Edwards Village Theatre
602 N. Azusa Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Edwards Cinemas, Principal Theaters Corp. of America
Previous Names: State Theatre, Edwards Azusa Theatre
The 641-seat State Theatre opened on December 30, 1927. The $28,000 theatre consisted of ground-floor shops and second floor offices. Early newspaper accounts say that there was an earlier Azusa Theatre in the Azusa Arcade managed by Earl Halberg, who became the first manager of the State Theatre.
When it was called the State Theatre, it was always listed under independent theatres in the newspaper guides. Sometime in the early-1950’s it was listed as Edwards Azusa Theatre. On June 5, 1963 it became known as Edwards Village Theatre.
By 1972 it was determined that the building could not withstand a major earthquake and was marked for demolition. The defects had something to do with the failure of the mortar in the bricks, which could make them fall on to the front sidewalk. The Pasadena Star-News reported that the city gave Edwards Theatres a two-month reprieve in May of 1972 to come up with a plan to rehabilitate the building.
When Edwards reported back in August that the $60,000 cost to fix the building was prohibitive, the city council gave the abatement orders. No exact day of the demolition is available but it is assumed it happened shortly thereafter.
The land was donated to the city of Azusa, which developed a park on the site.
The plaque on display at the park reads: “Edwards Mini-Park. Funded By James Edwards. July 1984.”
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Here’s a photo of Edwards Village Theatre in 1963.
In the L.A. Times theatre listings for February 10, 1971, this is the way the theatre is listed: The Village.
From the LA Times, 8/13/72:
The City Council has ordered demolition of the Village Theater, 602 N. Azusa Avenue, within 90 days, rejecting a proposal by the owner to use part of the building as offices. Edwards Theater Circuit, which owns the building, had asked permission to close off the theater and and use the front part of the building for offices. The building has been closed for several months.
This reopened as The Village on June 5th, 1963 (Date of 1st LA Times ad).