Santa Ana : Final Lawsuit Against Adult Theater Dropped


The last remaining lawsuit against the Mitchell Bros. Theatre in Santa Ana was dismissed Thursday, freeing the X-rated movie house from the litigation that has surrounded its operations for a decade.

Superior Court Commissioner Julian Cimbaluk decided a nearby business failed to show that the theater is a public nuisance.

Although Cimbaluk offered to give lawyers for Lincoln Savings & Loan Assn. more time to try again, the firm’s lawyers declined. Attorney James J. Clancy said the dismissal will be appealed.


Clancy filed dozens of lawsuits on behalf of Santa Ana against Mitchell Bros., but no judge ever ordered the movie house closed. Clancy was fired earlier this year after opposing a settlement of the dispute, under which theater operators collected $200,000 from the city.

On March 27, the same day the city dropped its lawsuits, Lincoln Savings filed suit, claiming obscene fare made the theater a public nuisance.

Lincoln Savings is owned by a firm headed by Charles H. Keating Jr. of Phoenix, a millionaire anti-pornography activist.

Mitchell Bros. lawyer Stuart Buckley said he was pleased with Cimbaluk’s decision and confident the theater will win the appeal.