OUR HISTORY

The Star Theatre opened the 18th of August 1956 with the movie "Moby Dick" starring Gregory Peck. It was originally designed for a seating capacity of 986; 546 seats in the orchestra and 440 in the stepped loge section at the rear. Behind the loge seating area was a cry room equipped with electric fixtures for bottle warmers.  The auditorium was fitted with surround speakers built into the ceiling of the theater, for the 'then new' stereophonic movies.

 

Designed by architect William Glenn Balch, the Star was from an era when neon was king and every city was building a drive-in or walk-in theater.  The Star Theatre is the largest of  Balch's 17 theaters that were located in the state of California and the last one that is still open. The marquee boasted being the largest in San Diego County and has been noted for its spectacular animation.  It is one of the few remaining examples from its era. 

 

When the big screen theaters gave way to the multi-screen mega theaters, the Star fell into neglect and was closed.  In the 90's, it was restored and opened as a movie theater again. 

 

In 1998, it was awarded the ORCHID Award for Interior Design and Historic Preservation.

 

Again in 1998, The Star Theatre was named a Historic Resource.

 

May 2001 began the era of live performing arts when Poinsettia Center for the Arts reopened the Star Theatre as a performance base for all of Southern California to enjoy!

Below is an article from Box Office magazine dated October 20, 1956

© 2019 by the Star Theatre Company

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