Balboa Village Theatre
707 E. Balboa Boulevard,
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Previously operated by: Landmark Theatres (USA), Pussycat Theatres
Architects: Solomon Carr
Styles: Spanish Colonial
Previous Names: Ritz Theater, Balboa Theater, Pussycat Theatre, Balboa Performing Arts Theatre
News About This Theater
- Dec 10, 2003 — Today's Newsreel
In the early-2000’s, a $2.5 million dollar restoration project, led by community activist and President of the Balboa Performing Arts Theater Foundation, Dayna Pettit was planned. The project proposed to turn the 1928 movie palace into a cinema and performing arts center capable of hosting live events and films for 350 people.
Originally opened as the 700-seat Ritz Theater on March 17, 1928, it was renamed Balboa Theater in 1939. It was taken over by Pussycat Theatres in 1973 and operated as an adult theatre until 1975. Later operated by Landmark Theatres, it closed as a movie theatre on December 1, 1991 with Liv Ullmann in “Mindwalk”. After years of lobbying the city for support, the city of Newport Beach purchased the building in 1998, and with construction underway, a proposal was made to re-open the theatre in 2008, but this deadline has been well past in 2013.
Plans may call for a return of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” which had been a controversial staple of the beach community’s cinema.
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Recent comments (view all 14 comments)
Where can we see Rocky Horror Picture Show? I live in Downey,CA.
You can see RHPS at The Art Theatre in Long Beach. I was the Assistant Manager at the time of the closing of the Balboa. The last night of Rocky Horror we had lines all they way to the Balboa pier. After the Balboa closed I worked at The Port in Corona Del mar which is also set for major renovation. I’m hoping both or either will make a deal with Landmark Theatre Corp. who ran the theatres at the time of closing for film booking. I hope I will be involved in running of the Balboa when it re-opens. Where do I apply??
I saw “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” here.
OMG, my friends and I saw Rocky Horror here many, many, many times throughout the 1980s….people definitely dressed in character and got into it then, with stageshows, virgin auctions and all. The theatre was pretty run-down, but beautiful underneath the years of wear- can’t wait to see it renovated!
“Midnight Insanity” who is the cast that performed at the Balboa before it closed is currently at the Warner Grand in San Pedro. For more information please go to www.midnightinsanity.com
As I recall, Rocky Horror was my first film at the Balboa. I can also remember seeing Christopher Guest’s The Big Picture and Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train there during my college years. Usually ate at BJ’s Pizza across the street and always seemed to be raining. Good times.
Summer,1992 – The last showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a night I won’t forget because I received a phone call at 3:00 AM from my son who went to the final performance with his friend. Anton parked his car on Balboa Island and took the Balboa Ferry across to Balboa Peninsula as a pedestrian. However, he forgot that the Ferry closed at 2:00 PM and now needed a ride from his mom:) A good time was had by all.
This theater was awesome… so many Rocky Horror memories, great audiences and performers, I remember a night back in 1987 where the band INXS attended a screening after shooting a video down at the arcade… amazing times… Pizza Pete’s and the old Balboa Theater, damn… the last film I saw here was AKIRA back in 1990… it’s a shame this theater isn’t better taken care of… RIP
This theater was a revival theater in the late 70s and 80s, a cross between the New Bev and the NuArt. Saw a lot of cool doubles like A Clockwork Orange with The Road Warrior, Night of The Living Dead with Texas Chainsaw. First saw Citizen Kane here, Spike and Mike Animation Festivals. I trip out on how many art and underground films I saw when I was still in my early teens.
News clipping for opening March 17, 1928 is now in the photo section. News clipping for closing December 1, 1991, is now in the photo section.