Sunshine Brooks Theater

217 North Coast Highway,
Oceanside, CA 92054

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Sunshine Brooks Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This opened as the 659 seat Margo Theater on 20th November 1936, the owners were F.E. Chaldek, C.A. Shaeffer and J.A. Dundas. A month after opening Mr Chaldek sold his interest in the Margo and it came under the sole ownership of Mr Shaeffer, with Mr Dundas continuing as manager.

In the 1980’s the name was changed to the Towne Theater and it began screening ‘adult’ movies, operated by the Pussycat Theatres chain, before eventually closing, after which it became a karate studio.

The building was acquired by the city in 2001 and was renovated at a cost of $1.5m and converted into a live performance theatre.

It was named after Hattie ‘Sunshine’ Brooks, who donated her majority interest in the building to the city.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

KenRoe on December 9, 2004 at 10:57 am


You are correct regarding street name changes in Oceanside. What is now North Coast Highway was North Hill Street back in the 1930’s and up to the 1950’s at least.

The Film Daily Yearbook 1952 lists an 640 seat Palomar Theatre, located at 314 N. Hill Street. While in Oceanside earlier this year I went looking for the Palomar, but it has been demolished.

The other building you mention being remodeled at Hill and Third Streets is the Margo Theatre (now the Sunshine Brooks Theater). So the architects can now be confirmed as Balch & Stanbery.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 15, 2005 at 7:35 pm

This theater is now home to the New Vision Theatre Company. Their website is

hownowbrownpaul on April 2, 2006 at 7:49 am

There are a few recent photos of the Sunshine Brooks here:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 5, 2006 at 9:53 pm

Here is a recent photo of the Sunshine Brooks Theater.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Advertised as the Towne at 217 N. Hill in September 1979.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 22, 2008 at 7:00 pm

This is another photo of the Sunshine Brooks Theater.

kma87 on June 13, 2008 at 3:59 am

Upon doing some research at the Carlsbad Library, I found a book on Oceanside which mentions the Margo (Or Sunshine Brooks Theater). It says that it was originally named for Rancho Santa Margarita but that name was far too long for a marquee so they shortened it to The Margo Theatre. In the 1950’s the name was changed to The Towne Theatre.

MissAmanda on November 7, 2013 at 12:41 am

Had fine old trough-style urinals in the mens' room. You don’t see those much any more.

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