Balboa Village Theatre

707 E. Balboa Boulevard,
Newport Beach, CA 92661

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Additional Info

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

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 949.673.0895

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News About This Theater

1974 photo as the Pussycat Theatre, photo credit John Gould.

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.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

micohen on December 1, 2004 at 6:33 am

I saw a midnight showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” here back in 1991. It was weird in that the regulars didn’t dress up as characters from the film but in costumes that had more of a retro-Edwardian look to them. Guess that was the style at the time. This theater was notorious for getting one film and letting it play for weeks on end – “Hear My Song” was there FOREVER. Closed in 1992 after years of low attendance. Glad to hear it is coming back.

Cinnibuns on March 15, 2005 at 9:20 am

Where can we see Rocky Horror Picture Show? I live in Downey,CA.

Runamok on May 18, 2005 at 2:42 pm

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??

Troy Martin
Troy Martin on April 18, 2007 at 12:14 am

I saw “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” here.

monstersmom89 on May 21, 2007 at 1:25 pm

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!

MIElfboy on June 17, 2008 at 5:17 pm

“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

Flix70 on December 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

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.

agentmarylou on September 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm

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.

Richie_T on January 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

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

LuckyBastard76 on January 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

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.

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