City Center Theatres

3901 W. Metropolitan Drive,
Orange, CA 92868

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: ABC Theatres, Plitt Theatres, Syufy Enterprises

Previous Names: ABC City Theatres 1 & 2

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News About This Theater

Plitt City Center Theatre

A very nice modern cinema with huge screens for 70mm. The ABC City Theaters 1 & 2 was opened as a twin theatre on April 20, 1972 with “Liza Minnelli in "Cabaret” playing in the 788-seat screen 1. Screen 2 had 715 seats.

In 1985 it was sub-divided into four screens and was closed in the mid-1990’s.

Contributed by Kirk J. Besse

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

William on July 28, 2007 at 3:01 am

This theatre was originally opened by ABC Theatres on April 7th. 1972. It opened as a twin cinema with a seating capacity of 788 & 715. It was like a smaller version of ABC Theatre’s Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City. The larger main auditorium was cutup in 1985 to make a total of four screens in this complex (later like Century Plaza). The theatre opened as ABC Theatre and later operated by Plitt Theatres, then Syufy/Century Theatres. The theatre closed in the mid 90’s. Today the location is a parking lot.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on April 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm

February 6, 1978 issue of Boxoffice has an article about the location installing Christie AW3’s for their March 25, 1977 opening of Star Wars. Article says the theatre was seven years old at the time.

umanyar on August 22, 2010 at 6:46 am

Funny you should mention Star Wars and this theather. My Sister and I saw Star Wars here no less than 10 times! I remember the picture sure seemed amazing back then. Guess those Christie’s did a good job!!

Flix70 on April 18, 2017 at 7:10 pm

The 40th anniversary of Star Wars got me thinking about this theater once again as I’m pretty sure it was here where I saw the film as a six-year-old opening weekend back in May of ‘77.

I always remember the theater having a kind of bunker feel to it, like it was carved out of some big piece of granite. The lobby was cavernous and pretty dark, like you were almost underground.

I can remember seeing the theatrical cut of Battlestar Galactica here and although I can’t recall any other titles, I know a spent a lot of time here in the late ‘70s and early '80s.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was the last film I saw here in 1989. Never went back, although I do drive by the old lot from time to time as my wife works in the area. It’s an LA Fitness now.

LuckyBastard76 on May 25, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Fix70 that’s why I stopped by here, lol. I saw it there that August. I remember walking out of the theater and it reminded me of the cantina, the building was rough stucco, mission style but but that round 70s architecture, with very few windows like it belonged on Tattoine, like you said bunker like, which was really cool. There was a Mexican restaurant in that building as well I want to say it was a Don Jose. They later put more screens in it by splitting those to large screens. In the 90s my girlfriend and I went there a lot, it was a 1.00 theater by then but it was still nice. I think the last picture I saw there was Schindler’s List. I have very fond memories of that place. I thought about painting a picture of it sometime.

Flix70 on May 31, 2017 at 6:06 pm

LB76: On Twitter there’s a cool feed called @OldMovieAds that showcases old movie newspaper ads mainly from the LA/OC area and the Plitt City Center is featured quite regularly in the theater listings. There was a Star Wars one last week.

moviebluedog on January 3, 2018 at 4:01 am

For what it’s worth, this was an amazing movie theater. The large auditorium was where I saw the original Star Wars, too. The Dolby Stereo sound was so crisp that I literally jumped out of my seat probably five times before the film ended to audience applause. Very sharp 70mm (from a 35mm blow up) projection, even to my young eyes.

The large auditorium was somewhat similar to the Century City Plaza theater, if my memory serves. Kind of a wide body layout with a large screen and comfortable seats.

I saw “Dune” in 70mm there. I came back a few months later in 1985 to see a re-release of “Gremlins” and was surprised to see that the main auditorium had been divided into three screens. There were two very small auditoriums that were carved from the back end of the original auditorium. The main auditorium was still mostly intact, but you had to sit in the front rows to get a good view of the original big widescreen.

The other theater was also good sized, but it was longer and had a smaller screen. I recall seeing a pristine 70mm move-over print of “Empire of the Sun” and a pretty good sounding Dolby Digital print of “Batman Returns” in that auditorium.

Sad that the theater was torn down.

Here is a link to some old pictures of the City Center. The site page is ancient, but at least there are some photos of the theater.

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