In what could easy be viewed as one of the more surprising of survival stories, the Santa Ana/South Coast Metro area’s Village Theatre turned forty last week. Opened on December 22, 1971, this modest triplex has managed to outlast all of its area peers and currently stands as Orange County’s fifth oldest theatre, in continuous operation. An achievement of particular note, when one stops to consider the Village reached such a milestone without the benefit of historical significance, unique architecture, or even additions/modernization. A forty year old three screen, running art/reparatory programming for well over twenty of those years, located adjacent to tony South Coast Plaza; the figurative oxymoron success story of Orange County cinema.
While the interior decor has been changed out several times over the past four decades, there remain a few hints of the theatre’s roots, hidden from public view. The Village’s projection/office stairwell is still lined with United Artists logo carpeting; a remnant from the venue’s original operator.
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