Miramar Theatre

1720 N. El Camino Real,
San Clemente, CA 92672

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Showing 1 - 25 of 51 comments

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on October 8, 2020 at 4:42 pm

According to city files, there is substantial movement on the Miramar Theatre. in 2017 the previous owner got a plan to restore and adaptively reuse the property, with the theatre being an event space and the bowling alley adaptively reused as a food court. The property was sold in Dec 2019 to Fortuitous Partners. Permits have been pulled for partial demolition of the bowling alley structure, reports have been filed about what exact materials can be saved and not, and the new operator, restauranteur James A Markham will be running the food court element. I can’t find any info on who will be involved with the theatre. A pretty detailed Historic Structures Report on the theatre, including interior photos, can be seen here: https://www.san-clemente.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=28628

BigPJC01 on September 29, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I have been looking into the possible changing of the building (keeping the exterior the same of course) into a dance club, in the Old San Clemente Bowling Alley, and the Miramar Theater into an office building or recording studio. Does any one have the present day floor plans of the two buildings? Please post a link. Thanks!

CTCrouch on June 12, 2010 at 4:09 am

Apparently, the Miramar is in the process of being sold yet again. LAB Holdings, owners of the historic Casino San Clemente ballroom, have announced plans to renovate the theatre and neighboring bowling alley, for use as a performing arts center and restaurant, once the sale is complete.

CSWalczak on April 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm

The City is demanding that the owner at least paint the exterior or else the city will arrange it and bill the owner for the cost: View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 23, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Raad: Some old issues of Boxoffice are available online at Issuu.com. I find it easier to search within them by using Google’s Advanced Search “Search within site or domain” feature.

Raadg on January 23, 2009 at 7:09 pm


Can you point me to where you found the information or maybe even scan and send it to me?

Regards and thanks,


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm

From the January 29, 1938, issue of Boxoffice Magazine: “Construction on the Pacific States Theatres new San Clemente Theatre is being rushed for the February 11 opening set by Mike and Abe Gore, owners of the house.”

DaPierRat on November 7, 2008 at 8:29 pm

i was raised in san clemente and went to the miramar all the time.i saw surf films, rock bands,midnite movies and regular movies.it was a great theatre in its time.the building that backs up to it used to be the bowling alley but that was closed in the 50’s i think. and there was aorange julius on the side facing coast highway in the 60’s that turned into a surf shop in the 70’s and an arcade in the 80’s. http://tinyurl.com/4rd9rk in the picture the property on the left was sebastians playhouse but in the 30’s it was a casino so that might be the casino theatre mentioned in a earlier post.the miramar closed when multiplexs opened.movie distributors wanted new releases to go to the multiplexs first and by the time the miramar could get them they were already a couple of months old.plus parking was an issue.without a dedicated parking lot you had to park in the alley or on the side of the road,not a problem in a small beach town of the 60’s and 70’s,but a problem in a congesttedtourist trap of the 80’s and 90’s

kencmcintyre on May 19, 2008 at 9:07 am

Not in good shape at all. Some homeless people are living on the property. I will post some photos later.

Raadg on October 29, 2007 at 9:10 pm


I cant access the article. Could you please cut and paste it here?



philbertgray on October 28, 2007 at 3:55 am

Here is the correct url for the latest article on the Miramar from the Orange County Business Journal:

View link

philbertgray on October 28, 2007 at 3:52 am

An auto dealer has purchased the Miramar Theatre from the previous owner whose plans to build a 40,000 square foot complex of shops and residences ran into resistance from local residents who wanted the theatre preserved. Auto dealer Marc Spizzirri has indicated he plans to demolish the rear of the theatre which once housed a bowling alley while keeping the remainder of the theatre closer to its old design. A complete article on the purchase can be read in the below article from The Orange County Business Journal dated 10/29/08.


Let’s hope “closer to its old design” means restoration.

Raadg on September 26, 2007 at 6:22 am



As a friend of historical preservation, you may be aware that the San Clemente City Council recently adopted an ordinance to name about 10% of the community’s most important historical resources as “landmarks.” This is a wonderful development!

UNFORTUNATELY, however, it appears that some members of the City Council are now thinking about excluding some of the City’s most precious icons from the Landmarks List!

By excluding buildings such as the Miramar Theater, the Casino (Sebastian’s), the Beachcomber Motel and other obvious landmarks from the official Landmarks List, the Council would send a message that they have little problem seeing these iconic structures overshadowed, moved or even DEMOLISHED! (A relocation permit is currently pending on the Casino, and a DEMOLITION PERMIT is currently pending on the Miramar Theater.)

Do you want to see the Miramar Theater building or other landmark buildings demolished?

Please come to the public hearing on October 2 at 7 p.m. at City Hall (100 Avenida Presidio). We need to let the Council know we expect them to do the right thing, and not to exclude our most precious historic landmarks from the city’s official Landmarks List.

ADDITIONALLY, please send your City Councilmembers a quick email requesting that they save San Clemente’s heritage and designate all 25 landmarks recommended by their own Landmarks Task Force and unanimously approved by their own Planning Commission. Below are email addresses of each Councilmember, or you can email them all at once.

SEE YOU OCTOBER 2 ! (And wear something red!)

Councilmember email addresses:

GeorgetteKorsen on September 5, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Santa Barbara has “three” historic movie theatres. In chatting with someone who seemed to know, they thought it was achieved through a combination of a redevelopment agency, plus private donations. It’s hard to understand how “we”, having been blessed with a wonderful old theatre, an original Clifford Balch no less, architect of that time period extraordinaire, and that we would even THINK about letting a developer bulldoze it to cash-out at the expense of our whole community. Go figure.

ricdivel on June 23, 2007 at 12:44 am

Please have a look at the sanclementetheatre.com website for a vision for the historic San Clemente Theatre (a.k.a. Miramar). We are still looking for any interior photos. Thanks

jacksoneastgate on March 24, 2007 at 3:48 pm

I spoke with the owner over the phone, curious as to whether or not he’d even be willing to sell it. He told me that he would sell it to me for 7 million… a steep price for something that needs so much renovation. Let me know if anyone is interested in following up on his offer. I would love to see it stand. Not to mention, I think our youth in this town need something more to do than hang out drunk behind the Krikorian Theater on Friday and Saturday nights. Think music hot-spot…

wolfiewolf on August 29, 2006 at 12:40 pm

What’s the story with this theater. Is it still standing. When do you think they are going to start the demolition on it? It’s in pretty bad shape I hear, and the land is worth so much more.

Raadg on August 15, 2006 at 4:08 pm

Friends of the Miramar Theater:


Thank you all for your comments so far..

The fight for the Miramar theater and its saving is an Iconic struggle that is not only about this specific building of local historical value…It is in fact a symbol of what we all on here strive to accomplish in our own ways…and that is to spot light that if you forget where you came from you are doomed to not know where your going!


A community that would look the other way as a historic part of its past is subject to the brutal abuse of the $elfish, $elf $erving intents of a few is no better than family members who allow an older member of their group to be allowed to wither and die in front of their own eyes while they all are too busy finding excuses for why its not their responsibility to care for them.

Please encourage all you know on here or elsewhere to voice their opinions NOW, and if possible to do so by the deadline for public input date of the 17th of AUG. (thats this coming Thursday!!).


Your Subject Line should be something like: Save the Miramar


Raad Ghantous
Miramar Committe Chair
San Clemente Historical Society

Raadg on August 4, 2006 at 4:28 am

Friends of the Miramar Theater:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

~Margaret Meed

I would like to thank you all in advance for any and all actions you might take in the effort to help save this Iconic Building!

I would humbly request that if you do indeed send in any written comments to the city of San Clemente that you perhaps take a moment and copy me on it so we can acknowledge it and share it with our membership at the San Clemente Historical Society.

My e-mail is —>

I again would like to extend the heart felt thanks of the whole board as well as the local community at large to all of you for caring enough to help and have your voices heard…

Warmest regards,


Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 2:52 pm

Raad: Yes, you have tapped into a unique and exceptional community of theater lovers by posting here so with any luck many will read your words and respond because we all care or we wouldn’t be members of this “exceptional community”. I send you best wishes.

Raadg on August 3, 2006 at 2:31 pm

Thank you so much Patsy!

My feeling is we might have a good chance to make a strong cae to save the Miramar and I again urge everyone who has ever felt frustrated or angered by some irresponsible development that has threatened and demolished a Historical asset to speak up LOUDLY! Jim is the point of collection to all the feedback that we can muster and as such is executing his civic duties fully. I know him personaly and would like to make sure that when voicing your comments to make sure to address them to the City and the leadership of the city council that is being asked to do the right thing! and not target Jim specificly.. I know I don’t need to even say that but I to be fair and keep the effectivness of oue joint comments on the most productive track in saving the Miramar I guess I thought I would mention it :)

If anyone would like any talking points please do not hesitate to ask me..

Thanks again to all in this exceptional community of theater lovers for helping us in San Clemente with this most worthy cause. If ever in town pop by the museum atop Avenida Del Mar and make yur self know we would love to have the opportunity to thank you in person indeed!


Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 2:23 pm

“The new owner has said that some of the theater’s key architectural elements may be saved, including its Spanish Colonial tower.”

“Despite those assertions, preservationists doubt anything will be left of the 64-year-old theater.”

“Even if some of the original elements are saved, the importance of the theater would be lost and the building would never be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

I do hope that many CT members will take the time to send a brief email to Mr. Pechous after reading the above quotes that I thought were worth repeating in this post!

Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 2:19 pm

Raadg: I just sent an email to Jim Pechous. He is out of his office until August 7th, but go ahead and write your email and he’ll be greeted with my email and hopefully many others upon his return to his office in San Clemente California.

Raadg on August 3, 2006 at 2:01 pm

There are a few pictures at the time of its opening yes. Can anyone tell me how to post some images on here? At one point its tower was even adorned with a mural of what looked like a Emperial Russion or easter european coat of arms down to the twin eagles and the crown!

I even understand that currently the theater even in its neglected state, shame on the recent and current owners!! That even now there are still carved beams and painted panels that are restoarable inside!


Your e-mails should go to the City Planner in charge Jim Pechous at:

at —>

COMPOSE YOUR SHORT EMAIL RIGHT NOW to save the Miramar Theater!