San Fernando Valley Theatres




Welcome to the
San Fernando Valley
Theatre Tour!



More to come soon!

-- Bill Counter



If you're looking for something that hasn't been written up here
 yet, go to the LA theatres by street address page for a section
listing all of all the San Fernando Valley theatres by street address.

The intention here is to document all the San Fernando
Valley theatres that opened before 1960 -- plus a few of particular
interest that opened later. Let me know if I've missed any
 that you think should be here. 
-- Bill Counter



    San Fernando Valley Resources    


Arcadia Publishing titles of interest
include "Glendale 1940-2000" and "Montrose."

Burbank Historical Society has a photo
gallery and other items of interest.

Wes Clark has an amazing number of items on his
 various pages. A good place to start is Burbankia.

Visit the website of the
San Fernando Valley Historical Society.
 Also see the SVHS on Facebook.

See the San Fernando Valley Blog article on
the Valley's Drive In theatres. More on Drive Ins can
be seen in Christina Rice's Huffington Post article
 "An Ode to the Drive-in Movie Theater" featuring
photos from the LAPL collection.
See the Early San Fernando Valley pages assembled
by Water and Power Associates for a terrific selection
 of images from various archives.






    Burbank    


Victory / Burbank Theatre

California Theatre

Cornell Theatre


Loma Theatre

Magnolia Theatre

Major Theatre

Wood's Theatre


     Canoga Park    


Baronet / Boulevard Cinema

  Holiday Theatre

  Madrid / Canoga / Park Theatre



    Encino    


Encino Theatre



    Glendale    


See the Glendale Theatres section for a
complete listing of everything in town --
including separate pages for many of the
 theatres such as the Alex, the California,
the Glendale and more.



     Lankershim Blvd.    


7532 Lankershim Blvd.

5321 Lankershim Blvd.

El Portal Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blvd.
5161 Lankershim Blvd.



    Maclay Ave.    


Town / Centre Theatre

Rennie's Theatre



    Magnolia Blvd.    


California Theatre

Magnolia Theatre



     Montrose    





     North Hollywood    


El Portal Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blvd.

7532 Lankershim Blvd.

5321 Lankershim Blvd.

Valley / Guild Theatre
5161 Lankershim Blvd.



     Reseda    


Reseda Theatre



    San Fernando    


Town / Centre Theatre

Cody's / San Fernando Theatre

Studio City Theatre


     Sun Valley    





     Topanga Canyon Blvd.    


Baronet / Boulevard Cinema

 Holiday Theatre

  Topanga Theatre



    Tujunga    


Jewel Theatre

Canyon Theatre


     Van Nuys    


Fox Van Nuys

Rivoli / Capri Theatre


    Ventura Blvd.    


Encino Theatre

La Reina Theatre

Studio City Theatre



     West Hills    


  Holiday Theatre



     Woodland Hills    


Boulevard / Baronet

Topanga Theatre










    Alternate Name Directory    

This San Fernando Valley list excludes
Glendale Theatres, which are in a separate section.



Azteca Theatre see Rennie's Theatre
214 N. Maclay Ave.  San Fernando

Baronet Theatre see Boulevard Cinema
6937 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Canoga Park
6937 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Canoga Park

Burbank Theatre
207 S. San Fernando Blvd.  Burbank

California Theatre
3310 W. Magnolia Blvd.  Burbank

Canoga Theatre see Madrid Theatre
21622 Sherman Way Canoga Park

6721 Foothill Blvd. Tujunga

Capri Theatre  see Rivoli Theatre
6258 Van Nuys Blvd.  Van Nuys

Centre Theatre
107 S. Maclay Ave. San Fernando

Cine Reseda see Reseda Theatre
18443 Sherman Way  Reseda

Cody's Theatre see San Fernando Theatre
303 S. Brand Blvd.  San Fernando

Cody's New Theatre see San Fernando Theatre
303 S. Brand Blvd.  San Fernando

Cornell Theatre
1212 N. San Fernando Blvd. Burbank

Crest Theatre see Rennie's Theatre
214 N. Maclay Ave.  San Fernando

El Portal Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blvd.  North Hollywood

Encino Theatre
16342 Ventura Blvd.  Encino

Fox Rivoli  see Rivoli Theatre
6258 Van Nuys Blvd.  Van Nuys

6417 Van Nuys Blvd.  Van Nuys

GCC Sherman Oaks Cinema I-II  see Sherman Oaks Cinema I-II
4500 Van Nuys Blvd.  Sherman Oaks

GCC Sherman Oaks Cinema III-IV-V, III-VII
see
Sherman Oaks Cinemas
14424 Millbank St.  Sherman Oaks


Great Caesar Banquet Hall see Canyon Theatre
6721 Foothill Blvd. Tujunga

Guild Theatre see Valley Theatre
5161 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood

Hilltop Theatre see Canyon Theatre
6721 Foothill Blvd. Tujunga

Holiday Theatre
8383 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Canoga Park / West Hills

Commerce Ave. at Greeley   Tujunga

La Reina Theatre
14626 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks

7532 Lankershim Blvd. 
Sun Valley / North Hollywood

Lankershim Theatre
5321 Lankershim Blvd.
Lankershim / North Hollywood

Loma Theatre
319 S. San Fernando Blvd.  Burbank

Magnolia Theatre
4403 Magnolia Blvd.  Burbank

Madrid Theatre
21622 Sherman Way Canoga Park

Major Theatre
333 N. San Fernando Blvd.   Burbank

Montrose Theatre
2226 Honolulu Ave.  Montrose

Pacific 5 see Sherman Oaks Cinemas
14424 Millbank St.  Sherman Oaks

Pacific's Topanga see Topanga Theatre
6360 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Woodland Hills

Park Theatre see Madrid Theatre
21622 Sherman Way Canoga Park

Park Pussycat Theatre see Madrid Theatre
21622 Sherman Way Canoga Park

Pussycat Theatre see Lankershim Theatre
7532 Lankershim Blvd. 
Sun Valley / North Hollywood

Pussycat Theatre see Madrid Theatre
21622 Sherman Way Canoga Park

Pussycat Theatre see Valley Theatre
5161 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood

Rainbow Theatre see Canyon Theatre
6721 Foothill Blvd. Tujunga

214 N. Maclay Ave.  San Fernando

Reseda Theatre
18443 Sherman Way   Reseda

San Fernando Theatre
303 S. Brand Blvd.   San Fernando

Sherman Theatre
15052 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks

Sherman Oaks Cinema I-II
4500 Van Nuys Blvd.  Sherman Oaks

Sherman Oaks Cinema III-IV-V, III-VII
see
Sherman Oaks Cinemas
14424 Millbank St.  Sherman Oaks

Stanley Warner Topanga see Topanga Theatre
6360 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Woodland Hills

Studio Theatre  see Studio City Theatre
13126 Ventura Blvd.  Studio City

Studio City Theatre
13126 Ventura Blvd.  Studio City

Topanga Theatre
6360 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Woodland Hills

Town Theatre  see Centre Theatre
107 S. Maclay Ave. San Fernando

Towne Theatre  see Centre Theatre
107 S. Maclay Ave. San Fernando

Tujunga Theatre see Canyon Theatre
6721 Foothill Blvd. Tujunga

Tujunga Valley Theatre see Jewel Theatre
Commerce Ave. at Greeley   Tujunga

Valley Theatre
see Jewel Theatre
Commerce Ave. at Greeley   Tujunga

Valley Theatre
5161 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood

Valley West Theatre see Boulevard Cinema
6937 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Canoga Park

Van Nuys Theatre see Fox Van Nuys
6417 Van Nuys Blvd.  Van Nuys

Van Nuys Theatre  see Rivoli Theatre
6258 Van Nuys Blvd.  Van Nuys

Victory Theatre  see
Burbank Theatre
207 S. San Fernando Blvd.  Burbank

Wood's Theatre
133 N. San Fernando Blvd.  Burbank





Can't find what you're looking for? You might check
our Los Angeles theatres by address page
or the alphabetical theatre list.







about photos from other
websites that appear on this page...


We've tried to give appropriate credit. Please
contact us if there are incorrect attributions, links that
no longer work or other issues. A link near each image will
direct you to a full size version on the website hosting it.
Assume that all the images are subject to copyright
restrictions. Contact the webmaster of the site in
question concerning reproduction or other use.


Boulevard Cinema

6937 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
 
| map |

Canoga Park (Los Angeles), CA   91303

Opened: 1961 as the Valley West and by 1968 was known as the Baronet Theatre. Sometime after 1983 it became the Boulevard Cinema.

Status: The theatre was a bargain revival house at the end and closed around 1986. The building is now used as part of a luggage store. Or a paint store. It depends on which side of the marquee you look at. The photo above is a 2015 Google view looking north on Topanga Canyon Blvd. Click on it to enlarge or head to the interactive version.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page for the theatre, listed as the Baronet Theatre on that site. American Classic Images has a 1983 photo as the Baronet, also seen on Photos of Los Angeles. Luke Gattuso on Flickr has a 2006 shot of the building used as retail.

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org



"Theater executives pose outside the remodeled Valley West
Theater
, which reopens Wednesday. Left to right are Donald Sayles,
managing director of the theater, Alex Cooperman, and Shan V. Sayles,
 both executives of Continental Theaters, Inc....The theater is located two
 blocks from the area's largest shopping center, the three million dollar
Valley Plaza development at Topanga and Vanowen boulevards. More
than $50,000 has been spent in expanding and remodeling the Topanga
 Boulevard house..." It's an April 1964 Valley Times photo.
 full size view



"A moviegoer could pay $6 in Westwood, top, for the same
first-run movie that could cost only 99 cents in Canoga Park."
It's a 1985 Paul Chin photo for the Herald Examiner.
full size view

Burbank Theatre

207 S. San Fernando Blvd.    | map

Burbank, CA 91502

Opened: 1919 as the Victory Theatre by Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Mouffe. It's unknown when it got renamed the Burbank. The theatre was later operated by Charles Minor, who also operated the Loma, Magnolia and Major theatres in Burbank.

Architect: H.J. Knauer

Seating: Estimates range from 547 to 900.

Status: Closed in 1950. The theatre space was used then as part of the Burbank Hotel entrance. The building was demolished in 1979.

More Information: See the page on the Burbank Theatre.

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   



A 20s look at the Burbank Hotel building with the
 Victory Theatre's entrance on the left. The photo
 is from the Burbank Historical Society.
full size view

California Theatre

3310 W. Magnolia Blvd. 

Burbank, CA   91042    | map |

Opened:  December 13, 1950. It was the only Burbank theatre to have a balcony. The theatre, at Magnolia Blvd. and California St., became a church in the 70s and has since had extensive remodeling.

The photo here is a 2011 Google Maps view looking west on Magnolia. The former entrance is over on the right side. Click on the photo to enlarge or head to the interactive version on Google.

Architect: Unknown     Seating: 2,000

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the California. The Cinema Tour page has a 2003 exterior photo.  Bijou Memories has a page on the California.

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   

digital-library.csun.edu/cdm


A look at the California Theatre opening night.
"Break Through" was a film starring John Agar. The
 photo is from the San Fernando Valley Historical Society.
 full size view | on the CSUN site

 The photo also appears on Vintage Los Angeles.

Also in the CSUN collection:
| celebrities at the opening |

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org



A 1962 Christmas season view looking east on Magnolia
Blvd. from Hollywood Way. It's a Valley Times photo in the
 Los Angeles Public Library collection. The LAPL data
refers to the neighborhood as Magnolia Park.

Canyon Theatre

6721 Foothill Blvd.  | map |

Tujunga (Los Angeles), CA   91042 

Opened:  1938 as the Tujunga Theatre. It's also been known as the Hilltop Theatre, Rainbow Theatre (in the 80s) and ended its theatrical life as the Canyon Theatre.

Architect:  S. Charles Lee           Seating: 843

Status: It's been turned into the Great Caesar Banquet Hall with its original facade and the interior obliterated. The facade demo happened in 2002.  Ceasar is now using the address 6723 Foothill for the building.  Closing date as a theatre is not known.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Canyon. Also see the Cinema Tour page, which has a 1938 and a 2001 photo.

    American Classic Images    

americanclassicimages.com

A colorful 1982 view as the Rainbow Theatre,
operating as a bargain house. Thanks to Ken
McIntyre for finding the photo.
full size view

    Great Caesar Banquet Hall    

caesarbanquethall.com



It now bears no resemblance to the 1938
theatre it once was. This view is one that was on
an earlier version of their website -- there are
now some new ones to check out.

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   

digital-library.csun.edu/cdm



A 1943 look at the theatre, then still called the
Tujunga. It's a photo from the Record-Ledger and
 the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

    Photos of Los Angeles    

www.facebook.com/groups/244565982234863



A 1946 view of the Tujunga, added to the Photos
 of Los Angeles collection by Mark Havlick.
  full size view

   Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation   

www.lahtf.org | LAHTF group Facebook page | official FB page


A 2000 look at the closed Canyon
 Theatre from Grant Taylor.
full size view | on the LAHTF FB page



A 2009 look at the remodeled
building by Don Solosan.
full size view | on the LAHTF FB page  


Centre Theatre

107 S. Maclay Ave. (at Truman St.)   | map |

San Fernando, CA   91340 

It opened as the Town Theatre in 1942, a project of Maude and John Rennie, who also had Rennie's Theatre in San Fernando. By 1946 it had lost the "e," becoming the Town Theatre. It's listed that way in the January 1946 phone book.  With a 1963 remodel it became the Centre Theatre.

Architect:  Clifford Balch         Seating: 784

Status: Demolished sometime prior to the 1971 Sylmar earthquake -- work was underway on the new project for the site, a service station.  It's now part of a parking lot for a strip mall with a Chipotle on the corner.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Centre Theatre.

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org


A 1963 Larry Leach photo for the Valley Times.
 "Community leaders gather at the new Centre Theater in
San Fernando for a preview of the completely remodeled movie
 theater which opens Nov. 20. From left to right, Mayor Ralph A. Harper,
Wallace Warren, president of the San Fernando Chamber of Commerce,
theater general manager Joe Kennedy, Al Cassell, San Fernando
 businessman and Valley Times publisher Ben Reddick."
full size view | on the LPL site

Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the shot
 and posting it on Photos of Los Angeles.

Cornell Theatre

1212 N. San Fernando Blvd.  @ Cornell  | map |

Burbank, CA   91504  

Opened:  November 18, 1949       Architect:  Clarence J. Smale

Principal Theatres Corp. was the initial operator.  Later Pacific Theatres had it. 

Seating: 1,468 -- all on a single level.

Status:  It closed in 1978 and was demolished in 1980.

More information: See our page on the Cornell Theatre for more photos and data.

   Julius Schulman - Getty Research Institute   

www.getty.edu/research


A 1949 look at the new theatre by
Julius Schulman. It was his Job #619.
full size view
| on the Getty site

El Portal Theatre

5269 Lankershim Blvd.   | map

North Hollywood (Los Angeles), CA  91601

Opened: Fox West Coast Theatres opened the El Portal October 5, 1926. The opening film was Ralph Graves in  "Blarney."

Architect:  Lewis A. Smith.

Seating: 1,346 originally.  Currently the building houses 3 theatres: the 354 seat Mainstage Theatre, the 95 seat Forum Theatre and the 42 seat Studio Theatre

Status:  Renovated and operating as a performing arts center since 2000. While the boxoffice, entry area and facade are of historical interest, little of the original decor remains in the auditorium space.  In the auditorium what wasn't obliterated in the Skouras style remodeling of the 40s was destroyed by the 1994 earthquake.

More Information: See our page on the El Portal Theatre.

Encino Theatre

16342 Ventura Blvd. 

Encino, CA   91436    | map |

Opened: August 10, 1949.  An article in the Valley Times on August 3:

"The new Encino theater, 16342 Ventura Blvd., will open next Wednesday, Aug. 10. Highlight of program arrangements of the new theater will be its one-feature policy. 'Our policy is to comply with public demand for single attraction shows,' Howard Goldenson, manager, said. 'We are arranging our program so that there will be two hours of entertainment nightly, including the feature, a short and a newsreel'... The 1000 seats in the theater are staggered to provide clear views of the screen from every chair. There is only one admission price."    

Architect: William L. Pereira

Seating: 1,000 was the number advertised at the opening, 700 was a later number.  

Status: Demolished in the mid 70s.

More Information: There isn't much. What there is appears on the Cinema Treasures page about the Encino.

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org



A rendering by the architect of the Encino's exterior.
There seem to be no drawings or photos of the interior.
full size view



A 1949 Valley Times photo of the Encino in
the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
full size view | on Cinema Treasures


Fox Van Nuys

6417 Van Nuys Blvd.   | map |

Van Nuys (Los Angeles), CA  91401 

Opened:  1924 as the Van Nuys Theatre. Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel reports that it was built by Burnis R. Shacklett, owner of Shacklett’s Valley Furniture Store. Part of his furniture store became the lobby and the auditorium was constructed behind the existing shops.  It had a mention in the Southwest Builder and Contractor issue of May 30th, 1924.

By 1927 it was operated by N. Scheinberg and M.P. Horwitz. They also had the Madrid (later Park/Canoga) on Sherman Way in Canoga Park, then called Owensmouth. The pair also built (or at least planned) a theatre in Reseda. It's all mentioned in the July 3, 1927 L.A. Times -- unearthed by Cinema Treasures contributor Vokoban on the site's Canoga Park Theatre page..

Fox West Coast and its successor companies later operated the theatre as the Fox Van Nuys. A mid-60s remodel resulted in a flat marquee and new vertical sign. The sad photo is a 2011 Google Maps view. Click on it to enlarge or go to the interactive version.

Architect:  Unknown             Seating: 814

Status: Toward the end it had a fling as a Spanish language house and before closing around 1990 was a bargain theatre. The building, just north of Victory Blvd., is still there but now used for retail.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Fox Van Nuys.

    B'hend and Kaufmann Collection   

digitalcollections.oscars.org/cdm


A 50s look at the Fox Van Nuys snackbar.
 The photo is by Nate Singer.

full size view | on FB/LATheatres

    Valley Relics    

valleyrelics.org | SF Valley Relics on Facebook


A fine postcard view looking north on Van Nuys Blvd.
The card above also appears on Photos of Los Angeles.



A 60s postcard from the Valley Relics collection.

Check out the Valley Relics postcard page. The card
above also appears on Vintage Los Angeles.

    Cinema Treasures    

cinematreasures.org/theaters/2162


A.c1973 look at the facade from Gary Rabbit.

Glendale Theatres


We've got a separate section for Glendale Theatres where you'll find a summary on the main page along with an alternate name directory and a listing organized by address.

There are links to separate pages for many of the theatres such as the Alex, shown here in a 2007 photo.

Holiday Theatre

8383 Topanga Canyon Blvd. 

West Hills (Los Angeles), CA   91304    | map |

Opened: 1962            Seats: 920           Architect: William H. Bonham

Status:  General Cinema was the last big chain to run the Holiday. Previously Century Theatres and Loew's had run the theatre. It then became a bargain house and ended as a Spanish language venue. Closing date is unknown. The building was converted to retail use after closing as a theatre. It has been demolished -- there's a Lowe's store on the site.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Holiday. There's a 1984 photo of the theatre running as a bargain house on the American Classic Images site.

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org



"Standing with tickets in hand outside the Valley's newest
motion picture theater, The Holiday, in Canoga Park, are owner Jack
Grossman, right, and manager Stan Livingston."  The theatre was
running "The Light in the Piazza" with Olivia DeHaviland and
Rosanno Brazzi." It's an April 1962 Valley Times photo.



"The usherettes at Canoga Park's Holiday Theater are all
dolled up in muu muus today for the opening of 'Diamond
 Head,' the drama of modern-day plantation life in Hawaii."
 It's a May 1963 Valley Times photo.

Jewel Theatre

Commerce Ave. (@ Greeley St.)   | map

Tujunga (Los Angeles), CA 91042

Opened: 1922 or earlier as the Tujunga Valley Theatre, the first in town. It got fancied up in 1925 and was then known as the Jewel Theatre.  Commerce Ave. was originally called Sunset Blvd.

Status: Demolished.  It's now a parking lot.  The closing date as a theatre is unknown.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Jewel Theatre for some nice detective work by Joe Vogel. Cinematour also has a page.

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org


A 1925 photo from the Valley Times collection
of the Jewel with Rex, the unconquerable wonder
horse, appearing in "Black Cyclone."
 full size view

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   

digital-library.csun.edu/cdm


A 1925 photo of the Jewel Theatre.  It's a photo
by J.H. Lamson for the Tujunga Record-Ledger.
full size view

    USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu


A 1922 look at the theatre when it was the
Tujunga Valley Theatre. Titles that week included
John Barrymore in "Sherlock Holmes" and the
Oliver Morosco production of "The Half Breed."
 full size view

The photo above also appears on Photos of Los Angeles
and on our Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.



A 1929 J.H. Lamson photo of Tujunga looking
 north on Commerce Ave. (then Sunset Blvd.) from
Foothill Blvd. (at the bottom of the photo).  
full size view

Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel notes that you can
 see the south side of the theatre on the left side of the
 street, up about five buildings from the corner.

La Reina Theatre

The La Reina -- historic theatres in Los  Angeles
14626 Ventura Blvd.    | map |

Sherman Oaks, CA   91403

Opened: 1937

The La Reina was built as a Fox West Coast house and was operated by its successor companies until the mid 80s.  Mann Theatres was the last operator.

Architect:  S. Charles Lee

Seating: 900, all on one level.

Status: The facade remains but the auditorium was demolished for construction of spa and retail space.  The vertical tower was removed after suffering damage in the 1995 Northridge earthquake.

More Information: See our page on the La Reina Theatre.

Lankershim Theatre

5321 Lankershim Blvd.  | map |

North Hollywood (Los Angeles), CA   91601 

Opened: 1923 or earlier in the district then known as Lankershim. It's now called North Hollywood, actually a part of the City of Los Angeles.

It's listed in the 1923 city directory 5319 Lankershim Blvd.  In 1924 the listing has an address of 5321 Lankershim, in 1926 and 1928 it's listed as being at 5323.

Status: It's now a parking lot. Closing date is unknown. In the 2014 Google Maps view we're looking south on Lankershim. Click on the image for a larger view or head to Google for the interactive version. Our theatre would be in the vacant lot at the right. Down in the next block we get a view of the El Portal Theatre facade.

More information: There isn't any yet.

Lankershim Theatre

7532 Lankershim Blvd.  | map |

Sun Valley / North Hollywood (Los Angeles), CA  91605 

Opened: 1947. After a long run with Hollywood product (mostly second run fare) it became a porno theatre for a short period in 1976-1977 but folded in the face of neighborhood opposition. It reverted to regular films and ended up as a Spanish language house run by Metropolitan Theatres.  Closing date is unknown but the place was running at least into 1984.

Seating: 980

Status: It's now used as a church. The 2014 Google Maps view shows the facade with the pylon intact but the vertical sign down. Click on it for a larger view or head to the interactive version.

More Information: Don't miss the 3 1/2 minute Valley Relics video on YouTube showing removal of the theatre's vertical sign in 2013. See the Cinema Treasures page on the Lankershim for a few comments.  The Cinema Tour page has a 2001 exterior shot by Bob Meza.

    American Classic Images    

americanclassicimages.com



The Lankershim in May 1982.
full size view

Also in the collection:
  | night view - December 1982 |  day view - June 1984 |


   Los Angeles Conservancy   



A 2008 look at the Lankershim Theatre as a
church by Don Solosan. The photo was taken as
part of a Conservancy survey of surviving theatre
buildings in the L.A. area.
full size view



A gaze up the vertical sign. It's a photo by Don
Solosan. Thanks to Mr. Solosan and Hillsman Wright
of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation
for making the photos available.
full size view

    Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org


A photo appearing in the Valley Times in January
1954 Valley Times showing newspaperboys going to
a special Christmas show at the theatre. 
full size view

    Corey Miller on Flickr    

www.flickr.com/photos/toomuchfire


A 2009 look at the theatre by Corey Miller.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

Also in Corey's Movie Theatres set:
| vertical sign detail |

    Pussycat Theaters - Jay Allen Sanford    

Chapter 1: www.pussycattheaterhistory1.blogspot.com
Chapters 2 - 15: www.pussycattheaterhistory2.blogspot.com



A December 1982 photo of the Lankershim in its Spanish
 language film days. It's in Chapter 9 of Jay Allen Sanford's 2010
 book-length opus on the history of the Pussycat Theatre chain
that originally appeared in the San Diego Reader.  The Lankershim
 was briefly operated by the chain in 1976 and 1977.
 full size view

Loma Theatre

319 S. San Fernando Blvd.    | map

Burbank, CA 91502

Opened: In the 1920s. It's listed in the 1924 city directory. An early address for the building was 323 E. San Fernando Rd. It was listed at 319 in the 1953/54 directory.

The Loma ran vaudeville as well as first run films and was the first Burbank theatre equipped for sound films. The theatre, run by Al Minor, was a major venue in the Valley until eclipsed by newer and fancier theatres. Charles Minor (presumably his son) closed the theatre in 1963 after his lease expired.

Seating: 634 according to Cinema Treasures. Bijou Memories says it was only 380, presumably a later number.

Status: It was damaged in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, condemned, and later demolished.  There's a parking garage on the site.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Loma.  The Cinema Tour page gives the address as 319 S. San Fernando Blvd.

    Bijou Memories   

www.jbhs1967.com/burbanktheaters.htm


A fine exterior view of the Loma from the Bijou
Memories page on the Loma Theatre.
Another Loma shot. Note here we got a vertical
sign. The theatre is running "The Dove" with Norma
Talmadge, a December 1927 silent release.

Bijou Memories is a dead website about Burbank Theatres that's
now hosted by the John Burroughs High School Class of 1967.


    Burbankia - Wes Clark   

wesclark.com/burbank  |  what's new


The rear of the Loma Theatre.

Wes Clark's Burbankia site also has an
ad for "Lone Eagle" (1927) at the Loma.

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   

digital-library.csun.edu/cdm



A program at the Loma for the week of May 17th,
1930. It's from the Burbank Historical Society.
full size viewinside pages

Madrid Theatre

21622 Sherman Way 
| map |

Canoga Park (Los Angeles), CA   91303

Website: culturela.org/madridtheatre

Opened: 1926 or 1927 as the Madrid Theatre when the town was known as Owensmouth. It's in the 1928 and 1930 city directories. By the 1939/40 directory it had become the Canoga Theatre. By the mid-60s it was known as the Park Theatre and running adult films. It later became part of the Pussycat chain (advertised as the Park Pussycat) with the end coming from 1994 Northridge earthquake damage.

The City of Los Angeles acquired the property from the Pussycat chain after the earthquake and demolished the building. The new theatre that opened in 1996 on the site is owned and operated by the City's Department of Cultural Affairs as a live performance venue. The 2015 photo above is from Google. Click on it to enlarge or head to the interactive version.

Seats: 570 at one time. The new building has a capacity of 430.

More Information: Cinema Treasures has this one listed as the Canoga Theatre. There's a June 1984 view from American Classic Images, also seen on Photos of Los Angeles.  The Oviatt Library at CSUN has an August 1944 program from the Canoga Theatre: front | inside

    Jay Allen Sanford - Pussycat Theatres   

Chapter 1: pussycattheaterhistory1.blogspot.com
Chapters 2-15: pussycattheaterhistory2.blogspot.com



A June 1984 view of the theatre as the Park Pussycat
appearing in Chapter 1 of Jay Allen Sanford's "Pussycat
Theatres: A Comprehensive History of a California Dynasty."
full size view

Magnolia Theatre



4403 Magnolia Blvd.   

Burbank, CA   91505  | map |

Opened: 1940.

Architect:   Clifford Balch

Seating: 737

Status:  It closed as a theatre in 1979. In recent years the building has been in use as a recording studio. It was sold again in 2012.  The entrance view here is a screen shot from the 1954 Columbia film "Pushover." Click on it for a larger view.

More information:
See the page on the Magnolia Theatre.

Major Theatre

333 N. San Fernando Blvd.  

Burbank, CA   91502   | map |

Opened:  1937 or 1938. It's listed in the 1938 city directory.  An early address for the theatre was 333 W. San Fernando Rd.  It was originally owned by Al Minor who also ran the Magnolia and the Burbank.  Later operated by Sid Pink and Associates, it was acquired by Fred Stein of Statewide Theatres in 1955.

Seating: 815

Status:  It was running in the mid 50s - the closing date is unknown. The building is still there but it's been converted to retail.  The photo above is a 2011 Google Maps view looking south on San Fernando -- click on it to enlarge.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Major Theatre for a bit more history.

    Los Angeles Public Library    


A 1938 look at the Major Theatre by Herman Schultheis.
The Major is running "Love And Hisses" with Walter
Winchell and Bert Lahr. The second feature was
"She Loved a Fireman" with Ann Sheridan.
full size view

Montrose Theatre

2226 Honolulu Ave.    | map

Montrose, CA 91020

Opened: 1923     Seating: 543

Architect: Carl Boller, Boller Bros. See our blogspot posts for more by Mr. Boller.

Status: It's now a parking lot. The theatre burned in 1987.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Montrose.

    American Classic Images    

americanclassicimages.com


A 1982 photo of the Montrose from the
American Classic Images collection.

    Cinema Treasures    

A look at the Montrose running "Monsieur Beaucaire"
 with Rudolf Valentino, a 1924 release.
 full size view | on FB/LATheatres

    "Glendale 1940-2000"    

www.arcadiapublishing.com  | on Google Books


A c.1959 holiday look west on Honolulu Ave with the
 Montrose on the left. It's on page 42 of "Glendale 1940-2000"
by Juliet M. Arroyo. She credits the photo to the Special
Collections Room at the Glendale Public Library.

Thanks to Will Markham for this great December 1961
 view looking west on Honolulu Ave. The Montrose
Theatre is in the shadows over on the left.
 full size view | on the MCM page

Rennie's Theatre

214 N. Maclay Ave
.
  | map

San Fernando, CA 91340

Opened: Around 1928.  It's in the 1928, 1930 and 1939/40 city directories as the Rennie Theatre. It's also been known as Rennie's Theatre, the Crest Theatre and the Azteca Theatre.  John T. and Maude L. Rennie were the proprietors.  

The photo is a 2011 Google Maps view. We're looking north on Maclay with the now-beige theatre on the right. Click on it to enlarge, or head to an interactive view.

Architect: Unknown. Clifford Balch was evidently involved in a 1941 remodel for the Rennies.

Seating: Listed capacities vary from 896 to 1,004.

Status:   The theatre was running Hollywood product until around 1967. It got enough damage in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake to warrant a closure. As the Azteca, a Spanish language house, it was running as late as 1984. It's now a church.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page, where they have it listed as the Azteca. The CSUN Oviatt Library has a program for a 1957 fundraiser at the
Crest. | more pages |

    American Classic Images    



A 1982 look at the building when it was the Azteca. 
full size view

    Cinema Treasures    

cinematreasures.org/theaters/14367



In this photo from the Bill Gabel collection we
see the theatre closed during remodeling
 to become the Crest. 
full size view



As the Crest Theatre in the 50s. It's another
photo from the Bill Gabel collection.
full size view

    Huntington Digital Library    

 http://hdl.huntington.org



Rennie's is playing "Hollywood Hotel" in this 1938
photo from the Huntington Library. It's by G. Haven
Bishop for Southern California Edison, part of a
series to promote the virtues of air conditioning.
full size view

The photo above also appears on Photos of Los Angeles
and our Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.



A 1940 look at the entrance by Doug White.
The main feature is "Hidden Gold," a
western with William Boyd.
 full size view

Reseda Theatre

https://sites.google.com/site/lamoviepalaces/sfvalley/Reseda-Google.jpg
18443 Sherman Way
(@ Reseda Blvd.)
   | map |

Reseda (Los Angeles), CA 91335

Website: www.laemmle.com  
On Facebook:
The Laemmle Reseda

The News: "After 22 years of deterioration..." In June 2016 city councilman Bob Blumenfield announced that the city is proceeding with negotiations for a developer to build a new building on the site that will incorporate housing and a multi-screen Laemmle Reseda Theatre.

Opened: 1948     Seating: 350

Architect: S. Charles Lee. See our Blogspot posts for more by L.A.'s most prolific theatre architect. The Google Maps view here is from 2012. Click on it for a larger view or head to the interactive version.

The Reseda had been operated by both Pacific Theatres and Metropolitan Theatres. In its final years as a Spanish language house it was advertised as the Cine Reseda. It closed in 1988 and has been sitting vacant ever since. Several  rehab schemes proposed while the building was under CRA ownership fizzled.

More Information: See our page on the Reseda Theatre for more photos and information.

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   


A c.1963 postcard featuring the Reseda Theatre
 from the CSUN Oviatt Library collection.
full size view

Rivoli Theatre

6258 Van Nuys Blvd. (@ Erwin)    | map

Van Nuys (Los Angeles), CA 91401

Opened: 1921. In the 1921 city directory it's listed as the Van Nuys Theatre.  In the 1922 and later books it's the Rivoli Theatre. An earlier address was 260 Sherman Way. It was also known as the Fox Rivoli.

Architect: The original architect is unknown. Clifford Balch did a remodel in 1941 that included facade and restroom work. By 1959 or 1960 the building got another remodel and emerged as the Capri Theatre.

Seating: 700    Status: Demolished in the 70s for a Federal Building parking lot.

More Information: See our separate page on the Rivoli/Capri for more photos. 

    San Fernando Valley Relics    

www.facebook.com/valleyrelics


A c.1959 shot of the theatre, here renamed the
 Capri, running "Black Orpheus." It was added
to the Relics page by Phillip DePauk.
full size view | on the Relics page

San Fernando Theatre

303 S. Brand Blvd.    | map |

San Fernando, CA 91340

An earlier Cody's:  G.F. Cody had a theatre running somewhere in San Fernando around 1912. The book "San Fernando Valley" by Mayers & Massaro reports on page 107 that "Cody's Theater was running 'The Orleans Coach' complete in three reels." The film is a 1912 short also known as "The Courier of Lyons."

The Cody's at 303 S. Brand: This one, possibly called Cody's New Theatre, evidently opened in 1916. The April 8, 1916 issue of Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer noted:

"Plans are being prepared for brick theater building 50 x 125 ft., to be erected at the corner of Brand Blvd. and Celis St. for San Fernando Mission Land Co. There will be two store rooms at the front, and two offices above the stores. Pressed brick facing, tile entrance, furnace, seating capacity of about 600. G.F. Cody of Cody's Theater has taken the lease."

The Cinema Tour page on Cody's New Theatre notes finding 1919 movie listings:

"The earliest listing [ that the CT researcher found ] for this theater is Friday March 14, 1919, a month after The Newhall Signal newspaper started. The movies listed were Norma Talmadge in 'Her Only Way' Sunday, Monday March 16-17, 1919, and Theda Bara in 'Du Barry' Wednesday March 19, 1919. Admission was listed as Children 10 cents, Adults 15 cents, Loges 20 cents. 'War Tax Extra.'"

It's listed as Cody's in the 1921 city directory and as the Cody Theatre in 1923. It got a serious remodel (or perhaps a whole new building) in 1924. Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel found it mentioned in the April 2, 1924 issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor with the information that the architect, A. Godfrey Bailey, had prepared "preliminary plans." It's still listed as the Cody Theatre in city directories through 1930. The theatre is listed as the San Fernando in the 1939/40 city directory. 

Architect: A. Godfrey Bailey, for the 1924 version   Seating: 900 in the final version.

Status: Demolished after sustaining damage in the March, 1971 Sylmar earthquake, leaving San Fernando without a theatre.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the San Fernando.  Cinema Tour also has a page for both Cody's and for Cody's New Theatre, where they list the 1919 ads.

    Oviatt Library - Cal State Northridge   


The Cody Theatre, c. 1924. They're running "Grumpy,"
a 1923 release starring Theodore Roberts. The photo is in
 the collection of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society.

The photo above also appears on Cinema Tour.

Sherman Theatre

15052 Ventura Blvd.  | map |

Sherman Oaks, CA   91403 

Opened: 1940s      Seating:  500

Status:  This longtime neighborhood theatre finished its days as a revival house but called it quits due to the home video competition of the mid-80s. Landmark Theatres had been running it since 1977. The theatre's entrance was just several small storefronts east of Noble Ave. It's no more -- the site is now an office building at Ventura and Noble -- just west of a glamorous strip mall.

The Sherman in the movies: The theatre puts in several appearances in Martha Coolidge's film "Valley Girl" with Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman (Atlantic Releasing,1983).
 

A marquee view from "Valley Girl. It's a screenshot from the
 San Fernando Blog article on filming locations for the movie.


Thanks to the San Fernando Blog for this screenshot
 of a daytime view appearing later in "Valley Girl."
See our "Valley Girl" Theatres In Movies post for
another shot of the Sherman as well as a night view of
the Chinese from earlier in the film.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Sherman. There's a 2011 Sherman Oaks Patch article "The Sherman Theatre: Where Grownup Tastes Ruled." Also see the Fast Rewind article about the making of "Valley Girl."

    American Classic Images    


A 1982 look at the Sherman
from American Classic Images.

Sherman Oaks Cinema I-II

4500 Van Nuys Blvd.    | map | 

Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Opened: This theatre opened in 1975 and got a major remodel in 1984.

Architect: William Riseman Associates.  Bob Luchetti was the architect for the 1984 remodeling.

Seating: 952 total, 476 on each side. 

Status: Closed July 17, 2003. It was demolished in 2005.  This
theatre was a favorite valley location for studio previews in the 1990s.

More Information: General Cinema Corporation brought mid-century modern design to the theatre business. See our page on the Sherman Oaks Cinemas for a history of their design innovations and links to other sources.

    Davewetsprocket on Flickr  


A view of the exterior of the Sherman Oaks I-II by
Davewetsprocket on Flickr. It's summer 2003 and
the theatre has just closed.
 full size view

Studio City Theatre

Historic Los Angeles Theatres -- The Studio   City
13126 Ventura Blvd.    | map |

Studio City (Los Angeles), CA   91604

Opened: 1938

It's been known as the Studio Theatre, the Studio City Theatre and the Fox Studio City.  The last operator was Mann Theatres.

Architect:   Clifford A. Balch

Seating: 880

Status:  Closed in 1991.  The interior is largely intact but it has been converted into a Bookstar/Barnes & Noble bookstore.

More Information: See our page on the Studio Theatre.

Topanga Theatre

6360 Topanga Canyon Blvd. 

Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), CA   91367    | map |

Opened: 1965 by the Stanley Warner circuit as a single screen 70mm equipped theatre and known as the Stanley Warner Topanga. It was (along with other Stanley Warner houses in southern California) acquired by Pacific Theatres in 1968 and known as the Pacific Topanga.

It got twinned in 1972 (but keeping its 70mm capability) and then triplexed in the 90s. With a new AMC multiplex nearby it went to second run status in 1998 and closed in 2000. After being a furniture store it got demolished in 2007.           

Seats:  1,350 originally. Down to 800 as a triplex.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Topanga Theatre. The  Cinema Tour page has 11 lobby and exterior photos from 2001 after the theatre had closed. 

The Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles has many shots from a variety of sources:   Boxoffice Oct. 11 '65 opening | marquee 1983 - American Classic Images | marquee 1984 - American Classic Images | another 1984 marquee shot | marquee 1998 | 2005 exterior | theatre #3 - 2005 | theatre #1 2005 |

    From Script To DVD    

fromscripttodvd.com/70mm_in_los_angeles_main_page.htm



A 1989 look at the theatre as a triplex. It's from
the collection of John Sittig of Pacific Theatres.
The site's page on the Topanga Theatre also has an early booth
 view (Norelcos, Super Cinex lamps) as well as lots of photos of the
various auditoria after after the building had become a furniture store.

Valley Theatre

5161 Lankershim Blvd.  | map |

North Hollywood (Los Angeles), CA   91601 

Opened: 1938 as the Valley Theatre, a Fox West Coast operation. It frequently played moveovers from the nearby El Portal Theatre but occasionally scored a long running Valley exclusive such as "The Best Years of Our Lives," a 1946 release. In 1955 it was renamed the Guild Theatre. Ken McIntyre found an April 19, 1955 L.A. Times article about the remodeling:

"In typical filmland style, Fox West Coast Theaters tonight will open the newly remodeled Valley Guild Theater in North Hollywood.

Refurbished at a cost of $35,000, the deluxe showcase, located at Lankershim & Magnolia, will feature many of the latest engineering techniques, including the newly developed “eye-intensity” curved screen, adapted for conventional pictures as well as Cinemascope. Jacques Tati’s “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday” and “The Little Kidnappers” wil be the opening program."

In 1977 the Guild Theatre became a Pussycat operation. Mann Theatres was running it before it went to porno.

Architect:  S. Charles Lee      Seating: 350

Status: Demolished in the mid-80s for a Hewlett Packard building.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on this theatre, which they list as the Guild.  They also have a page for a mythical Valley Theatre at 6749 Lankershim.

    Decaying Hollywood Mansions   

facebook.com/pages/Decaying-Hollywood-Mansions


A 1967 look at the Guild playing
"Up the Down Staircase."
full size view | on Cinema Treasures | on SF Valley Relics

    Jay Allen Sanford - Pussycat Theatres   

Chapter 1: pussycattheaterhistory1.blogspot.com
Chapters 2-15: pussycattheaterhistory2.blogspot.com


A  December 1982 view of the theatre appearing in
Chapter 9 of Jay Allen Sanford's  "Pussycat Theatres:
A Comprehensive History of a California Dynasty."
A May 1982 look at the Guild in its Pussycat days.
It's from Chapter 9 of Sanford's 2010 book length article
that originally appeared in the San Diego Reader.

The two photos above also appear on American Classic Images:
December 1982 night view | May 1982 day view

Wood's Theatre

https://sites.google.com/site/lamoviepalaces/sfvalley/Wood-Google-2011.jpg
133 N. San Fernando Blvd.
  

Burbank, CA 91502     | map

Opened: 1917 or earlier. We don't even know what the name of the theatre was. Or how long it lasted. But it gets the prize as the first one in Burbank.

Was it the Burbank Theatre? Wood's Theatre?  The photo is a 2011 Google maps view. Click on it to enlarge or head to an interactive view.

Thanks to Deanna Bayless for finding the comments and photos on Wes Clark's Burbankia site.  On the "What's New" page for August 24, 2011 we have this:

"Thanks to Sue Baldaseroni of the Burbank Historical Society, we now have some information about an unknown theater and sign on San Fernando Rd. that puzzled Mike and I...According to Sue: 'This was Burbank's first moving picture theatre and was run by George Wood as an adjunct of his general store which kept open at night. Watland Wood remembers when his father took tickets at the picture show, he also would run to the store to wait on customers, and also squirted gasoline into the gas engine to keep the lights from dousing. It was mainly films of Cowboys and Indians shown in the first years. MJ (Mary Jane Strickland) said the lighted sign was for the store, not sure but thought it was a chicken or rooster but can't remember for sure.' So there you are - it's a bird of some kind. I still can't make it out. We've determined by looking at later photos that the building still stands; the theater was where the Fantasia Billiards Hall is now located at 133 N. San Fernando."                       

Status: Remodeled                      Seating: Unknown

    Burbankia - Wes Clark   

wesclark.com/burbank  |  what's new


A February 1917 photo by DeLos Wilbur of the
Farmers and Merchants Bank (left), the general store
 of George Wood and, at right, his theatre.
 full size view
| on FB/LATheatres



A detail from the 1917 photo showing the
 strange bird on the theatre's sign.
Wes Clark's site also has a view looking the other direction
 on San Fernando but it just misses the theatre.
There's also
 an article on Mr. DeLos Wilbur and his photographs.