4884 Eagle Rock Boulevard,
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Previously operated by: Pussycat Theatres
Architects: Kenneth A. Gordon
Firms: J.H. Woodworth and Son
Previous Names: Yosemite Theatre, New Eagle Theatre, Eagle Theatre, Pussycat Theatre
This theatre opened as the Yosemite Theatre on May 3, 1929 with two days of vaudeville shows produced by local radio station KMTR. It began screening silent films two days later, from May 5, 1929. The theatre was built and operated as an independent by Mr J.T. Young and Mr H.E. Allen.
It closed down in July 1930 for improvements which included the installation of talking picture equipment and it re-opened under the management of Vox Theatres Inc. who also operated the nearby York Theatre and Eagle Rock Theatre. The re-opening took place on August 7, 1930 with the Bert Wheeler & Rob Woolsey comedy film “The Cuckoos”.
The Yosemite Theatre was described as being designed in a Mediterranean style in which architect Kenneth A. Gordon had designed an auditorium set in a patio garden. The proscenium arch exits and light niches forming openings in the high stucco wall with tile coping, back of which coloured lights give a restful and pleasing effect to the auditorium, while the azure ceiling resembles the sky. Back of the grilled openings on the sidewalls, landscapes depicting the mountains and scenery of California add another interesting feature to the interior.
The name was changed to New Eagle Theatre after an extensive re-modelling by its new owners Vinnicoff Theatres Circuit. The New Eagle Theatre re-opened on June 10, 1937 with Tyrone Power in “Lloyds of London” and Sally Eilers in “We Have Our Moments”. In 1940 it changed its name again, dropping the ‘New’ and becoming the Eagle Theatre.
From 1976 to 1979, it became part of the Pussycat chain of cinemas playing adult porn movies. In 1983 it was completely re-decorated, with new stage draperies, new seats and a Dolby sound system was installed and it became an Independent cinema, playing regular movies at a low admission price. Seating had been reduced to 800.
Sadly, it succumbed to the multiplex boom and closed in 2001. It became a church for the Brazilian based Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. They had moved out of the building by April 2019 and locals are hoping it will return to use as a movie theatre.
In September 2019 it was purchased by Videots Sets and is being renovated to become a 250-seat theatre screening classic movies and staging concerts, plus a video store, with an extra space in one of the former retail units to be used as a bar, meeting space and small performance space. It was announced on April 17, 2023 that it planned to open on June 1, 2023.
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