THE SCREENING ROOM
A year-by-year, film-by-film history of 70-millimeter wide gauge exhibition in Southern California
Compiled by Michael Coate and William Kallay
Southern California 70mm Theatres: Planned But Never Built
In the course of researching and compiling information on Southern
California 70mm-equipped theatres, we came across announcements and articles
about new theaters in the planning stages. It seems that a few theaters
during the building boom of the 1960s and 1970s never made it past the
blueprint stage. Perhaps due to budget changes, real estate changes, the
economy and/or a combination of factors, the projects were never built.
Below is a list of 70mm-equipped theatres that were planned, but never built. Most of the theatres listed were found in reports/articles/announcements in Box Office magazine and indicate 70mm capability.
For fun, listed below are some theaters that may have been planned for 70mm projection.* In reports in Box Office, there wasn't an indication of 70mm capability. However, keep in mind some thoughts. Many theaters listed in Box Office that were eventually built did have 70mm capability, but weren't listed as such at the time of publication. It was common during the late-1950s thru the early-1970s to build large theaters with 35/70mm projection. Perhaps due to budget constraints or market factors, other theaters in Los Angeles/Orange County were built with high seating capacity, but weren't equipped for 70mm. For the purpose of these particular listings, treat these as "what might have been."
This list is a work-in-progress.
Name (if applicable)
Seating capacity (if applicable)
Year (planned to open)
Planned as part of a three theatre expansion by circuit. All theatres identical in design. Other theatres were to be located in El Monte and West Covina (which was built as the Capri).
Planned as part of a three theatre expansion by circuit. All theatres were identical in design. Other theatres were to be located in Canoga Park and West Covina (which was built as the Capri).
"Cinerama" (Duel auditorium)
Was supposed to be built next to La Mirada Drive-in.
Planned as part of shopping center development on Pacific Coast Highway. May have been built, but as a smaller theater that still exists.
2000-seats (twin theaters)
Was listed in the January 18, 1965 issue of Box Office as an "oval-shaped theater in Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center." If the Google Map is correct, this shopping center is known as "The Brickyard," located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Tustin Avenue in Orange. This shopping center is located on the border of Orange and Anaheim Hills. The shopping center has been known as "The Brickyard" since at least the late-1970s.
"Whitman Center Theatre"
Was supposed to have been built at the intersection of Harbor and Chapman Blvds.
To have been built in the Capistrano Valley Shopping Center.
Was going to be a part of South Coast Plaza shopping center. National General eventually built a large theater across the street from South Plaza.
600-seats (main auditorium)
Was to be located in proposed Four Seasons Village recreational center. It was part of a multiscreen complex of separate buildings containing the theatres. A 600-seat auditorium would've been located in "Cinema I." Two additional 400-seat auditoriums would've been located in "Cinema II" and "Cinema III."
Planned as part of a shopping center complex. Location unknown.
Planned for the Lawson's Towne and Country Shopping Center facing Fashion Square (now MainPlace) on Main Street. Was to have featured art films. Imported statues and a champagne bar would have been in the lobby. The shopping center was built without the theater, then later razed for another shopping center.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Part of shopping center development. Might have been eventually built by National General and opened as the Fox Oxnard.
Part of the Buena Ventura Shopping Center. May have been eventually built as the multiscreen Mann Buenaventura complex.
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
Source: Box Office Magazine, various dates