Fremont Theatre

1025 Monterey Street,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

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Showing 1 - 25 of 43 comments

spectrum on January 26, 2022 at 8:13 pm

2022: The Movie Experience no longer runs the Frem0ont Theatre. There was some ownership changes in 2017, and now the theatre is a concert venue. Their web page is at:

The Movie Experience still runs Downtown Center 7, at 888 Marsh Street.

Flix70 on September 5, 2017 at 5:46 pm

There are no films currently being shown at this theater. Visit the Movie Experience website, click on the Fremont icon and you get nothing, just blank space. Seriously, has anyone seen a movie here since last October? Do tell.

Movieman65 on August 23, 2017 at 2:17 am

While I was stationed at Fort Hunter Liggett during the mid eighties,I watched quite a few movies here including Beverly Hills Cop,Ferris Buellers Day off,and a fantastic double feature of Teachers and Body Double. It was a beautiful theater with a gorgeous lobby. I see it pop up in films now and then.

Trolleyguy on May 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

The website lists current films being shown at this theatre.

Flix70 on October 26, 2016 at 9:56 pm

I was in SLO last week and drove by the Fremont. No movie was listed on the marquee, just forthcoming concerts and music events.

According to the Fremont’s Facebook page, the last film screened was “Birth of a Nation” Oct. 7 – 11.

I visited the Movie Experience’s website and nothing comes up when you click on the Fremont icon.

Anyone know more? I’d have to think someone would have made a post here if indeed the Fremont had been repurposed.

DavidZornig on July 29, 2016 at 5:10 am

Surf Night photo added credit Coach Warnes.

paulnelson on November 9, 2013 at 1:27 am

Great neon on the Fremont marquee. Very impressive.

SLOnative on April 16, 2013 at 2:42 am

The Fremont opened during the war in 1942. Thanks for the tip on the “A Haunting We Will Go” DVD extra.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm

A few 2011 photos can be seen here, here and here.

YMike on August 28, 2011 at 4:19 am

On the DVD of the Laurel & Hardy film “A Haunting We Will Go” there is a “Movietone” newsreel showing the opening day for this theatre in 1940.

DCalvert on February 16, 2011 at 5:35 am

Attn: Jimnam,
I used to Manage the Fremont Theater between March of ‘07 to '09. I started the Rewind Series that everyone in this forum is talking about. Even though I no longer work for the company, I think your complaints are silly and unwarranted. First things first: In order to make a real complaint and make your little home movie with your 3CCD camera, maybe you need a little education on how the business actually works.
First and foremost, The Fremont theater is not owned by the Movie Experience. It’s just operated by the Movie Experience. I had tried to get repairs done to both the Fremont and the Mission theaters for my entire duration of employment. The Fremont and Mission theaters are owned by The Rutledge Co. Any time there was something wrong with the theater, we were not allowed to fix it. It had to be taken care of by the Rutledge Co. which meant sometimes weeks of waiting for a simple repair that I could have done with 20 bucks and an hours time. But I had my procedures to follow. I tried to get them to update the snack bar for years, but to my dismay, it’ll probably never happen. The problem is the Fremont Theater is a historical Building in San Luis Obispo, and any kind of major changes to the building compromise it’s integrity. There are a lot of faucets one must travel down to get any real changes made to the building. It doesn’t always come down to the price as you suggest.
You seem to think that just because ticket prices are “outrageous” that the Movie Experience is a rich company and can just dump every dollar back into the theater for repairs and renovations. I don’t know if you own your own business but there is a thing called “Over-Head” that business have to account for.
To address your concern about ticket prices; What most people don’t know is that Movie theater companies, be it The Movie Experience, Regal, AMC etc. etc. make very little profit from ticket sales. By “very little”, I mean less than 10% of each ticket sale goes to the Exhibitor. Film costs are set by the studios themselves. When the costs of securing a film from a studio by the exhibitor to show in a theater; goes up…so do the exhibitor’s costs. Studios have their own over head as well. First, there’s the cost of making a movie, then there’s the cost of promoting a movie, and of course the ever changing and evolving entertainment industry expenses. Not to mention that everything in the entertainment industry is cause and effect. You see, less and less people are going to movies these days because of online internet piracy. Therefore, your big blockbuster movies are not attracting as many people and theaters are not packing the houses like they used to. So, studios raise their prices to distribute the picture to cover the costs of lost revenue, and exhibitors have to raise their prices to the public for admission. Cause and Effect. I suggest before you make your home movie trying to defame an industry you know absolutely nothing about, you take your complaints to NBC Universal, Warner Bros. or Paramount Pictures. Write them letters and see how many responses you get.
Truth be told; there is so much that goes into running a movie theater that a troll like yourself can’t even begin to comprehend. Do you have any idea how much electricity is wired to the Fremont theater? No, of course you don’t because you don’t run the Fremont theater. I promise you, an electric bill from the Fremont theater is astronomical. There are also subtle changes happening to, Both The Fremont and the Downtown theaters all the time that the average consumer just doesn’t know about. For example, during my time at the Fremont theater; a brand new state of the art digital projector was installed for better sound and a more clear and high definition picture. A new 52 foot silver screen was installed. The sound system was upgraded. A computer P.O.S system was installed which was a nice upgrade from the manual ticket sales. A new sanitation room was built to provide better cleanliness and sanitation to our guests. And both the Fremont and Mission theaters were retrofitted for earthquake safety and fire safety.
Do you have any clue how much all of that stuff costs? I’ll give you a clue….A LOT! You seem to think that because you paid 13.50$ for a ticket that both theaters can be upgraded over night? Let me ask you this…Have you ever modified your home? Perhaps built an extra room or added on to the living room? Or just decided to upgrade your bathroom? If you have…did you just go out, spend a bunch of money and get it done over night? No, of course you didn’t because A) no one is that stupid to make such a gross decision over night and B) IT CAN’T BE DONE!! Years of planning go into remodeling and upgrades. YEARS! Especially for something as ambitious as remodeling a movie theater.
I hope I’ve made my point about the ticket prices and your concerns about the conditions of the theaters. In short, movie theaters have very little say about ticket prices and upgrades to the theaters are being made all the time…but it’s all in moderation. It’s not all going to be done over night and certainly not when it’s convenient for you and your troll friends.
To address your concerns about management: I can promise you that Heather is great manager. We, as General Managers can’t be everywhere at one time. However, if a complaint was made about my employees and the efficiency of their job I would address it. Just not in front of you. If a guest made a complaint about their experience and my staff did a less than stellar job to fix the problem, I would encourage them to talk to me personally and I will talk to said employee behind closed doors. Which I am sure is what Heather did with her employees after your complaint. If said problem occurs again and is brought to my attention again then I would terminate employment with that employee. It’s really as simple as that. We can’t be everywhere so in all honesty, we rely on guests to let us know when they have a less than pleasant experience at our theaters, this way we can fix problems that go unnoticed while were taking care of other matters. But there’s a tactful way to do so. Taking your complaint to the papers and news channels and to the internet and making your stupid home movie is not the mature thing to do and really shows your inability to do the proper investigatory work necessary to make such a complaint.
In closing, I hope this informs you a little on how things really work and that you understand that this isn’t the damn 80’s anymore. Yeah, I remember a time when movies were 3.50 to get in…but I also remember a time when gasoline was .98 cents a gallon. I also know that you can’t go to a car dealership and say “Your car is too expensive. I would like to only pay half price for this brand new luxury BMW”. Grow up. It’s 2011. Nothing is cheap anymore. My suggestion: If you think you can do it better, open your own movie theater and we’ll see how long your doors are open.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 20, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Personal service like all other businesses is a thing of the past.You really wasted your time venting.But I am sure it made you feel better.I worked for ABC,Plitt Theatres and GCC, in the early 70’s to mid 80’s Believe me had we gotten a letter like that our act would have gotten on track,Especially,with the staff ,since pricing is Corprate we on the local level could only pass those concerns on to the home office.I remember even back in the 70’s once all their work was done we had no problem with the boxoffice or concession girls taking out a school book to study.We never had those problems with cell phones,etc. we had our share of cut ups,but they were quickly shown the exit door,And I did not need a cop to help me exit them out.

jimnam on July 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm

My view of the Fremont Theater

The prices of movie tickets at this San Luis Obispo Downtown Centre 7, The Fremont Theater & Mission Cinemas Theater and Mission (movie)are certainly a ripoff. The only real movie theater in San Luis Obispo located in 3 locations is certainly taking a beating on people’s pockets and their ridiculous movie ticket prices. Especially when the theaters are not updated nor the service is either. Even the Fremont Theater they have not done really anything to updated it just update the price, not the service either. The Fremont Theater might be a classic but it is also a big ripoff, the owners are doing nothing to improve it. The 4 theaters next door are awful, haven’t been updated since 1975 and they look it. Bathrooms are horrible and the service is terrible plus the screens are too small, one in fact is 15 feet, complete joke yet they charges you full price. In less than one year they increased their ticket prices 3 times without any updated and the customer service is even worse even they charge you more.

I wrote to the San Luis Obispo Downtown Theater corporate managers twice, not one response. Asleep at the wheel and the general manager say’s contact our corporate managers at our website

but noop, not one answer. Notice no telephone number or fax number.

Take a look at these prices and how absurd they are:

Admission Prices

General $10.50

Matinee $9.50

3D $13.50

Bracketed Show Times: Matinee Pricing

Children (3-12) / Seniors $9.50

Active Military (with Valid ID) $9.50

Student (with Valid ID): $9.50

Thursday Farmer’s Market $9.00

Admission Prices

General $11.50 (do I hear $13.50, $15.00 or maybe $16.00?)

Matinee $9.50

(Oh do I hear $10.00 or maybe $12.00)

Bracketed Show Times: Matinee Pricing

Children (3-12) / Seniors $9.00

Active Military (with Valid ID) $9.50(thank you, support your troops full price)

Student (with Valid ID): $9.50(textbooks welcome, pay $9.50 with feet on chairs accepted and talk all you please here, managers don’t mind)

Sorry, Gift Cards can not be accepted at this location

Fremont 3D Pricing

General $13.50

Matinee $9.50

Children (3-12) / Seniors $9.50

I am taking this complaint further as the “Movie Experience” is robbing people

their hard earned money. There theaters are so run down that asking for an upgrade is impossible but ticket prices, like gasoline prices accept they don’t go down.

Need management, noop, not here, they’re too busy reading textbooks, sitting around telling jokes and having coffee in the break room. Yep, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Movie theater is not in the business to feel the pain of people pockets.

Want a discount, how about .50 cents or save $1.00 if you go before 4 pm, oh boy. Save $1.00 but pay huge parking fees as all the locations are suffered by huge parking meter and parking garage expenses. Noop, that’s your problem and coke & candy, let�s just triple or quadruple the price, your corn syrup health snack bar. Need gym or coke, you’ll find plenty of it on the seats and screens. Floors are so sticky but the seats are genuine noisy rocker chairs and don’t worry, kicking seats here is trend. Yes guaranteed kicking of the seats but footie’s from smelly shoe’s or smelly college tennis shoes is a guarantee movie screen blocker. Oh the seating, flat flat flat, big head or large customers, find another seat please. Just like playing the game duck duck goose, your it. Your need to find another seat but watch out, seats are wet & sticky folks. Feet on chairs is accepted and talking all you please here, managers don’t mind. Have a complaint, oh Heather the manager will be happy to take you back to your seat and just enjoy your movie. Good job kids! Yes Heather is a certified Movie Experience manager earning a degree in Theater Ripoffurology. Dr. Heather, I have a issue, what do I do? Take a seat, resolution never.

Sound performance, they’re specialty, guaranteed noise conclusion, featuring animal house with, your favorite guest star, Mr. Blown out speakers!!! Yes Mr. Blown out speakers is a guarantee star attraction for your $8.00, oh sorry I mean $9.00. Yes sounds so real your hear crack crack crack, cell phone, cell phone, text page text page, giggle giggle, kick kick kick, squeak squeak squeak.

Yes Yes folks, the Movie Experience San Luis Obispo is guaranteed to take your money and say, come again folks.

However based on this report, the San Luis Obispo Movie Theater and the Movie Experience will be featuring on other complaint rip off sites on :, and entertainment complaint forums near a forum near you.

Below are the star managers at the San Luis Obispo Downtown Movie Theater and the Movie Experience starring: Downtown manager: Heather and corporate managers are: Lisa at:

and Harold at:

Have a complaint, forget it no response but take a look anyway:

Dear Managers:

It has been a few days since I have written in concerns about the San Luis Obispo Downtown Theater and I am waiting for a response but no answer. I also had some friends who also wrote Movie Experience and complained as well, no answer either. I have spoken to a local journalist and talked about your movie theater, who willing is writing about the ticket prices and what to expect. I am considering of posting my concern on Public Access television and on about the San Luis Obispo Downtown Theater. When someone purchases a movie ticket and they see theater employees studying for a test with one hand accepting cash and the other hand with a book in it, which tells you from the start management is not doing its job. Kicking seats, notices in the theater, dirty theaters and dirty screens for example when the price continues to go up and up but not one thing is being done with the price. I am informing the media that this is ridiculous what your doing as a business and robbing people for entertainment. I have this ripoff report listed here which shows that complaints can be posted for viewing. I am so dissatisfied with the San Luis Obispo Downtown movie theater and also the one on Monterey street as well which is even worse (prices there went up twice last year $6.00, $6.50 and then $7.00 in the run down one next to the Fremont).

I am doing you a favor about reporting some problems I see but also the expenses it cost, it is expensive. I am not convinced your company will do a thing about anything reported especially talking with one of your downtown managers, certainty says that things are not going to change. I am asking you to take a deeper look at the San Luis Obispo Downtown Theater and what a mess it is. I have thought about taking interviews outside the San Luis Obispo Downtown movie theater with a friend and my 3CCD movie camera and interviewing movie goers by having them speak their minds about their movie experience. Every year San Luis Obispo has a movie Festival and I am going to discuss it with people about the San Luis Obispo Downtown Theater.

San Luis Obispo Downtown movie theater

View link

I believe that the issue should be heard and people ought to know about the San Luis Obispo Downtown Theater and people’s own opinions. If you choose to just ignore the complaints, that’s fine but when San Luis Obispo is almost run on a movie theater monopoly from basically one theater or owning 80% of it, the public has the right to know what people are forced to pay and what they are not getting for their hard earned money.


First response, no reply

Dear Manager

I am concerned on the price increases with your SLO Downtown movie theater. I have seen the prices change almost 3 times in 2007. Matinee’s hours changed without notice when we went to a 4:10 movie last year (the matinee changed and was not listed on the paper or internet when the change was made) and were changed full price since night times are too expensive (matinee times are all till 6PM at all theaters except yours). I used to attend your movie theater every Friday with my friends 4 years ago but because of the money ticket prices, we never go anymore.

The concern is the price way too high, even the matinee price is too high; it is hardly different than the regular price (a $1.00). I remember when your theater was built back in 1994 and it has never been upgraded since then. I mean the increases has not changed the theater quality at all such as the bathrooms, the theater seats, the carpets are all very dirty. I look at the screens and there is Coke soda spots on the screen and some gum spots as well; whatever it is, it is visible and dirty. The seats also, you have so many people putting their feet on the seats by kicking them (as the seats are not solid to the ground, they wiggle and makes noises) distracting other guests but also students talking out loud where your staff never secures the theaters with disruptions. I go to the front desk and I see staff sitting around doing nothing to direct a complaint about kicking seats and people talking, one person went out in the theater once, where talking started all over again and your staff never came back to ensure the complaint. I went back and saw your ticket booth staff reading text books (2 women) on the ticket counter like they were studying for class. I felt this place has no manager but when I finally found one, the movie was over. A manager named Heather really did nothing to go out of her way to fix the problem I reported (I mean she just did not take the matter seriously). I also mentioned the prices are expensive and there is nothing being done to improve the theater, she told me that she has no control of that issue. I said to her why your staff is sitting around not patrolling the theaters for talking, feet on the chairs, cleaning the bathrooms, finding things to do when they are on the payroll but they are reading text books and talking. I said who is in charge of that? She had no reply but said well have someone go out and ask people to stop talking. I mean only one time someone can out to look at the present theater for about 2 minutes and left. I was offered nothing from your manager and I feel she was not doing her job.

The price you pay really is not consistent for what you get. I feel the price is a rip off and is not the greatest place to see a movie anyway (because the screens are small). Personally I think the price needs to come down where you need to try to convince people to go the movies again (the visitation is a lot less than it has been for example, the price is effecting people to go as I have asked people the same question). I think there needs to be a serious change with your movie theater such as hiring a new manager and trying to deal with the current poor economy to ensure movie goers to go again. The price needs to come down and you need to hire less staff but more productive. When you see staff sitting around, not taking their jobs seriously and the manager is part of the problem, and then something needs to be done.

I feel the price of the ticket is really worth $4.00 for a matinee and a night cost is worth $6.00 for example but $7.00 for a matinee and $9.50 to $13.50 is outrageous. When I see a movie at your theater, I feel I spent too much every time. I would rather drive to another theater and than visit the Downtown SLO Theater or the Fremont Theater because of how unhappy I am with your theater as other customers have replied the same thing. There are places you can see movies for under $5.00 (night or day) in San Luis with new seats, new screens and are also cleaner.

Please try to make some changes as San Luis Obispo is not a rich town. When the price is right then people will go more often but if you keep increasing again and again, you are ultimately hurting peoples pockets. You should try a new strategy for the SLO Downtown Theater and make some changes by keeping the prices down if you can’t upgrade anything then you should do something about the price and the service.


No reply at all, even their email address, no reply.

darquil on April 25, 2010 at 7:27 am

I’ve posted information and photos from a recent visit here.

Sevens on May 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Young Louis (son of local Chinese pioneer merchant Ah Louis) was for many years the projectionist at The Fremont. He was also the occasional personal projectionist to William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies at Hearst Castle. talk about the history of The Fremont and Young Louis on their walking tours of San Luis Obispo.

richjr37 on April 15, 2009 at 1:03 am

“Legend Of The Lone Ranger”? what crap.

CTCrouch on January 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

The current operator, “The Movie Experience”, was formerly known as So Cal Cinemas and Sanborn Theatres. The chain has been around since 1918 and has operated a number of notable theatres. Owned by the Sanborn family, the chain was once a significant player in the southern California market, but appears to be on it’s “last legs” these days, with only five locations remaining.

HowardBHaas on January 4, 2008 at 8:09 pm

1997 photos including wonderful looking auditorium, by Ken Roe:
View link

bcgreeneiv on November 10, 2007 at 4:28 am

I work across the street from the Fremont – it’s sure a pleasure to see it every day. Have some good memories of seeing the ‘Deer Hunter’ there in 1979, what a long and strange movie!

A fellow named aroid has some old pics that have the Fremont in the background from 1961:
Wonderful to read everyone’s posts about their memories of this beautiful landmark!

tabascoman77 on September 9, 2007 at 3:04 am

One of my top ten favorite theaters of all-time.

I lived in San Luis for two years and I caught many a show here, my most favorite screening being “The Fifth Element”, a GREAT movie to see on a screen like this with beautiful sound.

Downside: the cheap owner either has no A/C and won’t pony up the cash for it or he won’t turn it on. The theater gets VERY warm, especially in the summer. Of course, I haven’t been there in about ten years, so perhaps, it’s changed. Anybody know?

studiobrian on August 26, 2007 at 7:35 am

Here is a night image of the Fremont Theater.