Pomona Valley Auditorium

235 W. 3rd Street,
Pomona, CA 91766

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Architects: Phillip W. Holler, Mendel Meyer

Firms: Meyer & Holler

Functions: Church

Styles: Egyptian

Previous Names: Fox California Theatre, United Artists Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Pomona Valley Auditorium

The California Theatre opened on November 27, 1923 with Buster Keaton in “Hospitality. The Wurlitzer organ was opened by organist Eddie Horton. By 1941 it was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres. From December 2, 1949 it was operated by United Artists and renamed United Artists Theatre. It later became a concert venue named Pomona Valley Auditorium. It is now a church.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Here is a March 1970 ad from the Pomona Progress-Bulletin:

kencmcintyre on January 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I think this was a church when I was out there a while ago.

BillCounter on March 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Several Pomona theatres I don’t see listings for:

La Pictoria 478 W. 2nd St.
— in the 1912/13 and 1914 city directories

Lyric Theatre 366 W. 2nd St., Pomona
— in the 1912/13 through 1926 city directories

Fraternal Aid Opera House ne corner Gordon & 3rd, Pomona
— in the 1912/13 and 1914 city directories

I see Sammie Girl was asking about the Lyric in 2008.

BillCounter on March 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Also in Pomona:

American Theatre — 470 W. 2nd
It’s in the 1919/20 and 1923/24 city directories. In the classified section for 1923/24 it’s listed as an Ontario address, but obviously a mistake. There’s no listing for 1926.

Gartley on April 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I began my theatre career at United Artists Pomona in 1966, where I met my wife, Sherry, who was a cashier for Mr. Walcott, the manager. Since I was hanging around the theatre so much, Mr. Walcott put me to work as the marquee boy to replace Rusty, who went to Vietnam. Mr. Walcott had a prosthetic leg and would have to carry the film upstairs one reel at a time. He was an old time performer who would entertain the staff during slow times by actually hypnotizing some of the employees. When Mr. Walcott became ill, he was replaced by Charles McCann, who managed for a few years longer. Elderly Mr. McCann would bring his equally elderly wife to work with him, and she would sew the torn masking and drapes in the building. He was dismayed that the company (UA) did not show enough appreciation for his wife’s efforts. We fondly remember some of the employees from those times — Mr. and Mrs. Deem, Carol Deem, and Linda Marshall. The projectors were carbon arc and there were a series of ancient dressing rooms under the stage which were definitely haunted. I’m 65 now and my wife and I are still, happily, in the theatre business.

rivest266 on March 27, 2021 at 1:23 pm

Reopened as the United Artists theatre on December 2nd, 1949. Another grand opening ad posted.

terrancebuttry on October 22, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Replying to Joe Vogel: This theater had a true balcony. There were two “L” shaped staircases that led from the ground floor lobby up to the balcony lobby. When first opened, this theater was accessed through the adjacent building to the right. Here is a link from around 1926: https://content.ci.pomona.ca.us/digital/collection/Landmarks/id/2512/rec/102 In the picture, you can see the old facade of the auditorium section (which is the smaller darker building to the left) is flat and flush. That is where the long skinny back lobby portion was. It was very plain and drab because it was not the main entrance. Sometime in the 30s, the marque and entrance was moved around the corner to where the two exits are. In a nutshell, I’m trying to say that the two side exits were for egress for all patrons. The balcony patrons had to come down the staircases to the main lobby before exiting the theater. I know this for a fact as I snuck in as a kid to explore. At that time, the theater was being remodeled again in order to become the Pomona Valley Auditorium.

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