This old theater which had been a mainstay on the famous Orange Avenue since 1947 in the beautiful seaside town of Coronado recently underwent a massive remodel to bring the theater back to life. The Vintage Cinemas group bought the shuttered and decayed place and thoughtfully invested a tremendous amount of work into refurbishing it to its new luster.
The box office is located in its original setting, near the sidewalk making it convenient for locals and tourists to walk right up and buy tickets after strolling the shops and cafes on Orange Avenue. I stood inside the lobby and found the designs and colors to blend well and appeal to the eye. Deco period lighting throughout the building as well as carpet and freshly painted walls set the tone for this classically designed throw back theater. The original swirled tile was kept near the backside of the box office leading to the porthole door to the box office.
Inside, one large theater is flanked by two smaller theaters with a different movie showing in each one. Hand painted murals with historical San Diego scenes of Balboa Park’s buildings and the downtown skyline grace the walls and include special lighting to add to the effect. The legendary Hotel Del Coronado stands out on one wall perfectly depicting the historical hotel. Old style neon lighting surrounding the stage curtains and dimmed lighting brings attention to the wall murals as a retro characterization of San Diego. Drawing on years past is an etched glass showcase with old movie posters and another with construction pictures before and after the new project.
On a sunny Coronado afternoon, people wearing casual clothing of shorts and sandals headed right to the concession stand to buy freshly made popcorn and drinks before the movie began. Locals I spoke with loved the comfy seats and said the community is pleased to have this special movie house adding to the charm of the village.
Show times for current release and 3D movies can be found at www.eCoronado.com along with prices for bargain times, seniors and children. Or call 619.437.6161 for movie times and if the phone number seems familiar, 6161 is the original number from the ‘40s.
What used to be old is new again and memories continue to be made here.
Vintage Village Theatre
820 Orange Avenue