Plaza Theater

175 N. Vermont ave.,
Glendora, CA 91740

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A great small town theater which opened in 1971.

A former Bell and Howell projector engineer had a wacky idea to build a 35mm projector which could run daily without a projectionist. The engineer succeeded with his idea, but nobody wanted to try out the concept—-so, he built his own theater—the Plaza Theater in Glendora, and used it as a show room for his invention with mix results.

The theater could be run by one person with no problem. The box-office, snack-bar, and the projector-started button was all in the same location. A great cost cutting idea. The projector system worked with little silver cues at the head and tail of the feature. These cues would know where to stop the print, turn on or off the lamp house, changeovers (if needed) and what direction the film should travel in. If a film took 100 minutes to screen, it would take 100 minutes to rewind. The projector system didn’t take off as the engineer was hopping for, but the theater did very well for the first few years.

By the early 80’s, video started to kill the second run single screen houses, and by 1983 the Plaza closed it’s doors. Until 1992, the owners always planned to re-open the complex, but never did. In 1995 the Plaza was gutted for an office building.

Contributed by Jayson Wall

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 11, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Here is an article from the LA Times dated 8/2/70:

Glendora OKs Parking Plan for Theater

For the past three years, local residents have had to drive out of town to see a movie, but a new theater seems assured by City Council action. The Council has approved a parking variance for a 374-seat theater in the former post office building at 175 N. Vermont Avenue.

The theater, being developed by George Reid of Glendora and William Spencer of Montebello, both projection equipment engineers, will be completely renovated as a contemporary theater.

“The last theater in town was built in 1923 and closed in 1967”, according to Robert Dadaian, planning director. The old 800-seat theater was demolished two years ago to make way for a supermarket. The former post office building, built in 1956, was vacated in 1968 when a new facility was put into use at Glendora and Ada Avenues.

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