683 S. Main Street,
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Previously operated by: SRO Theaters, United General Theatres
The Showcase Theatre was a small theatre in an outdoor strip mall which was opened by United General Theatres chain on July 25, 1973 with Tom Laughlin in “Billy Jack” & Bill Mumy in “Bless the Beasts & Children”. It advertisements started appearing in the Independent Theatre Guide of the Los Angeles Times on January 1, 1974. There was really nothing special about its generic architecture. In fact the building looked as if it could be converted to other uses rather quickly if needed. This ordinariness was carried over to the rectangular marquee on the front of the building. The theatre was located about a block away from the old Corona Theatre, which was also showing movies at the time. In 1980, it was listed as an SRO theatre (Sterling Recreation Organization) in the Orange County Register but by 1981 it was listed again as an independent. In 1981 UA theaters built 6 screens in the Park Sierra community of Riverside, just seven miles away, so it may have closed around that time.
In 1993 an alternative rock club took over the building after leveling the floor. As a rock club, it was authorized to hold 450 people, presumably both standing and sitting. The Riverside Press-Enterprise says it later gained notoriety for 15 years as the Showcase, which eventually veered toward the Punk Rock scene. It became kind of a nuisance to the other merchants and got a lot of press. The club was finally closed down by the city in 2008. In 2011 the former Showcase was vacant in an aging center, whose big attraction is the 99c Only Store. Ironically, the Corona Redevelopment Agency has its offices nearby.
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Recent comments (view all 2 comments)
I saw Tron here, and few bands later.
The theatre was built as a United General franchised location. The Showcase celebrated its Grand Opening on July 25, 1973 with a double feature of “Billy Jack” and “Bless the Beasts.”