Theatres West of Broadway -- Hill St. and Beyond

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Downtown Los Angeles theatres west of Broadway
weren't numerous enough to give Hill Street or streets
farther west the feeling of a concentrated theatrical district
like on Broadway or, earlier, on Main Street. 

But we did have a number of interesting theatres in the
 area including 3 great buildings on Hill Street that have
survived: The Warner Bros. Downtown (former Pantages),
the Mayan and the Belasco.

Our stroll on Hill Street starts at the north end of the
street and works south as you scroll down the column.

Theatre names on the right are for theatres
on the east side of the street, on the left are
 those on the west.

In addition to what's on Hill Street there are a few
lateral excursions.  We have two buildings between Hill
and Broadway (the Olympic and the Palace of Pictures)

as well as a few historic theatres that have
vanished on
Grand.

And there's the Variety Arts, a great surviving building
on Figueroa. Plus a few more oddities here and there.


Happy exploring!




     Map of Hill Street Theatres    

 [ with many excursions farther west plus
anything between Broadway and Hill ]


 Also see our Alternate Names list below
and the full Downtown Directory page.


       Temple Street      

<<< 2 blocks west
Ahmanson Theatre
601 W. Temple St.
[ legit ]

<<< 2 blocks west
Mark Taper Forum
601 W. Temple St.
[ legit ]

<<< 2 blocks west
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave.
[ concerts, ballet, opera ]

       1st Street      



<<< 2 blocks west
Disney Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
[ L.A. Phil, other music events ]

<<< 2 1/2 blocks west
Redcat
631 W. 2nd St.
[ legit, film, dance ]


       2nd Street      






<<< 4 1/2 blocks west
Lux Theatre
827 W. 3rd St.
[ demolished ]

       3rd Street      


<<< 3 1/2 blocks west
Tunnel  Theatre
712 W. 3rd St., W. of Hope
[ demolished ]

Grand Central
Market
| L.A. History - photos |  |

<<< 4 blocks west
Laemmle's Grande  Theatre
345 S. Figueroa St.
[ closed ]

Angel's Flight (1901, 1996)
352 S. Hill St.
| Uncanny  |  Big Orange |


       4th Street      





Subway Terminal Bldg.
417 S. Hill St.  (1926)
Uncanny  |  Big Orange  |
| Wikipedia  | Westworld |



College Theatre
441 S. Hill St.
[ demolished ]

Town Theatre
444 S. Hill St.
[ demolished ]

<<< 1 block west
Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive
[ demolished ]

<<< 1 block west
Hazard's Pavilion
W. 5th St. @ Olive
[ demolished ]


       5th Street      

<<< 1 1/2 blocks west
Biltmore  Theatre
520 W. 5th St.  [ between
Olive & Grand ] & 515 S. Olive St.
[ demolished ]

Pershing Square
[ west side of 500 block ]

<<< 1 block west
Biltmore Hotel (1922)
515 S. Olive St.
| Big Orange |

Metropolitan
 Theatre

  536 S. Hill St.
[ demolished ]
<<< 4 1/2 blocks west
Star Theatre
827 W. 6th St.
[ demolished ]

       6th Street      




Bandbox Theatre
 608 S. Hill St.
[ demolished ]

<<<  1 block west
Oviatt Bldg. (1928)
617 S. Olive St.
| Big Orange | LA Places |


<<< 2 blocks west
Criterion  Theatre
642 S. Grand St.
[ demolished ]


Warner Bros. Theatre
401 W. 7th St. St.@ Hill
[ jewelry mart ]

       7th Street      

1/ 2 block east >>>
Palace of Pictures
318 W. 7th St.
[ retail ]

<<< 2 blocks west
Grand  Theatre
730 S. Grand St.
[ demolished ]

<<< 3 blocks west
Simpson's Auditorium

730 S. Hope St.
[ church ]

Alhambra Theatre
731 S. Hill St.
[ demolished ]


1/ 2 block east >>>
Olympic Theatre
313 W. 8th St.
[ storage ]

       8th Street      

 801 S. Hill St.
[ demolished ]

Hamburger's Dept. Store
800 S. Hill St.
| L.A. History - photos |




looking toward Broadway >>
[ the Orpheum facade from Hill St. ]



<<< 2 blocks west
Trinity/Embassy Auditorium
855 S. Grand Ave.
[ vacant 

       9th Street      




looking toward Broadway >>
[ the back of the UA from Hill St. ]
<<< 5 blocks west
Variety Arts Theatre
940 S. Figueroa St.
[ vacant - special events ]








    Olympic Blvd.   



<<< 7 blocks west
Regal Cinemas
@ L.A. Live

1000 W. Olympic Blvd.
[ movies ]

Mayan Theatre
1038 S. Hill St.
[ nightclub ]
<<< 3 blocks west
Gamut Auditorium

1044 S. Hope St.
[ demolished ]

Belasco Theatre
1050 S. Hill St.
[ open soon ]


       11th Street      










       12th Street      











       Pico Blvd.      



<<< 5 1/2 blocks west
Pico Theatre
736 W. Pico Blvd.
[ demolished ]

<<< 5 blocks west
Musart Theatre
1320 S. Figueroa St.
[ demolished ]

<<< 5 blocks west
Turnverein Hall
1345 S. Figueroa St.
[ demolished ]


       14th Street      




       15th Street      




       Venice Blvd.      





       17th Street      





       18th Street      


<<< 5 blocks west
Ebell Club  
1719 S. Figueroa St.


       Washington Blvd.      







            Alternate Names            


  [ This list just covers theatres west of
 Broadway.  See our downtown directory
for a more complete list. ]


Academy of Music see Hazard's Pavilion
W. 5th St. @ Olive

Actor's Theatre see Grand Theatre 
730 S. Grand Ave.

Ahmanson Theatre
601 W. Temple St.

Alhambra Theatre 
731 S. Hill St.

Auditorium, Clune's see Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive

Auditorium, Philharmonic see Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive

Bandbox Theatre  
608 S. Hill St.

Bard's 8th St. Theatre see Olympic Theatre 
313 W. 8th St.

Bard's College Theatre see College Theatre 
441 S. Hill  St.

Bard's Hill St. Theatre see Town Theatre  
444 S. Hill St.

Bear Theatre see Lux Theatre
827 W. 3rd St.

Beaux Arts Theatre  [ on our Wilshire Theatres site ]
1709 W. 8th St.

Belasco Theatre (1926) 
1050 S. Hill St. 

Biltmore Theatre  
520 W. 5th St. and 515 S. Olive St.

Brooks Theatre see Grand Theatre 
730 S. Grand Ave.

Butler Theatre, Butler's Theatre see Bandbox Theatre
608 S. Hill St.

CalArts Redcat
631 W. 2nd St.

Capitol Theatre   See Georgia Theatre on our Wilshire site
1002 W. 9th St.

Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave

Clune's Auditorium see Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive 

Clune's Grand Ave. Theatre see Grand Theatre
730 S. Grand Ave.

Clune's Theatre Beautiful see  Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive 

College Theatre 
 441 S. Hill  St.

Community Playhouse see Ebell Club  
1719 S. Figueroa St.

Criterion Theatre  
642 S. Grand Ave. 

Criterion Theatre, Talley's see Criterion 
642 S. Grand Ave.

Disney Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave

Downtown Theatre see Warner Bros Downtown
401 W. 7th St. @ Hill

Ebell Club  
1719 S. Figueroa St.

Egan Theatre, Egan Little Theatre see Musart Theatre
1320 S. Figueroa St. 

Embassy Auditorium see Trinity Auditorium
855 S. Grand Ave.

Empire see Trinity Auditorium
855 S. Grand Ave.

Erlanger's Biltmore Theatre  see  Biltmore Theatre  
520 W. 5th St. and 515 S. Olive St.

Figueroa 9th St. see Variety Arts
940 S. Figueroa St.

Figueroa Playhouse see Variety Arts
940 S. Figueroa St. 

Fine Arts Theatre see Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Forum, Mark Taper
601 W. Temple St.

Fox Criterion Theatre see Criterion 
642 S. Grand Ave. 

Friday Morning Club see Variety Arts  
940 S. Figueroa St.

Gamut Club Auditorium
1044 S. Hope St.

Georgia Theatre  [ on our Wilshire site ]
1002 W. 9th St.

Gore's Theatre   See Georgia Theatre on our Wilshire site
1002 W. 9th St.

Grand Avenue Theatre see Grand Theatre
730 S. Grand Ave.

Grand Avenue Theatre, Clune's see Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Grand Playhouse see Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Grand International Theatre see Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Grand Wilshire Theatre see Criterion  
642 S. Grand Ave.

Grande Theatre, Laemmle's see Laemmle's Grande  
345 S. Figueroa St.  

Grauman's Mayan Theatre see Mayan 
1038 S. Hill St.

Grauman's Metropolitan see Metropolitan
323 W. 6th  St. and 536 S. Hill St.

Hazard's Pavilion
W. 5th St. @ Olive

Hillstreet see RKO Hillstreet  
801 S. Hill St. 

Hill Street Theatre, Bard's see Town Theatre  
444 S. Hill St.

Hill Street Theatre, Miller's see Alhambra Theatre 
731 S. Hill St.

International Theatre see Grand Theatre
730 S. Grand Ave.

Junior Orpheum Theatre see RKO Hillstreet
801 S. Hill St.

Kinema Theatre see Criterion 
642 S. Grand Ave. 

Laemmle's Grande Theatre 
345 S. Figueroa St. 

Little Theatre see Musart Theatre
1320 S. Figueroa St.

L.A. Live  see  Regal Cinemas  
1000 West Olympic  Blvd.

L.A. Music Center
111 S. Grand, 135 N. Grand, 601 W. Temple St., 631 W. 2nd St.

L.A. Philharmonic see Disney Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.

L.A. Philharmonic  see Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive

Lux Theatre 
827 W. 3rd St. 

Major Theatre see Variety Arts 
940 S. Figueroa St.

Mark Taper Forum
601 W. Temple St.

Mayan Theatre  
1038 S. Hill St.

McKinney's Playhouse  see Playhouse Theatre on our Wilshire site
1234 W. 7th St.

Metropolitan Theatre  
323 W. 6th St. and 536 S. Hill St.

Miller's Hill Street Theatre see Alhambra Theatre  
731 S. Hill St.

Mozart Theatre see Grand Theatre
730 S. Grand Ave.

Musart Theatre
1320 S. Figueroa St. 

Navarro Theatre see Pico Theatre  
736 W. Pico Blvd.

New West Pico Theatre see Pico Theatre  
736 W. Pico Blvd.

Neilson Theatre see Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Olympic Theatre 
313 W. 8th St. 

Orange Grove Theatre see Grand Theatre  
730 S. Grand Ave.

Orpheum Theatre, Junior see RKO Hillstreet
801 S. Hill St.

Palace (1916-1921) see Palace of Pictures 
318 W. 7th St.

Palace of Pictures 
318 W. 7th St.

Pantages (1920) see Warner Bros Downtown
401 W. 7th St. @ Hill

Paramount see Metropolitan
323 W. 6th St. and 536 S. Hill St.

Pavilion, Dorothy Chandler
135 N. Grand Ave

Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive

Pico Theatre
736 W. Pico Blvd.

Playhouse see Variety Arts
940 S. Figueroa St.

Playhouse, Community see Ebell Club  
1719 S. Figueroa St.

Playhouse Theatre  [ on our Wilshire Theatres site ]
1234 W. 7th St.

Pussycat see Town Theatre
444 S. Hill St.

Redcat
631 W. 2nd St.

Regal Cinemas
1000 W. Olympic  Blvd.

Rex Theatre see Lux Theatre
827 W. 3rd St.

RKO Hillstreet Theatre
801 S. Hill St.

RKO Theatre see RKO Hillstreet
801 S. Hill St.

Roof Garden Theatre see Variety Arts 
940 S. Figueroa St.

Rose Theatre see Lux Theatre
827 W. 3rd St.

Shamrock Theatre see Bandbox Theatre
608 S. Hill St.

Simpson's Auditorium
730 S. Hope St.

Star Theatre
827 W 6th St.

Strand Theatre see Grand Theatre
730 S. Grand Ave.

Tally's Criterion Theatre see Criterion Theatre
642 S. Grand Ave.

Tally's Kinema Theatre see Criterion 
642 S. Grand Ave.

Taper Forum
601 W. Temple St.

Temple Auditorium see Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive

The Playhouse see Variety Arts
940 S. Figueroa St.

The Playhouse  see Playhouse Theatre on our Wilshire site
1234 W. 7th St.

Theatre Beautiful see Philharmonic Auditorium
427 W. 5th St. @ Olive  

Times Theatre see Variety Arts
940 S. Figueroa St. 

Town Theatre
444 S. Hill St.

Trinity Auditorium
855 S. Grand Ave.

Turnverein Hall
1345 S. Figueroa St.

Tunnel Theatre
712 W. 3rd St.

Variety Arts
940 S. Figueroa St.

Walker Auditorium see Grand Theatre
730 S. Grand Ave.

Walker Theatre see Grand Theatre
730 S.Grand Ave.

Walt Disney Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.

Warner Bros Downtown
401 W. 7th St. @ Hill

Warner's Theatre see Warner Bros Downtown
401 W. 7th St. @ Hill

Warrens see Warner Bros Downtown
401 W. 7th St. @ Hill  

West Pico Theatre see Pico Theatre  
736 W. Pico Blvd.


Not accounted for:

411 W. 8th St. -- Listed under moving picture theatres in 1911
as Miles Bros. and in 1913 as Miles Bros. (S.F.). It's unknown
whether it was an actual theatre or not







For more downtown Los Angeles
 theatre explorations:

  See the Broadway page for Los Angeles movie palaces,
 grindhouses and more on the big street.  Visit our
Spring Street Theatres  page for interesting tales
 of theatres just east of Broadway.    And don't miss
our Main Street Theatres  page for
 exploration of over 40 theatres!

See you at the movies!



back to top  |

















A detail of the Mayan Theatre facade.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007


[ click to enlarge ]

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

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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
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question concerning reproduction or other use.



Alhambra Theatre

731 S. Hill St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: Prior to 1914.  In the 1915 directory it's still listed as the Alhambra. In 1915 it was leased to Fred Miller and became Miller's Hill Street Theatre. It's again the Alhambra in the 1916 through 1923 and 1929 city directories.  Miller also had theatres on Main Street: Miller's (known as Miller's Main Street while he had this Hill St. house as well) and the California.

Architects: Silas Reese Burns and Sumner P. Hunt designed the Alhambra and the attached 5 story Silent Building for owner Edward Silent.

Seating: 878 

More Information: See the discussion by Joe Vogel and other researchers on the Cinema treasures page devoted to the Alhambra Theatre.

Status: The Alhambra was running as late as 1931.  The building has been demolished.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org



A view of the Silent Building with the
Alhambra Theatre entrance on the right.  
full size view




A 1929 view of the block looking north with
a glimpse of the Alhambra marquee at the far right.
On the marquee: "Love Doctor, a talkie."
 full size view

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm


A detail of the Alhambra and the RKO Hillstreet
from a much larger USC photo looking south on Hill.
In the distance note the signage for the Belasco and Mayan
 with an arrow pointing across to the east side of Hill St.
larger view of this detail   |  full photo on the USC site

On the Alhambra marquee: Bill Haines & Marie Dressler.
They only made two films together so it's either "Hollywood
Revue of 1929" or "The Girl Said No" from 1930.

Bandbox Theatre

608 S. Hill St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened:
The theatre opened around 1911 as the Butler Theatre,  a remodel from what had been a retail space. It's featured in a May 1912 article in Moving Picture World. 

The 1914 city directory lists a Mr. "ML Butler" as the proprietor. In the 1915 directory it's listed as Butler's Theatre. In the 1916 through 1922 directories it's the Shamrock and was evidently called that until about 1925, when it became the Bandbox. It was operated as the Bandbox by Fox Film Corp.

Seating: 250

Status: The building was demolished to make way for the 1931 Wm. Fox Building, which is still on the site. Shown here is a 2007 view -- click on it to enlarge.

The Fox Building was constructed at the same time as the Los Angeles Theatre directly behind on Broadway. Its architect, S. Tilden Norton, was related to the owner, H.L. Gumbiner. Norton was also the associate architect of the Los Angeles.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Shamrock Theatre for a few items of interest.

     Cezar Del Valle - Theatre Talks    



Cezar Del Valle has discovered this photo of the Butler Theatre
in the February 24, 1912 issue of Moving Picture World.
The article notes:

"The Butler Theater, located at 608 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, Cal.,
 is one of the prettiest five-cent houses in that city. The seating capacity
of the house is 250. The latest model Powers No. 6 machine is used,
with a Mercury Arc Rectifier attachment. The throw is eighty feet
and a picture 9x12 is projected.

In the picture, Mr. A. L. Butler, proprietor of the house, and
Mrs. Butler, are seen standing on each side of the box. The young men
at the extreme right and left of the lobby are Messrs. C. C. Jonas and
E. Apperson, operators. This house enjoys a very nice patronage and
is one of the most prosperous theaters in Los Angeles."

On Cezar's post about the Butler Theatre there's a larger view.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org    



Here we're looking south on Hill Street. The corner of the Bandbox
marquee is on the far left of the image.  The photo is probably from the
mid-20's.  Note that the building has acquired a couple of additional
 floors compared to the two story version in the photo below.  
full size view

     Noirish Los Angeles - Skyscraperpage    




This is a detail from a view probably taken not much
 after the Pantages opened in 1910. It was located on
 eBay by Mr. Ethereal Reality and is on his post #2388
which shows up on Noirish Los Angeles - page 120.   
full photo 

If you let your eyes travel down to the bottom of the image, you're
 looking at the 600 block of Hill St.  The arched entrance above the rear
of the car parked on the street is the Shamrock/Bandbox Theatre.
enlarged view of the detail

     USC Archives    



A detail from a panel of a panoramic photo taken
c.1913 from the Los Angeles Athletic Club building at
7th & Olive. We're looking north on Hill toward 5th.
 The theatre at this time is still called Butler's.
The theatre also appears in the next panel of the
panorama. Thanks to Chuckaluck for posting this one
 on his Noirish Los Angeles post #10272.

     Water & Power Associates    

waterandpower.org/museum/museum


We get this view looking north on Hill from the DWP collection
 on their Early LA Historical Buildings Page 3. The Hollingsworth
 Building is at the left, the Continental Hotel at the right.  The Bandbox
marquee is at the far end of the squat building in the middle.
 full size view

Above the theatre, the caption notes is "..the Palais de Dance,
 a dance studio for ballroom, completed in 1925 at a cost of $800,000.
The site was formerly occupied by the Rendezvous Cafe."

Belasco Theatre

1050 S. Hill St.     | map |

Los Angeles, CA  90015

Opened: 1926. It was named for noted producer David Belasco. His brother Frederic Belasco was one of the original partners. The bulk of the financing was oil money from magnate Edward L. Doheny.

The photo here is a 2007 view -- click to enlarge.

Architects: Morgan, Walls & Clements.

Seating: 1,601

Status: Closed in 1952. Later used as a church. After decades of sporadic use, it got a multi-million dollar makeover in 2011. It's now alive again as a club and special events venue.

More Information: See our Belasco Theatre pages for information and photos:
main belasco page  |  recent exterior views  |  lobby areas  |
dance studio  |  auditorium  | 
stage  |  basement  |


Biltmore Theatre

520 W. 5th St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: March 3, 1924.  This was long a major venue for Broadway shows playing Los Angeles.

Architects:  Renowned New York hotel architects Leonard Schultze and S. Fullerton Weaver designed both the Biltmore Hotel and the adjacent Biltmore Theatre.  The theatre was  connected to the hotel via an arcade and also had an entrance on 5th St.

Seating: 1,654

Status: Demolished in 1964 for a parking lot. Years later a tower addition to the hotel was constructed on the site.

More Information: See our page on the Biltmore Theatre.

     California State Library    

www.library.ca.gov



Here is a view of the proscenium and boxes
from the Library's collection.   full size view

College Theatre

441 S. Hill St.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: December, 1910 by Arthur S. Hyman, who also had the Hyman Theatre on Broadway (later known as the Garrick) and the Hyman in Venice (later known as the Neptune).  The College Theatre was so named for its proximity to the nearby State Normal School on the block that is currently the site of the Library. 

The theatre was later operated as Bard's College Theatre by Lou Bard, who also ran the nearby Hill Street (later called the Town) and Bard's 8th Street (later known as the Olympic Theatre).

Status: It closed sometime around 1929 and is now a parking lot. 

More Information:  See our page on the College Theatre.

     USC Archives    

  digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm

This great view from the USC Archives is looking
 north on the 400 Hill Street in 1928. 

Here on the west side of the block we have the ornate
 facade of the College Theatre and the Subway Terminal
Building beyond.  The California Club is at the
 extreme left.   full size view


Criterion Theatre

642 S. Grand Ave.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Opening: December 15, 1917 as the Kinema with Cecil B. DeMille's "The Woman God Forgot" with Geraldine Farrar.

The Photo is a 1920 view from the Fred McSpadden collection -- click to enlarge.

In 1927 Warner Bros. leased the house for the west coast premiere of "The Jazz Singer" on December 28, 1927. In 1929 the theatre became the Fox Criterion. The theatre ended its days as the Grand Wilshire.

Architect: Architect William J. Dodd and engineer William Richards (Dodd and Richards) designed one of the earliest deluxe film houses downtown. And it was specifically for films -- the stage was only 7' deep. Too bad that Grand Ave. never developed into a theatre district.

Seating: 1,856

Status: Demolished in 1941 to make room for an office building.

More Information: See our CriterionTheatre page for more information and photos.


Ebell Club

1719 S. Figueroa St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened:  Circa 1905. The group's first Los Angeles building of their own was on Broadway south of 7th.  Evidently they had rented an auxiliary building from a church before that.  The club was founded in 1897 and had branches in several Los Angeles area communities.

The club moved to their current building on Wilshire in 1927. In late 1927 they leased out this Figueroa building for $200 a month to a group operating the venue as the Community Playhouse.  Bruce Monson found a Los Angeles Times article detailing the formation of the new group.

Status: Demolished. The location is just south of the I-10 freeway. It's not known how long the building operated as the Community Playhouse or what its life was after 1927.

More information:  The Huntington Library has an undated photo of an earlier Ebell clubhouse, on Broadway.

There's a nice post (#3500) on Noirish Los Angeles with photos and discussion of the Ebell on Wilshire with the last two photos being of the Figueroa building.  See post #3504 for a discussion of the Ebell buildings on Figueroa and Broadway.  And check in with post #3508  and post #3509 for photos of the Ebell South and Highland Park clubs.

Photos in the USC Archives include an early unidentified Ebell building (c.1900 -- evidently a rental from the adjacent church), the Broadway Ebell c.1905 -Broadway south of 7th) and the  Figueroa St. Bldg. ( c. 1909). 

The Los Angeles Public Library has photos of the Figueroa St. building including a 1927 facade view , a 1929 facade view and a c.1933 facade view (the latter from the Herald Examiner collection).  See Jennifer Steinhauer's August 2010 New York Times Article "A Sanctuary for Women, Even Today" for a nice history of the club and its activities.

Also see our pages on the later Ebell Theatre on Wilshire and on the Ebell Theatre Long Beach.

     Elizabeth Fuller's Old L.A. Postcards    

flickr.com/photos/zilf/sets


A postcard look at the Figueroa St. Ebell
 Club from Elizabeth Fuller's great collection.
 full size view


Gamut Auditorium

1044 S. Hope St.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Opened: 1904 as an exclusively male musical society by L.E. Behymer and other L.A. musicians. Soon the Gamut Club broadened its focus to other types of artists as well as local people of "artistic tastes."

Seating: 668 in the auditorium plus various other meeting, banquet rooms and music studios.  The club was the scene of a great variety of musical performances.

Status: Demolished. It's unknown when the club ceased to be active. It's listed in the 1923 city directory under "theatres."

More Information: See the Online Archive of California PDF about the Gamut Club.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org

A 1926 view of the Gamut Club from the
LAPL collection. full size view


Grand Theatre

730 S. Grand Ave.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Opened: December, 1908 as the Walker (built for George Walker) with programs of Sullivan and Considine vaudeville and movies. It was also known through the years as the Nielson, Clune's Grand Avenue Theatre, the Mozart, the Strand, the Walker Auditorium, the Grand Avenue, Fine Arts, Orange Grove, the Actor's Theatre, the Grand International Theatre (or Internationale) and just the Grand Theatre.

Architect: Eisen and Sons designed the 6 story building (called the Walker Auditorium Building) which contained a number of other halls (such as Lincoln Hall, Roosevelt Hall) and music studios in addition to the main theatre.

Seating: 900    Status: Demolished in 1946 for a parking lot.

Sources: See the page on the Grand Theatre for more photos and data.

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm



A 1913 look at the Grand (then the Mozart) at
night by G. Haven Bishop. It's part of a set he did
for the Southern California Edison Co. 
full size view
( and then use the slider to enlarge)

Laemmle's Grande

345 S. Figueroa St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90071

This unexciting 4 plex opened in the early 80's in the lower level of the Mariott (now the L.A.) Hotel. 

The theatre closed in late 2009. The photos date from 2007. Click the images to enlarge.

In the lower photo we're looking down the stairs to the theatre's entrance below the Marriott.




More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Laemmle Grande. And for more photos see the Cinema Tour page which features 16 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

Hazard's Pavilion

W. 5th and Olive Sts.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1887 by Henry T. Hazard. Hazard was City Attorney and soon to be Los Angeles mayor. It had been the site of a cattle corral. Also involved in the project was George H. Pike.

A showman by the name of George "Roundhouse" Lehman had planned to build a large theatre on the site but he went bankrupt and the property ended up with Hazard.

It was a huge 3 story wood barn-like structure with a stage but no fixed seating. The building was 120' x 166'. The ceiling was 50' high. The structure also included a restaurant and art salon. It was intended as an all purpose cultural center for the growing city. It was also known as the Academy of Music.

It hosted everything from the flower festival, citrus fairs, conventions to William Jennings Bryan. The Metropolitan Opera performed here in 1887 with a company of (reportedly) 300. In 1900 impresario L.E. Behymer staged the American premiere of "La Boehme" here. In 1901 it was Enrico Caruso and Emma Calve in "Carmen." Also in 1891 Henry M. Stanley did his lecture called "In Darkest Africa."

Seating: The capacity was reportedly 4,000.

Status: The Temple Baptist Church held Sunday services in the Pavilion and in 1905 bought the property for $170,000. After establishing the Auditorium Company with some stock held by the Church but mostly by downtown businessmen who saw a need for an upgraded civic auditorium, plans were hatched for a more permanent structure.

Hazard's was demolished in 1905 for construction of the Temple Theatre, later known as the Philharmonic Auditorium.

More Information: See the Big Orange Landmarks article about the Philharmonic Auditorium.  An article in the USC Archives "Music Halls of Yesterday" from Overture Magazine in 1948 mentions Hazard's Pavilion.  On Goliath, the article "The Start of Something Big..." discusses many early entertainment venues in Los Angeles.

See George Garrigues' fascinating site Los Angeles in the 1900s for photos of Hazard's Pavilion. Wilipedia has an article on Hazard's.  Skyscraperpage.com's Noirish LA has a rear view photo from USC.  The California State Library has two views by Martin Behrman: |  facade  |  another facade view  |

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org

Looking wast on 5th St. in an undated view from
 the Library's collection. That's Central Park (later
 Pershing Square) to the left. Hazard's Pavilion
is on the right. In the background is the
State Normal School.  full size view

The pavilion set up for the William Jennings Bryan
 banquet in 1899. full size view

Also in the Library's collection:
 | state citrus fair - 1891  |  looking east from 5th & Grand - 1890  |

...and more if you look through the collection
  

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu 

A c.1890 view in the USC Archives from
the California Historical Society. We're
looking at
the 5th St. side of the building.
full size view


A 1903 C.C. Pierce & Co. photo looking toward
the stage in the USC Archives. It's from the
California Historical Society.  full size view

Also in the USC Archives:
| c.1895 exterior view  |


L.A. Music Center

The Music Center includes:
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
, 135 N. Grand Ave. (Welton Becket, 1964)
The Ahmanson Theatre, 601 W. Temple St. (Welton Becket, 1967)
The Mark Taper Forum, 601 W. Temple  (Welton Becket, 1967
Walt Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave. (Frank Gehry, 2003)
The Redcat, 631 W. 2nd St. (Frank Gehry, 2003)

More information: See our page on the L.A. Music Center.

     Vintage Los Angeles    

www.facebook.com/VintageLosAngeles



A look at the lobby of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
 in 1968. The card is from the Alison Martino collection. 
 full size view

 

Lux Theatre

827 W. 3rd St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90071

This little theatre just east of Figueroa opened prior to 1914 as the Bear Theatre then became the Rose. It's listed as the Rose in the 1917, 1918 and 1919 city directories.

By 1929 it was known as the Rex it had a long career running lots of westerns.  By 1939 it was known as the Lux except for a brief fling as the Anita (in 1946).  It was operated in the early 60's by Harold Wenzler, who later ran the Granada on Temple St.

Seating: 500

Status: Demolished as part of the Bunker Hill redevelopment project. 

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Lux Theatre for some more history. See Tovangar2's Noirish Los Angeles post #10900 for more photos of the area. The Lux can be seen in a 1964 aerial view in the USC Archives.  The Tunnel Theatre at 712 W. 3rd St. was a block farther east, near the west portal of the 3rd St. tunnel.

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm


A June 1965 vista looking northeast across the
waste of the Bunker Hill leveling project with everything
 leveled except the Lux and the adjoining building.
 It's a Kodachrome slide by Palmer Connor.
full size view

That's the DWP building behind at center and the Stanley
Apartment Hotel, 210 S. Flower St., over on the right.




A September 1965 Palmer Connor photo looking
 west along 3rd. The Lux still sports its marquee. His
caption: "Last buildings to be wrecked on 3rd St."
 full size view


     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org


A sad photo of the Lux exterior in 1964
from the Library collection.  full size view




A lonely 1965 distance view looking west
by
William
Reagh. It looks like the Lux is mostly but
the hotel building to the east remains.
 
full size view


A view of the side of the building east
of the Lux in 1965.
  full size view

Also in the Library collection:
  | another facade view  |  marquee detail  |


Mayan Theatre

1038 S. Hill St.     | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90015 

Architect: Morgan, Walls & Clements

Opened: 1927 as a legit theatre but was running movies as early as 1929.

The photo here is from 2007. Click to enlarge.

Seating: 1,491

Status:  Closed for movies in 1990 and now thriving as a nightclub.

More information: Visit our Mayan Theatre pages for more details and photos:
main mayan page  |  recent exterior views  |  lobby  |  lounges  |
balcony lobby  |  auditorium  | 
stage  |  more  |


Metropolitan Theatre

536 S. Hill St.
and 323 W. 6th St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Architect:
William Woollett

Opened: January 26, 1923 as Grauman's Metropolitan. It became the Paramount in July 1924 when Sid sold his interest in the theatre and went on to other adventures in Hollywood.

Shown here is the faded sign on Broadway pointing back to the location on Hill St. Once, there was a Broadway entrance through this building. Click the image to enlarge.

Seating: 3,600

Status: Demolished 1961. There's now a high rise at 6th and Hill.

More Information: For more photos and information see our Metropolitan Theatre page.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org  


A view of the the proscenium of the Metropolitan
Theatre from the Library collection.  
full size view


Musart Theatre

1320 S. Figueroa St.       | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Opened: It opened in 1913 as the Little Theatre. In its early days it was also known as the Egan Theatre and the Egan Little Theatre.

The building was running as the Musart  in the 30s and early 40s.  It was used for a number of WPA Federal Theatre Project productions. The theatre was still running in 1948.  The rest is a mystery. 

Status:  Demolished.

More Information: See our page on the Musart Theatre.

     Library of Congress    




A poster for the WPA Federal Theatre Project
 production of "Roadside" at the Musart Theatre
sometime between 1936 and 1941.  full size view


Olympic Theatre

313 W. 8th St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: 1927 as Bard's 8th St.

Architect: Lewis A. Smith. Charles O. Matcham did a remodel in 1942.

Seating: 600

Status: Closed around 1997 and has mostly been storage since then.  The building is currently for lease. The photo dates from 2007 -- click to enlarge.

More Information: See our Olympic Theatre pages for more information and photos.


Palace of Pictures

318 W. 7th St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: February 20, 1916 as the Palace of Pictures and later frequently referred to just as the Palace.

This location (previously the Chocolate Den) is 1/2 block west of Broadway. It's just across the alley from the west side of the Loew's State Theatre. Previously the Palace of Pictures had a space at 642 S. Broadway.

Seating: 700 was the announced capacity.

Status: Closed January 21, 1921 when the lease expired. The building was remodeled for use by the Vogue Millinery Co. and the Model Cloak and Suit House. The building still exists, with a GNC store in one half. The photo here is of the Palace of Pictures building in 2010. The red brick and terracotta building to the left is the Loew's State building.

Sources: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Palace Theatre for all the history unearthed by Joe Vogel and Jeff Bridges (aka Vokoban).

Also see: If you're looking for the current Palace Theatre, it's at 630 S. Broadway.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org  


From the Library collection we get a glancing view of the
 Palace facade on the left in 1917.  Note the "Palace"
 vertical on the left side of the street partially
 obscured by a streetlight.   full size view

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu



A view looking west on 7th Street in 1921 from
  the USC Archives. On the extreme left at 7th and
Broadway is the site of 1922's  Loew's State Theatre.

Beyond the alley is the marquee of the Palace Theatre.
Also in view is a roof sign for the Alhambra Theatre
 on Hill St. but note that the sign is not on the
 theatre building itself.   full size view


Philharmonic Auditorium

Olive near 5th and 427 W. 5th St.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: November 7, 1906 as the Temple Auditorium. It was built on the site of the 1887 Hazard's Pavilion.

Architects: Charles F. Whittlesey, & Otto H. Neher

Seating: 2,680 more or less.

Status: Demolished in 1985 with little furor. Everybody was happy with the new Music Center.

More Information: See our Philharmonic Auditorium page for more information and photos.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org 



A view back into the dome at the Auditorium in
 1966 from the Library's collection.    full size view


Pico Theatre

736 W. Pico Blvd.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90071

Dates: Opened 1914 or earlier. It's listed in the city directories as the Navarro Theatre from 1914 through 1918.  The address is sometimes listed as at 738 -- such as in the 1917 and 1918 directories.

In the 1922, 1923 and 1929 city directories it's called the Pico Theatre. In 1925 it was listed as the New West Pico Theatre

Seating: 525

Status: Closing date is unknown. Now demolished. This site just west of Figueroa is now part of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Pico Theatre for everything that is known about the building.


Regal Cinemas

1000 W. Olympic Blvd. @ Georgia -- L.A. Live  

Los Angeles, CA 90015   | map |

(213) 763-6070, (213) 763-6071

Website:  www.regmovies.com

Opened: October  2009

Seating: 3,772 seats in 14 auditoria. The largest, the "Premiere" theatre, seats 806. 

The upper photo is the "drive by" view of the Regal Cinemas from the 110 Freeway. The lower view is looking east on Olympic Blvd.

Both views are from 2010. Click on either of them to enlarge.  The L.A. Times had a March 2014 article on Regal's plans to install a 4D auditorium in partnership with CJ Group, a Korean company.


     Blogdowntown.com    

http://blogdowntown.com



This night view of the exterior by Eric Richardson
 accompanies an article and photo spread on the
Opening of the Regal Cinemas on Blogdowntown.
  full size view


A view of the 806 seat Premiere Theatre
 by Eric Richardson on Flickr.
full size view

More Information: See the Cinema Tour page for 12 photos by Chris Utley.  Cinema Treasures also has a page on the Regal

RKO Hillstreet Theatre

801 S. Hill St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: 1922 by the Orpheum circuit.

Architect: G. Albert Lansburg

Seating: 2,916

Status: Closed in 1964 and demolished in 1965.

More Information: See our RKO Hillstreet Theatre page for more information and photos.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org



The Library's immense collection includes

this nice interior view of the RKO Hillstreet.
 full size view

Simpson's Auditorium

730 S. Hope St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Opened: December 1889. It was really a church, known as Simpson's Tabernacle but heavily used as an auditorium for many musical performances as well.

Status: Not all of the building has survived but part is still in use as a church, the Third Church of Christ, Scientist.  Most of the complex was demolished after damage from the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. The photo here is what's left of the Simpson's complex in 2010. Click on it to enlarge.

More Information: See the early Los Angeles Public Library photo of Simpson's.  The Library also has a later photo.  The Noirish Los Angeles post #2883 has an additional color view.  That color shot also appears on Photos of L.A. The Noirish post #2887 adds some interior photos and links to more LAPL views.   The Huntington Digital Library has Palmer Connor color photos from 1970 looking south and from across the street.

     Los Angeles Theatres    

facebook.com/losangelestheatres



An interior view of Simpson's Auditorium taken by
Jim Lewis not long before its demolition.  Thanks, Jim!
full size view

     A Visit To Old L.A.    

www.csulb.edu  

A view of Simpson's from Brent Dickerson's
Tour of Hope and Flower Streets.
full size view


Star Theatre

827 W. 6th St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Listed in the in 1914 & 1916 city directoriesOpening and closing dates unknown.

Status: Demolished


Town Theatre

444 S. Hill St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1920 as Bard's Hill Street Theatre. Lou Bard had a chain that also  included the Olympic and the Vista.   In the 30's it was renamed the Town and in the 1960's it became the Pussycat.

Architect:  Albert C. Martin remodeled an existing one story building to use as a theatre.

Seating: 430

Status: Closed in 1985 and was later demolished.

More Information: See the page on the Town Theatre

     Uncanny - Downtown Tour    

www.uncanny.net   



A great site by Tom Wetzel with period views
along different rail lines. Tom's  Downtown Walking Tour
explores the area of the Subway Terminal Bldg. Here
 we're going south on Hill St. with the Town Theatre
in the background on the right.  full size image

Trinity Auditorium

855 S. Grand Ave.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Opened: 1914 as a mixed use building with a church, dorms and offices. When the building later operated as the Embassy Hotel, the performance space was known as the Embassy Auditorium.

Architects: Thornton Fitzhugh, Frank Krucker and Harry Deckbar

Seating: 1,600

Status: Supposedly coming alive again as the Empire Hotel.

More Information: See our page on the Trinity Auditorium.

Tunnel Theatre

712 W. 3rd St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90071

Dates: Running in 1914It's also in the 1916 city directory. Opening and closing dates are unknown. But it was gone as a theatre by 1921. On the Baist 1914 Real Estate Survey map it shows as a theatre, on the 1921 map as a garage. It was on the south side of the street (at Cinnabar) just west of the west portal of the 3rd St. tunnel. Hope St. was on the top of the tunnel.

Seating: 245

Status: Demolished. Tovangar2 in his Noirish Los Angeles post #10900 notes that the site is now the loading entrance of of 1974's 333 S. Hope Tower (Bank of America Plaza).  His post also includes other photos of the area.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Tunnel Theatre for some speculations about the Tunnel and links to photos of the area. 

The LAPL has a 1940 William Reagh photo looking west. It's the roof of the former Tunnel Theatre we see in the lower left. Also see similar shot by GS Jansen from the 1959 film "A Bucket of Blood" where the facade with its big center arch is seen somewhat better. About a block farther west on 3rd was t
he Lux Theatre on the north side of the street.

Turnverein Hall

1345 S. Figueroa St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Opened: September 1872. The two story wood frame building was 50' long by 26' wide and could seat 400. Inasmuch as the acoustics were better than at the Merced Theatre, it was the site of many early musical performances.

Status: Demolished. The Turners website notes on their history page that this building was moved to 3rd St. between Broadway and Hill for use as a hotel.

More Information: See the "Music Halls of Yesterday" article from Overture Magazine in the USC Archives. See the website of the Los Angeles Turners for more history of the organization.

The second Turnverein building at 229 S. Spring was later known as Lyceum Hall. It was just south of the Los Angeles Theatre (later Lyceum Theatre) at 227. 

The organization would move again into a new building in 1894 at 323 S. Main Street. This 3rd building would later be known by many names, including the Regal Theatre.

More Information: An article in the USC Archives "Music Halls of Yesterday" from Overture Magazine in 1948 mentions this Turnverein Hall.  The Los Angeles Public Library has an 1880 program at the hall for the Owl Dramatic Club production of the operetta "The Sleeping Queen" and "Lavater, Or Not A Bad Judge."  Also see the program inside view and the cast portrait for "Our Boys."

     A Visit To Old L.A.    

A view from Brent Dickerson's Figueroa Steet tour.
full size view

The same card also appears in the
 Indiana University collection. A similar 1905 view
 also appears in the USC Archives.


Variety Arts Theatre

940 S. Figueroa St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Opened: 1924 as the Playhouse in the Friday Morning Club, a social and political group for women.

Architects: Allison and Allison

Seating: The main theatre seats 1,100 and a smaller theatre seats 250.  The building also has a ballroom, lounges and many other public spaces.

Status: Sold in 2012 to Robhana Management, Inc. Future plans for the building are unknown. It's still available for filming or special events.

More Information: See our Variety Arts Theatre page.

     California State Library    

www.library.ca.gov



The proscenium of the Variety Arts Theatre
 in a c.1925 photo in the collection of the
California State Library.    full size view


Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre

401 W. 7th St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA  90014 

Opened: 1920 as the Pantages

Architect: B. Marcus Priteca

Seating: 1,757. Originally listed as 2,200.

Status: Closed in 1975 . The main floor is in use as the Jewelry Mart. Most of the decor is intact.

The photo here is from 2007 -- click on it to enlarge.

More Information:  See our Warner Downtown  pages for more information and pics.