Laguna Beach, CA - Future of Laguna Beach’s only movie theater is still unknown

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on June 8, 2017 at 4:01 am


From the Los Angeles Times: Nearly two years after closing, Laguna Beach’s only movie theater remains dark.

“Everyone wants to do what is right,” Lance Alspaugh chief executive of Los Angeles-based Vintage Cinemas said Tuesday of the South Coast Cinemas building at 162 S. Coast Hwy.

“We became engaged in 2016 and, basically, there are a lot of moving parts,” he added.

Property owner Leslie Blumberg retained Vintage under a short-term agreement through the end of this year, Alspaugh said.

When asked for comment via email, Blumberg said, “I’ll contact you when I have news."

The theater showed its last film in late August 2015 after more than 90 years in business.

Regency Theatres, which leased the building for 15 years, and Blumberg could not reach an agreement on a long-term contract two years ago.

The theater needs improvements such as new seats, drapes, carpet, exterior paint and digital projection, Regency president Lyndon Golin told the Coastline Pilot at the time of the closing.

The Laguna location appealed to Vintage because the company specializes in restoring classic theater venues.

As reported by the Laguna Beach Independent, the 15,890-square-foot property at 162 S. Coast Hwy, which includes the theater and two retail stores that surround a courtyard, is listed for sale at $14.2 million on the real estate website LoopNet.

Architect James Conway designed the building — the city’s first structure composed of concrete and steel, which was built in 1921 by the Aufdenkamp family.

Crews renovated the theater in 1935 as an example of Mediterranean revival architecture, according to the Laguna Beach Historical Society.

Alspaugh said a nearly-two-year span since the theater’s closing without a long-term tenant is not unusual.

“It’s too important a decision to go haphazard, to go in and say, ‘Clean it up with new carpet and repaint,’ ” Alspaugh said. “I don’t think that is in anybody’s interest.”

Story link:

ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at


Comments (4)

Greenpoint on June 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

And I blame Netflix. Hulu. And various multitudes of streaming services.they are doing to cinema:what tv did to radio some 70 years back. I myself am guilty of streaming,however I still make my presence felt in multiplexes and support the fine art of cinema. Put down the laptop and get to the movies.

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bryan96 on October 21, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Since the intended reopening date has passed, the sole movie theater in Laguna Beach is once more up for sale | Foam Insulation

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