Weather in the Foothills

“Old theatres are irreplaceable. They could never be duplicated at today’s costs – but more importantly, their spirit could not be duplicated because they remind us of a day when going to the show was a more glorious and escapist experience. I think a town’s old theatres are the sanctuary of its dreams.”
~ Roger Ebert


After the all-time record-breaking temperature of 117 degrees in La Crescenta on July 6, any reading below 100 degrees is not too bad. Many years from now, the old timers will recall, “Remember back in 2018 when …” Somehow we managed to survive. The “cooling stations” of 100 years ago were quite different than those today. Access could be had with a 25-cent ticket.

Movie theaters provide an “escapist experience” and are truly a “sanctuary.” Yes, they provide relief from the monotony and hardship of everyday life, but there is one more explanation for their popularity. Besides the entertainment, the first theatres offered moviegoers something extraordinary – and it wasn’t the candy, popcorn and soda pop! When the doors opened, guests were immediately greeted by a blast of cool air. It was summertime; how could this be? The answer was modern technology – air conditioning! Nowadays it is expected, but back then it was pure luxury. U.S. movie theatres were among the first buildings to provide cooled air. To be able to change the weather from that of the outside is quite a feat, no matter the era. A double feature could get you through a long summer afternoon.

Motion picture studios earn close to 50% of their total annual ticket sales during the summer months. While people usually spent their summer breaks at the beach or the pool, a certain 1975 movie changed everything as it pulled people out of the hot sun and into the cool movie theater.

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water …” (from “Jaws 2”). Summer blockbusters have become a Hollywood standard. After the famous “Jaws,” a relaxing swim at the beach was no more.

Temperatures are forecast to remain seasonally warm across the region well into next week; Monday through Wednesday will peak with the highest temperatures. Thankfully, the heat will not reach the heights we experienced on July 6. Highs will range from the upper 90s and a little over 100. Heat advisories/warnings are likely across the area. Watch the clouds forming over our mountains; there could be thunderstorm.

You may want to watch this as well: YouTube “Movie Theater Air Conditioning” (Feb. 5, 2011).


Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service. Reach her at