Glendora Theatre

108 W. Foothill Boulevard,
Glendora, CA 91741

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Western Amusement Company Inc.

Architects: John Cyril Bennett

Previous Names: Mission Theatre, Beacon Theatre

Nearby Theaters

The Mission Theatre was opened prior to 1923. It was equipped with a Smith 7 ranks pipe organ. It was closed in 1967 and was demolished in 1968.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 27, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I can’t say on the other theaters. I know on this one it confirms Joe’s note that Statewide was the operator in the latter period of the theater’s existence. It also tells us which other theaters were controlled by Statewide in 1964, which is a good reference point if that question is raised.

William on August 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm

That booking list does not show all of them.

kencmcintyre on August 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

No, but it shows some of the Statewide theaters at that time. Plus it was Pia Zadora’s first film. Can’t beat that.

kencmcintyre on August 27, 2009 at 8:01 pm

That’s a good one.

petercapescu on June 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I was 10-years old when the Glendora Theatre was torn down to make way for a grocery store. I was so sad. Every Saturday I used to go see whatever movies were playing. For $.35 I purchased admission and used the remaining $.65 from my dollar to purchase snacks. I loved this theatre. No one was sadder to see it go than I was. I wish I could find more photos of it.

Crusadercat on January 26, 2013 at 1:03 am

I remember going here as a child. I saw “Hard Days Night,” “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” and “To Sir With Love,” as well as many other movies here. I remember the balcony with the camera room. I also remember the ladies room, and that black and red carpet! I can’t find a reference to the theater that operated in Glendora in the 1970’s at the site of the old post office. I think it was on Vermont and Meda Ave.

AndrewBarrett on October 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David Junchen, pg. 628, the “Glendora (Mission) Th.” in Glendora, California had a two-manual, 7-rank Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1923. The organ’s Spencer blower serial # was 15129, and it was driven by a 2 horsepower motor, producing 10" of wind (measured in inches water column).

According to the book, this organ bore the “Smith” nameplate, here meaning it was during the brief period that Mr. Smith again had his own firm under his own name, after leaving the Seeburg-Smith partnership in Chicago, but before moving to Geneva, Illinois (Smith-Geneva), and still later moving to Alameda, California, and partnering with Leathurby to sell instruments on the west coast (Leathurby-Smith, apparently the final incarnation of the firm as an organ manufacturing entity).

Given that the information for this organ is so complete compared to most other Smith organs listed in this section of the book, I am inclined to believe that this organ still existed circa 1983-1989 when Mr. Junchen’s book was compiled, and that Mr. Junchen was able either to personally inspect it, or to get the information from the owner.

Does anybody know where this organ, or its parts, are today?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm

It’s unfortunate that we have no photos of the Glendora Theatre. Though architect John Cyril Bennett (his firm was, though 1923, billed as J. Cyril Bennett, Architect) was not known primarily for theater designs, he did design one of the region’s iconic movie houses, the Raymond Theatre in Pasadena, as well as the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (with Fitch Harrison Haskell, his partner in Bennett & Haskell, founded 1924) and collaborated with architect Elmer Grey on the design of the Pasadena Playhouse.

Construction on the Glendora (Mission) Theatre began around April 1, 1923. The town had had an earlier movie house, called the Glendora Theatre, which had been in operation by 1916, but I’ve been unable to discover what became of it. The second Glendora Theatre was closed in 1967 and was demolished in 1968.

The McDonald brothers, who sold the Beacon Theatre to H. E. Brookings in 1938, soon took over the hamburger stand their father had opened in nearby Monrovia in 1937, and it’s likely that the capital they got from selling the theater to Mr. Brookings helped them on their way to establishing their eponymous fast food chain.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 27, 2018 at 4:23 am

Thanks, Ron. I’ve always wondered what this theater looked like.

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