Grand Theatre

6177 Beach Boulevard,
Buena Park, CA 90621

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 19 comments

bigkahuna1 on April 14, 2017 at 12:29 pm

My Grandparents operated the Grand Theatre in the late 60’s through the mid 70’s. At first they showed “regular” movies but when business slowed they switched to “Adult” themes. For a while they also showed Spanish language films but the infrastructure took such a beating they had to stop. My dad and his brother (my uncle) took turns operating the projectors while my Grandmother sold tickets and concessions in the lobby. I have many memories sitting in the projector booth with my dad as well as in the ticket booth with my grandmother while she sold admission and watched Roller Derby on her 8 inch black and white TV. After much harassment by by the City of Buena Park they finally sold out to the Pussy Cat theater chain.

Mhernandez197 on February 13, 2017 at 12:28 am

I grew up in nearby La Habra, and remember much of friends, especially guy friends spoke about rumors surrounding this theater even about the 1951 kidnapping, the theater itself was falling apart much of the theater suffered cracks in its outside wall and parapet chipped and crack during the Oct 1st 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake. Along with a window that also broke during that quake, that was not documented.

DavidZornig on March 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm

As the Valuskis Theatre in 1951.
Photo courtesy of the USC digital archives, from the now dead link.

Coincidentally, below copy courtesy of Verl Stanford:

It was May 19, 1951 when Patty was kidnapped by Henry Ford McCracken. The film playing that day was “The Bird of Paradise” (as shown on the marquee in the photo added). And, it just so happened that that film was about a kidnapping. McCracken was a sexual psychopath. “ In 1946, his concerned mother petitioned the Orange County Superior Court to have him committed to a mental hospital. His behavior and record as a serial child sex offender, however, failed to impress medical examiners who said he had "mild schizophrenia with anxiety neurosis but can distinguish between right and wrong.” THEY WERE WRONG! “After his "mild schizophrenia” diagnosis, McCracken moved from Orange County to Michigan, where his string of child sex offenses continued. In the fall of 1950, after nine arrests, Detroit Police prepared documents to have him permanently committed to a mental institution. Before the documents were filed, McCracken fled back to Orange County. A few weeks later, he was arrested in Santa Ana for failing to register as a sex offender. He served a six-month jail sentence. On May 6, 1951, he was on the streets again.“ "McCracken immediately gravitated to an auto court cottage on Grand Ave. down the street from the Valuski’s Theater where he took up residence. (Today that is a vacant lot right next to the Coyote Creek flood control channel.) He worked nights entertaining at the nearby White Elephant Cafe (that was on Beach Blvd. and Commonwealth where the Bank of America branch is today). Just 12 days after his release from the Santa Ana Jail, he took an empty seat at a Saturday matinee, next to Patty Jean Hull.” In later years before Mr. Valuski sold the theater he had hired Patty’s brothers, Jack and Jim Hull, to be projectionists in the theater. Many local people still patronized the theater but because it was old fashioned and outmoded Mr. Valuski sold out and retired that theater to new owners.

MagicLantern on June 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Demolished; now a Ford dealership.

kencmcintyre on January 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 9/20/73:

BUENA PARK-The Pussycat Theater resumed showing sex films Wednesday night after vice officers made their 14th arrest and seizure of films there this year. The latest raid was launched Tuesday night during the showing of “Beyond the Commission’s Report on Obscenity and Pornography”.

Officers seized a print of the film, advertising posters and schedules of its showing. They also arrested the manager, Edward Lee Bailey, 28, of Los Angeles.

JayAllenSanford on August 8, 2008 at 7:27 am

New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
View link

bpgirl62 on August 7, 2007 at 10:31 am

If the theater was shuttered in the early 90s then it must have been showing movies in the car lot that’s been there since the 80s.

JayAllenSanford on June 22, 2007 at 1:26 am

There’s a cover article in today’s San Diego Reader, detailing the histories of all the downtown theaters once run by Vince Miranda, at one time co-owner of California’s Pussycat Theatre chain. This is one of the theaters chronicled in the piece, which is built from a series of email interviews with Cinema Treasures contribs Dan Whitehead and Tim David (David is Miranda’s godson). Unfortunately, the online version doesn’t have any of the great photos and graphics seen in the printed version – I wrote the piece and will probably put scans of the graphics on my own webpage before much longer, after the next issue comes out. Here’s a link to the article on the Reader site:

View link

This is our second major feature on southern CA theaters in about a year (the other, “Field Of Screens,” is just on San Diego drive-ins and can be found on the Reader site with the search bar). If anyone here likes the article(s) and would like to encourage the publisher to greenlight more, feel free to leave your thoughts about the piece in the comment section after article. The paper really pays attention to reader comments!

kencmcintyre on March 6, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Valuskis should be put in the aka line. Here is an article dated ¼/74 about the Pussycat Theater:

‘Red light’ suit hits porno movies

Claiming she has been “offended and outraged” by the operation of the Pussycat Theatre in Buena Park, Mrs. Donna Bagley decided Thursday it should be closed â€" and she filed suit under the state’s Red Light Abatement Act. Her action in Santa Ana Superior Court is the first under the Red Light Abatement Act to be brought by a private citizen, although Dist. Atty. Cecil Hicks has used it with some success against bars and restaurants featuring nude entertainment.

Mrs. Bagley, who lives at 5962 Stanton Ave., Buena Park, contended in her petition she has been “significantly offended, outraged and has suffered shame, embarrassment and emotional distress as a result of the public scandal caused by the continuous and daily presence, advertisement and public exhibition of patent hard-core pornography” at the Pussycat Theatre, 6177 Beach Blvd. She said the theater is close to the area where she resides and works and that it attracts “criminal elements, undesirables, deviates and dropouts” and lures “immoral persons” into the area.

Her suit against Pussycat Theatre also names Vincent Miranda of Hollywood, its operator; and Walnut Properties, Inc., believed to be the owners of the building which for years was Buena Park’s only theater. However, the theater was converted to X-rated films only a short time ago, and since then has had a running battle with Buena Park police who have seized dozens of prints of what they insisted were hard-core pornography. Their last raids shut down a highly advertised showing of the moneymaking “Deep Throat.”

Santa Ana Superior Court Judge Mark Soden set Jan. 21 as date for hearing arguments on an order to show cause why an injunction should not be issued against the theater. This is a civil proceeding, first drawn into law in California to cope with the notorious Barbary Coast in San Francisco. Its major penalty is closure of “places of assignation” and a court order to auction the assets of the places involved. The Orange County district attorney used the act in eight prosecutions. He won them all and most assets have already been sold from the various bars which were closed. This is the first against a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 20, 2006 at 1:22 pm

TYPO ABOVE: of course I meant; Do a Google search on “Valuskis Theater” to find the cached page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 12, 2006 at 2:10 am

From the USC digital archives, a 1951 photograph of the Valuskis Theatre.

scottfavareille’s 2004 link to the interesting (if somewhat lurid) OC Weekly article about the 1951 kidnapping and murder related to this theatre no longer works, but if you want to read it it’s available from Google’s cache. Do a Google search on “Velaskis Theater” and the link to the cached article “Live Noir” will be among the handful of results.

MsJVonFink on January 25, 2005 at 10:12 pm

I came across a record about two years ago in a local store by some obscure modern punk band that had a photo of The Pussycat on the cover. Unfortunately I didn’t buy it!

tbdavid on January 12, 2005 at 10:24 am

Hello from Colorado!

My God Father owned the Pussycat chain.I have been putting together a collection of ANYTHING Pussycat befor all is lost. I would really like to locate a Pussycat Marquee. You know, the oval w/ the Ms. pussycat and “It’s a Pussycat Theatre”. I would like to find photos of each theatre as well. I have only been able to find photos of the New View and the Tiki. If you have ANY info..even storys…please let me know.
Tim David


scottfavareille on October 20, 2004 at 4:17 pm

This was once the Valuskis theater. In May, 1951, a young girl disappeared from this theater and was later found dead. A sex offender who lived down the street did it. See for more.

Apparently after this, business died until it became Pussycat.

scottfavareille on October 6, 2004 at 1:26 pm

The Pussycat chain largely disappeared after Miranda’s death. Large IRS back tax bills was a major factor.

br91975 on September 23, 2004 at 4:12 pm

Are any Pussycats still in operation or has the chain/name completely disappeared from the landscape?

scottfavareille on September 22, 2004 at 1:50 pm

Pussycat reportably operated 750 theaters. Ironically, I read an article called Empire of the Pussycat, which stated that the owner of the Pussycat (from the early 1970’s until its close, that was Vince Miranda) failed to copyright the name of Pussycat Theater outside of California. (CA had 47 theaters at its peak.) The Pussycat Theaters outside of CA were operated by different individuals and thus, because of not properly copyrighting the name, Miranda lost out on many millions of dollars.

RobertR on September 22, 2004 at 12:28 pm

Does anyone know how big Pussycat was, in it’s prime? We had a few of them in Manhattan but never in the outer boros as far as I know.

MagicLantern on September 22, 2004 at 12:03 pm

This theatre was located at 6177 Beach Boulevard and may have been called the Valuskis Theatre at one point. A long time ago on a Cinema Treasures board far far away, someone wrote: “manwithnoname > May 27, 2003 8:33 PM EDT
The theatre was demolished some years ago. Another reason for its demise was competition from the Studio Adult Theatre just down the street. Where the Pussycat was dirty and staff unfriendly, the Studio was just the opposite. It, too, has closed and is now a retail store. ”