Laurel Theatre

1500 Laurel Street,
San Carlos, CA 94070

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Westland Theatres

Architects: Frederick W. Quandt

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

Laurel Theatre

The Laurel Theatre opened in February 19, 1949 with John Wayne in “3 Godfathers”. It was operated by the San Francisco based Westland Theatres chain. It had a large 1,200-seat auditorium (single level, no balcony). The loge seating area at the rear had Heywood -Wakefield Airflo TC-706 rocking seats. The main seating area had H-W Encore TC-700 style seats.

The theatre was a porn house for a short while in the late-1970’s.

Second run features ran at the complex in the early-1980’s, but the theatre closed around 1982 and remained vacant until 1999 when it was torn down.

Contributed by Mike Croaro

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

AprendaPresents on March 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

Frederick W. Quandt’s application to AIA includes references to “San Mateo Theater” and “Harvey Amusement”. This would be the Manor Theater. During WWII, Quandt designed the relocation centers. The file contains pictures of some of his structures, including the Stockton theater and several SF buildlings.
View link

AprendaPresents on March 31, 2011 at 11:21 am

The Captain Satellite photo showed Rickey Coffey the son(grandson?) of long-time Laurel theater manager Eddie Coffey.

ksue48 on February 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm

My sister and I lived down the street and used to go to every Saturday matinee when we were kids. We also used to play miniature golf at the little place across the street, and spent our allowance at Jax (sp?) dime store that was also on Laurel, I believe. Some of my best memories are of afternoons at the movies there. I wonder how many of you commenting might have known me! We moved away when I was 12, but we both went to White Oaks and Central schools. Good memories!

larrygoldsmith on March 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm

This theatre was never operated by National General Theatres/ Fox West Coast. Was opened and operated for many years by Westside Valley Theatres.

Oss on December 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I worked there in the 70s. Took tickets, sold candy and popcorn, and saw lots of great movies. Was a student at College of San Mateo,and got a job there during Star Wars premier. The lines were down the street, sold out every show for at least 6 months!!!! First, there WAS a balcony (reference the comment under the picture on this page)! I also was a projectionist for a while, when the projectors still used carbon arc as a light source. I also worked at the Tivoli, when Saturday Night Fever, and Rocky Horror showed there. Man, what great memories.

kegg on May 9, 2015 at 6:33 am

oss, no there were loge seats if you went up, no balcony! worked as projectionist 6 nights a week from 71 to 73, when leon owned it. I used to play low spark of high heeled boys during first intermission. Great times there

rivest266 on July 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm

February 19th, 1949 grand opening ad in photo section

Oss on April 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Oh, right. using wrong term. But, great times for sure!

stevenj on May 29, 2017 at 6:58 am

3 new photos added including a 1980 photo of the front of the theatre.

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