Category Archives: News

An interlude with Gary Lee Parks

And now for something completely different, an interlude with Gary Lee Parks.

Author, Historian, Artist, and Burbank Theater Archaeologist!  In his own words…

Less than two weeks ago, after over three decades of driving by the Burbank Theatre countless times, and photographing the exterior on several occasions, I actually set foot inside, in order to engage in some wall paint archaeology. I knew, from having studied early photographs, that there were interesting decorative colors on the walls of the outer and inner lobbies, and as I applied paint remover to carefully chosen, rectangularly delineated patches of wall, they did not disappoint, for, once I removed sections of “death-pallor white” which was applied to the entire interior by a past owner, a whole history of decorative color revealed itself layer-by layer.

There were pale pinks, vivid reds, and areas of gold—likely from the Burbank’s many years as a porn theatre, and underneath those, pale yellow ochres and mint green, from its time as both an art and foreign film venue, and finally, from its early years as a regular Hollywood-product, neighborhood movie house—the original color scheme, which was dignified and varied.




Rich golden browns, deep ochre, and a soft olive tint once created variety on the curving walls and cylindrical pillars of the lobby areas.

But the finest discovery of all remained to be uncovered on the curved wall of the inner lobby, which backs up against the rear of the auditorium.

There, a deep green once covered the entire surface, upon which a tilted grid of hand-painted squares, formed by single-brush-stroke ribbons of deep gold and pale green, created a unique, textured contrast to the other surfaces, while playing effectively off the glazed polychrome terra cotta of the drinking fountain niche, directly opposite.

There was so much to discover, that this work took two working days to accomplish, and resulted in “opening up” five squares of wall surface. In three of the squares, I left strips of each successive layer of color, labeling each, and photographed everything that had emerged. The end result? History revealed…and the satisfaction of successful discovery.


Gary Lee Parks

Thank you Gary!  It was great of you to provide this fantastic view into history!

All photos on this page are copyrighted by their respective owners, we are placing them here for reference only.

Friday the 13th, its alive! Foreclosure returns!

picture from –

UPDATED: 10/7/2019 – Auction has no bidders! The 1st mortgage now takes title to the Burbank Theater! After 4+ years of the foreclosure monster roaming the Theater this part of the story is finally done!


For those who know the actual origin of Friday the 13th, or only know of the Films, in either case it is an appropriate day for the next Chapter in the history of the Burbank Theater.

As we reported many times before, this property had – many – unpaid loans on it, the current owners bought the property at the court house steps in June – from the “2nd mortgage” – knowing that a “1st mortgage” still has legal claim.

What has been happening between the new owners and the “1st mortgage” between June and now is unknown, but the “1st mortgage” on September 13th, aka Friday the 13th, resumed their Foreclosure by updating their – Notice of Trustee Sale.

As shown this is the same property sale information we posted here in 2015.  But now the price which in 2014 was $1.7 million on title search records, shot up to $2.35 million in 2015, and now they want a whopping $3.6 million!

Now, how does a Notice of Trustee Sale, resume after years of being cancelled – not delayed – on only 20 days notice, especially with totally new amounts – $3.6 million now?  Will they really be ready to sell at the court house steps on October 7th, 2019?  It all seems – to say the least – uncommon.  Or perhaps even legally questionable, guess we will find out soon!

Where’s the popcorn, this story just keeps having all sorts of new twists and turns.

Will the 1st mortgage really foreclose now after delaying on and off since 2014?  If they take it to auction for $3.6 million will anyone bid?  (multiple records on Loopnet show the previous owners tried and failed to sell the building for $1.9 million in Dec 2014)

If a new owner really buys the property, will they try to get around the Historic protections on the Burbank Theater to keep the building history?  i.e. similar to the fights we saw in nearby Cambrian Plaza with the carousel sign – or will the new owner like this current one try to actively restore the Theater?

We recently were told the Burbank Community Association was meeting with Santa Clara County about the need for cleaning up the toxic chemical property next door to the Burbank Theater, will this restart talks of Government taking these properties for the good of the community?

In 2012 many active plans were in motion to turn the Theater and surrounding areas into a large government owned community center, at the time delayed and put on hold due to budget approvals, but with the State coffers now overflowing at somewhere between $13 to $30 billion – could Government again be pondering these previously on hold ideas?

New owners continue cleanup, September 2019

As the new owners continue to clean up the property, it seems they are not without the problems that have plagued this area in the past – as shown a new board up, overly a freshly broken window it seems.  But unlike in the past where weeks would pass before anything was done, seems this was solved within hours.

More importantly, the place is looking better and better!  Paint people are obviously coming and doing more each week.

Burbank Theater, September 2019, clean outside, colors of doors and trim being updatedThe other sides of the property are cleaning up nicely as well!  Take a stroll by, at night – the lights are on!

New owners old colors restored! September 7th, 2019.

Where did that bluish teal on the doors come from anyway?  The new owners seem to be wasting no time, trying match the beautiful historic terrazzo Burgundy floor work.

August 2019, door colors being tested to match terrazzo stone floor.

The new owners also seem to have an expert paint remover, as those are the the original metal plates now without any paint on them. Seen 2 weeks later on September 7th. Looks great!

September 2019, door colors matched to terrazzo floor and kick panel paint removed to match framing post.

New owners of the Burbank Theater recorded.

Burbank Theater as we hope it will be soon!

On June 17th @ 2:23pm – the County of Santa Clara recorded – Mariposa Productions LLC – as the new owners of the Burbank Theater!

What happens next, is a good question, as we see they took ownership, acknowledging the building still has $2.7 million in unpaid loans against it.

Updates will be posted as they become public.