Atlantic Theater

5870 Atlantic Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90805

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Opened in 1941, this was rather plain on the outside, its most distinguishing feature was a large tower similar to trademark of RKO-Radio pictures that flashed with neon lights, a magnet for families in the surrounding area. It survived as a theater until at least 1983 and became home to a church. It was demolished in February, 2014.

Contributed by doug sarvis

Recent comments (view all 75 comments)

DebraLea on January 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Hi Guys, i’ve gone by the Atlantic theater, nothing yet to suggest that the demolish is still scheduled for the 25th. no signs ect. last time i went by there were Edison trucks with crane all in the back of the building working up on the poles. other than that nothing looks like work happening. i make it a habit to go by that way anymore. i’ll let you know if i see anything. i’ve posted the info and all the pictures on a group site of Facebook ‘you know your from LBC when you remember…’ it has raised so many to remembering our days going to the Atlantic, Crest, Towne & LaShell Theaters, many back to the days they opened. they loved the pictures and i included this site so they can also find info of the many other theaters that once were here in LBC and those that still are. thanks again for being here.

Mark Goodrich
Mark Goodrich on January 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Today, January 25, 2014, a ‘celebration’ was held marking the beginning of this theater’s demolition. The 1941 theater is being destroyed after many years of neglect to make way for a new library. The RKO-like spire, the theater’s terrazo floors, fountain and tile work will be incorporated into the library’s design plan. I will post some photos.

Mark Goodrich
Mark Goodrich on February 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm

I just added a few new photos of the demolition. The auditorium is down.

GaryParks on March 29, 2015 at 2:17 am

Several months ago, in mid-2014, I drove out to the site of the Atlantic. Not only is the building gone without a trace, but there seems to be no sign of future development at the site, not even a sign proclaiming the construction of a library, or anything, there. I’m wondering if the neighborhood has become the victim of a development scam of some sort, a promise of a library, and preserved portions of the theatre, only to be left with nothing. I hope not. I’ll be interested to see if anyone has any news.

lemansblue69 on February 17, 2016 at 7:01 pm

What happened to the tower?

GaryParks on January 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm

The top part of the tower was preserved, and mounted onto the new library building, which has been completed. I do not know if any other features of the theatre were incorporated anywhere else in the new building.

Mark Goodrich
Mark Goodrich on October 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

I uploaded most of the photos now on the site for this theater and I was wondering if anyone knows approximately when the Atlantic ceased operating as a movie venue. I have looked everywhere and can’t locate a decent photo of the theater when it was in operation. Can any help or direct me? Thanks!

Mark Goodrich
Mark Goodrich on October 13, 2017 at 7:37 pm

I also find it sad that I’m unable to see anything in the new library that mentions the theater at all. I expected there to be something about the history of the site…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm

The Atlantic was operating as a Chinese language movie house at least as late as 1983, when this photo was taken. It was pretty shabby by then. I’ve never seen a photo from the period when it was a regular movie house, or from the 1970s when it was running porn movies.

Sillyheart55 on November 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm

It’s terrible how cities don’t believe in historical value anymore. I remember that The Crest Theater was gone by 1979, then it was The Towne and now it’s the Atlantic Theater. Oh boy! They saved the spire for the new building! Sad … The people making the decisions must be under 40 years old. They think that EVERYTHING over 40 is old. They probably think the same thing of people.

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