Coliseum Family Cinemas

136 Eastmont Mall,
Oakland, CA 94605

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: AMC Theatres

Previous Names: AMC Eastmont 4 Theatres, Four Star Cinema

Nearby Theaters

Coliseum Family Cinemas

Opened as a 1,300-seat theatre August 18, 1971. This fourplex, located in Oakland’s Eastmont Mall, is probably best-known as a major exhibitor of many “blaxploitation” films during the early-1970’s.

It was subsequently known as Four Star Cinema from December 19, 1980 and later
as Coliseum Family Cinemas. It was closed at the end of July 1997.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on May 10, 2005 at 3:11 pm

Also showed a lot of kung-fu in the 1970’s. Those were the days!

zombie1007
zombie1007 on December 15, 2007 at 11:48 pm

When I was a kid I watched a double feature of The Karate Kid and Gremlins at eastmont! Those were the good ol' days I have no memory of it ever being a rough theater at all.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on December 27, 2007 at 4:30 pm

This theater opened originally in April 1970.

From www.reeldistraction.com, this was the programming for that theater on Dec 25, 1974 (they had a copy of the Oakland Tribune theater guide listing):

  1. Abby 3:30, 7:00, 10:30
    Black Caesar 1:45, 5:15, 8:45
  2. Black Belt Jones 3:25, 6:45, 10:05
    Cleopatra Jones 1:45, 5:05, 8:25
  3. Boss Nigger 3:35, 6:55, 10:15 (Legend of Boss Nigger)
    Green Hornet 1:55, 5:15, 8:35 (Kato & the Green Hornet—This was a theatrical compilation of 3 Green Hornet TV episodes from the 1960s that were edited together to make a feature. It was done to cash in on the death of Bruce Lee, who played Kato on the show.)
  4. Lady Sings the Blues 4:00, 9:00
    Education of Sonny Carson 2:00, 7:00

Ad also stated “Under 16 not admitted unless accompanied by an adult-Evening performances only”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

The September 13, 1971, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that AMC’s Eastmont 4 Theatres had opened to the public on August 18, 1971. Total seating capacity was given as 1300, with two 350 seat and two 300 seat auditoriums.

Dougan66
Dougan66 on August 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I remember going here a few times whith my parents when I was really really little. I can vididly remember seeing LIVE AND LET DIE (In which I today think were 2nd run showings, but started my fandom with 007.) and ORCA The Killer Whale.

When my family moved to Oakland in the mid-80’s, as a teen I began patronizing the movies here often with my younger brother, sometimes alone. It was then I noticed the cinema had been relocated to another part of the mall. Saw more 2nd run and B-fare there then I’d care to list.

I think the previous comment made about the Four Star Cinema’s clientele is greatly exaggeraed. True, Eastmont Mall wasn’t located in the ‘burbs, and the audiences could be a little rowdy… (which was part of the charm imo!) but me and mine were nice middle-class kids, and we never had any problems when spending an afternoon there.

robertcampbell
robertcampbell on September 27, 2015 at 10:49 am

Chuck Johnson, had a great tv show on KEMO Channel 20 called Soul Beat. His studio was located in the Eastmont Mall. He took over operation of the theater, changing the name to the “Soul Beat Cinemas”.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 11, 2018 at 6:51 pm

This opened on August 18th, 1971. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 13, 2018 at 4:49 pm

This reopened as the Four Star Four on December 19th, 1980. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rockyroadz
rockyroadz on August 29, 2022 at 6:49 pm

The Four Star/Coliseum Family Cinemas at Eastmont Mall must have closed at the end of July 1997 as this July 24th ad, is the last one listed in the Oakland Tribune. The ads no longer appear after that. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/108576502/last-movie-listing-for-coliseum-family/

Jamey_monroe45
Jamey_monroe45 on July 27, 2023 at 10:10 am

Living 2 blocks from there (!), I distinctly remember this theatre being opened a year after the mall did…

That mall actually had EVERYTHING FOR 1971!

4 screen movie theater, JCP, The Wherehouse (started as a Record Factory!), Safeway, Montgomery Ward, Roos Atkins (!), Orange Jullius (!), Gallenkamp, Selix Tuxedos, a library, H.S. Salt fish and chips and yes A BAR IN FRONT OF THE MALL! Those days are long gone but tne memories still linger!

And yes this was happening while the Oakland A’s (down the street) won 3 World Series in a row!

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