A 1920’s Theatre In Our Own Backyard

 Ahhh, a night at the movies. We’ve all had our own cherished memories of first dates and midnight premiers. Its an American staple! I visited a theatre a few weeks ago that is as unique as they come and had to share. For those of you who don’t know, La Paloma, one of the World’s first “Talkie” theatres, is right in our own backyard in the beach town of Encinitas.

La Paloma

La Paloma was built in 1928 and is still in operation today, 86 years later. Take note- it is definitely not the theatre to go for luxurious seats and a dazzling lobby- go to Cinepolis for that! And if the Drive-In is still too new of an experience for you, La Paloma is the perfect place to step back in time to when going to the movies was an exciting social event. It’s located on the main drag in Encinitas around plennnnty of restaurants, so you will no doubt find the perfect dinner outing before your show. Just as in the olden days, this theatre only accepts cash, so be prepared.


The owner of La Paloma have done his best to keep it extremely unique. It’s an independent theatre that shows a mix of indie films, mainstream movies (we saw Jersey Boys there) and surf films (because what is a movie theatre on the 101 without surf movies??). The owner issues your tickets, serves the concessions then turns on the projector himself. Very old school! More added charm to the theatre: the owner’s friendly duo of dogs named Oscar and Sammy, who roam through the rows searching for any remnants of popcorn. The interior of the theatre itself has an Arabian feel, and made my imagination roam to think about what a treat it would’ve been to visit in its prime. The building is such a cool piece of history and I am so happy that it is still up and running almost 90 years later!


La Paloma usually has multiple showings a day, featuring 2 films. And for a real classic treat, they have the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Friday at Midnight (cool date idea!!) The next time you are in Encinitas, take a step back in time to nostalgic America and catch a show at La Paloma!



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