The History of the Stockton Empire Theatre, dates back to 1945 when it was simply called “The Stockton”. This was the seventh theatre to carry the city’s name. Constructed at a cost of $150.000, it was the first theatre built away from thriving Downtown and quickly drew masses - turning it into an icon of Pacific Avenue’s “Miracle Mile”.
Feb 6, 1945 marked the Opening Night of The Stockton with a Hollywood premiere - sneak preview. In the mid 1970’s the theatre was expanded into a four-plex. Three modern cinemas were added to compliment the 1000-seat grand cinema. It was now to be called “The Stockton Royal”. Through the next thirty years, the theatre changed hands several times, and while successive owners attempted to breathe new life into the complex, the Royal ultimately, gave way to the emergence of the megaplex, and ironically closed as a result of Downtown's City Center Cinemas' long anticipated opening.