Aztec Theatre

665 5th Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92101

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Pussycat Theatres

Architects: Clifford A. Balch

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: California Theatre

Nearby Theaters

July 1983

The California Theatre was opened on January 11, 1920 with Harry Carey in “A Fight for Love”. It preceded the New California Theatre which opened in 1927 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures). This theatre was then renamed Aztec Theatre. Both theatres were Fox houses. In the early-1970’s it was operated by Pussycat Theatres, keeping the Aztec name. It was closed in 1994.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm

The Aztec and an adult theater next door can be seen in this 1984 photo:

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm

There is a photo of the current occupant on this page:

kencmcintyre on April 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm

This view of the Aztec is from 1983:

chspringer on May 21, 2009 at 10:54 am

Nice photos, thanks.

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2009 at 11:48 pm

I saw Psycho II when it was released in 1983. It was a disappointment, but what would you expect?

6_steevee_9 on June 29, 2017 at 4:29 pm

As the 1950’s-60’s arrived, The AZTEC THEATER was one of the many theaters below Broadway then, which were “open all night”, and showing “3 BIG FEATURES” with a program change twice a week. Don’t know what it looked like before then, but it was as pretty much of a DUMP in comparison with ANY of the other theatres, ANYWHERE IN TOWN. The entire floor was one big slant, stadium style, with one entrance in the center, and it was without a balcony. The only CLASSIC thing left by this time was the marquee, hardly big enough for 3 movie titles-but they managed to spell out MOST of them with a squeeze! Along with it’s next-door-neighbor the CASINO THEATER-they were two of the OLDEST theaters in San Diego, and both were ‘gutted-out’ of their original buildings in the GASLAMP re-vamping of the area, last century. The space presently serves purpose for other tourist-attracting ventures. I thought they had SAVED the CASINO’s ORIGINAL YELLOW MARQUE until I read somewhere that it’s a REPLICA!(I don’t know though—it looks like the ORIGINAL to me!) Yes, 5th AND G streets has, indeed, witnessed a few changes in the CENTURY PAST.

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on May 13, 2021 at 6:21 am

Currently an ice cream shop.

rivest266 on May 1, 2024 at 10:16 am

Opened as California theatre on January 11th. 1920. Grand opening ad posted.

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