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A year-by-year, film-by-film history of 70-millimeter wide gauge exhibition in Orange County, California


 Compiled by Michael Coate and William Kallay



70mm Equipped Theatre Pictures

United Artists (Santa Ana)


Theatre Specifications
Chains: United Artists / Mitchell Bros.
Opened: July 14, 1965
Closed: During the late-1980s — Demolished in approx. 1991 or early 1992
Seats: Approx. 1000+


The UA Santa Ana opened on July 14, 1965 at the Honer Plaza shopping center on 17th Street.  Its first feature was “In Harm’s Way.”  This large theatre, though equipped to run 70mm, only showed two 70mm engagements: “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and “The Concert For Bangladesh.”


Perhaps the most famous aspect of the theatre was the eventual ownership by Jim and Arnie Mitchell, producers of the pornographic film, “Behind The Green Door.”  The brothers owned a chain of theatres, and this once luxurious theatre was turned into a controversial place.  They took over the theatre on September 3, 1975 with the engagement of their own film, “Sodam and Gomorrah.”


For years, city officials, residents and Charles Keating tried to close the theatre, having seen it as a blight on the neighborhood.  Who was Charles Keating?  He was charged with swindling money out of Lincoln Savings and Loan.  He was a “moral crusader” and made many public attempts at shutting down the Mitchell Bros. Santa Ana Theatre.  He finally succeeded, and by 1992, the theatre was demolished.




UA Santa Ana opening ad (July 14, 1965)


UA Santa Ana grand opening ad


UA Santa Ana


Ad for Mitchell Bros. chain, which took over the UA Santa Ana in 1975

[1] The Orange County Register / United Artists
[2] Anaheim Bulletin



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1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997      


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