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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Early History Of Festival Cinemas-Stockton California

   
Author Topic: Early History Of Festival Cinemas-Stockton California
Floyd E. Perry, Jr.
New Member

Posts: 37
From: Stockton, CA
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 07, 2006 09:13 PM      Profile for Floyd E. Perry, Jr.   Email Floyd E. Perry, Jr.         Edit/Delete Post 
I did some researching today at the public library looking through the Stockton Record Microfilm. I found out that the now gone "Festival Cinemas" (replaced ironically by a "Chuck E Cheese Pizza Time Theatre") opened its doors to the public on Wednesday November 13, 1974. It was built by Festival Enterprises of Walnut Creek and cost $900,000. It was Festival's 4TH theatre(according to the article) but the first in the Central Valley( The other theatres were located in Walnut Creek, Concord, and Hayward). When the Festival Cinemas first opened in Stockton, it was initially called the "Festival Cinema Center". They were the first multiplex to open in Stockton and had 4 screens with one auditorium with 500 seats,another one with 460 seats and the last two with 250 seats for a total of 1460 seats. The manager at the time of opening was Philip Garber(formerly manager of the historic Fox California Theatre and later in 1979 to manage Festival's other cinema complex, The Regency) and the projectionist was Woody Wilson who had previously worked at the Stockton Theatre and the West Lane/Hammer Drive In Theatres. The First four movies to be shown at the Festival was: 1.)"The Gambler" 2.)"The Odessa File" 3.)"Gold" 4.)"Law And Disorder. The admission prices were $2.75 evenings and $1.25 Bargain Matinee. The following was printed in the ad for the new "Festival Cinema Center" in the newspaper: "A new dimension in motion picture enjoyment-4cinemas in one building-all loge seats-acres free parking-At Festival Cinemas, You'll always have your choice of our great film programs all playing in one modern theatre complex...you can be sure there will always be something for everyone." I hope everyone enjoyed reading this bit of history. I am kind of curious on when Festival Enterprises opened the other theatres in other Central Valley cities of Modesto, Fresno, etc.? Anyone else like to add to this?

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Bobby Richardson
New Member

Posts: 5
From: Laguna Beach, CA
Registered: May 2006


 - posted May 05, 2006 12:15 AM      Profile for Bobby Richardson           Edit/Delete Post 
The prices sounded great. Now we charge way to much.

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 05, 2006 01:23 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
I am trying to remember when the Festival 6 in Fresno opened... I think it was 1975... 1976... somewhere around that time. The Fig Garden theater opened as a twin under different ownership (Lippert Theaters) in the early 70's. Their other complex, the Regency 6 in Clovis, didn't open until around 1981 or 1982. Someday I will have to get down to the main library and dig through old newspaper microfilms!

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Eric Hooper
Member

Posts: 107
From: Santa Clara, CA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted May 05, 2006 03:08 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
I grew up with the Festival Cinemas in Hayward. Was originally 6 screens and expanded to 9 in 1987-ish.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted May 05, 2006 09:55 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah. Festival is a hard chain to find info on. I only knew Festival once Mann purchased them, but I really enjoyed the wood panelling and awful gilded poster frames all the theatres had.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of their theatres. One wall of doors and snaking hallways to your theatres. I thought seeing a six-plex was something until I saw the Hayward 9... that was one long row of doors.

I'll always kick myself for not getting a picture of the Festival 5 in Walnut Creek. I drove past it often but never stopped cause it was on such a busy street. It also intrigued me that it had two separate entrances, much like the Dublin 6 intrigued me too.

Anyway -- if anybody ever comes across anything Festival related... remind me to squeal like a little piggy.

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Eric Hooper
Member

Posts: 107
From: Santa Clara, CA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted May 10, 2006 01:34 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
The Crow Canyon Cinema in San Ramon, CA was also Festival location. It then became a Mann, then Signature, and now it's Regal.

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Daniel Fuentz
Member

Posts: 212
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted May 12, 2006 01:23 AM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz         Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, the wood "strips" on the auditorium walls were certainly distinctive!

How many ex-Festival locations are still with us? I only know the fates of the Fresno locations:

Fig Garden 4: Demolished 2005

Festival 6: Gutted and turned into an auto body shop, unrecognizeable as a theater

Regency 6: Turned into some crummy banquet hall thing. Building is in same configuration as movie theater with 3 sets of doors on either side of the lobby.

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Eric Hooper
Member

Posts: 107
From: Santa Clara, CA
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted May 17, 2006 12:02 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper         Edit/Delete Post 
Festival 9 in Hayward is demolished.

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