Manor Theatre

32 W. 25th Avenue,
San Mateo, CA 94403

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The Manor Theatre was opened in November 1941, as a single screen theater housing approximately 800 seats.

The lobby was round with the snack bar in the middle. It may have been built by Roy Coopers' West-Side Valley Theatres as they were the operators of the theater in the 1970’s.

It is believed that Lee Fuchsman was the manager for a short period during this time. The cinema was twinned in the mid-1970’s and remainded popular until it suddenly closed in 1982 folowing the death of Roy Cooper.

Contributed by mike croaro

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

William on November 13, 2003 at 3:10 pm

The Manor Theatre is located at 32 25th Ave.

GaryParks on August 25, 2004 at 2:24 pm

This theatre has been an office building for quite a while. The upper half of the facade, with a Moderne interpretation of a Greco-Roman arch with a circular window in its center, still survives as originally designed.

In this theatre’s later years of operation, when so many theatres were losing their neon marquees in favor of plastic ones in the name of maintenance, this theatre preserved its neon-bedecked marquee because the manager at the time took care of it himself.

A friend of mine once worked for the demolition company who gutted the Manor when it was undergoing conversion to offices. He remembers operating heavy equipment in tearing up the auditorium floor. He remembers murals on the walls in what he recalls as an undersea motif. Ironically, this friend later grew to love old theatres and is now a fellow old theatre fan.

Benl on December 17, 2005 at 12:51 pm

I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back at “The Manor” in San Mateo back in 1980. Great Memories!

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2006 at 6:41 am

On 2/21/77, the theater was showing “Rocky” and “Freaky Friday”, according to the San Mateo Times.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The opening of the Manor Theatre is mentioned in the November 15 and November 22, 1941, issues of Boxoffice Magazine. The exact date is not given, but appears to have been shortly before the 15th. The house was built for Harvey Amusements. 10,000 booklets about the theater were distributed door-to-door in San Mateo to publicize the opening. I wonder if any of them are still around?

By the late 1940s, the Manor was being operated by Blumenfeld Theatres. It was bought by Roy Cooper Theatres in 1961, according to an item published in Boxoffice of August 14 that year.

According to the October 25, 1971, issue of Boxoffice, Cooper’s West Valley Theatres had adopted an all seats 50-cents policy for the Manor, following the lead of the El Camino in San Bruno and several other Bay Area houses operated by Dan Tocchini’s Associated Theatres.

I’ve been unable to find any later mentions of the Manor.

William on March 17, 2010 at 10:31 am

The Manor Theatre opened on Nov. 14th, 1941 and it was operated by Harvey Amusement Co.

AprendaPresents on July 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

The opening brochure is probably in the possession of the daughter of Harvey Amusements owner. Kay Wells of Cloverdale California. She probably has photos, too.

EmpressDR on July 29, 2017 at 11:31 am

I loved the decor and outside marquee. Very nice photo, kencmcintyre. My first film there was the re-issue of Jungle Book, with an episode of Zorro starring Guy Williams, in 1976 I think. Later I was happy to finally see Song of the South (since it so un-pc few will be allowed to see it again! I liked most of it!) and Mary Poppins. I saw Star Wars, Moonraker, Galipoli (didn’t know anything about it but decided to take a chance and it was great!), Escape to Victory (about a soccer match between WWII POWS and Nazis — the shouts and yells from the audience intrigued me! I wanted to know what they were cheering! They were just like a crowd at a LIVE soccer match!). It was my favorite theater other than the Hyatt, but it was ruined for me by members of the damn staff. I had no car, and had to call taxis to get me, and frequently stayed late, sometimes after midnight; I needed to the safety of being near the theater to wait, and had to use the pay phone (no cell phones then!) — and one day a mean girl at the box office said, “We aren’t selling YOU anymore tickets.” I was horrified, and asked what this was abouit. The mean girl said “YOU know why!” she kept saying that over and over; finally the little %$&* said, “Because you ALWAYS mess up our bathrooms!” um, no I didn’t. at least twice, a couple of stupid girls would play catch with crumpled-up balls of paper towels and leave mess all over the floor, but I didn’t do it. About five or more times the older manager man kept flipping off the lights over and over while I was sitting on the toilet, after the last show, which is very rotten of him. I needed to use the toilet before waiting perhaps an hour for my taxi, and he did that! When he did that I would not flush afterward, a couple of the times. I NEVER messed up their bathrooms, and they cheated me out of my free tickets! I had bought ticket booklets, which had tickets left for about 3-4 showings plus 3 free movies and I was cheated out of ALL of these, and could not get refunds nor satisfaction because of these idiots. I hate that rotten liar of a girl and bet she lied deliberately about me and that damn manager man had no right to flip the lights on and off on me while I was on the toilet! What a dirty thing to do! He scared the $%& back into me!

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