Park Theatre

37411 Fremont Boulevard,
Fremont, CA 94536

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 9, 2011 at 12:11 am

A May, 2011, report from the Fremont planning commission has some information about the Center Theatre. The house was built by the Salih Brothers, and was owned and operated by the Salih family until 1973. Salih Brothers was a major contracting company which built many theaters and other buildings in California. The architect of the Center Theatre was A. A. Cantin.

pseudoholomorphic
pseudoholomorphic on August 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

“Open (Showing Movies)” isn’t the right designation. There are few signs of life in the “Afghan Cultural Center”. Last time I was nearby, they had a sign up for a one-off event several months prior (I forget what, but it wasn’t a film), and the proprietor of Da Afghanan Kabab House next door says that nothing happens there.

vokoban
vokoban on February 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Here is a picture of this theater from a few days ago: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vokoban/5465477287/

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm

This now slated to become an Afghan cultural arts center and broadcasting studio: View link

darquil
darquil on April 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Their website appears to have been last updated on January 4, 2010. Anyone know if this place is still open?

spectrum
spectrum on March 9, 2009 at 7:44 am

Now open as the Park Cinema. Shows 1st run south asian films (i.e. Indian subcontinent). They have installed state of the art projection and DTS equipment and stadium seating.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 2, 2007 at 6:50 pm

According to the blog which provided this relatively recent photo, the theater is in the Little Kabul section of Fremont:
http://tinyurl.com/2gohnf

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on August 30, 2007 at 8:51 pm

To add to last comment, website is www.cacinema.com They show movies from South India (Telogu) language.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on August 30, 2007 at 8:48 pm

Drove by today, looks like it is open again and is now called Park Theater, showing foreign language (Afgani or Indian) fare.

robertgippy
robertgippy on April 25, 2007 at 12:58 pm

I remember being in the Center Theater in the early 70’s. Saw the movie “Buster and Billie” and “Bamboo House of Women”. The admission was 50 cents. It was run down back then. But packed with kids. No murals on the walls or any old lighting fixtures of any kind, except the mural on the ceiling close to the screen. The screen had no curtains, just a bare screen with black masking (that didn’t adjust) and it looked like there was some sort of ice machine on the right side of the stage. It had stadium style seating, a lot of the seats towards the top middle by the projection booth were broken and missing cushions. But it did advertise in the Daily Review, of having the biggest movie screen in the area. Seats were
50 cents. I am glad to see that it is still in use. Even though it was run down, it was a nice theatre.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 30, 2006 at 6:00 pm

Here is another preservation website:
http://www.centertheater.org/

Here is a lawsuit which discusses the family owners of the theater in the 1950s:
http://tinyurl.com/vllfc

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 7, 2006 at 5:10 pm

This is from the 10/23/65 edition of the Hayward Review. Please do not attack the patrons during the show:

Suit Names Theater In Attack Case

FREMONTâ€"A $31,000 damage suit has been filed against the Center Theater in Fremont after employees of the establishment allegedly beat up a 15-year-old Newark boy. The complaint, filed last week by Roger Maddox, of 35637 Burdick St., Newark, names the movie theater, the Centerville Amusement Co., Inc., three John Does and two unknown companions.

The incident happened May 21, and, according to attorney Edward Newman who filed the complaint, the boy was dragged into the cashier’s booth and beat up for no apparent reason, suffering two broken teeth. The theater is at 37411 Fremont Blvd., Fremont.
The complaint asks $10,000 for the assault, the same amount for the battery and for exemplary damages. A thousand dollars is asked for wrongful detention and an unspecified amount in medical costs.

Cinecitta
Cinecitta on April 21, 2006 at 3:08 pm

Listed for sale at $3,500,000 on Loopnet.

MARTINSR
MARTINSR on March 5, 2005 at 11:31 pm

I was in the Theater just a year or so ago and the mural on the roof is still in good shape. One of the last showings here was a benifit for my brother Russ Martin a local business owner who had broken his leg badly in a fall at work. The Centerville Business Association held showed his favorite film “American Graffiti” with the proceeds going towards his bills. It was a great night with the place almost full!
Our mom and dad had a resturant next door to the theater when it opened in ‘46. From what I understand our sister who was three or four years old at the time was the dareling of the place and had was free to roam anywhere she pleased.

I remember our mom dropping us off at the curb to go in and see “Mary Poppins” first run!

Those were the days in Fremont, what a wonder place it was.

Trixiefix
Trixiefix on March 2, 2005 at 8:24 pm

The ABC Center Theater was the home of The Rocky Horror Picture show and the cast of Velvet Darkness from 1988 till 1993 an entire generation of Fremonts highschool students called this theater home on Saturday nights, this was the place to be and the cast that so many of us will remember as being the best at what they did. I don’t know what we would have done and the trouble we might have gotten into if this theater was not there for us, The ABC Center theater should reopen and give another generation of kids someplace safe to go on Saturday nights

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on November 29, 2004 at 3:49 pm

Things I can best remember: I recall seeing all 5 of the Planet of the Apes films here(on one program) in 1973, admission was “All seats 75 cents”, theater was in decline at that time.
In August 1974, they showed “Deep Throat” & “The Devil in Miss Jones” for about a month—Admission was $4 per person. The run ended due to a theater raid. (Behind the Green Door played here several months later, but neighborhood pressure shortened its run.)

During 1986-1988, as the ABC Center, it ran first run Orion films as the other theater in Fremont, the Cinedome 7(now 8) could not show any Orion film due to a dispute between Syufy Enterprises(its owner) and the studio. I recall seeing RoboCop, Platoon, and Bad Influence here as first-run. The GCC Fremont Hub 8 took the first-run Orion films once it opened, and the ABC Center went to an “All Seats $2.50” policy that did not last.

GaryParks
GaryParks on August 25, 2004 at 3:02 pm

Diane, I lived in Fremont in the mid-1980s. At that point there was still a mural on the auditorium ceiling. It was of a pair of flying nude nymphs or goddesses with blue-greyish skin against a deep red sun, with a sort of mustard colored background. The mural was in excellent shape then. I did a colored pencil rendering of it at that time which I still have. The rest of the auditorium was plain, obviously painted-over, with dark blue walls and plain light fixtures along the walls (not original). At the time I lived in Fremont, the Center was a $2.50 double feature house. Immediately before that, it was briefly called the Azteca, and ran Spanish-language films.

dharpainter
dharpainter on July 22, 2004 at 3:50 pm

The Center Theatre was the only theatre in Fremont when we were kids in the 1960’s. An older couple owned and operated it, and the man would have games on stage during intermission and dance competitions. I am curious to know if the theatre has reopened with English speaking films and if the murals on the ceiling are still there and in good shape.

Diane

dharpainter
dharpainter on July 22, 2004 at 3:48 pm

It was the only theatre in Fremont when we were kids, 1960’s. An older couple owned and ran it. The husband/owner had the Saturday intermission interactive games with the audience and dance competition. I am curious to know if the murals are still on the ceiling and in good shape. Pls. let me know – and if there is any activity at the theatre at present.

Diane

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on March 31, 2004 at 2:44 pm

An update on the Center: The theater has been sold to a businessman who is planning to use the Center as an entertainment facility(concerts, films, etc.) catering to an ethnic clientele. According to the Argus newspaper, apparently there is some controversy because in the application before the city, he wanted to rename the theater Kabul Theater. (The theater’s location currently is in the middle of an area that some call Little Kabul for the concentration of restaurants and businesses catering to the Afgani residents of Fremont and surrounding areas—Fremont currently has the largest Afgani immigrant population in the US.) The Save the Center group would still like to hold events there, but this new owner wants to charge them too much to use the building. This is another hot issue.

cheyanna
cheyanna on March 11, 2004 at 9:04 pm

Used to go to the Center Theater back when I was a young kid. Saw Woodstock there, Two Lane Blacktop with James Taylor, Dennis Wilson and Warren Oates, and Barbarella with Jane Fonda. I actually saw lots of movies there, but these stood out as movies that semi shocked me. There once was this man there who was a bit loud that gave away things on the stage. I won the bicycle but had to give it back since my dad didn’t believe that anyone would give away a bike. I used to take a sack of Oreos in with me. Took a bit of time to save for them and them and the 50 cent movie too. I really enjoyed this as it made me feel independant. I saw Let It Be there too. Today I went to an old theater here in Norwalk Ohio called the Town and Country to get tickets to see the Passion, and I thought I’d look the Center up on the net. Glad I did.

cheyanna
cheyanna on March 11, 2004 at 9:01 pm

Used to go to the Center Theater back when I was a young kid. Saw Woodstock there, Two Lane Blacktop with James Taylor, Dennis Wilson and Warren Oates, and Barbarella with Jane Fonda. I actually saw lots of movies there, but these stood out as movies that semi shocked me. There once was this man there who was a bit loud that gave away things on the stage. I one the bicycle but had to give it back since my dad didn’t believe that anyone would give away a bike. I used to take a sack of Oreos in with me. I really enjoyed this as it made me feel independant. I saw Let It Be there too. Today I went to an old theater here in Norwalk Ohio called the Town and Country to get tickets to see the Passion, and I thought I’d look the Center up on the net. Glad I did.

jmgilson
jmgilson on November 12, 2003 at 11:06 am

Update:
Currently not open, but a nonprofit formed to continue the “Save the Center” effort. Note that the theater currently has about 600 seats, of which 400 may be used under the current use permit; there is NO balcony; it is an upper loge area spanning from the interior mid-point up to the projection room.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on November 15, 2002 at 12:51 pm

The Center reopens as a community center on No 23rd with a screening of “Casablanca”. The event runs from 5-8 PM and admission is free!

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on August 27, 2002 at 12:27 pm

Good news! The Save the Center group signed a 4 month lease that begins in Sept & plan to run it as a venue for community theater & film festivals. The first show will be “A Chorus Line” in Oct. Save the Center is trying to raise $2 Million to buy the theater & they are hoping to land a Redevelopment agency loan. One potential issue could be parking, there are only 30 spaces at the theater.