(also known as United Theatre, Garden Theatre, & Pussycat Anaheim)
305 West Lincoln, Anaheim, CA.
Current Use: Retail
The Grand (originally named the New Grand) opened in 1916 with a sold out screening of “Ramona” and the music of a seven piece band (fifteen and twenty-five cent tickets). Built at a cost of $35,000, the theatre was billed as a wonder of modern engineering; featuring fireproof construction (a legitimate concern in the days of highly flammable nitrate film stock) and a “perfumed air” ventilation system. While housing a large, 700 seat, auditorium, the venue’s lobby was little more than an entry hall, with a single sales point concession stand. The theatre’s box office was the traditional streetside booth. A pair of retail stores flanked the venue’s entrance and a complex of sixteen offices were located on the second floor.
Always independently owned, the Grand went through a series of name changes (New Grand, Grand, United, and Garden) and switched to second-run/”B” booking by the late 1950’s. During the 1960’s the theatre turned to “adults only” softcore films, which gave way to hardcore pornography by the 70’s (under the management of adult chain, Pussycat Theatres).
By the early 1980’s, the theatre was better known as a source of controversy, than historic cinema, as the city of Anaheim began a series of legal battles against the landlord and Pussycat Theatres. Eventually buying out the two parties, the city condemned the property and razed the building in 1983. A fixed income apartment complex was later built on the site, as part of a downtown revitalization project.
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