Comments from Joe Pinney

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Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Edwards Cinema Theatre on Jan 14, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Based on views of this location on Google Maps Street View, the original building, which had been converted into a Paul Mitchell hair salon, was no longer functioning as a hair salon, or any other business, for several years, from 2007-2011 or thereabouts. It appears to have been demolished sometime around 2013 or 2014, as a Street View from September 2014 shows a newer building with a different footprint, and some of the tenants, including restaurants such as The Kickin' Crab and, as of June 2017, a Korean restaurant called Bonchon, both of which are still there.

There appears to be nothing indicating that the first Edwards movie theater in Orange County had once been located here.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about AMC Empire 25 on Nov 2, 2021 at 6:09 am

In 1935, when this theatre was known as the Eltinge Theatre and was used for burlesque, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello first met and performed here on the stage together.

In 1998, as part of the renewal of 42nd Street led by the New 42nd Street coalition and real estate developer Bruce Ratner, the entire theatre was lifted off its foundation and moved westward approximately 170 feet (52 m) to its present location.

In the newer location, the shell of the theatre auditorium was converted into a lobby and lounge for the AMC Empire 25, AMC’s first theatre in New York City. Escalators pass through the former proscenium arch of the stage to the newly built auditoriums above. The theater opened at an estimated cost of $70 million, making it one of the most expensive movie theatres ever built.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Los Altos Drive-In on Dec 1, 2019 at 4:18 am

From 1996 to 2001, the Los Altos Drive-In served as the location for actor Bruce Dern’s hosting of cable channel Speedvision’s “Lost Drive-In” movie program, which featured movies related to driving in one way or another. Look up “Lost Drive-In Los Altos” on YouTube; there are a few clips of the theater in its final days, as seen on the show, to be found there.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Paramount Drive-In Theatres on Aug 7, 2018 at 1:48 pm

The correct address for this drive-in is 7770 Rosecrans, Paramount, CA 90723

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about SaiGon Performing Arts Center on Jun 1, 2018 at 10:19 am

The SaiGon Performing Arts Center is still in business and appears to be doing well, based on two things: Google Street Maps dated December 2017 (the camera car drove into the shopping center’s parking lot, right up to the theater), and a video just posted on YouTube today, May 31, 2018 (although likely shot in February 2018) –

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Star Lite Drive-In on May 1, 2018 at 1:58 am

A D&K Truck store (which provides various parts and services for big rig trucks) is now on the site, with the same addres, 3020 Snow Road. All traces of the theater are now gone.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Circle-Vision 360 on Aug 9, 2017 at 4:32 am

There’s been some confusion about Disney’s 360-degree film formats – the original format that opened in 1955 with A TOUR OF THE WEST, which ran until 1960, and then with AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL until 1966, was an 11-screen, 16mm format (in 360 degrees) called CIRCA-RAMA. When Tomorrowland was refurbished in 1967, with a new version of AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, the 360-degree film format was now a 9-screen, 35mm format (in 360 degrees) called CIRCLE-VISION360.

The original 16mm Circarama camera is on display in San Francisco at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

More info, as well as patent drawings of Circa-Rama that were submitted by Disney –

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about South Coast Plaza III Theatres on Feb 6, 2017 at 2:16 am

Seeing the video of the demolition of the South Coast Plaza theaters is painful for me, especially since I spent so many memorable hours at this theater, seeing I don’t know how many incredible films from the late 70s, 80s, and 90s. Everything from Disney films like THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE and FREAKY FRIDAY to SUPERMAN to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to POLTERGEIST (opening night, Friday, June 4, 1982!) to re-releases of the first two STAR WARS films to DIE HARD to BRAVEHEART. This was, at one time, one of the premiere theaters in Orange County. Many 70mm presentations. To see it just unceremoniously trashed like this, so completely erased from existence with no trace that it was ever there……that hurts. It was there, dammit. I loved going there. Why’d they have to go and tear it down?

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Picwood Theatre on Dec 14, 2014 at 8:07 am

When the Picwood opened it had a tropical type of interior in the auditorium. It was remodeled in and around 1966-7. After the remodel the Picwood seated 950 seats.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about AMC Houston 8 on Aug 3, 2014 at 4:48 am

I saw a handful of films here when it was the Angelika, and saw one or two after it became the Sundance. While it was acceptable but not exceptional as the Angelika, I have to give it to the newer tenants – the Sundance Cinema experience is GREAT! And I have never had better popcorn in ANY movie theater, EVER.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Meyer Park 16 on Aug 3, 2014 at 4:30 am

This theater was demolished in 2010 and has been replaced with a Kohl’s department store.

This article has some photos of the demolition and some additional info. —–

Please update the status to DEMOLISHED.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Meyerland Plaza I-II-III on Aug 3, 2014 at 4:24 am

When I moved to Houston in 1999, this was the very first movie theater I went to (for a showing of the remake of THE HAUNTING), since it was not far from where I lived. I also recall seeing the 2000 release of the restored version of THE EXORCIST there, and also MONSTER’S BALL (2001). Although the auditoriums were not especially impressive, they were decent, and I enjoyed going to this theater. I was actually rather shocked and saddened when I learned it was closing and would be demolished. Although I hadn’t been able to see movies there in its heyday, it was still a nice little multiplex, and did not deserve to be torn down.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about Fox Cinemaland Theatre on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:35 am

The location of this theater is (was) at the corner of Harbor Blvd and W. Manchester Ave (which, past the theater’s location, curves into a parallel road – and becomes Sl Manchester Ave. – along the 5 Freeway). As noted earlier, it is not directly across Harbor Blvd from the Disneyland entrance; rather it is directly opposite the Tomorrowland Train Station in Disneyland (next to the Innoventions Building and the Autopia). On the site today stands a Mimi’s Cafe (although the theater’s actual footprint is part of the current restaurant’s parking lot – the restaurant’s address is 1400 S. Harbor Blvd, interestingly). It is directly across from the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground.

Side note: I also saw “Herbie Rides Again” here in the summer of 1974, and I distinctly remember the full-size Herbie-styled VW Bug replica outside the entrance doors near the ticket booth! I also saw the 1976 “King Kong” here with my dad, and in the summer of 1977 I remember going here for a few weekends for a kids' movie festival, seeing such films as “The World of Abbott & Costello” (1965), “The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County” (1970), “Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion” (1965), “Eight on the Lam” (1967), “McHale’s Navy Joins The Air Force” (1965), and others.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney commented about El Monte Drive-In on Feb 14, 2014 at 5:57 am

A PDF version of the Fall 2008 issue of Hagerty magazine that DavidZornig mentioned is available in full color here online: