Rolling Hills Theatre

2535 Pacific Coast Highway,
Torrance, CA 90505

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rivest266 on November 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Reopened as a twin cinema on May 28th, 1975. Grand opening ad posted.

amylou0114 on March 6, 2017 at 10:55 am

Marissa I know this was a long time ago, but I’m so sorry this had to happen to your father, whether he was in poor health or not, no one should die that way…

On that note, I’m looking for any information anyone would have on the man accused of these murders John Roy Maheu Jr.

He was my dads half brother and I was 3 years old when this happened. I’ve been scouring the web and newspaper sites looking for more information, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot available. I saw one comment where it was known underground that Torrance PD killed him and labeled it an overdose. My dad never believed he died of an overdose. He’s the one who claimed his body and said it looked like he was beat to death. I remember all the newspaper clippings that my dad kept but they have somehow gotten lost over the years. Anything anyone might have about this to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Thank you, Amy

KimF on June 10, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Marissa, my heart goes out to you and your family. I was one of those little kids of the ‘60s that your dad helped bring so much joy to over SO MANY Saturday matinees. Hollering out, “Hi Clyde!” Up to the booth before the first reels played…such a bittersweet memory now, but know that he is, indeed, remembered fondly. Love and peace, Kim

ashhull on June 8, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Dear ediegold, my father filled in for your dad that night. Clyde Felts. I hope your father never felt bad about that night, Clyde was dying from a ballooned heart, several massive heart attacks and wasn’t expected to live much longer. They said they didn’t know if he would have lasted another month. If it had to be one of them, I’m sure my Dad would have gave his life. He was a good man. Big Hugs, Marissa

pamkrist on April 16, 2016 at 12:29 pm

When my family first moved to California in 1967, we briefly lived at the Torrance Inn next to the mall where the Rolling Hills Theater was located. I was 2 years old, and my brother and sister were 5 and 6. We can all remember a park next to the mall there (probably where an auto dealer sits now). Our mother would leave us at the park and go to the mall to work at a shoe store there, and also to do laundry at the laundromat. Does anyone remember the park there? Our mom says that there was a lady there that she would pay a few dollars to watch us but we all remember being there alone for hours. Later we moved up the hill to Palos Verdes where we lived until ‘73. I can remember going to movies at the theater, and especially remembered it after I saw the photos of the lobby. In later years whenever we would drive by there my sister would talk about the murders. What boggles my mind is that the Torrance Inn is still standing. I’ve heard it’s quite the drug zone. I can remember a fire in the building when I was there with my mom and all the fire trucks coming. Pretty good memory for a two-year old! I also remember somewhat the inside of our apartment there.

ediegold on May 24, 2015 at 8:32 am

My father was a projectionist there. He had taken that night off…..

KimF on April 5, 2015 at 10:09 am

Nice! I’m Class of ‘76, albeit I had moved to Las Vegas in 1969. Great '70s pic!

DavidZornig on April 4, 2015 at 10:51 pm

I also added a 1975 pic to the Photos Section. Skateboarders lined up in front of the old marquee. Though it’s hard to see,

KimF on April 4, 2015 at 10:33 pm

David, thank you so much for the link! The photos and ad are awesome. I remember the lobby like it was yesterday…

DavidZornig on April 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm

This June 7,2014 link has the TG & Y story and several photos. Copy and paste to view.

brianmarshall on October 30, 2014 at 7:40 am

T G &Y store murder, I remember going there the next day, police there and i looked through the window and saw blood on the floor. Strange looking back then.

LAMADDOGMADDIN on September 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm

I remember that real well. My older brothers girlfriend was one of the people murdered. She was a nice person. He was and we all were real sad for her and her family. As I remember I think they did not find the murderers.

Kittiecat0000 on March 16, 2013 at 3:37 am

I was with my mom that morning. She was friends with Don Nash, the Torrance Chief of Police. He said that the victims were taken in to the office and their throats were slit from ear to ear. It was a blood bath in there. I think at least two were in high school. This really left a horrible impression on me since I was young and the details were graphic. A few weeks later the T G &Y store had the same thing happen but it was just the manager or whoever closed. I heard about Torrance cops doing that and I believe it. You never saw much on either story. It still makes me sick and sad to think about what happened in that room.

TheEDGE on February 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Dimensions in Stereo – from Old Towne Mall??? Been trying to find Mark since they closed one of the best Audiophile stores in Torrance ever.

dimensionsinstereo on February 10, 2013 at 10:48 am

@filmex2000 Awe (Boo-Hoo-At The Zoo for the scumbag! LOL) He got what he COMPLETELY deserved! And YUP what you said about TPD is EXACTLY true and Torrance at that time was one of the safest city’s, not only in the South Bay but ANYWHERE in Ca!!! AWE THE GOOD OLE DAYS of Law-Enforcement…I can varify what you said cause I worked for TPD and Del Amo Mall Security in the mid 80’s. Great bunch of LawLugs and was still a great city untill the ‘Libs’ DESTROYED TPD AND TORRANCE! Last time I was their in 04 Del Amo was a crime hell hole and by the looks of it Torrance ta boot. What a shame!!! Born and raised in the South Bay 1960, but left the South Bay fer good in 86! Could see that the LIBS were gonna be destroying GOOD OLE TORRANCE and ALL of Southern Ca…Loved that theater and went to see a lotta movies there when we lived in the Rolling Hills…

bbqbob on January 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Anyone still interested in seeing the old Rolling Hills Theatre may want to checkout the classic short film SKATER DATER. They filmed a pretty good segment in the Rolling Hills Plaza. I worked @ the theatre @ the time of the murders,and also hung around the village and port o call I did not know the little killer hung around there.But I’m glad they got the SOB. no telling how many times he may have repeated his MO. 4 2 theatre & then TG&Y

WyndeeLee on August 21, 2012 at 2:56 am

Earlier today I was remembering the Rolling Hills Movie theater, of having a few dates there, and then thought of the tragic murders. Went to South, from Rocket Park we watched 4th of July fireworks, school was South High and Calle Mayor Elementary School before that. So did a Google search, and ended up here. RocketShipParkGirl you brought back memories. Smiled when you mentioned your first boyfriend’s name because he was Eric. Our brother Eric went to South High and we lived right under Rocket Ship Park. Our kitchen’s dinning area windows looked up to the top of the hill and the rocket was seen outlined against the sky when we ate our meals at our table. The news of that murder really horrified and saddened me, maybe even more so since the movies there were Disney movies so often and it was a wonderful, and safe place until that moment. Never have gotten over the grief of it when it does come to mind. Enjoyed the street map here, and zooming in found our old street on it. Wish it had photos. The photo above is really nostalgic and spun it around to view the street there in a 360 degree curve. Looks almost the same at that spot on PCH as it did many years ago. A lot has changed along PCH now. Happy to read from fellow Torrance people here.

KimF on July 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

RocketShipParkGirl, wonderful post; I’m sorry that you experienced so much so young. Wow.

And I think I know “Rat Theater”… Great name for it! You mean The Stadium, right? LOL! I remember the $.25 admission and Atomic Fireballs to go with “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “Robot Monster” and other really bad ones! A vivid memory of the pre-movie Muzac, too… A strange instrumental that was interrupted every few bars by some guy saying “Meet me at the clubhouse.” Very bizarre and that place was a pit, but cheap!

RocketShipParkGirl on July 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Wow! With what has just happened in Colorado I am again reminded of the terrible murders at Rolling Hills Theater. Agreed, it was the time of the end of innocence for those of us kids who had grown up “on the hill” and on the beaches of Torrance to Manhatan Beach. Vietnam, Manson, and The Rolling Hills Theater Murders.

I have read some, but not all, of the posts here and I am sure that I know Seatard and Danno, sweet boys :).

The second youngest of 1boy (oldest) & 4 girls (Yes catholic – Saint Laurance. lol) we spent many week end days at RHTheater. I remember the intermission games and prizes well! We looked so forward to it!

I have many Great memories of growing up in Hollywood Riviara :~) But end of innocence? In the 1st grade my best friends father tried to murder her and her 2 younger siblings, ( i also had my first boy friend, Eric <3).In 7th grade a class mate was murdered, his body was found in pieces in trash bags strune around a park, the Man at the end of our street was arrested for trieson and our friends on Newtons plain crashed, the entire family was killed.

So was it really the End of our Inocence?

I chose to remember meeting up with the other families at Burn Out to watch my big brother surf and hope that he would take me out for a ride. And his friends coming to our house to play foot ball and ride the Radio Flier Wagons down the hill from Rocket Ship Park. Making out at Torrance Drive inn, and The Roller Skaters at A&W. Rat Theater for $.25!

I’m so glad that I stumbled apon this page, I was brought here by a bad memory and reminded of the good times, wonderful people, and beautiful area that was my childhood.

I left the South Bay right after high school (75) for San Diego and have remained here since. I realize now that I left my heart in the South Bay <3

KimF on June 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

We need a good photo taken of the building. It’s still there, but the street view can’t be adjusted to show it. Must be somewhere behind the strip mall shown in the foreground.

filmex2000 on December 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Interesting thread. I graduated from South High in 1971 and virtually lived at many of the theatres mentioned here. I would eventually start Video Out-Takes in Redondo and later Video Archives in Manhattan Beach where Tarantino worked for years.

Anyway, in the early 70s, I had a good friend who worked for the LAPD, and he swore that the Torrance police were a rather rogue bunch with a nefarious reputation. I always felt they really acted like Brownshirts about that time, far more aggressive and physical than other PDs even on simple traffic stops. We were continually rousted by them for merely driving around at night…for them, probable cause never entered into it.

My friend at the LAPD stated it was well known the guy who was arrested for the Rolling Hills Theatre murders was a victim of vigilante justice. He said a couple of Torrance officers went into his cell that night and hung him with a bed-sheet, that the whole OD ruse was simply a cover-up, and that the lynching became common knowledge underground because the Torrance PD wanted to send a message to any other criminals who had murder on their mind. I’ve always believed my LAPD friend’s version over the official account.

seatard on October 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

A Torrance cop that went to South High in the Sixties named Chuck Hrehor was an investigating officer. I was told by a mutual friend that the scene was a nightmare. The people were bound & then forced to watch as each one had his or her throat cut. This was just a few years after the Tate murders. A few of the Manson zombies were from the southbay. Food for thought !

gonefishing on October 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I’m from San Diego but I live close by The AMC Rolling Hills theatres now. I had no idea this happened. Absolutely disturbing to read about this. I worked as a projectionist for 10+ years and I was alone every Thursday night/Friday morning. Many times people would fall asleep in the theatre after the last show and the night usher wouldn’t catch them so they would wake up 5am or so and wander around the theatre.

I had one guy come up to me around 6am and ask what time the concession stand opens. I told him we were closed and asked him what he was doing here. He said he feel asleep during the last show and was waiting for the movie to start up again? For all I know he could of easy did the samething to me.

Anyhow I will take some pictures and post them soon.

seatard on October 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

the killer was seen hanging out in a local Riv. beer bar called “The Port of Call, just prior to being arrested. A fellow South high alum named Mike Montgomery owned it. Anybody ever hear anything about that?

KathyML on August 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I remember the TG&Y manager who was murdered, Jack Sweeten. I worked with him when he was assistant manager at Long Beach TG&Y, and my Dad was manager. He was such a nice man, and very funny. I had a secret crush on him. It was devastating to hear of his murder.