Galaxy 3

475 Union Street,
Watsonville, CA 95076

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I attended this theater once as a youth. It stood unnoccupied since at least the end of the 1990’s.

It was a smaller theater. The building was recently renovated into a furniture rental store.

Contributed by Jacob Hunter

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

GaryParks on December 10, 2004 at 5:56 pm

This theatre opened circa 1981 as the Pajaro Showplace. It was a triplex from the beginning. Originally, the boxy structure was painted in a couple of shades of brown. The three identical auditoriums were very plain, with raked seating, turquoise blue soundfold on the walls, and a cubist art deco carpet pattern in shades of blue. When the theatre was built, an article and architect’s rendering appeared in the Register-Pajaronian newspaper heralding the theatre as the beginning of a revival for downtown Watsonville. This really didn’t pan out. Our family lived in nearby Aptos, but both we and our friends nearly always went north to Santa Cruz for our movies. I do remember seeing “Gandhi” at this theatre, and I know I went there a couple of other times in the early and mid 1980s. I’m not sure of the exact year, but I remember it being renamed sometime in the 1990s as the Galaxy, at which time the exterior was given a teal color scheme.
With the opening of the Green Valley cinemas, and the triplexing of the 1923 Fox in the 1990s, perhaps there was too much competition. In the early 1980s when the Pajaro Showplace opened, there was only the Fox and Centre (the latter since demolished) operating downtown, and both were single-screen Spanish language houses. The only other firstrun movie venue at that time was the Starlite Drive-In (long since demolished).

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on May 22, 2007 at 9:38 pm

I guess one could say I was biased, since I managed the competition down the street, but when I was at the Fox Watsonville in the late 1990s, the Galaxy had become a real junkhole. The place was poorly operated, the booth had home stereo equipment jerry-rigged into the sound racks so they could say their films were in Dolby Stereo and the seats were horribly uncomfortable. I only ever saw one movie at the Galaxy, the original Men In Black, sometime during its opening week. (I have no idea to this day why the Fox, with its 50ft main auditorium screen with DTS Digital Sound, did not open the film.) The number one movie in America, on an early Monday evening, and I was the only person in the theatre watching the film.

The Galaxy didn’t die because of the opening of the Green Valley 8, although I am certain it didn’t help. The Galaxy died because no one went there. Why would they, when they had a grand old theatre like the Fox?

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