Star Theatre

402 North Coast Highway,
Oceanside, CA 92054

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Star Theatre - Oceanside, CA

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Star Theatre opened in August 1956 with a seating capacity for 986. There were 546 seats in the orchestra and 440 in the stepped loge section at the rear. Behind the loge seating area was a cry room, that was equipped with electric fixtures for bottle warmers.

This was once a popular movie house, located in downtown Oceanside. In it’s darkest days it fuctioned as an adult theater operated by Pussycat Theatres, but has recently been renovated and is used for live performances.

Contributed by Ian Ehrnstrom

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

danwhitehead1
danwhitehead1 on February 15, 2007 at 7:54 am

This house was never meant to be anything but a movie theatre. There is no stage area and no fly space. I was intimately connected with this house for many years; I know what I’m talking about and I imagine there are many old projectionists in the San Diego area who will back me up. This was built specifically as a movie theatre and not as a live theatre. Period.

JayAllenSanford
JayAllenSanford on June 21, 2007 at 10:31 pm

There’s a cover article in today’s San Diego Reader, detailing the histories of all the downtown theaters once run by Vince Miranda, at one time co-owner of California’s Pussycat Theatre chain. This is one of the theaters chronicled in the piece, which is built from a series of email interviews with Cinema Treasures contribs Dan Whitehead and Tim David (David is Miranda’s godson). Unfortunately, the online version doesn’t have any of the great photos and graphics seen in the printed version – I wrote the piece and will probably put scans of the graphics on my own webpage before much longer, after the next issue comes out. Here’s a link to the article on the Reader site:

View link

This is our second major feature on southern CA theaters in about a year (the other, “Field Of Screens,” is just on San Diego drive-ins and can be found on the Reader site with the search bar). If anyone here likes the article(s) and would like to encourage the publisher to greenlight more, feel free to leave your thoughts about the piece in the comment section after article. The paper really pays attention to reader comments!
http://www.sdreader.com/ed/cover/

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 8:43 am

Advertised at 402 N. Hill in September 1979.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on March 19, 2008 at 8:57 pm

ken mc, they changed the name of Hill Street to Coast Highway. I don’t know the year.

drb
drb on March 18, 2009 at 10:05 am

Some photos I took back in November 2000, when it had recently closed as a movie theater and its fate was uncertain. Sorry the first two aren’t the sharpest, early digital cameras were unpredictable things:

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 6, 2010 at 4:28 am

The Balch in the firm of Balch, Bryan, Perkins, Hutchason was William Glenn Balch, the considerably younger brother of theater architect Clifford Balch. Following the dissolution of the firm of Balch & Balch, in 1946 Clifford Balch formed a partnership with Louis L. Bryan. Balch & Bryan became Balch, Bryan, Perkins, Hutchason, Architects in 1953, with the addition of partners John Loring Perkins and W.K. Hutchason.

Here is a Boxoffice article about the Star Theatre. It notes that William Glenn Balch had “…designed over 180 southland theatres over the last 25 years….”

Douglas Westfall
Douglas Westfall on July 6, 2010 at 4:31 am

Jim Heiser and I connected during the re-opening of the Star Theater when it played TITANIC in late June of 1998. I had just released the book “The Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic” and he asked me to open the theater. So with microphone in hand I stood at the curtain and gave a breif overview of the history then took questions. After the showing I sold books in the lobby. I was saddened to see it close.

Douglas Westfall, Publisher
www.SpecialBooks.com

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 13, 2012 at 8:03 am

Replacing an expired link to a trade article cited above by Joe Vogel: boxoffice

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