Plaza Theater

710 Arneil Road,
Camarillo, CA 93010

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: United General Theatres

Functions: Retail

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A November 1971 article in the Los Angeles Times announced that a theater, seating 360, was currently under construction in Camarillo. Called the Plaza, its opening was noted in the Oxnard Press-Courier on February 3, 1972 as a United General Theatre.

According to United General’s sales offering for franchises, which appeared in newspapers across the country, their theaters were fully automated and could be run by two people. $15,000 plus operating costs was the price of the turnkey operation, with 16mm projection. In another LA Times story it was said 200 cinemas were planned in California. The company was not connected in anyway to National General Theatres or General Cinemas. For those interested the rise and fall of United General and its legal problems was covered from March through October of 1975 in the Times.

The Plaza Theatre’s advertisements appeared in the LA Times Guide for about a year then dropped out on February 20, 1973 when the Plaza Theater closed. The theater today is just another store front in a shopping center. Another United General Theater opened in Fullerton in December of 1971 but it also closed after a few years.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak on September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This theater’s page at CinemaTour includes some pictures of the stores that now occupy the space once occupied by the cinema.

dallasmovietheaters on April 30, 2020 at 12:36 pm

This was purportedly Debbie Reynolds' own United General automated theatre. Reynolds, Glenn Ford, and Agnes Moorehead were the primary actors who lent their names to the fledgling franchised theater gambit in the early 1970s. This theater launched on February 16, 1972 with “Tora, Tora, Tora.” But then the theatre had its Grand Opening celebration two weeks later on March 4th with “The RA Expeditions” and said to be under the operation of franchisee, Bill Webb. It helped kept costs low by using 16mm film projectors.

The theater was the sixth for the circuit and the first of 20 in the Valley for United General which actually appears to have opened just three of the locations before disgruntled investors filed lawsuits finally helping end the operation. Reports said that they had 200 franchisees signed on. The Central Plaza Shopping Centre housed theatre appears to have gone out of business in February 20, 1973. It looks to have been used by the Camarillo Community Campus of Moorpark College for educational purposes soon thereafter.

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