El Monte Theatre
11006 Main Street,
11006 Main Street,El Monte, CA 91731
No one has favorited this theater yet
Showing 16 comments
Valley Mall has gone back to its historic name, Main Street. Address numbers are unchanged.
Google Street View shows that the modern address where the El Monte Theatre’s entrance used to be is 11006 Valley Mall. Current ground floor tenants are a pharmacy and what might be a clothing outlet or might be a garment industry sweatshop, or maybe both.
ArchitectDB says there is a “d” in the architect’s name: Heitschmidt. He worked on some pretty impressive projects, but usually as the associate of some better known lead architect.
As of April 2012 the El Monte Theatre has been transformed into a two story office complex with a dentist office on the second floor. A local developer purchased the theatre and built the dentist office for his daughter. He is developing a small night club and event center on the first floor and is considering knocking a large opening in the house left wall to have patio seating in the parking lot next to the theatre. Nothing remains of the original decor of the theatre and it is very difficult to see any traces of the theatre architecture except for the exterior blade sign.
The CBS show “48 Hours Mystery” had a shot of the theater marquee in a recent show.
A photo from Sept 2009:
It’s hard to believe now, but in the 1950’s this was a going concern. Around 1955, we went to see “Song of the South” at a Saturday matinee. We lined up down Valley, and when we finally got into the show, they were seating us IN THE AISLES on the floor, aligning a row with a seat row, filling each aisle about halfway across. I think they got an additional 2 or 3 kids per row doing this. Hey what did I know, it was 4th grade!
The building has been stripped bare, and they’re planning on using it for retail, so it’s not really a theater any more.
I stopped by yesterday. The vertical El Monte sign remains, but there’s little else left of this place.
The El Monte was built for Arthur Sanborn, founder of Sanborn Theatres, which today operates using the name The Movie Experience.
This is a website for a recently added theater in Temecula. I don’t know what the connection is between the El Monte and the Temecula theater:
Here are a couple nighttime shots (as mentioned above) from 1992:
The address listed above for the El Monte Theatre, 110 East Valley Boulevard, could be useful for searching old property records, but due to a street renumbering in the 1950’s and a renaming in the 1960’s, the current address of the theatre building is the one shown in the (now dead) picture link in Chuck 1231’s comment: 11020 Valley Mall. The zip code is 91731.
Construction of the El Monte Theatre was announced in the publication Southwest Builder and Contractor, issue of 2/3/1939. The theatre was being built for Arthur Sanborn, then the owner of El Monte’s Rialto Theatre (later renamed the Valley Theatre and operated by the Edwards Theatre Circuit) and the architect was Earl T. Heitschmit.
I think the facade of this theatre can be seen in Ed Wood’s “Jail Bait.”
I have a nighttime photo of the marquee from ‘92 when it was showing Spanish-subtitled films. Later it was being used as a legitimate theatre with Spanish language plays and vaudeville until one play that had some nudity got the place shut down! It’s been closed these last few years and the marquee has been removed. Oh well…