Showcase Theater

1970 Grant Street,
Concord, CA 94520

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Enean Theater, Concord California

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Enean Theater was built by the Enea Brothers of Pittsburg, CA in September 1938. (They also owned and operated the San Ramon Drive-in in San Ramon and two Fremont drive-ins, The Nimitz and the Fremont Automovie). In April 1968 its name changed to Concord Showcase Theater and it was located in downtown Concord overlooking the town square.

By the early-1970’s, the Showcase Theater resorted to second-run fare, then a dollar theater, before switching to porn in 1975. The Pussycat chain took over about a year later and ran it until the late-1980’s when various neighborhood and church groups protested the porn films being run. Although operated by Pussycat, it did not use the Pussycat name on the marquee.

A church bought the theater and shut it down as a movie house. It now holds church services.

Contributed by scottfavareille

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

trainmaster
trainmaster on February 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

Julia G:

Having lived in Concord for over 55+ years, having moved away in 1995, but still come there often, I can tell you MONEY influences the Concord City Council. You ask “what kind of place would allow a porn theater in its historic square? Actually, city approval was not necessary. The United States Supreme Court upheld the right to show porn movies, and the city’s hands were tied.

About the only historic places left in downtown Concord are across Totos Santos Park where the Old Spaghetti Factory is on Mt. Diablo Street. Across Salvio, Mt. Diablo has some interesting old buildings on the left-hand side. The right hand side was the site of the first movie theater in Concord, before the Enean was built.
To reiterate, the Enean exterior is still owned by the First Presbyterian Church. The Pittsburg Enean, owned by the Enea brothers and closed long before the Concord location, is being rennovated to open as a regular theater again. The former Fox Concord (which helped the demise of the Enean, now a gym) sits on property owned by the Enea Brothers -they decided to change from theater operators to real estate investors in the 1960’s. They also bought the Capri in Concord and tried theater business again, in the 1990’s, but that failed, so the Capri is once again closed. (May be gone by now – it was the former J.C. Penny building, built in 1957).

trainmaster

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 1, 2011 at 3:35 am

The correct address for the Enean/Showcase Theatre is 1970 Grant Street.

motioman
motioman on January 29, 2012 at 11:45 am
In 1948 the Enea bros. leased the Enean Theater for twenty years to Blumenfeld Theaters.  When the lease expired in 1968 things were changing big time in the Concord area and Blumenfeld did not renew so the Enea Bros took it back and after an extensive remodel it became the Showcase.  They tried to run it as sort of an Art House but with a few exceptions it was not successful. I always felt the timing was off by about 10 years. I worked at the Enean as a union projectionist from July 1, 1964  steady for about a year and a half and then off and on till near the end of the Enea Bros run. I relieved John M. Nunes as projectionist when he became too ill to continue working. The Enean was a bit rundown during the last years but was a very well run movie theater and Bob Reeves was a very good theater manager.  The Enean was also IMHO an Art Deco Gem waiting to be discovered and restored.  There was extensive Art Deco neon all over the front of the building and on the vertical sign.  If only the Enean had not been turned into the Showcase and could have lasted another 10 years. How many times has that been said.
                  
nnunes
nnunes on May 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Right on, Motioman. John M. Nunes was my dad and had become too ill to work (cancer) and I guess it was then that you took over as projectionist. When we moved to Concord (from Walnut Creek) in 1951 the town’s population was abut 7,500 and it seemed that everyone hanged out at the theater. My dad worked as the projecionist at the El Rey in W.C. for about 7 years before transfering to the Enean.

robertcampbell
robertcampbell on August 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

The picture of the interior was found on www.cowellhistoricalsociety.org, and there are other pictures of the Enean as well. I have a old 8mm movie of us coming out of the Enean from a birthday party, at dusk with the original marquee lit up (looks fantastic) I will post stills of the movie once I get it properly duplicated.

nnunes
nnunes on August 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm

To Robt. Campbell, My brother John also has 8mm film, taken in the theater around 1957 of a group of us high school employees. We had just closed up for the night and then put on a hypnotism show on the stage. It was quite interesting. We were class of ‘57 Mt Diablo. I remember a Don Campbell from our class. Any relationship?

ellenaewoodrow
ellenaewoodrow on August 1, 2015 at 9:46 pm

I know the posts here are a few years old, but I would like very much to see the pictures (or film) you have of the inside of the Enean, and of the marquee lights! Are you still going to post them here, or can you make them available on tumblr or FB on one of the Concord groups? I grew up in Concord in the 50s and 60s, left in 70 with my family. I have so many great memories of going to the Enean, especially in the summer. It was great having a neighborhood movie theater! And it was beautiful inside, with the Greco-style frescoes. I have hoped that someone would have pictures of the inside of the theater, and maybe history on who did the frescoes in the first place. Norm, I believe I’ve seen you in the FB groups, and I’m going to try to find you on there. Thanks for the posts about our beloved neighborhood theater! (;

Bobbalt
Bobbalt on March 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm

More information about the Showcase, and a picture of its exterior, can be found on the Claycord Online Museum at http://claycord.com/2016/01/05/claycord-online-museum-a-bar-in-the-sunvalley-mall-a-porn-theatre-a-motel/

woodrowe
woodrowe on May 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

I was not referring to the porn theater, I was referring to the Enean Theater as it was during the 1960s. It was a neighborhood theater, where families and children went to see movies.

RobertMerk
RobertMerk on October 20, 2016 at 4:44 pm

The Enean theatre closed its doors in early 1968 and reopened on April 17, 1968 under the new name Concord Showcase. The first feature of the Showcase theatre was THE FOX starring Sandy Dennis and Keir Dullea.

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