Paradise Twin Cinema

1001 Harbison Drive,
National City, CA 91950

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet


View address on Google Maps

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jerry Lewis Cinemas

Functions: Church

Nearby Theaters

No theaters found within 30 miles

Abe and Esther Bokow wanted to open a family-friendly twin-screen English language cinema - something National City hadn’t had for some time - in 1972. But they decided against hitching to the meteoric rise that was the Jerry Lewis Circuit opting for the turnkey approach of International Cinema Corp, of Beverly Hills. International was a feature film distributor trying to get in the franchised exhibition space which Modular Cinema, National General, Jerry Lewis and many others were playing.

The International Cinema Corp. concept apparently was to take the Jerry Lewis Cinema model and undercut the inflated prices that National Cinema Corporation was forcing franchisees to pay for equipment and supplies. The Paradise Twin was named for its neighborhood, Paradise Village and at the confluence of it, Paradise Hills and Paradise Valley. It was situated in a nondescript shopping center next to an Alpa-Beta Grocery Store for which the - then - Alpha-Beta Shopping Center was named.

National City Mayor Kile Morgan was on hand to cut the ribbon as the theatre launched on August 16, 1973. The operators used the automated equipment to grind out five showtimes of “Poseidon Adventure” and “Hot Rock” on Paradise One and three shows of “Sound of Music” on Paradise Two.

The family-friendly policy drifted in March of 1975 when the double-feature of (X-Rated) “Country Cuzzins” and “Country Hookers” graced Paradise Two. But the theatre closed in 1976 and was offered at auction by the Small Business Administration. The theatre relaunched under the same name on February 3, 1977 but now grinding Filipino films on “Paradise One” and Hollywood fare on screen two.

The automated equipment was still there given the listed showtimes. The Filipino “Paradise One "showtimes for "Lulubog lilitaw sa ilalim ng tulay” / “Buhay Bambero” were 12:30 (LL), 2:55 (BB), 5:03 (LL), 7:28 (BB), 9:36 (LL) and an additional late screening of LL. “Paradise Two” eked out seven showtimes for Carrie/Rollerball at 12:30 ©, 2:17 ®, 3:55 ©, 5:45 ®, ,7:20 ©, 9:07 ®, and 10:54 ©. The theatre also had the films, “Dogs”, advertised as shot in nearby Chula Vista paired with “The Enforcer” early in its run.

In September of 1977 the Paradise Two featured the controversial 1976 feature film, “Snuff” prompted a successful picket by locals and saving wanton wear and tear of the film prints. Far East Cinema took over the operation in December of 1977 continuing the Filipino / Hollywood grindhouse. The projectors were deprogrammed on April 30, 1979.

The theatre was sold in a Trustee’s Sale in 1987 and would become home to at least two different houses of worship. In the 2020’s, it was still high recognizable as a former Jerry Lewis Cinema knock-off with four poster frames and its box office still visible.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.