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Valley Plaza Cinema

1940 Wible Rd
Bakersfield CA

Demolished 1986
Record #22197  
 Opened: September 20, 1967
 Closed: October 31, 1986
 Demolished: 1986
Capacity: 1120 seats
Architect(s):
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Cinema Valley Plaza
 Previously operated by: Statewide Theatres, Loews Theatres, General Cinema Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Paul Linfesty.

The original Cinema Valley Plaza opened September 20, 1967 with the movie Hawaii. The theatre was operated by Statewide Theatres for a couple of months before becoming a Loew's Theatre. The theatre was conceived from the very beginning as a roadshow theatre and was well equipped, featuring 70mm projection and 6-track stereo. The screen was 60 feet wide and was covered with two curtains, one a multi-stripe curtain that curved towards the audience, the other gold that gently curved away from the audience. Eight surround speakers were flush-mounted into the ceiling. The auditorium sat 1230, including 350 rocking-chair loges. While many blockbuster and long running films played here, the only roadshow run was Thoroughly Modern Millie in December 1967. Some other long running films included The Sound of Music, The Graduate, In Cold Blood, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Rosemary's Baby, The Odd Couple, Oliver, Funny Girl, Love Story, Paint Your Wagon, and The Godfather (12 weeks).

General Cinema took the theatre over in the summer of 1972 (immediately following Nicholas and Alexandria). When GCC aquired the theater, the name in all ads and theatre logo changed to Valley Plaza Cinema, although the signs at the theatre were never changed. Following an engagement of That's Entertainment II, the theatre closed for twinning in September 1976. The resulting two theatres each sat approximately 560 seats. Unfortunately, the seats weren't re-angled, so sightlines were badly compromised. The new screens were only 36 feet wide, and common width was the rule. The Grand Re-opening attractions on October 20, 1976 were Norman, Is That You, and The Omen. In 1983, Dolby Stereo was installed for Return of the Jedi, featuring 16 Altec surround speakers.

The theatre closed in the fall of 1986, torn down so a mall expansion could take place. A new cinema megaplex would appear in 1999.

 Photos
 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

1976 photos from The Bakersfield Californian collection.


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The General Cinema a...

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1972 photos from The Bakersfield Californian collection.


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1967 photos from The Bakersfield Californian collection.


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A portion of the gra...

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An ad from 1967 with...

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Another from 1967 wi...
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Photos from the Paul Linfesty collection.


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Last featured 1/23/2005. Last edited 5/22/2014.

 
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