Garrick Theatre

802 S. Broadway   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: As the Hyman Theatre for theatrical producer Arthur S. Hyman.

Construction had been announced in September, 1910.  The Moving Picture World issue 0f April 22, 1911 described the opening as "during the December holidays." The magazine Nickelodeon gave the date as Thanksgiving -- November 24, 1910.

Here's the Nickelodeon page, thanks
to Cezar Del Valle.  See the full size view
of lots of 1910 Los Angeles theatre news.

See the College Theatre page for more information about the Hyman circuit, which in 1911 totaled 6 theatres.

Architects: Train and Williams. Moving Picture World in 1911 noted that they were "aided by Mr. Hyman's suggestions." George Edwin Bergstrom did a remodel in 1921.

Seating: 650 on one level. Moving Picture World in 1911 reported the capacity as 1,000.  Moving Picture News in 1914 reported the capacity as 900 -- upholstered leather chairs on a carpeted floor.

Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle, on his blog Theatre Talks, has excerpted an article about the Hyman Theatre he discovered in the April 22, 1911 issue of Moving Picture World. The article notes:

"Los Angeles' newest and most elaborate picture palace is named after Mr. Arthur S. Hyman, president and general manager of the Hyman Circuit of Vaudeville and Moving Picture Theaters, the Western Amusement Company, Western Film Exchange and other theatrical and amusement enterprises.

Mr. Hyman has the unique distinction of being the only man to ever open two pretentious theaters in the same city within a period of only seven days between opening dates. This occurred when the College [441 S. Hill St.], costing $35,000, and the Hyman, costing in excess of $45,000, were completed.

The Hyman, seating a thousand, is the largest, as well as the most sumptuously equipped and luxurious of the city's moving picture theaters.

It covers a ground space of  50 x 175. The exterior of the building is decorated with pure white plaster. The foyer has the usual tile floor and is wainscoted in select white Italian marble to a height of  eight feet. The ceiling of the foyer is in plaster decorated with plaster brackets between which are gold-leafed 'H.T.'  monograms of pleasing design. The box office, also in marble, is more commodious than the usual box office. The foyer doors leading into the lobby are of mahogany, with brass wearing plates.

The lobby of the Hyman is a symphony of luxury. The wainscot paneling and other woodwork is constructed of Juana Costa mahogany of selected grain, which has been given the dull finish. The well-padded lobby carpet is of green velvet Brussels. The lobby is well equipped with mirrors, a feature that the women patrons appreciate. Opening off the lobby are retiring rooms for both men and women, and a stairway leading to the operating room and to Mr. Hyman's luxurious office in the front of the building. The draperies leading into the foyer and into the auditorium are of silk velour, the inner facing green, and the outer facing wine colored, with "H.T." monograms in white leather.

The mahogany opera chairs are roomy and are upholstered in red leather. Two six-foot aisles permit the handling of capacity audiences without unnecessary crowding, The aisles are carpeted in green velvet Brussles matching the lobby carpet. The ceiling and side wall decorations in the popular Art Noveau effect, are very pleasing. Two large leaded art glass skylights adorn the ceiling, which is beamed, and from it are hung leaded art glass lanterns. The side lights of the auditorium are also lanterns, but of a smaller size.

The stage is 24x30, and and is well equipped with scenery by the Ernest Flagg Scenic Company, and contains comfortable dressing rooms for the actors and actresses employed in vaudeville turns.

The operating room is large, finely equipped, well ventilated and thoroughly fireproofed. Two Model B. Edison Projectoscopes are used, together with a dissolver and a spot light. Two competent operators, under the direction of L. M. Nelson, chief electrician and chief operator of the circuit, are always on duty. Projection is faultless.

The policy of the theater is to run high class vaudeville specialties interspersed with first-run Licensed pictures.

The seven-piece orchestra is under the direction of Miss Bessie B. Hardy. The orchestra play the specialties in a way that leaves little to be desired. Miss Hardy also shows careful discrimination in her choice of incidental music to accompany the pictures.

The theatre opened during the the December holidays and has played to excellent business ever since. For the first month or so Independent pictures were run, then Mr. Hyman decided to run both vaudeville and pictures. On March 1st the house changed their service to Licensed."

On November 13, 1911 this venue at 8th & Broadway had another opening, this time as the Garrick, under the management of J. A. Quinn.  The program for the re-opening included Orpheum star John P. Rogers, baritone; Esther Canfield, violinist; Edith Mothe, singer-songwriter; the Garrick orchestra and films from Lubin, Essanay, Biograph and Pathe.

A nice article about Quinn and his theatres is in the Moving Picture World issue
of March 28, 1914. It's on the Internet Archive. The article notes that Quinn first had the Bijou Theatre on Main St. and then discusses his second aquisition the Garrick:

"This was his first big picture house, and with the aid of care for details he soon ingratiated himself with the public. The house was named Quinn's Garrick. Although at the time Mr. Quinn purchased this house it was out of the theater zone, he created a fine patronage by putting on a good entertainment of pictures from 10 A.M. ubtil 6:30 P.M. for five cents.

The large amount of newspper mention and other kinds of advertising that was bestowed on the Garrick due to the immense crowds that the house was continually playing to, worked as an incentive for the evening trade, which soon became equally voluminous. The same number of reels that were given during the morning and afternoon shows constituted the evening's entertainment, but the prices were increased. Instread of five cents for the entire house, the admission charges were ten cents for the orchestra and balcony and fifteen cents for the loges.

It is a well constructed theatre with nine hundred upholstered leather chairs. The floor is covered with Wilton velvet carpet, and the drapes of silk velour enclosing the loges are harmoniuos in color. An excellent orchestra gives suitable selections to a program of first run General Film Company service."

Quinn, of Superba (1914) and Rialto (1917) fame, was involved in the management of this one at least through 1914.  See the Quinn's Superba page for more on J.A. Quinn.

A 1912 ad unearthed by Ken McIntyre with the "Q shows"
 (Tally's, Banner, Garrick) listed at the bottom.
Click on it for a larger view.

In the 1918 through 1923 directories it's listed as the New Garrick

Status: Demolished 1927 to make way for the Tower Theatre.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Garrick.  And see our Quinn's Superba page for lots more about J.A. Quinn and his other theatres.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

A view of the original facade of the Hyman
  from the Library's collection.
full size view

 A 1922 exterior shot with the Garrick
running "Beyond the Rocks" -- note the
Garrick now has a protruding marquee.
full size view   

Another version of the 1922 photo.
full size view

That's the Rialto to the right of the
photo -- check out the roof sign!

A 1923 view looking north on Broadway. The
 Garrick, at right is running "Mighty Lak A Rose." 
full size view

An interior shot of the Hyman/Garrick,
also from the LAPL collection. 
full size view

     A Visit To Old Los Angeles

A postcard image looking north on Broadway gives
us a bit of the Garrick at the bottom.  That's the Chapman
Building (1912, Los Angeles Investment Company Building,
 now loft apartments), on the north side of 8th. with the
Morosco (1913, now the Globe Theatre) beyond.
full size view

The card above also appears on Photos of Los Angeles
and in our theatre postcard collection on Blogspot.

A version (with recent views) is also in Ethereal
Reality's Noirish Los Angeles post #16179.

A drawing giving us a look at, from left to
right, the Garrick Theatre, the California Music
Company/Singer Building and the Rialto Theatre.
full size view

A view looking north toward 8th. On the right toward the
 end of the block we get a slice of the Rialto (with its Quinn's
 roof sign) and beyond, at 8th & Broadway, the Garrick.
Across 8th is the Chapman building, which still remains.
full size view
| on FB/LAtheatres

On the extreme left of the photo we have a glimpse
of Tally's Broadway
with Hamburger's
Department Store beyond.

These three views are all on Brent Dickerson's great
 tour Later Around Broadway and 8th. This multi-part
Broadway tour is one of many fine adventures
Brent's site. Details are on the site's
index page.

The bottom photo also appears on Photos of Los Angeles:
 version 1
version 2

A parade float passing the Garrick Theatre c.1911.

The card is from the collection of Michelle Gerdes.

Thanks, Michelle!

The Garrick, at 8th & Broadway, was on the
lot now occupied by the Tower Theatre.

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     B'hend and Kaufmann Archives

An early undated view of the Garrick from a newspaper
photograph. The banner isn't advertising a specific feature
 but the fact that they're getting the pick of the product
from eight different distributors.
full size view | on FB/LAtheatres

The Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection
is part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection.

The view above also appears in a nice article about
Quinn and his theatres in the Moving Picture World issue
of March 28, 1914. It's on the Internet Archive.

     California State Library

A view from 1924 with the Garrick on
the left. "Flirting with Love" is playing.
full size view | data page

The Rialto Theatre on the right. The Rialto is
  playing Harold Lloyd's "Hot Water." The building
in the middle is the
Southern California Music Co.

     Cezar Del Valle - Theatre Talks    

Cezar Del Valle has discovered this photo looking
toward the rear of the auditorium in the April 22, 1911
issue of Moving Picture World.

  See his post about the Hyman Theatre for more data. 

Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian with a
serious interest in Los Angeles Theatres. For more
material, check out his Theatre Talks blog.

     Huntington Digital Library    

An October 1913 view of the Garrick -- and the
Morosco Theatre beyond. It's a G. Haven Bishop
photo for Southern California Edison Company
that's in the collection of the Huntington Library. 
full size view

On the Huntington Library page you can
use the slider to get a larger image -- then you
can pan around to explore details.

A detail of the Garrick at night from the
Huntington Library image. Click on it to enlarge.

A bit closer look at the facade. Note the "Q" appearing
on the signage at either side of the entrance -- at this time
 the theatre was under the management of J.A. Quinn. 
Click on the photo for a larger view.

     USC Archives

From the USC Archives, a 1913
view looking north on Broadway.
The Garrick
is on the right.
full size view

  Note the vertical of the
  Morosco in the 700 block beyond.

A detail from the image above
  showing the Garrick facade.

Another detail, this time from another USC
image from 1913, taken a bit closer to 8th St.
full photo

Extant on the 800 block of Broadway:
Vanished from the block: