Laurel Theatre

1500 Laurel Street,
San Carlos, CA 94070

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Laurel terrazzo

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The Laurel Theatre opened in February 19, 1949 with John Wayne in “3 Godfathers”. It had a large 1,200-seat auditorium (single level, no balcony). The loge seating area at the rear had Heywood -Wakefield Airflo TC-706 rocking seats. The main seating area had H-W Encore TC-700 style seats.

The theatre was a porn house for a short while in the late-1970’s.

Second run features ran at the complex in the early-1980’s, but the theatre closed around 1982 and remained vacant until 1999 when it was torn down.

Contributed by Mike Croaro

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

AprendaPresents
AprendaPresents on March 31, 2011 at 2:39 am

Frederick W. Quandt’s application to AIA includes references to “San Mateo Theater” and “Harvey Amusement”. This would be the Manor Theater. During WWII, Quandt designed the relocation centers. The file contains pictures of some of his structures, including the Stockton theater and several SF buildlings.
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AprendaPresents
AprendaPresents on March 31, 2011 at 3:21 am

The Captain Satellite photo showed Rickey Coffey the son(grandson?) of long-time Laurel theater manager Eddie Coffey.

ksue48
ksue48 on February 3, 2012 at 10:59 am

My sister and I lived down the street and used to go to every Saturday matinee when we were kids. We also used to play miniature golf at the little place across the street, and spent our allowance at Jax (sp?) dime store that was also on Laurel, I believe. Some of my best memories are of afternoons at the movies there. I wonder how many of you commenting might have known me! We moved away when I was 12, but we both went to White Oaks and Central schools. Good memories!

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on March 16, 2013 at 9:58 am

This theatre was never operated by National General Theatres/ Fox West Coast. Was opened and operated for many years by Westside Valley Theatres.

Oss
Oss on December 22, 2013 at 8:27 am

I worked there in the 70s. Took tickets, sold candy and popcorn, and saw lots of great movies. Was a student at College of San Mateo,and got a job there during Star Wars premier. The lines were down the street, sold out every show for at least 6 months!!!! First, there WAS a balcony (reference the comment under the picture on this page)! I also was a projectionist for a while, when the projectors still used carbon arc as a light source. I also worked at the Tivoli, when Saturday Night Fever, and Rocky Horror showed there. Man, what great memories.

kegg
kegg on May 8, 2015 at 10:33 pm

oss, no there were loge seats if you went up, no balcony! worked as projectionist 6 nights a week from 71 to 73, when leon owned it. I used to play low spark of high heeled boys during first intermission. Great times there

rivest266
rivest266 on July 11, 2015 at 1:12 pm

February 19th, 1949 grand opening ad in photo section

Oss
Oss on April 12, 2017 at 7:33 am

Oh, right. using wrong term. But, great times for sure!

stevenj
stevenj on May 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

3 new photos added including a 1980 photo of the front of the theatre.

EmpressDR
EmpressDR on July 29, 2017 at 11:56 am

demolished, sad. In 1978, I think, David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in Star Wars, made a speaking appearance but shortly afterward, it became a porn theater, for awhile then a regular theater again, and I saw Popeye (after it was in its late run — they paired it with Laurel and Hardy in Babes in Toyland)and 3D movies: Creature From the Black Lagoon, It Came From Outer Space, then a few Three Stooges Festivals, and a few Bad Movie Festivals (with The Queen of Outer Space — for some reason, they showed this film squashed-down, and it made for a laugh when the astronauts lay down on their chairs and suddenly became short and fat, while standing they were tall and thin). 3 stupid boys cost me my hearing by throwing a blasting cap at me while I waited for a taxi. I’ve had tinnitus ever since.

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