175 N. Vermont Avenue,
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A great small town theater which opened in February 1971 in a conversion of a former post office.
A former Bell and Howell projector engineer had a wacky idea to build a 35mm projector which could run daily without a projectionist. The engineer succeeded with his idea, but nobody wanted to try out the concept—so, he built his own theater–the Plaza Theater in Glendora, and used it as a show room for his invention with mix results.
The theater could be run by one person with no problem. The box-office, snack-bar, and the projector-started button was all in the same location. A great cost cutting idea. The projector system worked with little silver cues at the head and tail of the feature. These cues would know where to stop the print, turn on or off the lamp house, changeovers (if needed) and what direction the film should travel in. If a film took 100 minutes to screen, it would take 100 minutes to rewind. The projector system didn’t take off as the engineer was hopping for, but the theater did very well for the first few years.
By the early-1980’s, video started to kill the second run single screen houses, and by 1983 the Plaza Theater closed it’s doors. Until 1992, the owners always planned to re-open the complex, but never did. In 1995 the Plaza Theater was gutted for an office building. By 2018 it operates as a thrift store.
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