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 1949. It had a large 1,200-seat auditorium (single level, no balcony). The loge seating area had Heywood -Wakefield Airflo TC-706 rocking seats. The main seating area had H-W Encore TC-700 style seats.

The theater 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 theater closed around 1982 and remained vacant until 1999 when it was torn down.

Contributed by Mike Croaro

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

Note the name of the apartment complex on the site:
http://tinyurl.com/8d6cav

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 4, 2009 at 9:22 am

It was demolished and replaced by apartments.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2009 at 12:36 am

An article about the Laurel Theatre appeared in Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of July 2, 1949, and a photo of the theater’s lounge was featured on the cover of that issue’s Modern Theatre section.

Information about the Laurel’s architect, Frederick W. Quandt, is scant on the Internet, but Therese Poletti and Tom Paiva’s book “Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger” contains the interesting revelation that Pflueger’s maternal grandfather was named Frederick Quandt. I’ve been unable to confirm a connection, but it seems possible that architects Frederick W. Quandt and Timothy Pflueger were cousins.

Quandt designed more theaters then the two currently listed at Cinema Treasures (the Stockton Theatre was the other), but I’ve tracked down only two others, and can’t confirm that either of these projects was completed. A June, 1938, report in Architect & Engineer said that Quandt had drawn plans for a theater to be constructed at Sonora, California, by Harvey Amusement.

An article in the Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard of February 8, 1946, said that theater operator A. West Johnson had gone to San Francisco to consult with architect Frederick Quandt on the final plans for a new theater he would build at Broadway and Charnelton Street in Eugene. Construction was to begin as soon as materials became available.

There’s also a possibility that Quandt designed the Manor Theatre in San Mateo, built in 1941 for Westland Theatres, a company associated with Harvey Amusement. Other houses designed for Harvey or Westland during the 1930s and 1940s might be Quandt designs, but I’ve been unable to find any confirmation for any of them.

If anybody has additional information about Frederick Quandt please share it.

AprendaPresents
AprendaPresents on July 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Architect and Engineer in 1950 has an entry that Western Theaters Inc of Palo Alto hired Frederick W. Quandt to design anew reinforced concrete thater containing 1408 seats.

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.
View link

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.

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