1890 Newport Boulevard,
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In the years following World War II, repeated efforts were made in Costa Mesa to build a movie theater.
According to articles from that era in the Costa Mesa Globe Herald, post war building controls were the impediment. Congressmen and even the President of the United States were lobbied and in a town-wide ballot, the citizens voted for a theater. When the controls were lifted, the Mesa Theater was built and opened on November 4, 1948.
Its builder was Mason Siler, who also operated the now historic Lido and Balboa theaters in Newport Beach. It was designed in Streamline style by A. Dwight Gibbs, the architect of the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles. Features in the $175,000 building included 925 luxury seats, a crying room and smoking room.
It was operated as an independent theater until Edwards Theatres took it over in 1981 making it their sixteenth Orange County location. By 1997 it was a second-run house that had become economically unfeasible to maintain without a major restoration so Edwards closed it.
In the last years, admission price was $1.00 for a double feature, not much more than its 1948 admission of 60 cents. The Mesa was demolished in 1998 and a Borders Books was built on the site.
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