Edwards Family 4

17161 Brookhurst Street,
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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The California Cinema Circuit opened the Family Twin Cinema on September 14, 1973. On the screens were two 1970’s icons: A Billy Jack double feature in one auditorium and in the other, a rising Burt Reynolds in “White Lighting” and a fading Burt Lancaster from an earlier era in “Scorpio".

In 1984 it became the Family 4, as listed in the Los Angeles Times Independent Theatre Guide. The Los Angeles Times reported on January 17, 1988 that Orange Coast Cinemas had spruced up and opened the Family 4 Theatre 18 months previously. The principals were Joan Edwards Randolph, James Edwards III and Carole Ann Ruoff. They had rented the second-run fourplex from James Edwards Sr. Their purpose was to gain hands-on experience in running a theater. (Perhaps the cinemas could have been named Movie Theater University).

Randolph said that the $2 theater was gaining a following and turning a small profit. A comment of Edwards Sr. was: “They’re doing fine, It would be stimulating if they were competing (with the family chain). Everyone else is. Why not them, too?” The Family 4 was just a mile and a half away on Brookhurst from the Edwards Twin Theater in Fountain Valley and was listed in the LA Times Independent Theatre Guide.

In 1993 the students may have been awarded their PhD in Movie Theater Management by Professor Edwards because the Family 4 returned to the fold and became officially an Edwards Theatre.

The Orange County Register on August 24, 2000 published a report of closed Edwards Theatres. The Family 4 had closed on April 27 and the site is now home to a Sam’s Club.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Richie_T
Richie_T on February 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

The Family Four was a little run down but a decent place for broke neighborhood kids like me to camp out in all day long. There were lots of second run double features and a fair amount of hard core slasher flicks which always seemed odd for the Family Four.

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