Hippodrome Theatre

320 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013


Opened:  November 27, 1911 as the Adolphus Theatre, primarily a vaudeville venue.  The theatre was built on the site of the Panorama Building, which in its later days had served as a skating rink.  See more information below about that structure.

On August 31, 1913 the Adolphus re-opened as the Hippodrome. The building also housed a 2nd floor dance hall that later became a gym.

Architects: Edelman and Barnett

Seating: 2,100 -- not a great Los Angeles movie palace but it was the largest theatre on Main Street. Later it was listed as 1,508 seats.

Status: Closed in the 40's. The auditorium was demolished in 1952 for a parking lot. The portion of the building fronting on Main St. remained until 1984. 

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Hippodrome for lots of discussion. 

Nearby: Almost across the street were the Follies / Belasco and Regal theatres.



     Jeff Bridges on Flickr    

flickr.com/photos/vokoban  



Another great job of mapping by Jeff (aka vokoban)
for research on Cinema Treasures.  Here's an overlay
 of Sanborn fire maps  on a satellite image
showing the
Hippodrome right in the middle
of the block.  
 
full size view



     Arnold Hylen - Photographer    

facebook.com/pages/Arnold-Hylen-Photographer



A 1948 look at the Hippodrome by noted photographer Arnold
Hylen. The Hip is running "The Big Clock" and "Casbah." Note the
"Hip Cafe" to the left of the entrance. The photo comes courtesy
 of Hylen's grand niece, Lisa Santa Lucia-Riccardi.
Thanks, Lisa!



     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org    



An early view of the facade of the Hippodrome.
"Every Week There's a Good Show!"
   full size view




Looking north on Main St. in 1924 with the
Hip on the right. Across the street is the
 Turnverein Hall / Regal  at 323 S. Main. 
 
full size view

A slightly different (and larger) version of the photo above is on
a post by Jesus Salgado on Noirish Los Angeles | on imageshack
.

And there's also a version of the photo on Photos of Los Angeles.



Looking north on Main Street in 1975. We're looking
 at the south side of the forlorn Hippodrome. 
full size view  on Photos of LA

 Also in the Library's collection:

 
looking south in 1928 - theatre is on the left  |  facade as auto park -50s |
|   another auto park view -- same as in California Library collection |
another auto park view  |





     Theatres in Los Angeles    


A 1940 view of the Hippodrome Theatre on
 p.28of  "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne
TarbellCooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc
Wanamaker.Arcadia Publishing, 2008.

Most of the rare photos in the book
are from Mr. Wanamaker's Bison Archives.
 On Google books: larger view

The view also appears on a
 theatre slideshow on AlleyQuest.com.
full size view




More about the Panorama Building...


     Jeff Bridges on Flickr    

www.flickr.com/photos/vokoban



A nice 1906 Sanborn fire map unearthed by Jeff
as part of his ongoing Main Street theatres research
on Cinema Treasures. Note the circular Panorama Building,
later the site of the Hippodrome Theatre.
full size view



     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org   




An undated look at the buildings later constructed
on Main St. in front of the circular Panorama Building itself. 
full size view



     Photos of  Los Angeles    

www.facebook.com/groups/24456598223486



An 1888 view of the Panorama Building that was
on the site before the Hippodrome was built. In
its later years it was a skating rink. 
full size view

The signage on the building says the
panorama was of the Battle of Paris.

The Los Angeles Public Library has a
slightly different version of the photo. 
Panorama Building  |

It's also in the collection of the California State Library:
| Panorama Building - Martin Behrman  |

The USC Archives has a lovely zoomable view
from City Hall that they date as 1887.



For more on Panoramas, see the page on the Union Theatre.







 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
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Assume that all the images are subject to copyright
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     American Classic Images    

www.americanclassicimages.com



A 1983 look through the remaining part of the
building fronting on Main St. The auditorium
had been demolished long before. 
full size view



     California State Library    

www.library.ca.gov  



An early postcard view looking south on Main St.
The Hippodrome can be seen on the left. Also note
the vertical sign for the Follies Theatre
right across the street.
full size view




A detail from the photo above.  The card is 1913 or later
as that's when the theatre became known as the Hippodrome.




A view by William Reagh. We're looking north in
1957. That "auto park" sign way down the street

is the former Hippodrome vertical.
full size view

The building on the corner
is the Westminster Hotel.



The Hippodrome photo here from the California State
Library collection by William Reagh dates from 1979.
The theatre auditorium had been demolished.
full size view


 

     Photos of  Los Angeles    

www.facebook.com/groups/24456598223486



A 1943 view discovered by the intrepid Mr. McIntyre.
It was taken during the Zoot Suit riots.  
full size view on Facebook  |  on Photobucket

The photo above also appears
on Noirish Los Angeles:
 |  Sleepy Lagoon Murder & Zoot Suit Riots  | 




A wonderful view of the Hip in 1946. We're running
"Road to Utopia." It was posted by Ken McIntyre
on his always interesting Facebook page. 
 full size view



Historic Los Angeles Theatres -- The  Hippodrome on Main St.

A great photo of the demolition of
the Hippodrome's proscenium in 1952.
full size view



A 1976 facade detail. 
full size view




It's not funny anymore, but in 1976 we still see
 "Comedy" on the facade in terra cotta.
 full size view






Also in Ken's great collection is this view of
the building's facade just before demolition.
full size view on Facebook  |   on Photobucket
 

Also see:
another 1976 facade detail  |