Loma Theatre

3150 Rosecrans Boulevard,
San Diego, CA 92110

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Showing 26 - 47 of 47 comments

koosmal on January 12, 2010 at 6:18 am

This looks similar to the Clyde, aka Quimby, Theater in Fort Wayne, In.

kencmcintyre on July 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Here is a newspaper ad, circa 1973:

kencmcintyre on April 16, 2009 at 1:30 am

No, you didn’t. I posted that for the Lux in New Mexico. Some crossed wires, I guess.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Bookstar has also taken over the Studio City theater in Southern CA. I wonder if they target old theaters, or if it’s just coincidental.

Clarkus on April 11, 2008 at 5:09 am

As with DanW, I too long for the halcyon days of San Diego. I remember going to see “Earthquake” in “SenseSurround” at the Loma. There were subwoofers lined up all across the floor in front of the stage. The film ran for several weeks and I often wondered if there was any structural damage from all the low frequency vibration.

neeb on January 7, 2008 at 10:04 am

The Grand Opening was on 24 May 1945. Admission was the purchase of a $100 War Bond.
The opening attraction was ‘Diamond Horseshoes’ starring Betty Grable.

danwhitehead1 on June 19, 2006 at 6:11 pm

The Loma was a beautiful, beautiful house. I enjoyed many movies here over the decades. There are so many beautiful houses that are gone now. For that matter, San Diego is gone too. The San Diego that I grew up in and knew and loved was an inexpensive, laid-back, easy-going town. The San Diego that exists now is an expensive, stress-filled monstrosity which has been invaded and sacked by hordes of rootless barbarians from the outside. I’m surprised they haven’t managed to destroy the weather. Weep for the real San Diego, those of you who remember it.

BrooklynJim on June 17, 2006 at 6:12 pm

This was one of San Diego’s finest venues. That neon shot posted by Lost Memory is worthy of San Diego’s being a bedroom community to Tinsel Town 125 miles north.

I was only a patron twice, once for a fairly memorable Speilberg movie, “E.T.” in ‘82, and the other for a not-so-memorable one in 1980, “The Blue Lagoon.”

I’m impressed that Bookstar had and still has the vision of the Loma’s eventual restoration. Sadly, that day may never come. In my 28 years here, I’ve seen this city slide into a severe no-culture zone. There are small exceptions, but overall, it’s all ancient history to the powers-that-be and to many current residents.

kencmcintyre on February 4, 2006 at 10:08 pm

Here is a photo of the theater as a bookstore:
View link

br91975 on June 1, 2005 at 1:36 am

Thanks for filling in those blanks for me, Ken and Michael, and in such expedient fashion…

Coate on May 31, 2005 at 3:08 pm

Regarding the operator of the Loma, KenRoe beat me to it! I’d like to add, though, for clarification that Fox became NGC which became Mann. So at various times, the Loma (and other San Diego area theatres) was identified as being operated by all of those companies.

Mann (and Pacific) began phasing out their large, single-screen venues (such as the Loma, Valley Circle, Cinema 21, Cinerama, etc.) as the multiplexes started to become the norm (Hazard Center, Mann 9 at the Grove, Cinerama 6, etc.). Of course, as we all recognize, this sort of “evolution” happened everywhere, not just in San Diego.

Some of the highlights of the history of the Loma were its 70mm and/or reserved-seat engagements.

Can-Can (Premiere Date: June 1, 1960)
Lawrence Of Arabia (Mar. 27, 1963)
Becket (June 18, 1964)
The Sound Of Music (Mar. 31, 1965)
Star! (Dec. 18, 1968)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (Oct. 7, 1970)
Fiddler On The Roof (Dec. 14, 1971)
Man Of La Mancha (Dec. 14, 1972)
The Sound Of Music (Aug. 25, 1978 re-issue)
Sleeping Beauty (Nov. 2, 1979 re-issue)
The Island (June 13, 1980)
Divine Madness (Sep. 26, 1980)
E.T. (June 11, 1982)
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (May 23, 1984)
American Flyers (Nov. 22, 1985)
Young Sherlock Holmes (Dec. 4, 1985)
Top Gun (May 16, 1986)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Nov. 26, 1986)

and, perhaps most notably, a rare 70mm engagement of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” double-billed with “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Dec. 4, 1981)

View link
View link
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 31, 2005 at 9:43 am

The Loma Theatre closed in 1988. One of its last operators, if not the last was Mann Theatres. In its heyday it was part of the Fox West Coast Theatres chain.

br91975 on May 31, 2005 at 3:24 am

What a beautiful exterior. When did the Loma close for business as a cinema? Did it operate mostly as a part of chains or as an indie?

Coate on May 4, 2005 at 4:39 pm

“The Sound Of Music” played at this theatre for 133 weeks!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2005 at 12:28 pm

The April, 1981 issue of San Diego Magazine contains an article with illustrations of the Loma Theater. It says that the Loma opened on May 25th, 1945.

trooperboots on December 26, 2004 at 11:38 am

Do not hesitate to go into the Loma Theater today. To the credit of Bookstar, the current tenent, they have left the interior intact and some day this theater could easily be restored once more. The interior is just fine, and the wall decorations are still there and very impressive. If a theater can’t be used for it’s intended purpose, this is the next best use in my book, since it keeps the theater in use and the decoration relatively intact. The interior is still awesome.

JimRankin on May 25, 2004 at 1:53 pm

This theatre is one of some 200 that could be described as “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” which is the title of the ANNUAL of 1987 of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. In the late 1930s through the 1950s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Moderne meets Streamlined.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale. The ANNUAL also show in its 44 pages how some 20 theatres were good examples of this combining of aluminum forms with sweeping draperies heavily hung with large tassels, and with box offices and facades richly treated with neon within the aluminum forms. Few of these examples survive today, but it was a glorious era while it lasted, and this collection of crisp b/w photos is a fitting epitaph by the late Preston Kaufmann.
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 44 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to lend it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

William on November 13, 2003 at 10:38 pm

The Loma Theatre is located at 3150 Rosecrans Blvd..