135 Colorado Place,
Arcadia, CA 91007

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dsedman on March 8, 2017 at 11:57 am

The $100,000 Santa Anita Theatre opened May 14, 1942 in close proximity to the famed Santa Anita Park race track. The theatre was built by Steed Bros. with architectural plans by Walter M. Bostock of Huntington Park. Its covered colonnade got people from the 450-spot parking lot to the theater. It got a facelift in 1962 likely coinciding with the end of a 20-year lease cycle.

The theater closed on November 6, 1966 for another refurbishing reopening as Cinemaland in 1967. It closed again in 1972 reopening as the New Cinemaland as subrun discount house in 1975. That appears to have ended on December 31, 1975.

In January of 1977, the city discussed but rejected a concept to turn the vacant facility into a municipal auditorium sealing its fate. It was razed later in 1977 projected to make way for the Engineering-Science Inc. corporate headquarters.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 8, 2016 at 2:21 pm

clinkpage: I never attended Cinemaland, so I don’t know the name of the manager you remember, but the theater was owned by the Edwards circuit throughout its history, so the man you remember must have been only the manager.

clinkpage on January 31, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I worked there in ‘72, '73, as an usher and was trying to recall the name of the melancholy manager/owner of European, perhaps Mideast descent. American Graffiti playing interminably is my largest memory. Anyone recall his name? Thanks, c

docchapel on July 25, 2015 at 6:27 am

I worked many theaters in Southern California during the sixties while a student at UCLA. As a relief projectionist I got into lots of houses, and had a ball. I worked the CinemaLand Theater on many occasions.

I ran the original “Inspector Clouseau” there starring Alan Arkin, before Peter Sellers took over the role. I ran Rod Tailor’s “Dark Of The Sun,” and Jim Brown’s “The Split.” It’s funny how you remember where you worked by the movies you’ve shown.

This was one of my favorite places to work, and it was a first rate theater with beautiful architecture. The booth was spacious, well laid out, with really good air conditioning. Some places were cramped, really hot, with poor circulation and were miserable.

I was a young kid in my early twenties, and was treated really well by the staff. I loved being assigned there.

I think I’ll bop around the site and see if I can find some more theaters that i actually worked.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Colorado Place splits off from Huntington Drive almost in front of the theater (it’s a double-curved “Y” intersection, with Huntington veering southward while Colorado Place bends north.) The City of Arcadia must have decreed at some time after 1950 that the numbers on the north side of that block be reassigned from Huntington Drive to Colorado Place, because that’s where they are now.

The theater was called Edwards Santa Anita for about two decades. The name Santa Anita was on the marquee until the early 1960s (I don’t recall the exact year,) when it was changed to Cinemaland. However, for as long as I remember, the theater always had a vertical sign that said Edwards, in letters larger than those used for the marquee name. The same was true at Edwards San Gabriel, which was renamed Edwards Century about the same time Edwards Santa Anita became Edwards Cinemaland.

Most of the old Edwards circuit houses had the company name on their signage, though at most of them it was in small, white neon script over the theater names themselves, so it was barely visible by daylight, and not very noticeable even by night. The San Gabriel and Santa Anita were the only houses I recall having the big vertical Edwards signs, but a smaller vertical reading Edwards was featured on the Edwards Village Theatre in Azusa.

BillCounter on March 17, 2011 at 11:13 am

It’s listed in the 1948 and 1950 city directories as the Santa Anita at 131 W. Huntington Dr.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2009 at 12:54 am

The May 23, 1942, issue of Boxoffice magazine said: “Jimmy Edwards opened his new Santa Anita, near Arcadia, May 14. The 743-seater charges 40 cents admission and boasts a crying room and a parking lot accommodating 450 cars. The Edwards circuit, with this addition, numbers 20 houses.”

reboot on October 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm

I lived right around the corner from Cinemaland on San Luis Rey, and saw many movies there as a child. As a matter of fact, I just moved away from that beloved house two years ago (it’s another Arcadia mansion now).

The last thing I remember seeing there was Silent Running (early 70’s I guess). Was eventually torn down due to two kids breaking in and flooding the place with the fire hoses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 21, 2007 at 3:40 pm

The L.A. Library website’s California Index has three cards referencing Southwest Builder & Contractor mentions of an engineer named W.M. Bostock. Though SB&C is notorious for typos, it seldom makes the same typo in every instance. I’ve also found a Los Angeles engineer named W.M. Bostock quoted in a 1933 Time Magazine article, so it’s probable that SB&C got the name right.

As for architect L.M. Bostock, the California Index contains no references to him. If ken mc’s source was The L.A. Times, which has usually been good at keeping typos to a minimum, I’d be inclined to believe that we are dealing with two different guys and L.M. was not just a typo. If L.M. Bostock was an architect, his absence from the California Index suggests that he was a fairly obscure one. But since W.M. is only mentioned in the context of two buildings (Cinemaland and the El Sereno Theatre), I guess he’s pretty obscure himself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 20, 2007 at 9:43 pm

I was also wondering if L.M. and W.M. Bostock were related- or maybe the W.M. in the article I cited in 2005 was another of Southwestern Builder & Contractor’s frequent typos? There may have been only an L.M. Bostock.

kencmcintyre on June 20, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Architect was L.M. Bostock.

vokoban on January 7, 2006 at 4:42 am

Here’s a brief article in the LA Times:

(Jan. 10, 1942)
ARCADIA, Jan. 9-Construction is expected to start within the next two weeks on a $100,000 theater to be located at the north-east corner of Huntington Drive and Colorado Place.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2005 at 2:56 am

The streets are oddly configured at that intersection. Huntington Drive splits in two, and one of the forks further splits, with westbound traffic on Huntington veering south and that on Colorado veering north. I was never able to tell for sure which name left off where, but Colorado Place does sound as though it would be the correct street name.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 31, 2005 at 2:42 am

This is listed in the Film Daily Yearbook;1950 and 1952 editions as the Santa Anita Theatre with a seating capacity given as 830. The address given is 135 Colorado Ave, Arcadia, CA. which today maps as Colorado Place.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2005 at 1:40 am

I have found reference to an article in Southwest Builder and Contractor magazine of February 27th, 1942. It says that Steed Brothers Construction of Alhambra had been awarded the contract for the Edwards Santa Anita Theatre. No architect was named, but the structural engineer was W.M. Bostock. It was described as a class “D” theatre building, and was to seat 750 patrons. The cost was estimated at $50,000.

MagicLantern on February 13, 2005 at 11:41 pm

This theatre was located at 125 West Huntington Drive (at Parsons).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 5, 2004 at 11:43 pm

Cinemaland was originally the Edwards Santa Anita. This was one of several Edwards theaters in the area that the company renamed in the early 1960’s. It was a free-standing building, moderne in style, probably built in the 1940’s. It was located on the north side of Huntington Drive, just east of Colorado Place, near the Santa Anita Race Track. I never attended this theater, but passed by it many times. Judging from the exterior dimensions, it was likely a two-aisle theater, with somewhere between 800-1000 seats, all on one floor. It was still operating in the late 1970’s, and closed sometime before August of 1986, but I don’t know when the demolition took place.