La Habra Theater

159 E. La Habra Boulevard,
La Habra, CA 90631

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jeffdonaldson on December 27, 2007 at 4:40 am

The theatre wasn’t across the street from Nixon’s first law office because they were both on the north side of the street. The theatre was in the next block to the east. The theatre managed to hang around for about thirty-five years. Esther Cramer’s history of La Habra has one sentence about the theatre: “The opening of the Garden theatre, complete with orchestra, high class vaudeville acts, and films (featuring such stars as Tom Mix and comedian Harold Lloyd), attracted visitors from miles around.” The building had the theatre entrance with box office in the center and space for a small business on either side. When I went there in the early fifties, there was a sandwich shop on one side and a dry cleaners on the other. Inside, there was still a small stage up front. Pictures changed twice a week, and for us kids, on Saturday morning, we got seven cartoons, two serials and a feature (usually a western) for 17 cents! If you had another dime, you could get a bag of popcorn or pull your fillings out with a box of Jujubees. I was about 10 and I made friends with the teenage projectionist who showed me the booth. To enter the projection booth, you had to climb up a wooden ladder that was nailed to the back wall. At the top, you swung your leg out into the booth. The film cans were hauled up into the booth with a pulley. Our theatre closed in 1954 or early 1955 but no one told us why. There was some talk about drugs being delt there. All we knew was that for the next two years we had to get our parents to take us to the Fox Fullerton until the new theatre opened up on Whittier Blvd.