Fremont Theatre

1025 Monterey Street,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

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Related Websites

The Movie Experience (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Movie Experience

Previously operated by: Edwards Cinemas, Fox Theatres (Reading, PA), National General Theatres

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (First Run)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 805.541.2141

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News About This Theater

Fremont Theatre

Construction began in 1940 and the Fremont Theatre opened May 29, 1942. It has the large original main theatre that is painted inside. In recent years three more screens have been added in an adjacent building, making this a four-plex showing first run movies.

The theatre is also used for the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and has been operated at different times by Fox, National General, Mann, and then Edwards Cinemas.

Now operated by the independent ‘The Movie Experience’ chain

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 43 comments)

DCalvert on February 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Attn: Jimnam,
I used to Manage the Fremont Theater between March of ‘07 to '09. I started the Rewind Series that everyone in this forum is talking about. Even though I no longer work for the company, I think your complaints are silly and unwarranted. First things first: In order to make a real complaint and make your little home movie with your 3CCD camera, maybe you need a little education on how the business actually works.
First and foremost, The Fremont theater is not owned by the Movie Experience. It’s just operated by the Movie Experience. I had tried to get repairs done to both the Fremont and the Mission theaters for my entire duration of employment. The Fremont and Mission theaters are owned by The Rutledge Co. Any time there was something wrong with the theater, we were not allowed to fix it. It had to be taken care of by the Rutledge Co. which meant sometimes weeks of waiting for a simple repair that I could have done with 20 bucks and an hours time. But I had my procedures to follow. I tried to get them to update the snack bar for years, but to my dismay, it’ll probably never happen. The problem is the Fremont Theater is a historical Building in San Luis Obispo, and any kind of major changes to the building compromise it’s integrity. There are a lot of faucets one must travel down to get any real changes made to the building. It doesn’t always come down to the price as you suggest.
You seem to think that just because ticket prices are “outrageous” that the Movie Experience is a rich company and can just dump every dollar back into the theater for repairs and renovations. I don’t know if you own your own business but there is a thing called “Over-Head” that business have to account for.
To address your concern about ticket prices; What most people don’t know is that Movie theater companies, be it The Movie Experience, Regal, AMC etc. etc. make very little profit from ticket sales. By “very little”, I mean less than 10% of each ticket sale goes to the Exhibitor. Film costs are set by the studios themselves. When the costs of securing a film from a studio by the exhibitor to show in a theater; goes up…so do the exhibitor’s costs. Studios have their own over head as well. First, there’s the cost of making a movie, then there’s the cost of promoting a movie, and of course the ever changing and evolving entertainment industry expenses. Not to mention that everything in the entertainment industry is cause and effect. You see, less and less people are going to movies these days because of online internet piracy. Therefore, your big blockbuster movies are not attracting as many people and theaters are not packing the houses like they used to. So, studios raise their prices to distribute the picture to cover the costs of lost revenue, and exhibitors have to raise their prices to the public for admission. Cause and Effect. I suggest before you make your home movie trying to defame an industry you know absolutely nothing about, you take your complaints to NBC Universal, Warner Bros. or Paramount Pictures. Write them letters and see how many responses you get.
Truth be told; there is so much that goes into running a movie theater that a troll like yourself can’t even begin to comprehend. Do you have any idea how much electricity is wired to the Fremont theater? No, of course you don’t because you don’t run the Fremont theater. I promise you, an electric bill from the Fremont theater is astronomical. There are also subtle changes happening to, Both The Fremont and the Downtown theaters all the time that the average consumer just doesn’t know about. For example, during my time at the Fremont theater; a brand new state of the art digital projector was installed for better sound and a more clear and high definition picture. A new 52 foot silver screen was installed. The sound system was upgraded. A computer P.O.S system was installed which was a nice upgrade from the manual ticket sales. A new sanitation room was built to provide better cleanliness and sanitation to our guests. And both the Fremont and Mission theaters were retrofitted for earthquake safety and fire safety.
Do you have any clue how much all of that stuff costs? I’ll give you a clue….A LOT! You seem to think that because you paid 13.50$ for a ticket that both theaters can be upgraded over night? Let me ask you this…Have you ever modified your home? Perhaps built an extra room or added on to the living room? Or just decided to upgrade your bathroom? If you have…did you just go out, spend a bunch of money and get it done over night? No, of course you didn’t because A) no one is that stupid to make such a gross decision over night and B) IT CAN’T BE DONE!! Years of planning go into remodeling and upgrades. YEARS! Especially for something as ambitious as remodeling a movie theater.
I hope I’ve made my point about the ticket prices and your concerns about the conditions of the theaters. In short, movie theaters have very little say about ticket prices and upgrades to the theaters are being made all the time…but it’s all in moderation. It’s not all going to be done over night and certainly not when it’s convenient for you and your troll friends.
To address your concerns about management: I can promise you that Heather is great manager. We, as General Managers can’t be everywhere at one time. However, if a complaint was made about my employees and the efficiency of their job I would address it. Just not in front of you. If a guest made a complaint about their experience and my staff did a less than stellar job to fix the problem, I would encourage them to talk to me personally and I will talk to said employee behind closed doors. Which I am sure is what Heather did with her employees after your complaint. If said problem occurs again and is brought to my attention again then I would terminate employment with that employee. It’s really as simple as that. We can’t be everywhere so in all honesty, we rely on guests to let us know when they have a less than pleasant experience at our theaters, this way we can fix problems that go unnoticed while were taking care of other matters. But there’s a tactful way to do so. Taking your complaint to the papers and news channels and to the internet and making your stupid home movie is not the mature thing to do and really shows your inability to do the proper investigatory work necessary to make such a complaint.
In closing, I hope this informs you a little on how things really work and that you understand that this isn’t the damn 80’s anymore. Yeah, I remember a time when movies were 3.50 to get in…but I also remember a time when gasoline was .98 cents a gallon. I also know that you can’t go to a car dealership and say “Your car is too expensive. I would like to only pay half price for this brand new luxury BMW”. Grow up. It’s 2011. Nothing is cheap anymore. My suggestion: If you think you can do it better, open your own movie theater and we’ll see how long your doors are open.

YMike on August 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm

On the DVD of the Laurel & Hardy film “A Haunting We Will Go” there is a “Movietone” newsreel showing the opening day for this theatre in 1940.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

A few 2011 photos can be seen here, here and here.

SLOnative on April 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm

The Fremont opened during the war in 1942. Thanks for the tip on the “A Haunting We Will Go” DVD extra.

paulnelson on November 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Great neon on the Fremont marquee. Very impressive.

DavidZornig on July 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Surf Night photo added credit Coach Warnes.

Flix70 on October 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I was in SLO last week and drove by the Fremont. No movie was listed on the marquee, just forthcoming concerts and music events.

According to the Fremont’s Facebook page, the last film screened was “Birth of a Nation” Oct. 7 – 11.

I visited the Movie Experience’s website and nothing comes up when you click on the Fremont icon.

Anyone know more? I’d have to think someone would have made a post here if indeed the Fremont had been repurposed.

Trolleyguy on May 3, 2017 at 7:23 am

The website lists current films being shown at this theatre.

Movieman65 on August 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm

While I was stationed at Fort Hunter Liggett during the mid eighties,I watched quite a few movies here including Beverly Hills Cop,Ferris Buellers Day off,and a fantastic double feature of Teachers and Body Double. It was a beautiful theater with a gorgeous lobby. I see it pop up in films now and then.

Flix70 on September 5, 2017 at 9:46 am

There are no films currently being shown at this theater. Visit the Movie Experience website, click on the Fremont icon and you get nothing, just blank space. Seriously, has anyone seen a movie here since last October? Do tell.

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