shift to the buildings. South Bay 1 > Cinema 4-5-6 South Bay 2-3 > Cinema 2-3 South bay 3 > Cinema 1

11/25/1997 Cinema 2-3 and Cinema 1 close as GCC Galleria at South Bay 16 opens the following day inside the mall.

The original South Bay theatre, now the Redondo Cinema 3 closes.

rivest266 on November 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

December 20th, 1974 grand opening ad posted.

Manwithnoname on November 17, 2019 at 8:39 am

Thanks rivest266. This ad was the grand opening of the newly twinned Cinema II. Can you imagine sitting in that cracker box watching a double bill of Oliver and Camelot?

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