Channel Islands Cinema (2)

3761 W. Hemlock Street,
Oxnard, CA 93035

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This Channel Islands Cinema predates the later Regency Channel Islands Cinema, which was at a different location. The 300-seat theater originally opened as the Jerry Lewis Cinema on November 22, 1972 with “What’s Up Doc” and “Kotch.”

There was a champagne premiere on November 19 for a local charity at the Channel Islands Shopping Center. The Oxnard Press Courier published a photograph of a bearded and debonair John Carradine posing at the event. Carradine was all decked out in his yachting attire with cap, where he was to screen one of his films.

Beginning in April of 1973 the name of the theater was changed to Marina Cinema. At the bottom of its Press Courier ad it read: “Formerly Jerry Lewis Cinema". In June of 1973 the Press Courier interviewed its owner Kent Taylor and asked him why he changed from the Jerry Lewis name. Mr. Taylor said: “Well, it just didn’t work out in our best interests. We were limited to what we could show, so we decided it best to dissolve the franchise agreement”. It was noted that even though they played movies after the first-run theaters in the area it didn’t hurt them. Mr. Taylor said “Billy Jack” played for a month at the Marina to turn-away capacity crowds".

The Marina Cinema dropped out of the Independent Theater Guide of the Los Angeles Times in November of 1979 and later became known for showing adult x-rated movies. In 1980 it came to the attention of the courts when the shopping center owner filed suit to stop the films but he lost his case.

By March of 1985 family films were back in Oxnard. The original leaseholder of the theater took possession, refurbished the theater and changed its name to the Channel Islands Cinema. In October of 1986, the new Century 8 opened in Ventura and the Channel Islands Cinema dropped out of the newspaper listings and was presumed closed. Today a commercial business occupies the former location.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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