History

FACTS – Opening Night

● Opening day May 29, 1942- Memorial Day- TRIBUNE
● boasting 1060 seats KCET
● Celebrities in attendance: boxer Max Baer, comedic duo Stan Lurel and Oliver Hardy, movie star Constance Bennett, and child
star Jackie Cooper TRIBUNE
● Movie Premiere: This Above All starring Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine KCET
● Hundreds of servicemen from Camp San Luis Obispo and Camp Roberts KCET
● These two army bases were some of the largest in the world, making The Fremont home to entertaining servicemen on leave
and civilians. TRIBUNE
● $100 war bonds for sale, and all ticket sales benefited local United Service chapters. KCET
● The bond drive resulted in almost $750,000. TRIBUNE
● The Tribune featured the premier on the front page of the newspaper with an image Victory Square, the courthouse lawns
adjacent to The Fremont, jam-packed with people. TRIBUNE

FACTS – Building

● Building designed by movie theater architect S. Charles Lee in the Streamline Modern style to mimic the concert halls and
opera houses of Europe KCET
● Heinsbergen Decorating Company of LA is responsible for the 100 ft decorative murals of flowers, charging steeds, and
women in gowns. KCET
● Frank Bouman, father of local SLO muralist, Doug Bouman, worked on the theater. KCET
● Single screen movie palace KCET

TIMELINE

● Late 1941 : building permits were pulled with The Fremont’s estimated cost at $100,000. TRIBUNE
● May 29, 1942: Memorial Day: Opening Night!
● Mid 1980s : Rob Rossi and John King purchase the Fremont Theater and adjacent Mission Cinemas KCET
● Early 1990s : San Luis obispo Film Festival begins holding events at The Fremont  KCET
● 1996 : Yes reunited for the first time in 15 years for three concerts at the Fremont KCET
● 2002 : The Movie Experience or Sanborn Theaters, Inc. the oldest movie theater company in Southern CA, began operating
the theater. KCET
● May 2017 : Developer Rob Rossi bought John King’s 50 percent share in the historic Fremont Theatre and adjacent property
that housed Mission Cinemas for $6,000 Tuesday at an auction in Los Angeles LINK

Located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, CA, the Fremont Theater is a historic movie theater, built in 1941. Throughout its early years it served both as a moving picture theater and a live entertainment venue. In the late 20th century, developers wanted to raze the building to install a new multiplex, but public outcry saved the theater. Full of rich, art deco charm, this theater has hosted everything from war bond shows to Adam Ant and Yes.

Join the Fremont Theater!