Mann Tarzana West Valley 9
18632 Ventura Boulevard,
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Previously operated by: Mann Theatres
Previous Names: Movies of Tarzana, Tarzana 6 Movies
The Movies of Tarzana was opened November 29, 1972 with six screens. It was taken over by Mann Theatres December 17, 1982. I went to this theatre for the first time August 12, 2005 and saw “Duece Bigalow European Gigolo”. I had no idea that the very next Thursday was to be its last showtimes. The employees were the usual upbeat people and showed no disappointment that their jobs were coming to an end. I thought the theatre was a cosy little getaway from the overcrowded multiplex monsters.
Theatres 1-6 had signs showing their seating capacity, Aud #1 261, #2 254, #3 306, #4 256, #5 306, #6 183, and #7-8-9 were very small auditoriums. This theatre was old and dated but fit the area well. No stadium seating due to its age and the auditoriums were wide but lacked length.
Apparently, developers are clearing the way for demolition of the theater and some nearby shops to start construction of an upscale retail development. Demolition is set for October 2005. It would have been nice if Mann Theatres would let the public know in advance so patrons can give their hometown theatre one last viewing.
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Recent comments (view all 14 comments)
The Movies was sold to Mann Theatres and they reopened the theatre on Dec. 17th, 1982.
I frequently went to this theater in the late 1980s, as this was the closest Mann Theater while I was attending nearby California State University, Northridge. This was important because the university sold discount tickets to Mann Theaters. Mann Tarzana West Valley was never too crowded when compared to the options such as the Mann Theaters in Westwood.
It was called Movies of Tarzana in September 1974. Six screens at that time.
Here is an April 1975 ad from the Van Nuys News:
Re the 1975 ad in ken mc’s above post:
When you called the theatre’s answering machine, the voice did indeed enthusiatically chime, “Thank you for calling Theeeeeee Movies of Tarzana!” With ample parking in back, this was a swell neighborhood multi to see drive-in-type stuff like “Tentacles,” “Damien-Omen II,” the giant rat epic “Deadly Eyes,” Morgan Fairchild in"The Seduction" and Walter Hill’s “The Driver,” not to mention “The Howling,” “The Terminator” and “Missing in Action.” Once I saw actor Henry Silva leaving a matinee. And does anyone remember the collage of one-sheets on the ceiling? In the good ol' days of neighborhood theatres, such an eye-catching touch of showmanship is part of what gave Movies of Tarzana its charm.
So cool to see comments mentioning the very movies I saw there as well. Morgan Fairchild’s Seduction! Good lord that was a while ago! Most significantly I remember the original Halloween at this theatre in 1978 and I was too chicken to go in and even peek which I regret so much now. I remember seeing Xanadu here, Rollerboogie. Remember Heaven’s Gate playing there, even Howard The Duck coincidentally another bomb. C. Thomas Howell in Soul Man. Saw Can’t Buy Me Love! Jump way ahead to Rocky IV in the later 80’s, what a night of douche bags that audience! Good lord. Lethal Weapon 2… I miss this theatre. Snuck in the back door many times and always theatre hopped—actually got kicked out once, an usher followed me into the theatre as I sat down! Miss the comfortable theatres and seating. I still drive by to this day and never not mention or acknowledge what was once there ;( RIP!
It’s nice to see the comments as my friends & I spent most of our childhood at this theatre…. And at all the little spots on the boulevard (Ventura Blvd) that made this a great little neighborhood in Hollywood’s backyard in the 70s & 80s; Party Peddler, a lá Popcorn, Brown Center Deli, La Fiesta, Tiempo Records, Eggshell restaurant, Fabs, Beas Bakery, Sambo’s & The Pantry Shelf etc It did open in 1974… The Leftons were indeed some of the same owners that owned the Pan Pacific on Beverly near what is now The Grove and the PepperTree, a second run multi screen in Northridge. Despite the best efforts of all those who invested so much it was allowed to spiral downhill like a runaway train until the smallest screen (theatre 6) had threadbare screen & curtains and I could hardly stand to see a movie there distracted by the disrepair. The lobby card collages & the sprint car video game as well as the smokey and the bandit pinball machines were soooo cool back in the day. It was loosing money before they did their deal with Mann’s…. And while MVW sued Pacific for keeping first-runs too long & destroying their business…. that really wasn’t it at all. Ventura was hopping in those days and you had to drive for miles to Sherman Oaks in one direction or Woodland Hills in the other. They just didn’t care anymore about the experience they gave the neighborhood so we stopped caring back… and it became HAUNTED!
1987 lawsuit Theee Movies of Tarzana vs. Pacific Theatres
Circa 1985 photo of then facade, different from Overview photo.
The theater is mentioned numerous times in Quentin Tarantino’s book “Cinema Speculation.” He writes about seeing “The Wild Bunch” and “Deliverance” there; when the theater, as he writes, was called the Tarzana Six Movies.