CineArts at Hyatt

1307 Bayshore Highway,
Burlingame, CA 94010

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Hyatt Theatre 2012

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Hyatt Music Theatre was built a live theatre venue. It became the Hyatt Cinema Theatre on March 29, 1966. It was an “Ultramodern” theater shaped like a big spiked salad bowl with a marquee out front. It screened the roadshow versions of movies in the mid-1960’s. It later became a triplex and was closed in 2008.

Contributed by Donald John Long

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

ajtarantex on May 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I was reading on Loop Net that the Hyatt is Now For Lease, the only thing missing is the seats they have put in folding chairs. It’s AVA starting May 30 th, 2012

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Here is an architectural rendering of the Hyatt Music Theatre. The theater was designed by architects Vincent G. Raney and Robert M. Blunk.

Raney, of course, was a well-known Northern California theater architect who designed dozens of movie theaters. Robert Blunk was a Burlingame architect who, as far as I’ve been able to discover, designed only one other house, the Hillbarn Theatre at Foster City, California, (1966) which, like the Hyatt, was a stage venue.

rivest266 on July 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm

March 29th, 1966 grand opening ad in photo section.

stevenj on July 12, 2015 at 9:46 am

The (single screen) Hyatt Cinema never showed Cinerama films. I saw a production of South Pacific (with Mary Martin) there when it was a theater in the round in the mid 60’s. After it became a single screen theater in ‘67 or '68 I saw Doctor Zhivago there on it’s very impressive large curved screen. After it was twinned I never went back.

rivest266 on July 19, 2015 at 9:37 am

December 15th, 1972 grand opening ad as a twin in photo section.

1KBrad on October 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

I started working at the Hyatt Cinema in 1973 as a doorman. I was the manager from 1976-1977.

By the time I started working there, it was already a two-screen theater. As I recall, 720-seats in the large cinema and 189-seats in the small theater, which we called, “The Abortion.”

It was not well done. There was little sound isolation in the small theater and it was an odd, two-tiered seating configuration.

The large cinema was a delight. It was a very large, curved screen and was set-up for 70mm, 6-channel magnetic sound (although it was never used while I was there) and I don’t think all of the five speakers behind the screen were operational. As I recall, number 2 never worked.

I did borrow a print of Funny Lady from the Burlingame Drive-In one night as it had a 4-channel magnetic soundtrack. We had a crew party and turned the volume up after hours. It sounded pretty darn good (even if the movie was not all that).

A lot of memories there. Sorry to see it in the shape it is now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 22, 2016 at 3:38 am

The Hyatt may not be with us much longer. A May 5 article in the San Mateo Daily Journal this year reported that plans are afoot to redevelop the property with an office complex and restaurant. The nearby Burlingame Drive-In site is expected to be redeveloped as well, with an even larger office project.

EmpressDR on July 29, 2017 at 11:05 am

@Joe Vogel, yes it made me mad that they plan to turn it into office buildings, disgusting. Also, when you gave that link to the post about seeing Empire Strikes Back, etc., I had thought it was one of MY posts, but no an author wrote about it! I reside in Southern California now, and the Hyatt screen was THE BIGGEST I have ever seen — I haven’t yet been to the Cinerama Dome, but I bet it is about the size of the Hyatt. I think the large curved screen of the Hyatt was chosen because it would fit the curve of the theater; and it had to be either a Cinerama or Todd-A-O screen. I think it might have been a Todd-A-O. I would like more info on the Hyatt. I was annoyed at the little theater, which I called “The Closet” haha yuck to hear how the theater staff called it, 1KBrad. I was upset with the theater for showing The Blue Lagoon, ET, and Fiddler on the Roof (when it was re-showing in the 1980s) in the Closet instead of the big theater. I think my first film in the big theater was The China Syndrome, and in 1979 Star Trek the Motion Picture, and in May 18, 1980 I was excited to see Empire Strikes Back, and paid to see it many times (though it never had a bargain matinee, for the entire run and I had to buy Bass tickets so I didn’t have to stand in line! I hated seeing Return of the Jedi at Tanforan Park’s lousy multiplex, how miserable. I never forgave Hyatt for not getting that one.) I was sorry that they cut the big theater in half, but hoped it would help the stay afloat— when the original trilogy Star Wars films were re-issued in 1997, I planned to travel by Greyhound JUST to see them at Hyatt, even JUST Empire Strikes Back — but NO, the Hyatt didn’t have the intelligence to get those! Did they EVER show Empire Strikes Back once they became a retro theater? If they’d shown it in the BIG theater, I would spent money to travel just to see it! Even the IMAX theaters I’ve been to have smaller screens than the Hyatt in Burlingame had!

stevenj on July 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

An April 2017 Google map street view shows the theater building still there and just a few weeks ago I drove down the Bayshore Freeway and it is still standing.

Coate on July 31, 2017 at 3:10 pm

EmpressDR: It’s highly doubtful you saw “The Empire Strikes Back” at the Hyatt in May 1980 since it is very well documented that “Empire” opened during that timeframe exclusively at the Northpoint in San Francisco (plus one theater in Santa Clara County and one in Marin County). Everyone else in the Bay Area had to wait at least a month before the movie’s release broadened.

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