Ken Cinema

4061 Adams Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92116

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Related Websites

Landmark Theatres(USA) (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Landmark Theatres (USA)

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee

Functions: Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 619.283.5909

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News About This Theater

Ken Cinema - San Diego, CA

The Ken Cinema was opened in 1947, designed by noted architect S. Charles Lee in Art Moderne style. It was restored in 1975 after being taken over by the Landmark chain as a showcase for foreign features.

It has since expanded to include independent films and restored classics. It was the last theater remaining in San Diego which used reel-to-reel carbon arc projectors.

The Ken Cinema is also host to FALL OUT, San Diego’s gay and lesbian film festival.

In February 2020 Landmark Theatres announced that the Ken Cinema would be closing on March 22, 2020.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

spliceandthread on January 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Just an update as well. They no longer use the carbon arcs or reel to reel. They have a nice 4K digital and a platter system with their 35mm.

LomaUsher on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I liked the Ken best during its days as a repertory cinema, with a new double-feature on the bill every day of the week! I remember going in for a film, getting a large cup of Celestial Seasonings orange-spice tea, and settling in. I suppose you still can…but whether the tea is the same or not, I couldn’t say! Great theatre. Also, back in about 1981 or 82, on many Saturday nights a trip to see “Dance Craze” the ska concert-film was the same as going to a concert. The theatre was packed, and everyone was in their seat, then when the music started, the whole place was on their feet and bouncing off the walls. What a great time! I left many molecules off the soles of my Penny-Loafers on the floors and carpets of the Ken!

neeb on April 15, 2014 at 1:13 am

Today, in things that suck,

This one hurts. In ways I can’t describe, it hurts.

neeb on April 28, 2014 at 3:45 am

And… it will live!

It’ll be closed from Monday to Thursday and be back on Friday, 02 May 2014.

markinthedark on April 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I wish Landmark had had the some reaction to community support when they shut the NuWilshire in Santa Monica, Rialto in Pasadena, Egyptian in Seattle, etc. It seems that rather than having a chain of cozy art house theaters as they want to be another Arclight with venues like The Landmark in West LA.

monika on March 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Just a quick note to point out that the Ken no longer runs carbon arc as is noted in the description above.

Ftopel on July 19, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Just walked by this theater and took some pics. The movie was on so I couldn’t get the auditorium, but box office, lobby, marquee and an old projector were on display.

neeb on February 23, 2020 at 9:48 pm

“After long consideration and much effort, we regret that we are unable to continue operating the Ken Cinema.”

neeb on February 23, 2020 at 9:49 pm

Closing March 22, 2020.

GaryMeyer on March 17, 2020 at 5:37 pm

Shortly after the Landmark publicist sent out next week’s bookings to the media they sent out a notice they were closing the theaters because of Coronavirus.

While they will re-open someday at least one won’t survive.  The Ken in San Diego was one of the earliest theaters in the chain, for many years a great rep house. Beloved by the locals it had a Crying Room and  Cigar Room (used for private parties and then storage by the time LTC —-actually called Parallax Theatres then—– got it). A dedicated staff made sure it was a welcoming and fun place to see great movies.

But alas…it is closed now forever unless an angel comes to save it.

A loving editorial that also points out the negatives that the writer didn’t mind.

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