Southland Cinemas 5

24115 Southland Drive,
Southland Shopping Center,
Hayward, CA 94541

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Southland Cinemas 5

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This theater, which opened on January 1, 1968, was the first multi-screen theater built in Hayward. It started as the Cinema 1 & 2, showing first-run fare. Eventually, more screens were added and the original 2 auditoriums were chopped up.

At the time of its closing in 2000, it had been a 5-screen theater. A 25-screen theater with stadium seating in nearby Union City, declining attendance, and General Cinema’s decision to pull out of the San Francisco Bay Area market, led to its closure. General Cinema had ran the theater during its entire operation. The theater was boarded up and sat vacant since its closure, and was demolished in early-2006.

General Cinema is no longer either following its acquisition by AMC.

Contributed by scottfavareille

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

BLFT on August 2, 2005 at 4:43 pm

Sad to hear of this place closing down. I saw lots of movies there when I was growing up. Saw lots of Disney movies there including a re-release of “The Love Bug” where they actually had a VW Bug painted exactly like Herbie parked right in the theater lobby!

justinkarimzad on November 16, 2005 at 7:14 pm

Southland Mall is undergoing a renovation, and as of November 3 2005, demolition of the theater building was underway to make way for two new restaurants.

scottfavareille on February 6, 2006 at 5:47 am

Drove by this past Saturday & demolition has already begun.

grimbasement on December 15, 2006 at 10:16 am

I remember many a summer days at this theater in the early 80s. We would spend all day theater hopping. I wasn’t a bad kid… just poor.

zombie1007 on December 15, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Sadly now an elphant bar now sits were it was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 14, 2009 at 7:54 pm

General Cinema opened the Southland Cinema I & II on December 21, 1967, according to an item in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of January 1, 1968.

Eric on May 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Does anyone have any photos of the theatre to post?

celaniasdawn on April 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I remember seeing The Godfather there when it was called the Cinema 1 & 2. It was nice inside and the cinemas were a good size. The screen looked like a huge bordered pictureframe. During the intermission the screen and border turned a pleasant light blue. I never went to it when more cinemas were added, I was curious if they took the original two and split those.

Eric on April 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

balconyclosed, yes, they took the two cinemas and split them into five. The screen set up you are talking about was called shadowbox and many General Cinemas had this shadowbox design.

JohnRice on September 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I hated these theatres and that awful “shadowbox” screen concept (no curtain, no masking). General Cinema started the then new to California single feature policy and drove a lot of older downtown theatres out of business or into porn before their final demise, the Ritz and Hayward in this case. These theatres were poorly maintained and managed from the beginning and really went downhill when they sub-divided them into little shoe boxes. The last time I attended the film was so dim it looked like it was being projected with a 100 watt light bulb. I asked for my money back and never returned.

Century came in and drove this theatre as well as the Festival and UA complexes on Hesperian Blvd. out of business with their new and much larger San Leandro and Newark multiplexes. That left Hayward with no movie theatres at all until Century opened their multiplex downtown, just a few blocks from where the Hayward and Ritz once stood.

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