Cornell Theatre

1212 N. San Fernando Boulevard,
Burbank, CA 91504

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Showing 1 - 25 of 34 comments

superbu on December 17, 2021 at 3:57 pm

The Cornell and the Magnolia can be seen in the 1975 Gene Hackman film “Night Moves,” between 8 and 11 minutes into the film. The Cornell is just glimpsed briefly in a drive-by, but a whole scene is played out in front of the Magnolia.

DavidZornig on January 10, 2018 at 5:24 pm

1972 photo added via Robert Juzefski‎.

Kathyb on March 8, 2017 at 2:47 pm

I am trippin', just came across this site and wow…have so many good memories of the cornell theatre! I worked there for a couple of years1969-1970ish. As a box office/ candy girl with non other than the famous Rene Russo! Yes..she worked there and hung out with everyone…joe lankau, Anthony (something)…and others I cannot think of at the moment. The manager at that time was in his early 80’s I think? Cannot remember his name either. Anyway was very sad about 10 years ago when I discovered it was torn down…..they should keep buildings like that alive! We need the charm!

Susannahmitchell on August 10, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Anyone know of a Burbank movie theater in about 1957 that had plush chairs that rocked and had a crying room?

wilberfan on June 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm

I would have seen a lot of movies here in the early to mid 60s—but the only one I can remember is “Journey to the Seventh Planet”—probably because it scared the cheese out of me. I’ll bet I sat thru it more than once. Good times.

pocketplayer on August 11, 2015 at 9:34 am

WOW! This is a serious memory blast. To those who found this site, we are blessed. I’m not sure how one simple thought can trigger another, then another. The Internet of course changes everything. Thinking of the Cornell Movie Theater is like going back to another era of time. Only yesterday I was researching the ultimate bad guy, actor William Smith. IMDB him. He was in a movie about bikers and there was this hot woman. This was a powerful moment for a kid.

Yes, San Fernando Road is pretty much the same. McDonalds, Taco Bell, IHOP, Denny’s (now Harry’s), 31 Flavors…the architecture is the same, the era and times vastly different.

A movie on Saturday for $0.50…that’s two quarters! I remember how disappointed I was when movies were $0.75. This was unacceptable. Seriously…what is wrong with the world! I was about 12.

Billy Jack, Willy Wonka, and Jaws blew me away. I can remember where I sat when the head in Jaws rolled out. That freaked everyone out. Going home after Billy Jack with my friend Tony and fighting in his backyard like we were in the movie. A scene in Billy Jack where I laughed and everyone of my friends thought that was inappropriate. How awkward I felt. How I always wondered what was going on for me at that time. All these memories triggered because of this theater.

When the Cornell closed Burbank had five movie studios and no movie theaters. How ironic is that!

Paradisecove on February 10, 2015 at 11:20 am

@Socie71…Do you have any prints that I could buy? I also have many memories of this grand theater…please advise:

drb on December 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Just to give a better idea of exactly where this was, you can see the sign in the background here:

The Zody’s in the foreground is now K-Mart. The Cornell is two blocks away at, not surprisingly, Cornell Street.

hondo59 on December 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Hi Art,

That was me in NJ. I saw Josey and Chino at the Cornell. There was a pretty good size crowd that night. My parents and I were driving around the country in August of 1976. We stayed at a motel closeby (almost across the street) and we had a free evening so we took in two of our favorite actors. I have the ticket stubs to this day. I can’t believe it’s so long ago. I was sad to see a K-mart or something like that in its place. Double features were common then at the 2nd run theaters. What a way to catch up on movies! I hope you enjoyed the Wiltern. I’m sorry we didn’t get to go there as I know it’s a beautiful building.

aracinggrace on July 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I am looking for a Bill Darnell that use to hang out there in 1968-69. He rode a motorcycle and knew Dona Fleming.

Art1956 on June 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Someone mentioned seeing the double feature of Outlaw Josey Wales and Chino at the Cornell in 1976. I remember seeing the same double feature at the Wiltern in 1976. What great memories.Here’s a good link about the Cornell and other Burbank theatres of days gone by.

blauble on March 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I grew up and Burbank and have many memories of the Cornell. We used to go in to watch a movie on Saturday morning and sometimes stay thru 2 showings all for 49 cents. Saw my first James Bond (Thunderball) on one of those Saturdays. Because the Cornell was such a big part of our teenage lives, BHS class of 73 group pic was taken out front.

scoie71 on December 19, 2010 at 1:21 am

My Father managed the Cornell in the 70’s. His name was Tom Kalcoff. I was excited to see people talk about the Theatre I grew up in. I saw Jaws there and many other movies. When it closed down I remember we were all very sad. They built condos and a mini mall on the site. What a waste.. to a beautiful Burbank landmark. I was “as” devastated when they shut the doors on Big Dons Arcade as well. The old Burbank I grew up in.. how I miss it!

MagicLantern on June 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Now a pretty little avocado green strip mall.

tubbytwo on January 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm

The street has always been BLVD. It’s RD in Glendale and Sun Valley. If you see BLVD on a map, it’s wrong. Common mistake.

kencmcintyre on May 3, 2008 at 11:47 am

Here is another ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 8:01 pm

Here is a January 1955 ad from the LA Times:

kendalloei on June 8, 2007 at 11:22 am

The Cornell brings back so many memories. Used to buy strange toys from the vending machine in the men’s room like a doll that blows smoke rings and a little, treasure chest. Used to buy bullion soup from the concession stand. I used to love staring at the ceiling, which had stars painted on it. But the odd thing was that the a/c vents must never have been cleaned, because there were long veils of dust that reached half way across the ceiling. I remember seeing the following movies there:
Swiss Family Robinson X6
The Sting
The Great Waldo Pepper
Jaws/Giant Spider Invasion
Robin Hood (Disney animated)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Rooster Cogborn
Logan’s Run
Gone in 60 Seconds

Man! I miss the Cornell! When I win the lottery, I’m gonna build the Cornell and Marlindo Lanes back exactly as I remember them!

Lavarus on May 10, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I was born in Burbank, and lived there my first five years in a house on Beachwood, just off Burbank Blvd., from 1969-‘74.

Although very young, memories of going to the Cornell and seeing a variety of films (usually Disney movies) are very strong. Saw several animated features, like Bambi, along with a couple of Herbie The Love Bug movies. Can remember how sticky the floor always was—a permanent condition I could never understand.

Even after moving to nearby Sun Valley, Mom & I would still catch occasional flicks at the Cornell up until the time it closed for “remodeling.” What a cruel joke that turned out to be.

But I’ll always remember it as my very first movie theater.

MBentz on March 21, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Oh my gosh. What great memories. My brother and I used to come here on Saturday’s when we were kids in the early 70s. We’d each get to bring a friend. Mom would drop us off and then pick us up about four hours later…after a double feature. Which got us thinking…does anyone out there remember, in 1973 what film was showing with The Legend Of Hell House? For some goofy reason we have this stuck in our heads and we really want to remember what played with. Also saw “The Sting” there. I loved that place.

edgwlkr on February 7, 2007 at 1:48 pm

I met my first wife at the Cornell in 1957. She worked at the snack bar and I was there with friends to see a sneek preview. This month, February, we will celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary. Next month, March, we will have been together for 50 years. The Cornell has to be the greatest theater in the world, at least for me. It may be gone but the memories are still here. Any of you sit on the left side of the theater on Friday or Saturday nights as a teenager…?? Oh yeah, the first wife thing… My first and only wife…. Thank you Burbank. Thank you Cornell. Thank you Jeanne. Paulie Still Luvs Ya……

DamonC on May 17, 2006 at 1:21 pm

I recall seeing the original “Jaws” at that theater. I must have been 6 or 7 at the time. I don’t remember seeing many more movies but recall the theater being so HUGE, but everything is larger to a kid I guess. Sticky floors… that I’ll never forget.

It was a sad day when the wrecking ball came to town for the Cornell. I remember the strip mall being built on the new vacant land… One of the first businesses to inhabit that mall was “VIDEO DEPOT”. This must have been around 1982/83… this was one of the first video rental places in Burbank when Betamax and VHS were the options of tape format for watching movies at home.

I left Burbank after high school in the late 80’s but return to visit the folks. Nice to know that Tommy’s and Shakey’s are still around on San Fernando Rd. Pioneer Chicken has been replaced with Popeyes (I think).

drb on February 26, 2006 at 3:48 am

In one of the later photos at the Bijou Memories link above, you can see the sign from Pioneer Chicken, which is now Popeye’s, peeking out from behind the Cornell. The current Cornell site is now the Exotic Thai restaurant, Pizza Hut, Rocky’s Fish & Chicken, and a few other assorted businesses.

tessi on November 15, 2005 at 8:27 am

First word i learned to spell..over and over i would repeat it..
Taco Bell then off to the Movie ..took a paper sack in with goodies to supplement what we got at the stand…allways bought a set of magnitic dogs from the vending machine….i just found this site today and just discovered my place no longer exists..i Remember going there with my Grandfather many times to see the NEW Movies ,BAMBI,UNCLE TOMS CABIN,ECT….
No other walk ins has ever compared to this one in my Heart..
lost in great memories .
Thank You…