Star Theatre

145 N. 1st Street,
La Puente, CA 91744

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Showing 1 - 25 of 38 comments

CTCrouch on January 22, 2020 at 11:14 pm

The theatre was operated by Carlos Tobalina during its' adult film years. A former car salesman and spanish language radio announcer, Tobalina carved out a highly lucrative career producing and directing adult films in the 70’s and 80’s. In addition to the Star, he was also the long time operator of the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles and the X Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on March 6, 2019 at 11:33 am

Here is the latest news on the Star Theatre. The current owner has proposed tearing down the Star to build 22 condo units on the property and adjoining parking lot. The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation has submitted comments and case studies and spoken at the 2 most recent hearings. We found multiple errors and faulty assumptions in the Draft EIR. Last night, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve without any debate or discussion. Public comment was evenly split, 4-4.

Here is our advocacy page on the Star, it will be updated with all the information we have:

Detailed project documents are available here on the City of La Puente’s website:

DavidZornig on May 11, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Article about plans to demolish the Star Theatre.

rlhowe48 on February 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

I went to my first movie, Pinocchio, at the Puente Theater. That was over 60 years ago. It is such a shame that a piece of history such as this can’t be saved. I remember standing in line waiting to go in and being so amazed by the paintings on the walls and how grand it seemed to a six year old at his first movie. And my mother let me go alone. If only I were rich….

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Sassyrey1: The Star Theatre is currently closed. As of November, 2012, it was owned by a bank which had foreclosed on it, according to posts on this weblog.

Sassyrey1 on May 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Who owns this now??? is it currently open?

jazzfi on January 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

very quaint theater, still has the old classic marquee, it went from general audience films in the 60s, to Spanish speaking movies in the 70’s to adult films in the late70s-early 80s.. always hoped and dreamed someone would buy it and show cool old classic b&w films there for car shows and cruise nites..

976Nina on November 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

I live in Old Town and pass this theatre everyday. It was always the ‘adult theatre’ since i was a kid. But as an adult, I am now wondering how we can put this building back into use? showing movies that have been out for a while at a lesser cost? Or maybe a comedy venue. Does anyone know how to get this started or make this happen? If the City couldn’t get paid for it, they should be willing to make money off of it and bring in some revenue and a few jobs into the City, right? Our little city, is coming up in the Arts…why not add the theatre back? Anyone out there that can direct me????

runningjer on May 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

I remember as a kid seeing a movie there called “Dime with a Halo” It was a local movie about kids winning on a horse bet – they stole a dime from the poor box at Church to make the bet. And they had to get this old guy to get their winnings. He dies on the way to cash in the ticket. Very depressing for a kid.

KevinPreston on March 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Joe Vogel…if you look in the photo section, there is a black and white photo of the Bing Crosby Picture “Road to Rio”—if you look very closely above it, it spells out P U E N T E !!!

thefilmguy on July 18, 2011 at 3:03 am

The theater has been used by film and TV productions over the years. The old manager office and even the interior auditorium had been kept in fairly good order. There is a link to photos of these on a location scout page but I’ll need to locate it. Also, the city council had approved the sale of the building and it’s adjacent parking lot so a private developer could demolish the site and construct a multi use condo/merchant shopping center with below ground parking. Alas, the city had licked it’s financial lips too soon. It was discovered that subterranean water tables could not be drained sufficiently to stabilized the building and prevent flooding.So for now the theater sits untouched. It would be wonderful to have some benefactor buy this theater and reopen it as a “Alamo Drafthouse” type venue.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Thanks for the pictures,guys.

valwal on October 17, 2009 at 11:01 am

anybody know what is currently happening to this theater, i been making a lot of research and i cant find anything on it

Sunnyside on March 9, 2009 at 10:39 am

I moved out of La Puente in ‘77. I have fond memories of attending the double features at the Star in the late 50’s, the 60’s, and early 70’s. I saw “A Hard Days Night” twice and always saw the Jerry Lewis and monster movies there. I grew up about four houses away on North First Street. I remember the warm summer nights sitting on top of our house looking at the Star’s marquee & glowing star and watching the local guys showing off and/or working on their cars at the Flying 'A’ and John Hancock gas stations right across the street. My parents still own that house and I was there last summer to visit and reminisce. My wife took various pics of me in front of the theatre; great memories!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Although the S.C. Lee archives list this house as the Puente Theatre, I don’t believe it ever operated under that name. I think Puente theatre was just Lee’s working name for it. The owners probably hadn’t chosen the final name when he began working on the design. By Puente Theatre, Lee meant theater project in Puente.

Notice that in this Lee rendering it is called the “Name” Theatre (though obviously not. It just indicates that it hadn’t been given a name yet.) Also note that Bob Garrison and Steve Chambers in comments above both remember it as the Star Theatre as far back as the early 1950s. I certainly remember it as the Star Theatre in the later 1950s.

An early newspaper ad or directory listing for the house under the name Puente Theatre would, of course, convince me otherwise.

comicdetective on February 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Considering its proximity to where I lived, I can’t believe I didn’t go to the theater more than I did. I do remember that the theater was pretty run so that when I saw a double bill of “Legend of Hell House” and “Night of the Living Dead” there were rows of seats missing…

kencmcintyre on January 2, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Here is a late 1940s photo from the UCLA collection:

kencmcintyre on April 12, 2008 at 7:30 pm

It was still there today, baking in the 101 degree heat. Photos to follow.

kencmcintyre on April 11, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I’m heading in that direction tomorrow. Let’s see if the building is still standing.

DonSolosan on January 3, 2008 at 4:35 pm

I stopped by yesterday and found the doors chained. The status should be changed to closed.

telston on November 7, 2007 at 11:47 pm

My Father-In-Law was the owner of this theater until he passed away in 2005. He was a good man and did many good things. It’s very upsetting to see the theater set up to be destroyed. I agree with most of you that it is a historical landmark – which could have been included in the future of downtown La Puente. Perhaps one day we will miss it’s character when we stare blankly at the homogeneous town homes, condos and retail that slowly engulf Main Street.

KevinPreston on September 17, 2007 at 10:40 am


I am thinking of going over there maybe this weekend and seeing what the deal is.