Five Star Cinema

10155 Reseda Boulevard,
Northridge, CA 91324

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: United General Theatres

Functions: Gymnasium

Previous Names: Peppertree Cinemas

Nearby Theaters

Five Star Cinema

Opened on July 3, 1973 as a fully automated movie theatre, operated by United General Theatres. I first came to the Peppertree Cinemas in the fall of 1986 when I began attending nearby California State University, Northridge. At the time the theatre showed deep run movies for one dollar. It had three screens. This was a great bargain for a college student on a limited budget. In the parking lot was a Farrell’s (later briefly Barrell’s). This was a novelty ice cream chain that closed around 1987. A film for one dollar and then ice cream afterwards was quite the bargain.

The Peppertree Cinemas slowly raised their prices 25 cents here and there. They eventually required everyone to buy a card – for about one dollar – valid for six months to pay the cheaper price to see a film. Eventually the Peppertree Cinemas remodeled around 1990 and acquired the space next door. They built two new screens with very narrow auditoriums.

Sometime in the mid-1990’s the Peppertree Cinemas became the Five Star Cinema. It closed not long after that in the late-1990’s. A gym is now located in the space.

Contributed by David Knatcal

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

sconnell1 on January 5, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I saw “Heat” there on March 17, 1997. That’s the one with DeNiro, and Pacino.

shatter on August 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I remember going there around ‘89 or '90 when I was attending CSUN and dating a girl who lived in Northridge. She thought I was the ultimate cheapskate for taking her there. Whatever. The announcement on the phone advertised the “real butter” on their “fresh popcorn”…not a great theater by any means and a lot of brats running around on the sticky floors from what I recall.

Shane on August 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Actually Dennis it was Grandpa (Stanley Livingston) who owned it and your Dad who was the projectionist-Assistant Manager he also was the first Projectionist. Dennis Sr. worked their before Grandpa took it over.

When Mr Robert Lippert Sr. passed on November 16,1976 he bequeathed Grandpa ½ ownership of the Americana on Van Nuys Blvd in Panorama City with the other half going to Mr. Robert Lippert Jr. Lippert Jr. Inhereted the rest of the Lippert chain of theaters of 162 In-Door Theaters including 21 Drive-in Theaters.

The Americana was doing so well that Lippert Jr. bought Grandpa out giving him cash and the sole ownership of the Peppetree 3 theater which was only a couple of miles from Grandpas home. With Grandpa and and your dad making the Peppertree one of the best Independent chains around. Grandpa sold the Theater to move to Vegas because Grandma was sick and wanted to retire to Vegas.

secretpuppy on December 22, 2011 at 12:35 am

Actually the Peppertree Theater was owned by Stan, Dolores, Lauren, and Cate Livingston. Dennis Sr. was the Projectionist . I worked their from the beginning up til it was sold. And know the family very well. And knew them better than any of their estranged relatives. Shane, your info is right on! Also, Dennis Sr did not have any part in the sale of ownership. That is a falsity. Please get your facts straight before you print stuff. The theater sold in 1986 when Dolores got sick and they retired to Las Vegas. Dennis Sr was no longer working for them at that time. He was only the Assistant mgr. Not part owner.

Gizmomaker on May 8, 2015 at 10:35 am

Shane and/or Dennislivingston. This is Greg Moreland. I lived across the street from your family, I was classmates with Lori and of course new Cathy and Dennis very well also. Our parents were close friends and Stan and Dolores (Mr & Mrs Livingston to me)and I was included like family for my first Las Vegas trip (Lori and I were about 16 -17). I don’t recall any ownership details but I do remember the Americana opening and there is no argument that the Multi-screen theater was Stan’s Idea and he was the manager and a part owner of the Americana. Dennis got his first job as a projectionist there. I would very much appreciate if you could put me in touch with Lori and Cathy or let me know what happened to them. Lori is a missing person on our Class of 72 Alumni list.

Greg Moreland

culcune on January 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm

I don’t remember who owned this theater in the early 80’s, but he did play my friend’s father’s movie, “The Secret of Nimh” (my friend’s father was partners with Don Bluth). He lived just on the other side of Devonshire, so this was very convenient. I remember living in Northridge up to ‘02 and got to take my wife to a couple movies here before it closed down. I am not sure, but it may have been a first run theater in the 80’s (someone could clarify). As a second run theater, I do fondly remember seeing “Pulp Fiction” there in '94 before it left the big screen. Back to the 80’s, I remember seeing “Rambo” (the original) and “Brainstorm” maybe even as a double feature.

Gizmomaker on February 22, 2019 at 10:35 am

Shane, please contact me about Lori and Cathy. Lori and I were neighbors, close friends, and classmates at Holmes and Monroe. We have another Reunion coming up and Lori and Cathy are listed on our Monroe records as “Reported passed away – not confirmed”. Many of us have fond memories of both of them and would like to get them invited to future reunions or just get the records straight. I’ve talked to Dennis Jr, but he didn’t have contact with them.

rivest266 on November 11, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

dallasmovietheaters on April 30, 2020 at 5:22 pm

The Peppertree 3 Cinema was built for Herb Finkelstein and Fred Kane as an automated mini-theatre franchised with United General Theatres Circuit. United General was a fledgling competitor to the Jerry Lewis Cinema Circuit and others which promised one-button automagic theater operation to operators who may have had no knowledge of running a theater or any other business. It was backed in name by Glenn Ford, Agnes Moorehead and Debbie Reynolds. This was the first of twenty supposedly being built in the Valley and opened July 3, 1973. However, there is little evidence that there were more than five such properties under consideration. The entire chain was gone by 1975.

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