Showcase Theater

1970 Grant Street,
Concord, CA 94520

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rivest266
rivest266 on August 10, 2018 at 7:02 pm

April 17, 1968 grand opening ad in the photo section

RobertMerk
RobertMerk on October 20, 2016 at 7:44 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.

woodrowe
woodrowe on May 13, 2016 at 7:01 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.

Bobbalt
Bobbalt on March 16, 2016 at 5:10 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/

ellenaewoodrow
ellenaewoodrow on August 2, 2015 at 12:46 am

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! (;

nnunes
nnunes on August 15, 2012 at 1:39 am

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?

robertcampbell
robertcampbell on August 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

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 May 4, 2012 at 9:17 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.

motioman
motioman on January 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm
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.
                
Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 1, 2011 at 6:35 am

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

trainmaster
trainmaster on February 16, 2011 at 3:42 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

trainmaster
trainmaster on February 16, 2011 at 3:32 am

I WISH this site would change the name of “SHOWCASE” to the “Enean."
It opened in 1938 under this name, the Enea brothers decided to get out of the theater business in 1968 and a new operator took over and, due to the competition of new theaters in the area which did have true 235:1 widescreens, much of the beautiful woodwork by the curtain and the "Fitzpatrick Chevrolet” clock were torn apart to accomodate a 235:1 widescreen. The patchwork was covered up with curtains, as it was in many theaters (like the Stamm in Antioch) which didn’t have the room in the original design for 235:1). The name was changed to “The Showcase,” and regular movies flopped.

Porno entered the scene at the former Enean, as it did to many other great movie houses in their last days, but the building was still owned by the Enea Brothers. Because the building owners had a good relationship with First Presbyterian Church, right behind the theater, the Enea brothers gave the church first bid to buy the building, as the brothers intended to get rid of the property. The church did, only as I said above, to find itself in an iron-clad lease by the porno operators until 1985. It was at that time that the theater closed for good – I took photos of it then and in the 1950’s and the church converted it into a community center (more like a glorified gymn). That failed and now the church rents the building out to a Korean church.

Trainmaster

nnunes
nnunes on May 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Does anyone remember the old Ramona theater in Walnut Creek, ca.
It used to be a ‘silent movie’ theater in the early 1900’s. I went there many times during the 40’s and 50’s. During that time it mainly showed westerns like “Cisco Kid”, the Durango Kid, and Hopalong Cassidy. It was really run down and many people called it the flea house. When it closed many old player piano rolls were found in the back area, that were used there during the silent movies. The theater was on Main St, across and down the street from the El Rey.
Norm Nunes

nnunes
nnunes on May 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I lived in Concord from 1951 thru 1972.
While in high school my brother, John, and I worked at the theater as doorman and usher in the middle and late 1950’s, along with some of our high school friends.
My father was the projectionist there from about 1950 thru 1965 upon his death. Bob Reeves was the manager much of that time. Eldon Belcher the assistant manager. Many good memories of the theater and fellow workers. It was such a shame that the city would let it convert into a porno theater.
Norm Nunes

juliagreen
juliagreen on March 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

This is a pretty interesting testament (no pun intended) on California’s history of municipal development and its impact on historical structures in general and theatres more specifically. We know why theatres have this repeated trajectory: Main-stream movie house, porn house, church. In Concord this trajectory is emphasized by the fact that this 1938 theatre is built ON THE TOWN SQUARE! Water was widely hooked up to the area in the 1960s…development really got going after that. In the 70s, when this became a Pussycat, there was the typical California town rebuilding itself (turning away from its history). Pardon me, if you are now living in Concord, but this place is a subsequent strip mall suburban Nowhere. There still is a square with some quaint old buildings (and the Showcase, now “Vinyard Community Center,”)but Concord is mostly nondescript buildings from the 1970s to present that lack any architectural interest and any historical soul. No offense to the CT porn crowd ;) but what kind of place would allow a porn theatre on its historic town square? (I have a Google Earth pic posted…it should be up in the next few weeks.)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 19, 2009 at 1:32 am

This is a December 1976 ad from the Oakland Tribune. The address doesn’t match, however.
http://tinyurl.com/ld8tr8

Kiddman
Kiddman on August 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Okay, so I didn’t exactly have the facts straight about who ran the porno house and the legal mumbo-jumbo around the whole deal…

I just find it humorous to find that a porno house was owned by a church :)

War agnosticism… Out! :)

JayAllenSanford
JayAllenSanford on August 8, 2008 at 11:53 am

New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
View link

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on February 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Interesting to find that the Mitchell Brothers were operating this theater at the end of its days as a porn house. Any idea as to when they took over from Pussycat Theaters? (I know that in the mid-1980s, Pussycat Theaters was in serious financial problems due to the decline of XXX theaters, the death of Vince Miranda, and legal squabbles as to who would own what was left of the operations.) The ads for Pussycat Theaters in the San Francisco Chronicle had this listed as one of their theaters & I do not recall this theater listed as a Mitchell Brothers theater. (The Mitchells did advertise in the Chronicle, as of 1985, their only Bay Area theaters advertised were the O'Farrell, which mostly did live shows then; the Ritz in Hayward which closed at the end of 1985, and the Bijou on Market Street in San Francisco. Their Berkeley operation was already changed over by another operator into a mainstream house.)

I could see the Mitchells attempting then to try to break into the market, although Pussycat & the Mitchells historically didn’t get along with one another. (As when the Mitchells bought the leases to several San Francisco theaters that had been operated by Walter Reade prior to that company’s bankrupcy—That was mostly done to keep Pussycat from expanding into a theater which was near their O'Farrell flagship.)

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on January 11, 2008 at 11:39 pm

If you’d like — send the photos to and we’ll get them posted on our site which we can then cross reference to this site.

trainmaster
trainmaster on January 11, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Dear Pat Patterson:

I served on that committee which oversaw the purchase of the theater.
The church was bound to an ironclad lease on the present occupants.
The First Presbyterian Church in Concord even make national network headline news: “CHURCH RUNS PORNO MOVIE HOUSE.” While the story was (partially true) the network FAILED to mention that the church was legally bound to honor the lease until it expired in 1985. Once it did, the Mitchell Brothers (NOT Pussycat as some claim) were ordered OUT although they offered to triple the rent! I know – the offer was routed through our committee!

As a member of that committee, I fought to preserve the theater exactly as it was and use it for plays, etc. The Session (ruling body of the Church) had other ideas – they gutted the theater, using volunteer work, and turned the building into the “Presbyterian Communicty Center” which lasted until the late 1990’s when they leased the building to a Korean Presbyterian Group. To this day, this group uses the facility for worship services.

I have asked Cinema Treasures to correct the extremely inaccurate information listed for the Enean Theater. It opened on September 8, 1938. I even have a special edition of the Concord Transcript of its Grand Opening. I also might add that all the pictures that the Concord Historical Society has on the theater were take by me!

And, NO, the Mitchell Brothers did not refuse to leave – again, as a member of the comittee that oversaw that project, they had no recourse as their lease was UP!!!! What the court battles were about was how to break their CURRENT lease when the church bought the building!

RMerk’s posting is correct. If there are any doubts as to what the Porno house looked like in 1970, I can supply photos! That is, when Cinema Teasures gets that photo-upload section fixed.

I justam very passionate for accuracy and my research, experience on the church committee, and memories will verify any incorrect information above. I suggest whoever wrote the original article on the Showcase read the September 8, 1938 edition of the Concord Transcript.

In addition to the Showcase photo, I have the original opening photos of the theater, plus the ONLY known color photos of the exterior and interior as the theater apeared during the ENEAN days.

abner

damienryan
damienryan on May 28, 2007 at 8:58 pm

i grew up in concord and remember this theater. Unfortunatly it was always operating as a Porn house during my youth. I also remember when it was converted to the church. My mother went to this theater in the 1960s when she first moved to Concord. She told me stories about seeing films there after work. Must have been early 62-65.

Kiddman
Kiddman on May 1, 2005 at 1:42 pm

When I was a kid growing up in Concord, CA, I and my brothers used to go to the Enean nearly every week to see the latest Disney film. We saw things like “Charlie, The Lonesome Cougar”, “Follow Me, Boys”, “The Absent-Minded Professor” and many of the other Disney low-budget quickies that they used to make in the 50’s and 60’s to fund their much more expensive animated features. It was a childhood highlight.

Funny story about the Enean’s later life… It was still operating as a porn house when the Presbyterian church that stands directly behind it bought the place, intending to close it down so they could remodel it into a Christian youth center.

The church served an eviction notice to Pussycat, but they refused to leave. Several years of wrangling in the courts ensued before Pussycat was finally ousted, which meant that, for a few years, the church OWNED a porno house!

My mom belongs to this church, and I still needle her about it every once in awhile :)

tbdavid
tbdavid on January 12, 2005 at 2:21 pm

Hello from colorado!

Vincent miranda was my god father and owner of the Pussycat chain.I have been putting together a collection of ANYTHING Pussycat. Even an old match book would make my day. I know this particular venue did not have the Pussycat name however..I am seaching for an old Pussycat marquee…you know..the oval w/ the ms. pussycat and “It’s a Pussycat theatre” Please…if you have any information..let me know.
Thanks!

Tim David

970.309.3991