Aero Theater

Aero Theater 75th Anniversary Exhibit

2015

Aero Theater
Aero Theater

On January 30th, 2015, the Aero Theatre celebrated its 75th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the Cinematheque’s stewardship. The Aero is one of the few remaining single-screen neighborhood theatres in the Los Angeles area. The Aero Theatre’s history begins in 1939 with Donald Wills Douglas, aviation pioneer.

Douglas decided to invest in real-estate on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. The $45,000 development included a movie theatre and five stores in an area covering 100-by-100-feet. The architect, R.M. Woolpert, designed the structure in a French-Norman style. Construction began in 1939 and was completed 60 days later. It was named Aero as a reference to the aerospace industry. In the 1940’s the theatre showed double-features of second-run films that changed three times a week. Admission was 20 cents for adults and 10 cents for children.

The Aero changed hands over the years. The current owners are James S. Rosenfield, a retail real-estate developer who lived near the theatre and was fond of it, and his Chicago based partner, John Bucksbaum, who purchased the theatre on November 8, 1997. The exhibit featured early photographs of the Aero including photos of it 75th anniversary celebration and rare movie posters.