La Habra Theatre

201 W. Whittier Boulevard,
La Habra, CA 90631

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dmchapman on February 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

The La Habra Theater was just opened when we arrived in town in 1956. Saturday matinee was 25 cents and included newsreels, serials and cartoons. No feature films. Popcorn was another dime. I remember seeing the old theater down on Central Ave. but don’t know if it was used for anything in those days. Now it is the site of the civic center parking lot. During the 60' Pacific built the La Habra Drive-In theater. That one is long gone now.

jeffdonaldson on October 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

Thank you, Tinseltoes. I love the article and the pictures. Great memories. I was there opening night along with James Arness and Carol Morris, who was the Miss U.S.A. at the time. She was kind of a knockout. I remember her better than Arness, but I was thirteen and hormones were starting to rage.

jeffdonaldson on September 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

When I was a freshman in high school, our history class got out of school one day and walked east for two long blocks until we got to the La Habra Theatre. We were given a free screening of Walt Disney’s “Johnny Tremain.” Most of the kids who left school actually went to the theatre. Getting out of school and a free movie, what could be better? As a result of this mini-field trip, I spent the next several years lusting after Luana Patten.

viper771 on June 18, 2011 at 1:20 am

There was/is a small school that was just behind this theatre. When I was REALLY young in the mid 80s, I went to that school (it was more of less like a daycare). I remember seeing that theatre and they always had cars parked behind it with white Xs on them. From the playground I could see these cars being towed to the parking lot behind the theatre. I must have been around 4 or 5 years old at the time. I remeber when the old folks home was built too, sometime in the 90s. I went to Walnut Elementry school, which is just about a block away, and sometimes the kids went over there.

jeffdonaldson on November 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

The 40th anniversary of the first moonwalk was July 20th, not July 26th.

pocee on July 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm

The theater came up for discussion yesterday, the 40th anniversary of the moonwalk, as my brother and I saw Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton and the gone way too soon Mary Ure in Where Eagles Dare on that date.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 25, 2008 at 7:50 am

The lobby of Lippert’s La Habra Theatre was pictured on the cover of the October 6, 1956, issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

jeffdonaldson on December 25, 2008 at 7:14 am

Senior apartments were built on that site. I went there around 1990 looking to see if it might be right for my father.

jeffdonaldson on December 24, 2007 at 7:55 am

The old La Habra Theatre (formerly The Garden Theatre) at 165 E. Central managed to hang around for about thirty-five years. Esther Cramer’s history of La Habra has one sentence about the theatre: “The opening of the Garden theatre, complete with orchestra, high class vaudeville acts, and films (featuring such stars as Tom Mix and comedian Harold Lloyd), attracted visitors from miles around.” The building had the theatre entrance with box office in the center and space for a small business on either side. When I went there in the early fifties, there was a sandwich shop on one side and a dry cleaners on the other. Inside, there was still a small stage up front. Pictures changed twice a week, and for us kids, on Saturday morning, we got seven cartoons, two serials and a feature (usually a western) for 17 cents! If you had another dime, you could get a bag of popcorn or pull your fillings out with a box of Jujubees. I was about 10 and I made friends with the teenage projectionist who showed me the booth. To enter the projection booth, you had to climb up a wooden ladder that was nailed to the back wall. At the top, you swung your leg out into the booth. The film cans were hauled up into the booth with a pulley. Our theatre closed in 1954 or early 1955 but no one told us why. There was some talk about drugs being delt there. All we knew was that for the next two years we had to get our parents to take us to the Fox Fullerton until the new theatre opened up on Whittier Blvd.

jeffdonaldson on December 24, 2007 at 7:10 am

This theatre opened on September 6, 1956. The ad in the Los Angeles Times of that date: “Gala Opening Tonight. The Beautiful New La Habra Theatre. Southern California’s Newest and Finest Theatre. Offering You the Best in Projection! In 4 Track Stereophonic Sound! Rocking Chair Loges. Plenty of Free Parking! And Here’s Our Opening Program: Frank Sinatra in Johnny Concho
James Stewart—Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much”

jeffdonaldson on December 22, 2007 at 9:13 am

I remember going to the opening night at the La Habra Theater in 1956. I believe the opening night films were “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and “Johnny Concho.” Joining us for the opening ceremonies were James Arness and Carol Morris, the then Miss U.S.A. We were very proud of our new modern theater. No balcony but the rear third of the theater had soft loge-style rocking seats. Still remembering the ancient hard seats of the old crackerbox theater down on Central Avenue which had closed two years earlier, we loved this new building. Ticket: fifty cents.

jmarellano on May 9, 2005 at 5:00 am

Downtown Renewal? La Habra’s downtown was located on La Habra Blvd. Thats a little ways away.