About a mile away
from Interstate 5,
and up on
sat the mostly forgotten Century 21 Theatre. It was opened by the Statewide
Theatre Circuit. Virtually identical to the Valley Plaza Theatre in
the Inland Cinema in San Bernardino, and the Mann 21 in San Diego,
Anaheim’s Century 21 broke ground on March 19, 1965. It opened on
June 30, 1965. The theatre was designed by the
San Diego firm of
Tucker, Salder and Bennett.
Though there is no
record of a 70mm engagement ever playing at the Century 21, the
theatre was built for large format projection, according to trade
coverage, and featured a
large widescreen and a drive-up box office. The auditorium held
1250 seats, according to the opening day ad (see below).
advertisements and speaking to local residents, it appears that the
theatre wasn’t successful, or even remembered. Bring up the subject
of the Fox Theatre, many people in the area remember it fondly,
especially when it was torn down. Bring up the
Brookhurst, people will recall them, too. But the Century 21 has
seemingly been forgotten. It could be possible that its location
was a factor, since it sat about a mile from the Interstate 5
Freeway in a pretty non-descript area.
By 1974, the
auditorium was split in half to accommodate more movies. The end
result was a long auditorium with red curtains, making it seem like
the screen was a million miles away from viewers in the back rows.
The theatre closed by the late-‘70s and was
replaced by two fast food restaurants and office buildings.