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According to Carol A. Bidwell’s 1989 book “The Conejo Valley: Old and New Frontiers”…
“The Fox Conejo was the first real movie theater in town, but local residents had had a place to watch movies since the late 1950s. Don Goshey showed movies in a left-over World War II quonset hut, moved to a lot on Thousand Oaks Boulevard at the northern end of Hampshire Road, in front of the short-lived Acorn Bowl. Moviegoers sat on folding chairs and watched whatever movies Goshey could find to rent. Refreshments were provided by the mothers of Conejo School youngsters who sold home-popped popsorn to raise money for school projects and activities.” (p. 75)
I was a Thousand Oaks resident from 1961 to 1994. I recall going to the Acorn Bowl as a teenager but don’t remember attending the Acorn Theater.
Yes, Thousand Oaks Boulevard was originally called Ventura Boulevard. The name change happened sometimes in the 1960s.
And yes, the Melody Theater was indeed on Moorpark Road, next to Thriftymart supermarket in the Park Oaks Shopping Center.
Update: according to Carol A. Bidwell’s 1989 book “The Conejo Valley: Old and New Frontiers,” the 854-seat Fox Conejo opened in 1963, not 1961, and it was Annette Funicello who attended the opening, not Hayley Mills.
Shows you the accuracy of half-century-old memories! (My only excuse is that as a kid I never was an Annette fan — it was Hayley all the way.)
As a 13-year-old in 1961 when my family moved to Thousand Oaks, I have (admittedly distant) memories of the hoopla when the Fox opened in the then small rural community (party line phones, no stop signs). I recall a special event involving the Fox on Halloween 1961 — don’t remember if it was the theater’s grand opening or just the premiere of a movie, but do I recall that Hayley Mills was appearing there in person. I remember it because it caused an enormous conflict between going trick-or-treating and seeing my teen heartthrob in person.