Observatory North Park Theatre

2891 University Avenue,
San Diego, CA 92104

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Related Websites

Observatory North Park Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres

Firms: Quayle Brothers

Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Movies (Classic), Performing Arts

Styles: Spanish Moorish

Previous Names: North Park Theatre, Stephen & Mary Birch North Park Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 619.239.8836

Nearby Theaters

North Park Theatre - San Diego, CA

The North Park Theatre opened as a 1,200-seat theater on January 17, 1929 and was a popular movie house for over sixty years. It closed in 1989. After more than a decade of laying dormant, the theater was reopened as an 800-seat live performance venue on 30th September 2005 by the Lyric Opera San Diego .

The city had owned the North Park Theatre since 1990 and sold the old movie house to its redevelopment agency in order to complete a $900,000 structural and seismic retrofitting. After completion, the theater was then sold to a developer for $1 who were responsible for organizing a $2.5 million renovation and restoration project.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

jruthg on August 6, 2007 at 6:07 pm

The North Park Theatre space is alive and well! On 25 July 2007, I ate dinner in the restaurant that now occupies the trapezoidal space that once was the entry to the theatre. Not only is this the current incarnation of a favorite restaurant, but a fine use of part of the space that was my late mother’s (and aunt’s) neighborhood theatre. On the night I visited, the actual performance area was “dark.” We were able to see the vestibule area, however, as well as the bar. Original architectural details, especially the ceiling over the bar are once again alive and full of color. The next time I am in San Diego I hope to combine dinner and a performance.

Now if only someone would be so kind to my childhood theatre, “The Hillcrest” (later “Guild”) on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest. It is in sad shape these days. While never an opulently decorated theatre, it certainly had it’s own comfortable neighborhood ambiance.

Gaithersburg, MD

CSWalczak on October 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm

A replica of this theater’s original vertical sign was recently installed: View link

dickneeds111 on November 23, 2011 at 5:28 am

I am trying to finf out what Theatre I saw the first run 70mm res. seat showings of West Side Story and King of Kings plus the 1st run of The Music Man in SanDiego.

neeb on November 23, 2011 at 5:43 am

The first run of WEST SIDE STORY was at the Capri (aka Park) in 1962.

KING OF KINGS had its 70mm run at the California in Downtown San Diego.

MUSIC MAN didn’t have a 70mm run, but its first run was at the Fox (aka Copley Symphony Hall), also in Downtown.

rivest266 on April 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

This opened on January 17th, 1929. The grand opening ad has been posted in the photo section.

JackCoursey on November 25, 2021 at 3:13 am

The theatre is currently for sale on LoopNet for $14,980,000.

dallasmovietheaters on November 9, 2022 at 2:06 pm

…and the website listed here is not correct

davidcoppock on September 27, 2023 at 11:39 am

This was the first movie theatre in the World to be built to screen talkies.

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