Palms Theatre

3751 Motor Avenue,
Culver City, CA 90034

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

Scalerail on October 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Went to the Palms almost every Saturday with Vaughn to see Roy Rogers or Tarzan movies. Always took my cap guns. This was in the early 50’s. Week nights sometimes my parents would take my sister and I. They had bingo night between features. I won one night and had to go up on stage and spin a big wheel. It ended up on three. I got three silver dollars. I thought I was rich. Bought a Lionel railroad car at the dime store the next day. The lady that helped me saw me win my silver dollars the night before. What fame.

CStefanic on October 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Viewers can get a good look at this theatre in the Charlie’s Angels episode from the first season called “The Big Tap Out” – Farrah Fawcett meets a guy outside. Interesting enough – Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg had a hand in the Robert Altman film “California Split” and the title of said film appears on the marquee for the Palms in the scene. I will try and find the scene.

Flickers on January 9, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Does this auto correct? It was Boston STRANGLER of course!

Flickers on January 9, 2017 at 6:01 pm

I used to go to this theatre with my dad a lot – mom only like “happy” movies. Saw Cabaret here and Ryan’s Daughter. I distinctly remember the phone message for The Boston Stranger – “…it will really choke you up…” And it if it was a tear jerker, Jim or Merrit would stand at the door handing out Kleenex. I paid $0.75 to get in back then. Can you believe ANYTHING ever cost $.75, ever? Those days are long gone, I’m afraid. Oh, well, I have some great memories.

robboehm on May 30, 2016 at 10:30 am

Uploaded three photos from Vaughn’s Summaries, a blog site. Double exposed photo of the Palms in 1928, a 1985 shot with manager Don Nakagiri in the foreground, and a 1950 rendering by Vaughn, himself, as he remembered the seating plan.

genordell on May 29, 2016 at 11:05 pm

WOW! Saturday at the Palms Theater in the 1950s – what I remember most was the two-strip color Roy Rogers movies – also the two owners were clever, one Saturday during the intermission a kid sailed a flat popcorn box (like a Frisbee) at the screen and an adult came down the aisle and grabbed the kid and took him out – you coulda heard a pin drop – we always thought the managers arranged the event, but we were never sure so Saturdays were quite well-behaved after that

ScottyA on June 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Wow. I literally have no memory of the inside or outside of this place. But I do know that in 1975, my sister’s 11th birthday party was there, and we saw a double feature of “Smile” and “Funny Lady”!

JohnCl on January 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Lots of memories of the Palms. We all went to the Palms on Saturdays.
Ralph and Margaret Hintz owned it and the family ran it. During WWII it was said that the theatre was open 24-7 to patrons working in the war plants.

Jim Allen and Merrit Stone always hired ushers from patron families. I started in 1961. Jim and Merrit were great guys. They “funded” my education at UCLA with no interest loans that I paid back each summer. Jim and Merrit were both members of the actors guild and we often had name actors come by to see a movie. After graduation from UCLA and after starting my professional career, I worked most of every week for the next 6 or 7 years. The owners and ushers were family! I met Miss Karen there in 1967. We have been married for 42 years. Three of the ushers at the Palms were ushers at our wedding. A lot of us are still in touch. Both Merritt and Jim have gone on to their rewards. Jim and Merritt took a run down theatre and turned it into a safe, family oriented, theatre with many first run-city wide released through the years.

ChasSmith on November 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

If memory serves correctly, the Palms advertised real buttered popcorn, a rarity in those days.

In 1981-82 I lived around the block and had the pleasure of just walking around the corner to see second-run films at the Palms. A few that come to mind: “Fame”, “The Competition”, “On Golden Pond”. But my best Palms memory of all — an evening I still recall as one of the standout experiences ever with a movie AUDIENCE — was “Blazing Saddles”. A full house, the perfect audience, and a purely great night at the movies in a nice neighborhood theater.

nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm

A follow-up: that last time I went there was December 14, 1963, because it was the day of the Baldwin Hills Dam collapse and flood just a few miles away. The incident took place while I was at the Palms with my aunt, and we didn’t find out about the disaster until we got out of the theatre. It was quite a time — three weeks earlier, JFK had been murdered, and, three weeks thereafter, we left L.A., where I had lived all my young life, and moved to Europe, where my father had been transferred. Tumultuous times, indeed.

nightfly on August 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

This was where I went to see movies as a young child — everything from “The Music Man” to Disney flicks. By those days, it had been “modernized” by draping curtains all over the interior. What I mainly remember was the screen curtain in broad vertical stripes of primary colors. There was a big fire at the theatre in ‘62-'63, and it was closed for awhile. When it reopened, it had a new, solid-gold curtain. The last film I saw here was “Lilies of the Field” in late '63, just before our family left L.A.

greg6363 on August 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I remember seeing Flashdance at this theatre when the film opened in early 1983. It actually opened day and date with Westwood Village which amazed me. When calling the theatre, the guy who did the recording always ended the message with “Shalom”. Quaint theatre. Fun times.

georgepeter on May 29, 2007 at 10:05 pm

I remember seeing A Clockwork Orange there. It was a very cool place to see a movie.

rlgoldst2 on May 4, 2007 at 9:56 pm

My first date was at The Palms in the late ‘50s. I was in 8th grade, she was in 7th. The Saturday matinee was “St. Francis of Assisi,” shown 2nd or 3rd run. We sat in the back. I had my arm around her throughout the film; when St. Francis experienced the stigmata, my date cringed closer to me and then I kissed her. Years later, I took my high school sweetheart to The Palms, and even though she laughed at the comedy we saw, she told me never to take her to The Palms again. Snooty young lady that she was, she only liked the 1st-run houses in Westwood & Hollywood. We broke up soon after. In the early '70s my wife & I saw The Godfather at The Palms. The place was packed; we enjoyed it. … The Palms had a strong community feel to it. The owners were convivial gentlemen who greeted the patrons coming and going; they innovated recorded phone messaging. It’s a shame to lose that in this age of home video.

EllaJade on November 13, 2006 at 9:42 am

I don’t recall if it was Belfast Water or not, but it could very well be. Did it look anything like the following – View link – Seems like the Neon was blue and the second hand had a small crescent on the end of it. The photo of the outside makes the theatre seem so much smaller than I recall, but I was much smaller myself. Prior to going to the Palms, my brothers and I used to go to the FOX Venice (when we lived in Venice). After moving to Culver City, we went either to the Culver or the Meralta depending on what was playing there. Sad to see that they are all gone now, but that’s how it goes.

Blofeld on November 12, 2006 at 9:25 am

Last Detail is the one I remember the most, seeing there. I forgot about the clock, “Belfast Water” wasn’t it? We loved this little hole in the wall; the programming seemed to be a bit more ambitious than some of the surrounding theaters, like the Culver and the Meralta (and we can see from the photo of the Meralta what a second to third run theater it was…)

EllaJade on November 8, 2006 at 10:55 am

My brothers and I used to see movies at the Palms in the late 50’s and 60’s. I think the last movie we ever saw there was the original version of “The Time Machine”. I can’t recall anything about the inside of the theatre except the neon clock over the exit just to the left of the screen. Seems like it was always raining every time the movie was over. The photo seems unfamiliar although everthing has changed since that time.

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2006 at 9:34 am

Here is more information on the Palms:

kencmcintyre on September 24, 2005 at 5:20 pm

Here is a photo of the Palms, along with theater manager Don Nakagiri, from 1985:

cheviothills on September 2, 2005 at 4:13 pm

Members: I realize the above address at WEBSHOTS dated Aug. 22,2005 did not work but this does!!

cheviothills on August 23, 2005 at 12:32 am

One last try……

cheviothills on August 22, 2005 at 11:52 pm

I guess it does not work after all. Sorry…

cheviothills on August 22, 2005 at 11:33 pm

Hey Folks: I just added a rare photo of the Palms on Webshots for all to see. I just don’t understand about placing a link here so you all can see it?

cheviothills on August 22, 2005 at 9:01 pm

FILMBREAK: I joined Local 150 that summer of 1968. I grew up going to the Picwood, Palms, Culver and Meralta. I relieved Schleiger several times because he also worked the studio. Are you saying that Stone and Allen owned the Meralta at the same time they owned the Palms?