Kinema Theater

207 East Grand Avenue,
Escondido, CA 92026

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Pala Theater

Opened in 1921 as the Kinema. The building had a wide facade and two retail businesses flanked the recessed entrance, one being a shoe shop. The facade was a plainly decorated stucco front suggestive of a Native American/Spanish Colonial motif.

The theater was renamed the Pala (for the nearby Pala Indian reservation) in 1935. By 1938, the building was converted to a bowling alley. If the building is still there, it’s present use is unknown.

Contributed by R. Christian Anderson

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

trooperboots on December 29, 2004 at 5:07 am

Here is a photograph of the building in 1931 of the Kinema. The movie being shown, according to the sign, is “Millionaire” with George Arliss and Noah Beery. George Arliss was the actor who “discovered” Bette Davis.

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 29, 2004 at 7:43 am

Southwest Builder and Contractor, June 4th, 1920, says that Walter P. Williams had the contract for the construction of a theatre building on Grand Avenue, Escondido, to seat 625 persons, and that work would commence at once. The owner of the theater was named as A. H. Nelson.

trooperboots on December 31, 2004 at 4:03 am

Looks like the building is still there. My mom, who lives in Escondido, reports the following after a visit downtown:

The Bldg. is the same shape as the picture from 1931 above. It is now painted a light “coral” color with gray trim. There is a newer cornerstone which reads “SEARCY BLDG. 1979.”

The front lobby area of the former theater is now a nice well-kept business called “Judys Embroidery”, which specializes in logo sportswear and caps. The address is 201 Grand Ave.

Here is the surprise: The auditorium is still there. The entrance is on Kalmia Street, on the right side of the building through a courtyard and is now a community theater called “The Patio Playhouse”.

kencmcintyre on January 17, 2010 at 8:27 pm

This looks to be the building referred to above:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 30, 2012 at 5:38 am

The building at this location looks like newer construction to me, both at street level and in the satellite view. I see no resemblance at all between the current building and the Kinema Theatre building in the 1931 photo.

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