Eastmont 4 Theatres

136 Eastmont Mall,
Oakland, CA 94605

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Opened as a 1,300-seat twin theatre in August 1971. This fourplex, located in Oakland’s Eastmont Mall, is probably best-known as a major exhibitor of many “blaxploitation” films during the early-1970’s.

It was subsequently known as Four Star Theatres and as Coliseum Family Cinemas.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

gsmurph
gsmurph on May 21, 2004 at 8:58 am

Eastmont 4’s address was 136 Eastmont Mall.

Oakboy
Oakboy on November 19, 2004 at 3:06 am

Never went there as there was too many black youths that would start fist fights and steal from non black kids. This was a time when going out to the mall was a scary proposition.

gsmurph
gsmurph on February 24, 2005 at 11:53 am

The Eastmont 4 was opened and originally operated by AMC (American Multi-Cinema).

bago1
bago1 on April 30, 2005 at 7:34 am

i see that one person that left a comment said he didn,t come here because there were way to many black kids well i used to go here al the time and i,m mexican and i never had problems here a lot of black and mexican kids would come here to watch movies i have found memories of this theater .

jfrentzen
jfrentzen on May 10, 2005 at 3:09 pm

The Eastmont Mall was not as scary as previously reported, in fact that area of East Oakland was, at the time, fairly quiet and residential. The Eastmont 4 was one of the few places in the Bay Area where you could see drivein movies in a hardtop. Not only blaxpolitation but weird, horror, and “hard R” flicks would play here. The theatre was nicely designed and, when AMC ran it, was clean and well-staffed. The auditoriums were small and sound would bleed from one auditorium to another (not unusual for a 4-plex but the bleed was worse than usual). Many good memories there. No one ever bothered me. The only hardtop I know of that ever played KILLER SNAKES uncut. In fact, the Eastmont 4 would show titles that did not play anywhere else in the Bay Area!

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on May 10, 2005 at 3:11 pm

Also showed a lot of kung-fu in the 1970’s. Those were the days!

zombie1007
zombie1007 on December 15, 2007 at 11:48 pm

When I was a kid I watched a double feature of The Karate Kid and Gremlins at eastmont! Those were the good ol' days I have no memory of it ever being a rough theater at all.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on December 27, 2007 at 4:30 pm

This theater opened originally in April 1970.

From www.reeldistraction.com, this was the programming for that theater on Dec 25, 1974 (they had a copy of the Oakland Tribune theater guide listing):

  1. Abby 3:30, 7:00, 10:30
    Black Caesar 1:45, 5:15, 8:45
  2. Black Belt Jones 3:25, 6:45, 10:05
    Cleopatra Jones 1:45, 5:05, 8:25
  3. Boss Nigger 3:35, 6:55, 10:15 (Legend of Boss Nigger)
    Green Hornet 1:55, 5:15, 8:35 (Kato & the Green Hornet—This was a theatrical compilation of 3 Green Hornet TV episodes from the 1960s that were edited together to make a feature. It was done to cash in on the death of Bruce Lee, who played Kato on the show.)
  4. Lady Sings the Blues 4:00, 9:00
    Education of Sonny Carson 2:00, 7:00

Ad also stated “Under 16 not admitted unless accompanied by an adult-Evening performances only”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

The September 13, 1971, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that AMC’s Eastmont 4 Theatres had opened to the public on August 18, 1971. Total seating capacity was given as 1300, with two 350 seat and two 300 seat auditoriums.

Dougan66
Dougan66 on August 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I remember going here a few times whith my parents when I was really really little. I can vididly remember seeing LIVE AND LET DIE (In which I today think were 2nd run showings, but started my fandom with 007.) and ORCA The Killer Whale.

When my family moved to Oakland in the mid-80’s, as a teen I began patronizing the movies here often with my younger brother, sometimes alone. It was then I noticed the cinema had been relocated to another part of the mall. Saw more 2nd run and B-fare there then I’d care to list.

I think the previous comment made about the Four Star Cinema’s clientele is greatly exaggeraed. True, Eastmont Mall wasn’t located in the ‘burbs, and the audiences could be a little rowdy… (which was part of the charm imo!) but me and mine were nice middle-class kids, and we never had any problems when spending an afternoon there.

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