Hillsdale Cinema

3011 S. El Camino Real,
San Mateo, CA 94403

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

pbignardi
pbignardi on July 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

I generally liked this theater, but it had the most unusual seats that were attached to some sort of sliding apparatus. It allowed you to move around in your seat a bit, but by the end of the movie your back was toast.

OCSlacker
OCSlacker on April 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I was the closing manager for this theatre. Hillsdale was my first GM position. Before that, I was an assistant at GCC in Fremont. It was really run down by the time it closed but was a cash cow. Could never understand why they would close a theatre that made the company so much money.I can say that working here wasn’t my first choice.I tried to clean it up but it always seemed like it was never enough.Rats ran rampant throughout the building and I have a huge fear of those little critters. Almost quit my first day there because of that problem. The worst day was when someone drove by and shot out the huge windows in the lobby while the theatre was being closed for the night. The one plus I can give it was that the projectionist decorated the upstairs in all old movie posters and memorabilia. He worked there for over 20 years and saved everything, even an old spot light from the early 60’s that I was able to take home when the theartre closed it’s doors. Unfortunately, no one outside of the employees ever saw the projection booth. Also, loved watching movies from the small balcony off of the booth. Seemed like no one every knew I was I up there. Fremont on the other hand holds many dear memories for me. Cleanest theatre I have ever worked in and the hardest working employees I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Sometimes wish it was still around.

lagunagolf
lagunagolf on February 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Lynn Blackburn was manager of Hillsdale when it was a single (end of 60’s) and was mgr when it was twinned around 1972. He was transfered to LA in 72-73 when GCC bought Loew’s of So. California. PS—the theatre never had sticky floors during this period of time.

DaveFogerson
DaveFogerson on September 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

A few versions of the “Feature Presentation” trailers that played at this and other GCC cinemas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F_tv1XNoCc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=m6uHhUKURYE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=dDK0U6OEc_w&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6oc1EYKRlg&feature=related

Fastphilly
Fastphilly on February 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm

I seen “Superman” there in 1978 and I still remember my shoes sticking to the floor with what felt like syrup..That was the most untidy theater I ever watched a flick in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

John,if you are asking Mike R,No.I don’t ever recall a David Blackburn working at Regency.

tarantex
tarantex on May 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

HEY mike, was david blackburn the Manager when you worked there?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 22, 2010 at 3:08 am

Paul68,just be glad you got to work in a theatre,seems like most of the folks on CT never had the fun we did because we worked in the business,Me 7 years and for GCC. Our REGENCY MALL I.II.&III looked the same as yours inside.

Paul68
Paul68 on May 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm

My first Job was working at the Hillsdale Cinema.( 1984). I served popcorn, drinks and candy. The movies playing the first day I started were: far-lap, Places in the heart, A soldiers Story, and Starman. Everyone working there were teenagers and we had a lott of fun. ( Goofing Around). Got to see many free movies, and eat all the free popcorn. I allways let my friends into the movies for free. My uniform was the standard black polyester pants, white dress shirt and clip on tie. After work I would cruise up and down the El Camino.
There were hundreds of teenagers cruising the El Camino. San Mateo is a totally different place. Everyone I know has moved away. No more Hillsdale Cinema just memories.

hushpuppy212
hushpuppy212 on January 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I saw a lot of movies here in the 70’s and 80’s, including Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and All the President’s Men. Didn’t they tear down that wonderful Foster’s Fried Chicken restaurant to build the theatre? (They had the best fried chicken, with mashed potatoes and cream gravy. The perfect Sunday dinner.)

mike38
mike38 on July 13, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Does anyone know if Friday 13th Parts 3 +/or 4 were shown there? I sort of need to know.

Eric
Eric on May 29, 2009 at 10:10 am

Excellent photo. That’s how I remember her!! Thank you for posting.

Benl
Benl on July 22, 2008 at 6:53 pm

“‘Return Of The Jedi’ played at the UA Redwood 6 in Redwood City around 1983. That theatre had 70mm capability, and was able to play ‘Jedi’ in that format.”

I don’t doubt that.

What I’m saying is Return of the Jedi was not shown in the 70’s, since it was first shown in 1983.

Benl
Benl on July 22, 2008 at 6:51 pm

“What’s there now and what about the parking garage that was next to the theatre, is it gone too??”

It’s an office building now.

timquan
timquan on July 22, 2008 at 4:35 pm

‘Return Of The Jedi’ played at the UA Redwood 6 in Redwood City around 1983. That theatre had 70mm capability, and was able to play ‘Jedi’ in that format.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on July 20, 2008 at 6:38 am

I’m sure the UA REDWOOD 6 THEATRE was not there in the 70’s. It had to have gone up and opened in the MID eighties. My children were about 7 and 8 when they were begging me to take them there. And that would put it at 83 or84 The first movie there I took them to was to see DUTCH. It sure seems the theatre was closed up by 93 or 94 at the latest. It just sat there for so long. Now I understand it was torn down. What’s there now and what about the parking garage that was next to the theatre, is it gone too??

Benl
Benl on July 19, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Return of the Jedi was released in May of 1983.

timquan
timquan on July 19, 2008 at 7:38 pm

The UA Redwood City opened around the mid-70s because ‘Return Of The Jedi’ was shown there.

Benl
Benl on July 19, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Hey Larry,

I recall seeing movies at the UA Redwood City in 1984 (when it first opened?), so it seems was just there for 10 years and gone.

“The Hillsdale Cinema was just a typical 70’s looking building that housed a movie theatre lacking any of the charm of the aformentioned REAL THEATRES.”

I can agree with that statement.

Not a lot of charm like the other theaters in the area.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on July 19, 2008 at 6:27 pm

In regard to the Hillsdale Cinema comments made by my self, I should clarify that compared to the theatres I was raised around, IE: Fox Stanford, Palo Alto, Fox, Redwood City, Carlos, San Carlos, Laurel, San Carlos, San Mateo Theatre, San Mateo, Fox, Burlingame, even the Fox Skyline, San Bruno, The Hillsdale Cinema was just a typical 70’s looking building that housed a movie theatre lacking any of the charm of the aformentioned REAL THEATRES.

In regard to the UA Redwood Theatre, I remember it opening in the late 80’s early 90’s. However it was not able to compete with the newly opened Century Theatres near Bayshore (old Redwood Drive-in site.) It was a pretty nice multiplex, 6 screens as I remember. It sure did not last long. It was closed in 94 if my memory serves me right. Also UA THEATRES was in a financial bind during that time period. A lot of UA Cinemas closed.

Benl
Benl on July 18, 2008 at 10:00 am

I also can’t find info on the UA Redwood City theater.

Maybe Larry knows???

Benl
Benl on July 18, 2008 at 9:59 am

“I think it had more character than some of the new megaplexes we see on the peninsula now a days.”

True, theaters of today are just cookie cutters with no real thing that stands out from others.

Off subject, do you know when the new downtown San Mateo theater opened? 2000? 2001?

Eric
Eric on July 18, 2008 at 8:19 am

I think it had more character than some of the new megaplexes we see on the peninsula now a days. It was your typical GCC plex theatre (one screen split into four), with the gray metallic walls and metal reclining seats. The look was identical to the GCC Southland theatre in Hayward, but the Hillsdale theatre never got the remodel (new blue high back seats, red paint on the metallic walls) that the Southland Cinema got in the early ‘90’s. Wow, it’s been 10 years since this closed as a theatre. Building still stands though…

Benl
Benl on July 18, 2008 at 5:20 am

“This theatre had to be the ugliest,functional use only building I have ever seen.”

I wouldn’t call it ugly.

It was just plain and simple.

It was nice and clean.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on July 17, 2008 at 5:55 pm

This theatre had to be the ugliest,functional use only building I have ever seen. It showed all the current films of the times, but lacked any “personality” of architecture. General Cinema seemed to always be on a ‘budget’ when it came to building theatres. With so many other peninsula theatres during the 60’s & 70’s to choose from I did my best to avoid that one.