Shellmel’s Kiddie Kinema

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Who could forget the fabulous Crest or the Tower Theater? Fresno’s drive-ins were the most popular with teens, among them the Moon-Glow and the Sunset. The world’s largest outdoor screen was housed at the Sunnyside Drive-in. Did you hide in the trunk to save 50 cents or possibly steam up the car’s windows? Share your old Fresno theater memories here.
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pmam1973
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Shellmel’s Kiddie Kinema

Post by pmam1973 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:28 pm

Shellmel's Kiddie Kinema was also the Bijou Theater at Cedar & Shields that used to show old time movies (Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, 3 Stooges, etc). My grandmother lived in the neighborhood & we'd walk to the theater on weekends. Tickets were cheap & so was the popcorn (I think it was a nickel?). By the late '70's it turned into an adult theater (sad).

fresnen

Re: Shellmel's Kiddie Kinema

Post by fresnen » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:14 pm

Yeah, Kiddie Kinema, us kids got dropped of there. I remember seeing Huck Finn the strip mall around from or beside Cedar lanes.
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fresno bee kiddie kinnama.jpg
Fresno Bee - Fri. June 5, 1970 - Kiddie Kinema ad

Guest

Re: Shellmel's Kiddie Kinema

Post by Guest » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:52 pm

Kiddie Kinema was at Shields and Cedar behind Cedar Lanes. My parents owned it in the 60's and 70's. At one time there were three "Kiddie" theaters. The one at first and Barstow was called "Kiddie Cinema" and I dont recall the loxation or name of the 3rd. My parents owned Kiddie Kinema, and a friend of my dad owned Kiddie Cinema. Both men were managers of drive-ins at the time. My dad managed Star-Lite drive in and the friend managed, I believe the Motor-In drive in. In the 70's the bigger theaters (Country Squire, etc) started showing movies aimed at kids on weekends, which was when the "Kiddie" theaters operated. They pretty much put the smaller kiddie theaters out of business because they could get the Disney movies. The Kiddie theaters did not have the seating capacity Disney required for it's movies.

A funny story, back in the day we used to pick up the movies from the bus station downtown. They would come in three reels and we would have to splice them together. My mom had watched my dad do that but had never done it before. One weekday, Kiddie Kinema hosted Kiddie Campus and Kiddie College pre-schools for a showing of the HR Puffnstuff movie. The movie arrived late and my mom picked it up the morning of the showing. My dad was not there to splice it together so my mom did the job. My sister, mom and myself were the workers that day. My mom loaded the movie on the projector and started the movie. All was great during the first reel then came the splice and all of the sudden all the kids started yelling and laughing. Having not seen the film, my mom and sister, in the lobby didnt pay any attention until I came running out yelling, "Everyone is upside down!" Yup, my mom had spliced the second reel wrong! We played the movie anyway and reel three was correct! The pre-schools came back later and got to see another movie later.
Attachments
The_Fresno_Bee_The_Republican_Fri__Oct_9__1970_.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - Oct. 9, 1970

Guest

Re: Shellmel's Kiddie Kinema

Post by Guest » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:00 pm

Anyone who used to visit Kiddie Kinema at Cedar and Shields, I'd love to hear from you! Some kids were there like every other weekend and my family remembers many of them, just not all the names! lol. One of the kids I remember was a boy named Jamie, he had blonde hair. Thats about all I remember of him. We had a kid who used to arrive and leave by taxi. He was a regular, and three sisters who seemed to always have to wait for their mother to pick them up as she was always late! If anyone out there remembers us, My mother, oldest sister and I are still around. My dad and other sister have both passed. We had some good times with that little theater, I hope it has many good memories for others too!

Godzzla

Re: Shellmel’s Kiddie Kinema

Post by Godzzla » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:23 pm

I lived on Eighth St. a quarter mile of the Kinema and must have gone there with my brother John at least a few dozen times. My favorite were the monster classics that played during the early seventies when I was 9 or 10. Frankenstein, The Wolfman, King Kong, and many other mainly Universal classics. There was also a book store at the north east corner of Cedar and Shields that I bought my Famous monsters of Filmland magazines. It was right next door to the Fish N Chips Restaurant on the Cedar Heights grocery store corner.

Kinda rare that the corner had four grocery stores at the time I was growing up. Safeway next to Cedar Lanes on the SW corner with Thriftys next to it, County Boy and the fantastic Fresno Hobby on the SE corner along with El Toro restaurant, Cedar Heights on the NE corner with the Farmers Fish and Chips restaurant next to the book store, and Young's/Purity market on the NW corner. There was also a Sprous-Ritz next door that carried great novelties, O'Sole Mio restaurant, and Cavalier liquor next to that. West down Shields was the original Valley Childrens Hospital, and on the North side was a grass area and some plum trees I remember climbing as a kid and eating the sour fruit. Great memories.

Steve Russell
1980 McLane graduate

Lost Fresno
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Re: Shellmel’s Kiddie Kinema

Post by Lost Fresno » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:29 pm

I found the article which announced the opening in June of 1970. I find it interesting that the name Shellmel was the theater chain owner's daughter's names. A combination of Shelly and Melody Kornbrot.
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The_Fresno_Bee_The_Republican_Fri__Jun_5__1970_.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - June 5, 1970

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