Southland Cinemas 5

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

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JohnRice
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.

Eric
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.

celaniasdawn
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
Eric on May 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Does anyone have any photos of the theatre to post?

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.

zombie1007
zombie1007 on December 15, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Sadly now an elphant bar now sits were it was.

grimbasement
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.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on February 6, 2006 at 5:47 am

Drove by this past Saturday & demolition has already begun.

justinkarimzad
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.

BLFT
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!

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on August 30, 2004 at 2:34 pm

Still empty with all windows blacked out.

Eric
Eric on July 20, 2004 at 10:46 am

The GCC Southland was my favorite growing up. I spent many days and nights watching movies here. I preferred this to the other theatres in the area hands down, mostly due to the bizarre hallways and somewhat strange viewing angles created by the plexing of the theatre. They also used lots of fun colored lighting throughout the auditoriums and lobby.

In 1990 the theatre got a remodel, and the old GCC metal seats were replaced with the new high back blue GCC seats. Additionally, the metallic gray walls were painted dark red in auditoriums 1, 2, and 4. The lobby was also painted the new GCC red and gray staples and unfortunately, the got rid of the ‘60s style giant hanging lamps that used to hang in the large front window facade.

The theatre actually closed in October 1999. The last movie I saw here was “The Sixth Sense” in auditorium 2. It was a sold out showing!! Unfortunately, I guess this one movie alone couldn’t balance the declining attendance to the theatre after the Century 25 Union City opened.

This would have made an excellent art-house and specialty theatre, with the many colleges and multi-ethnic demographic in the area. It’s too bad GCC wasn’t in the art-house business. The city of Hayward should have done something to try to save this theatre and keep it operating. There are no art-house theatres in the area, and heck, now there aren’t even any movie theatres in Hayward period!

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on March 31, 2004 at 1:50 pm

As of today, the building still stands empty.