Banner Theatre

456 - 458 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened:  The Banner was running by 1910 if not earlier.  In 1909 or 1910 John A. Quinn, in partnership with G. H. McLain, leased the Bijou Theatre according to a 1913 biography of Quinn on rootsweb. The partnership also had the Banner.

By the end of 1910 they had split up with McLain keeping the Bijou and Quinn controlling the Banner.  See the page on one of Quinn's later ventures, the Superba, for more information about Quinn and his other theatrical holdings.

A 1912 ad unearthed by Ken McIntyre with the Banner
 listed at the bottom as one of the "Q" theatres.

Arthur Hyman was running a theatre at 5th & Main under the name Rounder in 1911. It's not known if it was this venue or another.  See the College Theatre page for more on the Hyman circuit. 

The 1911 city directory has a listing under "moving picture theatres" for "Kerr & Watkins" at 456 S. Main.  A short term sub lease and then Quinn was in again? The 1912 city directory had the listing as Quinn Bros., 456 S. Main.

The Banner was later an open all night grind house (for decades). The building got a new facade in the early 1950s.  It was still running as the Banner into the 1980's - as a gay porn house. 

In the 1917 city directory it's listed as at 456-8 S. Main. Otherwise it's listed at 456 through at least the 1929 city directory. In the 1932 and later directories it's listed as at 458.  In the 70s it was still being advertised as at 458. 

There's no indication that the Banner moved so probably there was some renumbering. 456 is now the address for a storefront in the Genesis Building just north of the theatre site.

Seating: Estimates vary from 350 to 630 

Status:  Demolished.  For years it was a parking lot.  In 2011 a mixed-use building was constructed on the site.

The Banner in the Movies: In the 1960 Universal-International release "Too Soon To Love" we get Jennifer West and Richard Evans on Main Street. They're looking for an abortionist.

The Banner Theatre in "Too Soon To Love."  
larger view

Another shot from "Too Soon To Love."
 larger view

See our Theatres in Movies post on
"Too Soon To Love" for several views of
the Galway Theatre from the film.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Banner Theatre.

     L.A. Times Collection - UCLA  |

A 1965 L.A. Times night view by Gene Hackley
looking south on Main. That's the Regent marquee
the extreme left. The Banner is the "open all night
 theatre" just to the left of the hotel sign.
full size view | on Calisphere

Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the
photo in the UCLA collection. He also has it
on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.

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     American Classic Images

A 1983 view in the collection of
 American Classic Images
 full size view


     L.A. Public Library Collection

Historic Main Street Los Angeles Theatres --  The Banner Theatre

A 1937 Herman Schultheis photo of the Banner Theatre. 
The Braddock vs. Joe Louis fight was held in June, 1937.
 full size view

Playing with that we have a couple of oldies: Edward G.
Robinson's "Man With Two Faces" (1934) and Laurel
 and Hardy's "Dirty Work" (1933).

A 1973 view looking north on Main toward 4th St. from
 the Library's collection. The building housing the Banner is
 to the left of the "Chicken" vertical sign. The theatre was at the
far end.
  That's the Regent at the far left of the photo.
full size view

Crack Cinema Treasures researcher Ken McIntyre
located this 1981 view looking north on Main. The Banner
sports the "open all night theatre" sign
with a view
of the Regent Theatre marquee beyond. 
full size view