Park Theatre

120 N. Euclid Avenue,
Ontario, CA 91762

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Park Theatre

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Information from the Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room at the Ontario Public Library dates the original Euclid Photoplay at 137 N. Euclid Avenue to 1911. On June 2, 1915 owner Harry Milling opened a new Photoplay across the street at 120 N. Euclid Avenue. “Milling was the first to step across to what at the time was considered the ‘wrong side of the street’.”

By 1919 the theater was called the Forum Theatre and owned by Jack Anderson, who came from Sweden in 1900. In 1922 Mr. Anderson bought the California Theatre and then in 1927 the Colonial Theatre in Upland.

In 1929 he sold his chain to West Coast Theatres and went on a tour of Europe. In 1933 Fox West Coast closed their theaters in Ontario giving Mr. Anderson the opportunity to reopen the California Theatre and Granada Theatre.

The Film Daily Yearbook of 1940 lists the Forum Theatre with 325 seats but it was closed for a few years and used as a church. In early-1944, after a renovation, Jack Anderson reopened it as the Park Theatre.

The Park Theatre was listed regularly In the Los Angeles Times Independent Theatre Guide but dropped out of the listings in 1950.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 7, 2018 at 11:38 pm

I don’t believe the Park Theatre building has been demolished. It appears to be the two-story building with two upstairs windows and red trim on the ground floor. The address is not visible in Google street view, but the building across the vacant lot to the south has the number 114, and the Chinese restaurant to the north has the address 126. The vacant lot was probably at 118-120. A brochure for a walking tour of downtown Ontario says this about the building:

“Lerch Building- 122 N. Euclid Ave.– Built in 1913 as a theatre by Jacob Lerch, the Lerch Building later became known as the ‘Park Theater’ and then ‘Euclid Theater’ until 1928. By 1951, the front façade of the building had been removed and altered. The only remnant from this building’s theater era is the marquees used to display movie posters. Local Landmark No. 18 (1998)
This PDF of the brochure has a (very tiny) photo of the building when the theater was in it, with its entrance in the right-hand bay. Whoever wrote the text for the brochure obviously knows less about the theater’s history than we do, but they were probably right that the building is still standing.

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