Cinema Panorama

9110 Van Nuys Boulevard,
Panorama City, CA 91402

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Metropolitan Theatres

Architects: William L. Pereira

Functions: Church

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Panorama Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Panorama Theatre

Opened on December 20, 1949 with Milton Berle in “Always Leave Them Laughing”. Film stars Milton Berle & Virginia Mayo appeared ‘in person’. It was a single screen with 1,000-seats. The Panorama Theatre was converted into a two screen theatre in the 1970’s era and on November 21, 1975 began screening Spanish language movies when it was renamed Cinema Panorama. In 1976 it was taken over by the Metropolitan Theatres chain. It closed in 1994 and now serves as a ‘church’ for the Brazilian based Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

Contributed by jeff Zimmer

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

robinto44
robinto44 on August 5, 2011 at 12:14 am

My grandfather, Max Torodor was one of the three original partners. My father, Don Torodor managed the theater for many years. I remember spending so much of my childhood there helping the “candy girls” as we called them and having crushes on the ushers. I also remember my sister and I being allowed to go up to the projection room with Forest, the Projectionist and watch the movies from there. It always had a wonderful musty smell combined with the smell of buttered popcorn. I remember a Beatle movie, maybe “Help”? They sold Beatles memorabilia on the counter and I swear I remember them selling Beatle wigs!?!? I also remember very scary Vincent Price movies. I was too young to see a lot of the movies that were shown. I was born in 1957 so I probably wasn’t hanging out there until at least 1962. Does anyone remember Alfedo Gonzales? He started out taking tickets at the door and was “promoted” to the candy counter. From there to Assistant Manager and then to Manager!! He is a wonderful person. Many years later he approached my dad about opening his first restaurant “La Serenita” which he finally opened next door to the theater, where CHICHI’s Pizza used to be. A friend of mine just sent me this link and it was so great to read all posts. What a trip down memory lane!

holland53
holland53 on October 31, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Great comments. Wonderful memories including the “crying room”. Was in those days a “chic” theater. Saturdays were always matinees with at least 2 films (mostly science-fiction) and a series (you had to keep coming back). This is around ‘62-'65. Saw Hard Day’s Night and Help there, as well as countless (musical)films. In those days you could stay and watch a film(s) again without paying extra. Wonder if Bill Robinson or Alfredo remember the usher, Jay Hammond, from late 50’s/early 60’s. Thanks for this wonderful walk down memory lane.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

This opened on December 19th, 1949. It’s grand opening ad has been uploaded here.

radavis33
radavis33 on March 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm

The nine photos I uploaded today were taken by me in July 2004, on a nostalgia drive through the Valley (where I lived from 1953 through 1973). I remember spending many late 50s – early 60s summer days at this theater with my friends watching almost exclusively Sci-Fi. We saw The Time Machine six times, with all but one as 2nd feature. I recall the crying room, as well as the shock of leaving the darkened theater (via the rear exit) after watching two movies, to find that it was still bright outside – with plenty of time left to play.

holland53
holland53 on March 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Thanks very much for the nine photos radavis33. Haunting pictures, as I do remember all those different locations in/out of the theater. After Americana Theater opened Panorama Theater lost a lot of business. Strange—I don’t remember at all when it had two theaters. It was one big red-pluched hall with lights on the side walls. There was also a bench outside of the restrooms—if you misbehaved you had to sit there until the usher said you could leave.

MRCSH
MRCSH on September 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm

A longtime tradition in our family was Saturday night dinner at Chi-Chi’s, followed by a movie at the Panorama Theatre. Whatever happened to crying rooms?? It was and still is a great idea.

cxm0503
cxm0503 on July 23, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Where is that time capsule pray tell??!!

rivest266
rivest266 on March 14, 2021 at 10:12 am

Reopened as Cinema Panorama showing Mexican movies on November 21st, 1975, and became part of the Metropolitan chain in 1976.

rivest266
rivest266 on March 15, 2021 at 2:52 pm

Disappeared from “La Opinion”, the Spanish-language newspaper listings in 1994.

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