Globe Theatre


744 S. Broadway     | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Website: www.globetheatre-la.com | the Globe on Facebook

The News: It's getting a $5 million makeover by new proprietor Erik Chol who promises to re-light the marquee, reopen the Broadway entrance and make the venue usable for not just music but also theatrical events and films. Donna Evans of the L.A. Downtown News had the story in September 2013.  Chol plans a reopening in mid-2014.

Filming or other inquiries:  (619) 366-5919

Architects: Morgan, Walls & Morgan did the Garland Building, A.F. Rosenheim designed the theatre. The developer for the project was William Garland, who earlier had built the Pantages up the street, now known as the Arcade Theatre.  Rosenheim had designed the Cameo in 1910.

Original opening: January 6, 1913 as the Morosco, a legitimate playhouse built for producer Oliver Morosco.

In the January 1913 issue of West Coast Magazine, Morosco discussed his views about the "Small Theatre of Today."  By small he means a house suited for drama with only 1,300 or 1,400 seats, as opposed to the big barns erected for musicals or opera (or Greek amphitheatres).  He notes that it will be an intimate playhouse with only 14 rows of seats on the main floor and that this will promote a natural style of acting in his stock company. He says he'll "try out many new ideas" such as getting rid of the orchestra since

"my own experience is that many intelligent and regular theater patrons vastly prefer their own conversation between the acts of a play rather than having to listen to the not always musical music of an orchestra of eight or ten pieces." 

However, the theatre was  built with an orchestra pit, now covered. His article complains about the uncomfortable nature of theatre seats of the day.

"I have ordered chairs the like of which never before has been seen in any theatre in this part of the country; they are roomy, comfortable chairs, and not seats of torture; each has wide arm rests; there will be more than the usual space between the rows of seats so that one may not be put to discomfort by persons passing; and then, having made the physical part of my audience as comortable and restful as possible, I am going further and provide a restful color scheme of decoration -- a scheme that shall not weary the eye, but rather aid in contributing as artistic atmosphere to the performance on the stage. "

.

We get a small view of the Morosco entrance
in the May 1913 issue of West Coast Magazine.
 It's part of an article called "Los Angeles - A City."
on Google Books

Mr. Morosco had earlier had a lease on the Burbank Theatre on Main St. and also was the lessee when the Majestic Theatre, farther down Broadway, had opened in 1908.

Oliver was quite successful both here and in New York but came to a sad death after being hit by a Red Car on Hollywood Blvd. See our Oliver Morosco bio below for more information on this flamboyant showman.

Legit theatres were in the minority on Broadway where the theatre offerings at the time tended toward movies or vaudeville. The Morosco initially changed bills every week.  Performers here included Eddie Cantor, Edward Everett Horton and Leo Carillo.  Earl Carroll was also associated with the Morosco early in his career.



A 1917 program at the Morosco
discovered by Sean Ault.
larger view
+ several interior pages


The cover for the March 1925 program of
"So This Is London" at the Morosco.
Click on it for a larger view

 It's from the collection of Danni
Bayles-Yeager. On her site: full program

Visit Danni's website:
 Bayles/Yeager Online Archive of the Performing Arts

In May 1928, the theatre was renamed the President, operating under the banner of Henry Duffy Players, who also had the El Capitan and the Hollywood Playhouse -- all three running as popularly priced legit playhouses. It's listed as the President in the 1929 city directory.


A September 1928 ad for a Henry Duffy stock company production
when the theatre was operating under the President name.
Ken McIntyre found it in the L.A. Times.
full size view  |  1930 Duffy ad



A section of a c.1931 insurance map from the Los Angeles
Public Library showing the Globe as the President Theatre. 
full size view  |  more maps

In mid-1930 the Morosco/President was taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres and after a refurbishment it reopened as the Newsreel Theatre, Los Angeles' first. The lease to FWC was reported in a July 20, 1930 story in the L.A. Times.  The article, located by Ken McIntyre:

"Known in its heyday as a 'cradle for actors', the old Morosco Theater, more recently the President, will become a motion-picture playhouse in the next thirty days. The theater, built eighteen years ago for Oliver Morosco, has been leased to Fox West Coast Theaters to become Los Angeles' first newsreel theater. In the next few days, workmen will enter the old building for purposes of refurbishing the interior, perhaps to tear out the old fashioned boxes and to install sound-picture projection equipment.

Under the Fox West Coast regime, it will show only newsreels. Programs will run around fifty minutes and will change as fast as new shots of important international, national and local events arrive. It will bear the title 'Newsreel Theater.'"

The projection booth was constructed at the rear of the first balcony. Evidently the newsreel business wasn't so hot as the theatre soon closed as a newsreel house. The September 20, 1930 issue of Exhibitors Herald-World had this story about the demise of the newsreel venture:

"Los Angeles Newsreel Closes;
Business Drops After Three Days' Rush

(Special to the Herald World)

HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 18 -- The Los Angeles Newsreel Theatre has closed its doors after three weeks of poor business. The house reported favorably after the first three days with 11,600 admissions. The theatre reverts to its former name, The President, this week with the opening of D.W. Griffith's synchronized version of 'Birth of A Nation.'"

Back as the President but now running features, the theatre wasn't a major venue even with Fox West Coast as the operator. Frequently they ended up with moveovers or  marginal product. It's listed as the President in both the 1932 and 1936 city directories. 



A June 1938 ad under the President name
located by Ken McIntyre in the L.A. Times.
full size view

When Metropolitan Theatres was formed in 1935, they took over the operation in a deal with Fox West Coast and by 1938 the theatre was back in the news business again as the Newsreel Theatre.



An August 1939 ad for the Newsreel that
Ken McIntyre found in the L.A. Times. 
full size view


A 1939 ad when the theatre was running as the
Newsreel.  It was posted by Ken McIntyre on his
Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.
full size view

In 1949 FWC and Metropolitan Theatres parted ways and the Globe came back under Fox management with its new name, the Globe. Metropolitan Theatres moved the Newsreel name down the street to the Tower.  Not just the name -- the actual NEWSREEL letters atop the marquee readerboards were reinstalled at the Tower. 

The other downtown Fox West Coast house at the time was the Los Angeles.  In the early 50s, the Globe frequently played day-and-date with the Chinese (also run by Fox West Coast) for films like 1951's "David and Bathsheba." There was evidently talk at one point in the mid-50s of equipping the Globe for 70mm but that went nowhere.

By the late 1950s, the Globe was a Spanish language house. The theatre was back under Metropolitan management in the 60s and they later purchased the building. There was once a Mexican wax museum on the 3rd floor of the Garland Building, running as late as 1975.  The Globe closed as a movie theatre in Fall 1986 with Metropolitan's sale of the building. The second balcony had been closed for decades.

The main floor of the auditorium was leveled in 1987 for use as a swap meet space.  The swap meet didn't happen for long but the theatre's lobby spaces continued to be rented to a succession of retailers. The auditorium became a nightclub, Orion, with the alley used as the entrance. 

Under a later entepreneur, Ralph Verdugo, the auditorium became Club 740, a more deluxe venue with bars, dancing, and VIP rooms. The first balcony was terraced for use as a VIP area.  Club 740 closed in the Fall of 2011 after numerous issues with noise and violence.

When the building was operating as a club under Ralph Verdugo's management the auditorium and backstage spaces were gradually being cleaned, restored and upgraded. The alley was still used as the club's entrance.  

The marquees: The theatre got a new angled marquee featuring a spinning globe at the tip sometime between August 1940 and July 1942.  That marquee still remains on the building.  It's really had only two others: the original simple canopy with just "Morosco" on the side and the boxy thing of the 30s that at different times said either "President Theatre" or "Newsreel Theatre."

Seating: 1,300 originally. Later only 782 were used in later years as a film theatre with the second balcony closed.

2nd Balcony: As was typical for two balcony houses of the era, the 2nd balcony was isolated from the rest of the theatre. In the Morosco's case, entry was via the alley up an interior staircase at the west end of the exit passageway on either the north or south side of the building. Later the south stairwell was used as a fire exit from the wax museum on the 3rd floor of the Garland Building.

Stage: Almost 34' deep. The proscenium is 38' wide and 34' high. It's a hemp house.  There are fly floors both stage left and stage right and a paint bridge along the back wall. Dressing rooms are stacked on several floors stage left.

Status:  It's getting a $5 million makeover by new proprietor Erik Chol who promises to re-light the marquee, reopen the Broadway entrance and make the venue usable for not just music but theatrical events and films. L.A. Downtown News had a September 2013 story by Donna Evans.   Curbed L.A. also had a smaller piece.

It'll once again be called the Globe Theatre. Nikola Hlady of the Elizabeth Peterson Group is dealing with the city regarding "entitlements" for the space and also acting as a spokesperson. Mr. Chol is a native of France and has operated clubs there.

Other spaces in the building are still available for lease. Leasing is handled by Martin Amiri or Anne Singleton at Creative Asset Partners (310) 785-0055.  Also see a retail space specs - PDF from a former broker.


The Globe in the Movies:



An interesting angle on the Globe marquee in
the Peter
Hyams film "Peeper" (20th Century Fox, 1976).  In the
film the Globe is a burlesque theatre.  On the right, a
bit of the May Co. at 8th & Broadway.
larger view




Private eye Michael Caine is down the block
running toward the Globe in "Peeper." He's looking for
spoiled heiress Natalie Wood and her kidnappers.
 larger view




The entrance to the
Globe in
 a great shot from
"Peeper."
 larger view



A rare lobby view of the Globe as Michael
Caine dashes in from Broadway in "Peeper."
larger view




Michael Caine runs up to the balcony in "Peeper." 
In the balcony he looks down on a show but, sadly,
we don't get any good auditorium shots. 
larger view




Another lobby view from "Peeper"  as Michael
Caine heads down the house right side aisle to
check out the action from the orchestra pit.
larger view



In the orchestra pit (still uncovered in 1976!) with Michael
Caine and a burlesque show drummer in "Peeper."
larger view




A look toward the stage from the first row at Michael
Caine and Natalie Wood in "Peeper." The other gentleman
is the manager, who has been chasing Caine around the
theatre telling him he needs to buy a ticket.
larger view



We get several nice establishing shots of the traffic-free
downtown in Boris Sagal's "The Omega Man" (Warner Bros., 1971)
 including this view looking west with the Globe stagehouse at
center. Note that the "Newsreel" portion of the "Newsreel
Theatre" sign had been painted out.
larger view


The Globe on Video: Club 740 had lots of play on YouTube. See "740, un film" made for the 2010 Rocky Horror Convention. Also see the YouTube items "Club 740 Downtown Los Angeles" and "Club 740." The Globe, as Club 740, is also shown to good advantage in the Jennifer Lopez video for "On The Floor."

More information: Some of our information about the Globe comes from the various postings on the Globe's Cinema Treasures page.

The Cinema Tour  page has a bit of history and more photos -- including a number of 2008 interior views by Bob Meza.

See Sandi Hemmerlein's 2014 Avoiding Regret photo essay "The Globe Theatre Under Construction" for many views of her adventures crawling the theatre during a LAHTF "all-about" tour.



     Oliver Morosco    

Inventive and flamboyant producer Oliver Morosco was involved in operating a number of Los Angeles theaters as well as the Morosco Theatre in New York.

At left is an undated photo of Morosco from the Los Angeles Public Library Collection.
full size view

 
Among his first inventions was picking a name for himself.  He was born in 1976 in Logan, Utah as Oliver Mitchell.  He took the name Morosco from a acrobatic act called "The Three Moroscos" that he appeared in as a kid. The act was  run by Walter Morosco, who later operated theatres in San Francisco.  By age 12 Oliver was on his own and by age 16 was assistant manager of one of  Walter Morosco's theatres.

In 1899 (at age 23) he signed a lease on the money-losing Burbank Theatre on Main Street and made it a winner. His big musical success "The Bird of Paradise" (1912) made his reputation but later resulted in charges of plagiarism.

He was involved in a number of other Los Angeles theaters including the Casino (later the Empress Theatre). Like several other promoters, his time at the Casino did not go well and his tenure in 1905 lasted only a few months.
 
In November 1908 he opened the Majestic Theatre on Los Angeles' Broadway, a venue leased from department store owner M.A. Hamburger. By that time he was successfully producing in New York and also operating a Majestic Theatre in San Francisco.

In 1913 the Los Angeles Morosco Theatre (later the Globe) opened with weekly changes of plays, a new format for Broadway -- a street known for movies and vaudeville.  By the late 20's he lost control of this theatre to the Henry Duffy Players group.

New York's Morosco Theatre opened February 5, 1917. It was owned by Lee and J.J. Shubert and given to Morosco to manage as a reward for helping the Shuberts break the Charles Frohman-led Theatrical Trust. Morosco managed the house until 1924.

He was involved in a number of other Los Angeles theater ventures and was also active as a film producer and film writer from 1915 through 1929.  He was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1926 after lawsuits and other difficulties.  Not to mention several messy divorces.

Oliver Morosco died August 25, 1945 after being hit by a Red Line street car in Hollywood. He had 8 cents in his pocket.

More Morosco information:  The Oliver Morosco bio on Internet Movie Database discusses the Morosco Theatre in New York.  See also that site's Oliver Morosco filmography.

"Top Slander" in Time magazine September 3, 1945 is an obit for Morosco. The Cinema Treasures page for the Majestic Theatre has a number of interesting postings about Oliver Morosco.  Answers.com's Oliver Morosco listing gives some of his legit credits.


     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm


This great USC Archives shot is looking north
on Broadway c.1913. It's a C.C. Pierce photo
 from the California Historical Society.
full size view

The Morosco is on the right hand side of the street down
in the next block.  On the right at the near corner (8th and
Broadway) is the Garrick Theatre. This lot would
 become the site of the Tower Theatre in 1927.



A June 1913 C.C. Pierce photo.
  full size view



A detail from the 1913 view above. Down the street
 we get a glimpse of the Orpheum (now the Palace),
the  Pantages (now the Arcade Theatre) and
the tower of the old City Hall.
larger view



An undated photo looking north toward the Morosco
 and the Palace. Since here it is called the Palace, not
 the Orpheum, the photo is February 1926 or later.


A detail from the view above. We still have the original
marquee but with a readerboard added above it. From this
angle it nearly obscures the original Morosco lettering.



A c. 1936 Dick Whittington view looking
down on the Globe marquee -- still as the
President Theatre in this photo. 
  full size view

The building to the right of the Globe/Garland
Building is the Chapman Building (1912, Ernest
 McConnell), 756 S. Broadway -- now lofts.

The photo above appears in post #2745 by Mdiederi
 on the delirious discussion thread Noirish Los Angeles.




 A detail from the c. 1936 photo above.

The end panel reads "Robert Taylor Features" with a
banner beneath for "The Gorgeous Hussy" (released in August
1936). That title and Joan Crawford, his co-star in "Hussy"
appears on the front.  The rest is unreadable.




Looking north on Spring from 8th St. in 1939 in a
Dick Whittington photo. Note the "Newsreel Theatre"
 signage on the back of the Globe at the left.
 full size view

Also in the USC Archives:
| 1940 view looking south -- With a view of the Garland Building
 and the theatre (as the Newsreel) still with the old boxy marquee.
 At the State: "The Man I Married," an August 1940 release  |


more globe theatre pages:
recent exterior views  | interior - construction 2014 |
lobby areas - earlier views auditorium - earlier views  |
|
attic  |  stage & stage basement  other basement areas  |
garland building  |






A view of the The Globe Theatre marquee.
The lobby was used as retail space until 2013.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

 [ click on these images to enlarge ]



The Garland Building/ Globe Theatre.
 The office portion of the building is vacant.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007


 about photos from other
websites that appear on this page...

We've tried to give appropriate credit. Please
contact us if there are incorrect attributions, links that
no longer work or other issues. A link near each image will
direct you to a full size version on the website hosting it.
Assume that all the images are subject to copyright
restrictions.  Contact the webmaster of the site in
question concerning reproduction or other use.



     American Classic Images    

www.americanclassicimages.com



A nice night view from 1983 in the American
 Classic Images collection.  Look at that great
 neon work on the front.
  full size view  



A 1980 look at the marquee in the daylight.
full size view

These were both located by the crack
theatre researcher Ken McIntyre.



     The Architect & Engineer v. 63-64    

books.google.com



A construction view from a January, 1921 retrospective article
of "recent work." The article showed several projects of  Morgan,
 Walls & Morgan.  Here we're looking at roof trusses
and concrete balcony framing.



A view looking at the rear of the main floor.
These views were located by crack Cinema
Treasures researcher Joe Vogel. 
On Google books: larger views

Also in the article:
  | facade during construction |

The photos are also available
on the Internet Archive.


     Sean Ault Archives by Osiris Press    



A 1971 view looking north on Broadway from
 the Sean Ault Archives by Osiris Press. The Globe,
over on the right, is running "Chico Ramos" with
 famous ranchera star Lucha Villa.


A 1972 view looking south on Broadway
 from the Sean Ault collection.  The Globe is in
Spanish language mode with "El Rey de Acapulco"
as the main feature. Beyond we get glimpses of the
Tower, Rialto and Orpheum.

Sean is a noted historian of transit in the LA area.
You can see many more items from Sean's Osiris
Press transit archive that he's put on YouTube.

Thanks, Sean!


     B'hend and Kaufmann Archives     

digitalcollections.oscars.org/cdm


This view of the Globe as the Newsreel Theatre is
from the collection of Jack Tillminy.
full size view

The AMPAS dates the photo above as c.1943 but it's
obviously a bit earlier than '43 as the theatre still has its
older rectangular marquee.  The current marquee
has been on the building since at least mid-1942.



The 1945 photo is by Harry E. Surerus and was
in the collection of Tony Heinsbergen.  Thanks to
Tom Ohmer for finding this one in the Archive.
full size view

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 photo of the Globe above also appears
on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.



     Broadway Theatre Tour    

www.gmrnet.com/theaters.html   



See this site for a nice tour with lots of information
about the Globe and other theatres.
 full size image


    Gerald DeLuca on Photobucket    

s3.photobucket.com/home/italiangerry/index


This great 1931 postcard shows the
marquee of the Globe, then called the
President Theatre, in the left foreground.
 full size view

The Majestic Theatre shows up farther down the street
on the right -- just before the green Eastern Columbia building.
 The marquee of the Bard's Theatre (later the Olympic Theatre)
Broadway entrance is in the classical white Merritt Building at right.

Mr. DeLuca has an interesting collection of theatre
 photos. Check out his Cinemas Album and others.



     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 Morosco at night from the
Huntington Library image. Click on it to enlarge.



     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org    


Here's a 1913 photo of  the Garland Building
and its Morosco Theatre. The photo is from the
Library's Security Pacific collection.
full size view



An early view of the Morosco Theatre and
Garland Building from the Library's collection.
  Note the "Morosco" vertical sign.
 full size view

The large building on the corner is the Chapman Building,
756 S. Broadway -- now lofts. It was originally the Los Angeles
Investment Building, constructed in 1912. It was renamed
the Chapman Building in 1920.



A 1914 view of the Chapman Building
and the Morosco by C.C. Pierce. 
full size view



A 1937 Herman Schultheis photo looking
north from 8th toward the President
Theatre, as it was then called
full size view  |  slightly sharper version



A 30s view looking down the canyon of
Broadway toward what was then the President
 Theatre. Down at 8th, we get a bit of the
 Tower.  The Library says it's 1938.
 full size view

Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for
 finding the photo above!



A 1942 4th of July parade up Broadway --
note the "Newsreel" signage on the Globe
above its new triangular marquee.
It's a Herald Examiner photo.
full size view

Also note the Tower down the street
at 8th & Broadway.



A 1972 view of the marquee from
the Library's collection.  
full size view



    Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows    

by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams


A view north on Broadway toward the Globe
from "Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows."
The theatre is running "Wichita," a July 1955
release with Joel McCrea.
From the Amazon blurb on the book: "Presenting her
breathtaking photographs alongside revealing interviews
with those who knew her best, this volume is the first attempt
 to put Vivian Maier's work in context and create a moving
 portrait of her as an artist. Though she created more than
 120,000 negatives during her lifetime, only a few
were ever seen by others."

Thanks to Don Goldberg for spotting this one!



     Penny Postcards from California    

usgwarchives.net/ca/ppcs-ca.html


A postcard view looking north on Broadway showing the
building with the Morosco vertical. The card was located in
this fine collection by Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel. 
full size view

The card also appears on Photos of Los Angeles.



     Stephen Russo on BBB Facebook    

www.facebook.com/BringingBackBroadway



A rare look north on Broadway in the 30's. The
Morosco has been renamed the Newsreel -- as we can
see by the view of the marquee on the right.
 full size view

The photo is from the James Rojas collection and
is from the Metro Transportation Archive on Flickr. 
The view also appears on Photos of Los Angeles.



A detail from Mr. Russso's photo. On the
marquee is the newsreel "March of Time."

Mr. Russo notes that production of the
"March of Time" newsreels began in 1935.



     Theatre Talks - Cezar Del Valle    

www.flickr.com/photos/theatreposts/with/5716622361


An early tinted postcard view of the Morosco
Theatre in Cezar's collection
on Flickr.
 full size view

 Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian. See his Flickr collection
for many more L.A. theatre cards.
For other interesting material see
 his website
Theatre Talks and visit him on Facebook.



     UCLA - "Changing Times"    

unitproj.library.ucla.edu



A 1948 photo from the UCLA collection shows
the Globe with its Newsreel marquee.
full size view

Note in the full size view, you can look farther
 south to 8th St. and see the marquee of the
 Tower Theatre -- in 1948 it was the Music Hall.



      more from USC...     

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm


A 60s Dick Whittington Studios view. 
  full size view



A detail from the 60s USC Archives Dick
Whittington Studio photo above.