Interesting Facts About El Cerrito and Its Movie Theaters



The Cerrito Classics series will return in September. In the meantime, here are some questions and answers about the city of El Cerrito and its movie theaters:

  1. When did the Cerrito Theater first open?
  2. What was the first movie to play at the Cerrito?
  3. How many movie theaters have there been in El Cerrito since the city was founded?
  4. When was the city of El Cerrito incorporated?

You can read the answers to these questions below, under the picture:



  1. The Cerrito Theater opened on December 25, 1937.
  2. The opening movie was “Thin Ice,” starring Olympic gold medalist skater Sonja Henie and heartthrob Tyrone Power.
  3. There have been four movie theaters in El Cerrito.  The first was the Cerrito in 1937.  During the 1940’s the same company opened a drive-in, El Cerrito Motor Movies, located in what is now the El Cerrito Plaza. During that same period the company also ran the Vista Theater on San Pablo Avenue (where Atlas Liquors is currently located).  Finally, in the 1970’s a chain owned by Jerry Lewis opened a two-screen theater at San Pablo Avenue and Moeser (in the space currently occupied by a Laundromat and H&R Block).
  4. El Cerrito was incorporated in 1917, so get ready to have a big hundredth birthday celebration in two years!

See you in September!

Let’s Talk More About Classic Movies

romancesThe Cerrito Classics series is returning in September. Until then, we’re talking about classic movies. Last month we talked about comedies. This month it’s romances.

Please post your favorite classic romantic movie on (you can do it by clicking on “leave a reply” at the bottom of this posting). Anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or WordPress account can do it. By posting your answer there it will keep all the responses in one place, so everyone can see them. If you don’t have any of these accounts you can send mail to and we will post it for you. Once you’ve posted your response, please check back to see what others are saying.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you again in September!

Let’s Talk About Classic Movies

comediesThe Cerrito Classics series will return in September. Until then, let’s talk about classic movies. We’ll start with comedies.

Please respond to this message by telling us about your favorite classic comedy. Your response can be as simple as naming a movie, or you can write a paragraph saying what you like about it.

Anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or WordPress account can respond on (the web site of the Friends of the Cerrito Theater). Please post your responses there so that everything will be in one place.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you again in September!