7730 Girard Avenue,
7730 Girard Avenue,La Jolla, CA 92037
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I just learned from your comments that Spence had died. He was a good person. I knew him only as a patron – kid matinees and with Mom and Dad when they took me with them. It didn’t matter when, he’d stand at the door and greet you by name. For me, going to the theatre was a treat, primarily because I’d receive a personal greeting. It didn’t matter that everyone received the same greeting. ——– Good times gone but remembered.
I learned this week of the passing of longtime Cove manager Spencer Wilson. I was lucky to know him. http://www.lajollalight.com/2011/11/26/former-cove-theater-manager-spence-wilson-99-died-on-thanksgiving-day/
Yes,A nice story,the kind we need on CT.
Nice story David.
My memories of the Cove date back to 1960 while a student at LJHS. I had smuggled a six-pack in and sat in the back right side (as entering the theater). Burt Lancaster’s bigger than life performance of “Elmer Gantry” was on the big screen and I being of great immaturity sat there thinking “so, this is the religious life? Who needs it” and proceeded to roll my empties down the aisles until I was uncerimoniously asked to leave with my Windansea cohorts.
I graduated in ‘63 and left La Jolla at the end of that summer following my folks to Orange County. No way could I live there on my box boy salary from Mayfair Market on Pearl Street. And the following year a fellow student stopped me on the campus at Fullerton College to take a religious survey. It was a turning point in my life that took me from a life without purpose into a very deep and meaningful religious life, despite the memories of Elmer.
LJHS Class of '63
monika, your comments sound like you worked or ran this theatre. i have some questions for you about the history of the theatre and its closing for a project that i am working on. if you would mind emailing me at , i would be appreciative.
Who ever was behind closing down the La Jolla Cove Theatre should be arrested and in prison. La Jolla will never be the same again!
They did level it for retail, and made sure that in no way did it resemble the place where a theatre may have once stood. It became a very stark and airy furniture store. The roof (which was barely there anyway!) was replaced with skylights and the floor leveled and done in wood. I have a photograph of it somewhere, not on the computer unfortunately.
I did, however, upload a couple lobby and entrance photographs to my Flickr page, inspired by this discussion: http://www.flickr.com/achangeinscenerymovies
The lobby was expanded, marble foyer added, and mens and women’s rooms added just inside the (new) front doors. The 1963 photo shows window frames on the second floor, that is actually the wall of the projection booth. After the renovation and addition of the two adjacent storefronts a hallway to an above apartment space was added between the booth and the new marquee.
The Cove’s lobby after the renovation, and until it closed and was destroyed, was wood and mirror paneled and not that appealing. I agree, Chuck, that the original was nicer. The need for a larger concession space was likely the impetus for the “modern” expansion.
Posting to get this theatre back on my “notifications” list….
Cardiffrfc, I was unable to find the listings you are looking for. I am unsure if the records from 1983-1988 are available at all. You may try to contact the Landmark Theatres home office in Los Angeles, it’s a stretch but maybe someone there would be willing to help you.
This theater was a true gem. To bad its gone. At least we still have the Ken and the La Paloma.
I may have those dates in one of the Cove’s ledgers that I have. I will look and get back to you either way.
Monika, Is there any way to get a list of the titles shown at the theatre from say 1983 to 1988?
Cardiffrfc, perhaps you may recognize the title here, if they happen to have it:
I’ll continue to look for the name.
Does anyone know the name of the documentary film that was shown in the 70’s? that was about a retired LA fire captain and his family that sailed to Cocos island. It was shown at the La Jolla Cove theatre.
Here is a 1963 photo of the Cove, before the lobby was extended:
Ken MC, you’ve linked to a photo of myself! Mike Myers took those pictures within days of the theatre’s closing.
CLosing down the Cove Theatre was the biggest mistake ever made. This place was a classic and a landmark. Generation after generation worked their at their first job and the dedication of Spencer Wilson can never be seen again anywhere.
This truly was a piece of History and will always remain in my heart!
Here is an article on the demise of the Cove:
Here is a link with photos taken by the former manager. He gives the closing date as January 16, 2003:
I was blessed to have worked at the Cove until its final days. I miss it and Spencer Wilson very much. Sad that even though it’s not a theatre anymore there is not an ounce of history left standing at 7730 Girard Avenue anymore.
The Cove Theater is gone, the building converted to high-end retail space on trendy Girard Ave. The facade of the building has been modernized, the brick removed.
this theater was closed in 2002
such a cool website packed with history information from a bygone day…