Towne Theater

4425 Atlantic Boulevard,
Long Beach, CA 90807

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Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

bigbobh on March 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm

The Towne and The Crest were my two favorite theaters in the early 1960s. Saw many a movie in both of these great old theaters so sad they are gone.

rivest266 on December 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

September 28th, 1946 grand opening ad in photo section

nevin on February 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm


nevin on January 22, 2011 at 10:25 am

ken mc – i cant bring up your pictures of the towne theater long beach ca please resubmit them thanks

William on August 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

The Crest Theatre had a step down lounge. The Loyola Theatre in Los Angeles, The Fox Theatre in Inglewood and the Crest Theatre in Sacramento all had the step down lounge areas.

rosecottage01 on April 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Can anybody tell me if it was the Crest or the Towne that had the step down lounge? I believe that it was the Crest, but, I honestly can’t remember. I do remember that the last movie that I saw at the Towne was “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, back in 1963. I have such great memories of Long Beach at that time. Remember swimming in the little pond in Houghton Park? Lest, not forget the one & only POP (Pacific Ocean Park); of course that was Santa Monica, not Long Beach. Love those memories & Oh, if only life were that simple again… If anyone happens to have any pictures “PLEASE POST”.

kencmcintyre on March 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Here are some photos of the Towne from Boxoffice in November 1947:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 26, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Back on January 18, 2005, I said that the name of the architect of the Towne was Hugh Biggs. The article from which I took the information got his name wrong. I’ve lately found several references to the Towne Theatre giving his correct name, Hugh Gibbs. Gibbs was later one of the architects of the Long Beach convention Center.

A two-page illustrated article about the recently opened Towne was published in the December 7, 1946, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The house was originally operated by Cabart Theatres.

xswanson on January 25, 2009 at 11:25 am

As a L.B. kid in the early-mid sixties, my friends and I would visit the Crest and the Towne. One question we debated was, which theater was best? We all liked the florid Crest, but I imagined the Towne as the more sophisticated alternative. Alas, I have practically no visual memories of either place anymore. And now both torn down, lo these thirty years. It cannot be!

mtatom on January 24, 2009 at 8:16 pm

I lived in North L.B. and went to the Towne from around 1954 to 1965 or so. I remember it being huge, modern and clean. Didn’t they have “all cartoon” Saturday matinees? What a blast.

kencmcintyre on August 26, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Here is a 1959 ad from the Press-Telegram:

Neurosturgeon on July 23, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I’m not sure if I am remembering this story correctly, but I believe that cracks were discovered in the ceiling of the Towne during the time it was showing a Sensurround film – probably “Earthquake” or “Midway.” I believe that a repairman was crushed when the ceiling fell on him.

I think my first film there was “Babes In Toyland” – the Disney version. I also ate five FudgeCicles during “Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.” A personal record.

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2007 at 9:19 am

No trace of the theater today. There is an office building at that address.

kencmcintyre on February 12, 2007 at 11:54 am

There was a fire at the Towne in November 1961:

250 Flee From Fire in Theater

Fire starting in a popcorn storage room routed 250 patrons Sunday night at the Towne Theater, 4425 Atlantic Ave. One policeman was overcome by smoke and an usher suffered a cut hand combating the blaze. The audience filed quietly out rear exits and most of the patrons were unaware that a fire was blazing in the lobby as theater personnel directed them quickly to rear exits.

USHERS Christian Lewis and Bill Stahl, who discovered the fire, isolated the flames from the audience and manned a theater fire hose until the first contingent of 20 firemen under command of Battalion Chief Harold Maas arrived. Police Officer James Allen Welch, 33, was overcome when he relieved the ushers at a fire hose. The fire started amid paper containers of soft drink flavoring and spread quickly to stacks of pre-popped popcorn.

Chief Maas said the theater lobby suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage. However, theater manager Paul Cayler said he could see no reason why the theater vill not open at 6 p.m. today as usual.

detrimmer on February 18, 2006 at 5:51 am

This thread is great. I was the house manager of the Towne Theatre in the very early 70’s (it was demolished soon after) and we had a lot of fun working there. The staff was great, we had an 80 year old doorman who had great stories from the Capone years in Chicago (he was also a former minor league catcher) and the theatre has nothing but great memories. Our biggest hit was the Godfather in the summer of 1972, but it was all down hill after that since we couldn’t compete with the multiplexes, especially our sister theater in Lakewood. But growing up in North Long Beach, the Towne and the Crest were the places to go on the weekends.

timmerman on February 3, 2006 at 8:04 pm

see my comments about growing up in Bixby Knolls and memories at the Towne and the Crest at the Crest Theater page!
tim moran

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 5:17 pm

The Town Hall Theater in Quincy, CA would immediately follow this entry. I’m not sure where Quincy is, but it doesn’t look too warm. The photos are from the UC Davis collection:

View link

View link

kencmcintyre on September 17, 2005 at 4:25 pm

Does anyone think that today’s kids will fondly remember when their parents took them to the Megaplex 24 to see Weekend at Bernies VI? Sometimes it’s better to be old.

howswilson on March 7, 2005 at 3:29 pm

One unique aspect of the Towne Theatre that I enjoyed was its gigantic outside “now showing” posters that seemed as large as billboards. I too enjoyed Sword in the Stone and Bond films at the Towne as well as Matt Helm with Dean Martin. My two best school chums and I spent our last night together at the movies seeing “You Only Live Twice”.
Nowadays I can never drive down Atlantic Blvd knowing the Towne and Crest are both gone. I’d rather remember them as they were. When will we ever learn to appreciate the future value of what we treasure now?

maxwellshammer on February 7, 2005 at 12:54 am

I remember seeing “Woodstock” at the Towne Theater in Bixby Knolls(North long beach starts at Del Amo Guys) As my girl friend and I pulled up to the theater we notice there were policeman lined up on the sidewalk,I guess they anticipated a riot might break out from all us “long Hairs” gathering in one spot. Well there was no riot but the theater did oversell the event and many of us sat in the aisles. A few years later my friend “demo” the building and offered me some “artifacts” from the theater but I turned them down (big mistake) I really hate those mutiplex theaters…..

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 18, 2005 at 9:05 pm

Hugh Biggs was the architect of the Towne Theater. It was originally intended to be named the Vogue, which is the name which appears in Biggs' early renderings of the design. The walls of the Towne were built of reinforced granite.

vactube on September 11, 2004 at 11:30 pm

I saw lots of movies there including Woodstock! Does anybody remember Welches restaurant on the corner . I lived in the neighborhood… I worked at the Crest !.. the Competetion . THey were both missed when they were removed for an office building .. sad..

jeerickson on April 27, 2004 at 10:05 pm

My memories of the Towne are the summer sessions with James Bond movies.

I am still a big fan today of both the local (missing) theaters and of James Bond.

dougsarvis on March 15, 2004 at 5:58 pm

the towne was being demolished in the late 70’s when the roof collapsed, i think a few people were hurt none seriously