South Bay Movie Theaters

What movie theater did you go to in high school or when you were growing up? If you lived north of Rosecrans, you probably went to the Plaza as a kid. Those of you who lived in Lawndale or Gardena probably went to the Park Theater matinees on Saturday afternoons. My mom would not let me go there. I don’t think I ever set foot in the Park Theater until I was a freshman at Leuzinger.

In high school, we could venture further away from home on Friday or Saturday nights. There was always the Roadium or the Century Drive-ins. If you are curious about what happened to these and other movie theaters in the South Bay, take a look at the new entry on The Way We Were page.

If you have another favorite that is not included, don’t hesitate to let the rest of us know by leaving a comment here or on the Way We Were page. 

Until next time,



3 thoughts on “South Bay Movie Theaters

  1. Yep, my sister Mel and I went to Saturday matinees at the Park Theatre. That’s where I saw “A Summer Place” in 1959–I consider it my first “dirty movie” ’cause it seemed a little racy–Sandra Dee getting pregnant and all … and an odd choice for a Saturday matinee!

    After graduation Terry Collier and I got jobs at the Vermont Drive-in Theater. Working in a drive-in was an education for nerdy, innocent me. The things that went on in that parking lot…! ;o)

  2. Don,

    Sounds like you were “deprived” as a youngster. Although I lived north of Rosecrans I went to the Plaza, the Park and the Roadium on a regular basis. On more rare occasions my dad would take us to the Century drive in. I have always loved a movie and still do.

    My folks and uncle and aunt were always busy running a landscape gardening business and a plant nursery so I think they liked to drop me and my cousins off at the Park because of the double features and cartoons. That got us out of their hair for an entire afternoon. I think it cost about 25 cents for this which was a good deal cheaper than a baby sitter. We didn’t worry about pedophiles, perverts or drunks . . . although you had to remember never to turn around or else you risked getting a flying popcorn box in the face. I loved monster movies and remember “Them” (1954), the first “Godzilla” (1954), “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954), “Tarantula” (1955), “This Island Earth” (1955), etc. . . . does this explain why I am messed up today?


  3. Gerald,

    I was not allowed to go to the Park, but I did spend many a Saturday afternoon at the Plaza. Probably the scariest movie I saw there was Forbidden Planet. It’s sometimes what you can’t see that makes you the most afraid.


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