Photo: Neil Nisperos
If you’ve ever been through Chino (and if not, why not?), you’re sure to have seen one of the city’s most striking buildings, the one-time movie theater on Central Avenue near Riverside Drive.
A tower has the word “Chino” in vertical letters, and according to a story by my colleague Neil Nisperos (he of the accompanying photo), the red neon, long gone, will soon be replaced at city expense.
Using redevelopment funds, the city will pay $15,000 for that work as well as $1,200 a year for electricity and upkeep for 20 years, plus $600 per year to the property owner.
The idea is that the sign will restore some beauty and interest to Chino’s main drag. Well, it can’t hurt.
The movie theater opened in 1947, around the same era as Upland’s Grove, which has a similar scale and look. In 1959, the theater became a 10-lane bowling alley, which lasted until 1991. Since 1992 it’s been the T-Shirt Mart.
That’s like a capsule history of the American economy!
I’d like to know more. Anyone want to share their memories of this building?