Americana Theater

8700 Van Nuys Boulevard,
Panorama City, CA 91402

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The Americana Theater was located along Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City, and opened on September 18, 1970. This stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard developed in the suburban boom in the San Fernando Valley after 1945 along with the surrounding neighborhood supporting many restaurants, department stores and other retail establishments.

In the 1980’s, the area began to decline and by 2000, most of the fine places dating from the post-World War II suburban boom had disappeared as had the Americana Theater. It was operated first by Lippert Theatres and finally by Mann Theatres. It now houses a beauty school and sporting goods store.

Contributed by David Knatcal

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

holland53
holland53 on October 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Thanks a million Rivest266! Wonderful article and pictures. Great reading the comments. Originally come from Panorama City. These were never as “chic” as Panorama Theater—remembering the “crying room”. But they had the best films then. Before that it was Uncle Ben’s fair on a dirt lot except at Christmas with the live reindeer.

secretpuppy
secretpuppy on December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Hi! My name is Cate Livingston. My father was Stanley Livingston and managed the Americana theater in the 70s. I want to thank all of you for the nice things you said about my mom and dad and yes they did move here to Las Vegas but are now sadly gone. To Richard Stellar, thank you for your patronage, sorry you lost your bike:( but that’s karma. You snuck in. My mom and dad were the most generous giving people. They would let people in their theatres for free and would buy you a cold drink if you were thirsty or if you were down on your luck, he would always give a few bucks out here and there. We went on the own the Peppertree theatres in the late 70s and early 80s. Were I worked for my dad as a Mgr. but sold it in the Mid 80s to move to Las vegas. Robert Lippert was a magnificent person and I remember flying to San Francisco with my dad to meet him. But my brother is gone too. He worked for my dad too as a projectionist for the Peppertree Theatre in Northridge, Ca.

secretpuppy
secretpuppy on December 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm

TO BIGDGIB: I think I remember you making the recordings for my dad. Not by your name, but by who he thought had the best voice Its been 40 years, wow. Wish I had your e-mail addresswould like to talk to ya.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 29, 2012 at 4:44 am

Four additions described in this 1970 trade article: Boxoffice

rivest266
rivest266 on August 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

September 18th, 1970 grand opening ad uploaded here. it was opened by Robert Lippert.

CTBIII
CTBIII on September 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I worked at the Americana from before it opened-got hired to be an usher, but worked getting the theatre ready for its opening. I worked there for a couple of years while I was in college. It was a great job.

Charles

CTBIII
CTBIII on September 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Cate,

Hadn’t seen your comment when I first posted. I was nostalgic for days gone by and was tracking down some landmarks from college years. Most are gone now of course. I was sad to see what the Americana Building looks like now. I remember Phil Ahn’s restaraunt next door, and the vacant lot where they set up a Santa’s Village every year.

I was an usher when it opened and then asst manager when Gary(?-it’s been a while) left. It was a good job to have for a college student.

I have a memory that’s been with me all this time. I stood in the lobby and took tickets sometimes. When they built the theatre, they didn’t put a clock in the lobby. On Saturday matinees, I could tell when a child wanted to know what time it was when they came into the lobby. I would sneak a glance at my watch, and then when they asked me, look up a the tall wall behind the candy counter, and then say 4:15. The kid would look at the wall but couldn’t see a clock, then walk away puzzled.

Cheers,

Charles ctbishop at earthlink dot net

bigdgib
bigdgib on March 5, 2013 at 5:59 am

@Cate – Yes it was I (Dave Wilson) who did the recordings for Stan. I really had fun doing them. I remember having a lot of fun with the titles. Though I must admit it would get frustrating when I would trip on a word at the end of the long recording and have to do the the whole darn thing over again! Remember Ernie Lyle? He’s the one who hired me. dvd dot wlsn at yahoo dot com

BRADE48
BRADE48 on March 5, 2013 at 6:57 am

Mann never operated this theatre, Pacific Theatres did.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on July 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

I don’t know about Mann/Pacific but in an August 1991 edition of Boxoffice, it was cited that CinemaCal Entperises operated the theatre at that time.

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