Main Street Theatres

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Main Street Los Angeles
was awash in nickelodeons and legit theaters
that converted to movie operation during the first decade
of the twentieth century. Even after Broadway became the
Los Angeles movie palace row, Main Street theatres
continued to prosper.  

Most of these buildings don't qualify as great Los Angeles
movie palaces, and many of them were around for only a few years.
But Main Street represents the densest concentration of downtown
Los Angeles theatres. Of all of these historic movie and legit
theaters, the Regent and the Merced are the only survivors.

Our stroll on Main starts at the north end of the street and
works south as you scroll down the page. 
Theatre names on the
right are for theaters on the east side of the street, on the left
are those on the west.

A great source for facts and stories about the vanished
Main Street theatre district is Cinema Treasures. The many
researchers contributing their time to the site have kept the
memory of these theatres alive.
A great map from the 50s
showing many of the downtown theatres is on the "Uncanny"
website of  Tom Wetzel.  Also visit our Theatyre Maps page.

The territory covered on this page goes as
far south as 18th St. and east to the river.




    Main St. Theatre Map    


 Also see our Alternate Names list below.


    Cesar Chavez Ave.   

[ formerly Macy St. ]


Teatro Torito
W-12 Olvera St / 622 N. Main St.
[ retail ]

Olvera St. Theatre
W-10 Olvera St. / 620 N. Main St.
[ visitor's center ]



    Marchessault St.   


Estella Theatre
513-515 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]



    Republic St.   

1 block east >>>
Sanchez Hall
425 N. Los Angeles St.
[ demolished  ]

Principal Theatre
423 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Merced Theatre
420 N. Main St.
[ still there! ]

Wood's Opera House
400 block N. Main St.
[ demolished ]

    Arcadia St.   

Teatro Hidalgo
373 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]

101 Freeway

Plaza Theatre
349 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]

    Aliso St.   


Stearns's Hall
 300 block N. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Federal Theatre
 300 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]


    Temple St.   


Principal Theatre
223 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Plaza Theatre
224 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Roosevelt Theatre
212 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]

City Hall (1928)
| L.A. History - photos |

Temple Theatre
156 N. Spring St. @
Main and Temple
[ on our Spring St.
  page -- demolished ]

    Court St.   

<<< 1/ 2 block west 
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.
[ demolished ]

Dohs Theatre
166 N. Main St.
[ demolished ]


<<< 1/2 block west
Fischer's Theatre
121 W. 1st St.
[ demolished ]

1/2 block east >>>
Hollander Theatre
115 E. 1st St.
[ demolished ]

       1st Street      

1 1/2 blocks east >>>
International Theatre
230 E. 1st St.
[ retail ]

2 1/2 blocks east >>>
Progressive Theatre

320 E. 1st St.
[ demolished  ]

2 1/2 blocks east >>>
Fuji Kan Theatre
324 E. 1st St.
[ demolished  ]

4 1/2 blocks east >>>
Pearl Theatre
414 E. 1st St.
[ demolished ]

Grand Opera House
110 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Happy Hour Theatre
125 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Mott's Hall
131 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Novelty Theatre
136 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


       2nd Street      

Higgins Building (1910)
108 W. 2nd St.
| Edison Lounge  | You-Are-Here |
| Wikipedia |


Denver Theatre
238 S. Main St.
 [ demolished ]

Crystal Theatre
247 S. Main St.
 [ demolished ]

Linda Lea Theatre
251 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Downtown Independent
251 S. Main St.
 [ indie films ]

Union Theatre
255 S. Main St.
 [ demolished ]

Electric Theatre
262 S. Main St.
 [ demolished ]


Liberty Theatre
266 S. Main St.
 [ partially demolished,
     remodeled ]


       3rd Street      

2 1/2 blocks east >>>
Empire Theatre
128 E. 3rd St.
[ demolished ]




Jade Theatre

315 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Hippodrome
320 S. Main St.
  [ demolished ]

Regal Theatre
323 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Rex Theatre
324 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Follies/Belasco Theatre

337 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


       4th Street      



Muse Theatre
417 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


       Winston Street  >>    

[ Winston heads east only, it deadends at Main ]

Rosslyn Theatre
431 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Main Theatre
438 S. Main St.
[ retail ]


Regent Theatre
448 S. Main St.
 [ music events ]

Banner Theatre
456 - 458 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]
Clune's Theatre
453 S. Main -
N.W. Corner 5th & Main
[ demolished ]

Rosslyn Hotel
(1913)
451 S. Main
| You-Are-Here |

2 blocks east >>>
Metropolitan Theatre
257 E. 5th St.
[ demolished  ]

8 1/2 blocks east >>>
El Rodeo Theatre
807 E. 5th St.
[ demolished  ]

       5th Street      

1 block east >>>
Globe/Jewel Theatre
202 - 204 E. 5th St.
[ demolished  ]

1 block east >>>
Spidora Theatre
224 E. 5th St.
[ demolished  ]

3 blocks east >>>
Bell Theatre
314 E. 5th St.
[ demolished  ]

Rosslyn Hotel Annex (1923)
5th & Main
| Blogdowntown-roofsigns |
| Google photosBGFA |

Galway Theatre
514 S. Main St.
[offices ]

Sherman Theatre
518 S. Main
[ retail ]

Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main St.
[ demolished]

Star Theatre
529 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Optic Theatre
533 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Picture Theatre
545 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Art Theatre
551 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Bijou Theatre
553 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

Santa Fe Bldg
121 E. 6th St. (1907)
| Sante Fe Lofts  |  Wikimapia  |
| You Are Here  |

       6th Street      


Pacific Electric Building
 610 S. Main St.   (1903)
| Big Orange | PE Lofts |
| Vintage LA - c. 1905  | Noirish LA |
more on Noirish -- map!  |
| Jonathan  Club - on roof  |
Lark Theatre
613 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Republic Theatre
629 1/2 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]


Gem Theatre
649 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]

9 blocks east >>>
Dorkel Theatre
1015 E. 7th St.
[ demolished ]

       7th Street      






 
 
 


       8th Street      



California Theatre
810 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]





Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main St.
[ demolished ]





26 blocks east >>>
Idylwild Theatre
2361 E. 9th St. --
now E. Olympic Blvd.
[ demolished ]

       9th Street      



<< looking toward Broadway
      [ the United Artists facade from Main St. ]





[ See our separate page on
Miller's Theatre for interesting
vintage and modern photos of
the intersection where 9th, Spring
and Main Streets meet. ]


    Olympic Blvd.   













       11th Street      










       12th Street      


6 blocks east >>>
1221-23 S. San Pedro
[ demolished ]




       Pico Blvd.      






farther south:

Victor Theatre
1718 S. Main









            Alternate Name List            


  [ This list just covers theatres on Main Street + a
few on side streets and east to the river.  See our
downtown directory for a more complete list. ]


Adolphus see
Hippodrome

320 S. Main

Alarcon Theatre see Teatro Alarcon
[ address not known ]

Alphin Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Armory Hall see Mott's Hall
131 S. Main St.

Arrow Theatre see
Linda Lea Theatre
251 S. Main

Art Theatre
551 S. Main

Automatic Theatre, Glockner's see Electric
262 S. Main

Aztec Theatre see
Linda Lea Theatre
251 S. Main

Azteca Theatre see
Linda Lea Theatre
251 S. Main

Banner Theatre
456 - 458 S. Main

Belasco Theatre see
Follies Theatre
337 S. Main

Bell Theatre
314 E. 5th St.

Bijou Theatre see
Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Bijou Theatre
553 S. Main

Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

Burbank Follies see
Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

California International Theatre
see California Theatre
810 S. Main

California Theatre
810 S. Main

Carillo, Leo Theatre  see Olvera St. Theatre
21 Olvera St. / 620 N. Main St.

Century Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Child's Opera House see
Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Chinese Theatre see
Novelty Theatre
136 S. Main

Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.

Civic Theatre see
Linda Lea Theatre
251 S. Main

Club Theatre see Wood's Opera House
400 block N. Main

Clune's Grand see
Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Clune's Theatre
NW cor 5th & Main

Columbia Theatre see Dorkel Theatre
1015 E. 7th St.

Crystal Theatre
247 S. Main

Denver Theatre
238 S. Main

Dohs Theatre
166 N. Main St.

Dorkel Theatre
1015 E. 7th St.

Downtown Independent
251 S. Main

East Fifth St. Theatre see
Bell Theatre
314 E. 5th St.

Electric see Roosevelt
212 N. Main

El Rodeo Theatre
807 E. 5th St.

El Teatro Mexico see
Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Electric
262 S. Main

Empire Theatre
128 E. 3rd St.

Estella Theatre
515 N. Main

Federal Theatre
300 N. Main

Fischer's Theatre
121 W. 1st St.

Follies Theatre
337 S. Main

Follies, Burbank see
Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

Follies, New see
Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

Fouce's (Frank) California Theatre
see California Theatre
810 S. Main

Fouce's Teatro California
see California Theatre
810 S. Main

Fuji Theatre  see
Fuji Kan Theatre
324 E. 1st St.

Fuji Kan Theatre
324 E. 1st St.

Gaiety Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Garden Theatre see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

1221-23 S. San Pedro

Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Galway Theatre
514 S. Main

Gem Theatre
649 S. Main

Globe Theatre
202 E. 5th St.

Glockner's Automatic
Theatre
see Electric
262 S. Main

Gore's Burbank see
Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

Gore's National Theatre
see Regent Theatre
448 S. Main

Gore's Optic see Optic Theatre
533 S. Main

Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Grand Theatre see
Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Guerrero's Union Theatre see Union Theatre, Guerrero's
[ address not known ]

Happy Hour Theatre
125 S. Main

Hecla Theatre see Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Hidalgo see
Teatro Hidalgo
373 N. Main

Hippodrome Theatre
320 S. Main

Hollander Theatre
115 E. 1st St.

Idylwild Theatre
2361 E. 9th St. -- now E. Olympic Blvd.

ImaginAsian Theatre  see Downtown Independent
251 S. Main

International Theatre
230 E. 1st St.

International Theatre, California see California Theatre
810 S. Main

Jade Theatre
315 S. Main

Jewel Theatre see Globe Theatre
202 - 204 E. 5th St.

Kinema Theatre  see Fuji Kan Theatre
324 E. 1st St.

La Petite #5 see Galway Theatre
514 S. Main

Lark Theatre
613 S. Main

Leo Carillo Theatre  see Olvera St. Theatre
21 Olvera St. / 620 N. Main St.

Liberty Theatre see
Novelty Theatre
136 S. Main

Liberty Theatre
266 S. Main

Linda Lea Theatre
251 S. Main

Linda Lea Theatre  see Fuji Kan Theatre
324 E. 1st St.

Lyric see Electric
262 S. Main

Main Theatre
438 S. Main

Main St. Theatre see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Manhattan Theatre see Denver Theatre
238 S. Main

Market House Theatre  see
Temple Theatre
  [ on our Spring St. page ]
156 N. Spring St.

Merced Theatre
420 N. Main St.

Mercedes Theatre see Merced Theatre
420 N. Main St.

Merryland Theatre see Dorkel Theatre
1015 E. 7th St.

Metropolitan Theatre see
Estella Theatre
515 N. Main

Metropolitan Theatre see Principal Theatre
423 N. Main

Metropolitan Theatre
257 E. 5th St.

Mexico Theatre see
Grand Opera House

110 S. Main

Miller's California Theatre
see California Theatre
810 S. Main

Miller's Main St. Theatre see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Miller's New Theatre
see California Theatre
810 S. Main

Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Moon Theatre  see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Morosco's Burbank see
Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

Mott's Hall
131 S. Main St.

Muse Theatre
417 S. Main

National Theatre see
Regent Theatre
448 S. Main

Nero's  see
Sherman Theatre
518 S. Main

New California, Miller's
see California Theatre
810 S. Main

New Follies Theatre (burlesque) see
Follies Theatre
337 S. Main

New Follies Burlesque see
Burbank Theatre
548 S. Main

New Peoples Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

New Star Vaudeville Theatre see Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

New York Theatre see
Union Theatre
255 S. Main

Nickel Theatre see
Union Theatre
255 S. Main

Nickle Theatre see
Union Theatre
255 S. Main

Novelty Theatre
136 S. Main

Novelty Theatre see Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Olvera St. Theatre
21 Olvera St. / 620 N. Main St.

Olympic Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Omar Theatre see Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Optic Theatre
533 S. Main

Orpheum (1894) see
Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Panorama Building see
Hippodrome

320 S. Main

Pearl Theatre
414 E. 1st St.

Peoples Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Picture Theatre
545 S. Main

Playo Theatre see Plaza Theatre
349 N. Main

Plaza Theatre see Principal Theatre
423 N. Main

Plaza Theatre
349 N. Main

Plaza Theatre
224 N. Main

Portola Theatre see
Star Theatre
529 S. Main

Princess Theatre see
Fischer's Theatre
121 W. 1st St.

Principal Theatre
423 N. Main

Principal Theatre
233 N. Main

Progressive Theatre
320 E. 1st St.

Pussycat Theatre see
California Theatre
810 S. Main

Quinn's Bijou see
Bijou Theatre

553 S. Main

Quinn's Century Theatre see
Gayety Theatre
523 S. Main

Ray's Garden Theatre see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Regent Theatre
448 S. Main

Regent No. 1 see
Regent Theatre
448 S. Main

Republic Theatre
629 1/2 S. Main

Republic Theatre see
Follies Theatre
337 S. Main

Rex Theatre
324 S. Main

Rodeo, El Theatre
807 E. 5th St.

Roosevelt Theatre
212 N. Main

Roosevelt Theatre see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Rosslyn Theatre
431 S. Main

Rounder Theatre 5th & Main, 1911 Hyman circuit house
-- possibly the Banner or the Galway

Royal Theatre see
Victor Theatre
1718 S. Main

Sanchez Hall
425 N. Los Angeles St.

Sherman Theatre
518 S. Main

Spanish Theatre see
Fischer's Theatre
121 W. 1st St.

Spidora Theatre
224 E. 5th St.

Star Theatre see
Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Star Theatre
529 S. Main

Stearns's Hall
300 block N. Main St.

Sun Ban Theatre see
Teatro Hidalgo
373 N. Main

Tally's Electric see
Electric
262 S. Main

Teatro Alarcon
[ address not known ]

Teatro Hidalgo
373 N. Main

Teatro Mercedes see
Merced Theatre
420 N. Main

Teatro Merced see
Merced Theatre
420 N. Main

Teatro Mexico see
Grand Opera House
110 S. Main

Teatro Torito
W-12 Olvera St / 622 N. Main St.

Temple Theatre  [ on our Spring St. page ]
156 N. Spring St.

Theatre Main see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Theatre Mercedes see
Merced Theatre
420 N. Main

Theatre Royal see
Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Tivoli Theatre  see
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.

Tivoli Theatre  see Progressive Theatre
320 E. 1st St.

Triangle Theatre see
Miller's Theatre
842 S. Main

Turner Hall see Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Turnverein see Regal Theatre
323 S. Main

Union Theatre
255 S. Main

Union Theatre, Guerrero's
[ address not known ]

Unique Theatre see Empire Theatre
128 E. 3rd St.

Victor Theatre
1718 S. Main

Victoria Theatre see
Star Theatre
529 S. Main

Virginia Theatre see
Star Theatre
529 S. Main

Western Theatre see
Union Theatre
255 S. Main

Whiswell's Theatre see Jewel Theatre
204 E. 5th St.

Wonderland Theatre see
Jade Theatre
315 S. Main

Woodley's Optic see
Optic Theatre
533 S. Main

Wood's Opera House
400 block N. Main


Not accounted for:

5th &  S. Main -- Arthur Hyman was running a theatre at 5th & Main under the name Rounder in 1911.  It's not known if it was the Banner or some other house.

729 S. Main -- W T Clune gets a listing in 1909 and 1910 -- presumably an office or shop for him.






For more downtown
 Los Angeles theatre explorations:


  Visit our Theaters West of Broadway  page
for a tour of theaters on Hill Street, Olive, Grand
and Figueroa.  

See the Broadway Theatres page for
Los Angeles movie palaces, grindhouses and
more on the big street. 

Visit our Spring Street Theaters  page for
 interesting tales  of theatres just east of Broadway.








back to top  |









The Regent Theatre -- the last remaining
 historic movie theatre on Main St.

photo: Bill Counter - click on it to enlarge



 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.

Art Theatre

551 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: June 1918 with a policy of art and foreign releases. Later it became a grind house running lots of westerns.  In the 80's it changed to a porno policy.

Seating: 350

Status: Demolished - the site is occupied by a parking lot.  The photo here is by Gary Graver. Click to enlarge or see more of his collection on You Tube: "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2."

More Information: See the page on the Art Theatre.

Banner Theatre

456 - 458 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened:  1910 or earlier.  It was 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. 

Seating: Estimates vary from 350 to 630 

Status:  Demolished. For a long time it was a parking lot.  Now it's the site of a new mixed-use building.

More Information: See the page on the Banner Theatre.   

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org

Historic Main Street Los Angeles Theatres -- The Banner Theatre

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

Bell Theatre

314 E. 5th  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Listed in the 1913 and 1914 city directories as the Bell Theatre.  In the 1916 and 1917 directories it's the East Fifth St. Theatre. In the 1918 directory it's again the Bell.

Status: Demolished

Bijou Theatre

553 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

This theatre was operating in 1910 if not earlier.  The 1910 city directory lists "C E Halsell" as running the theatre at this address. In 1909 or 1910 John A. Quinn, in partnership with G. H. McLain, leased the Bijou Theatre according to a 1913 biography of him 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.  A nice article on the Internet Archive about Quinn and his theatres (including a brief mention of Quinn's Bijou) is in the Moving Picture World issue of March 28, 1914.  The 1911 city directory still lists the venture as "McLain & Quinn." The 1912, 1913 and 1914 listings are as the Bijou.

Status: The assumption is that the Bijou was in the Howell Hotel building (pre-1907) in the center bay of the building. The building later housed the Art Theatre which opened in 1918 at 551 S. Main, the space just north of the former Bijou's.

Seating: Moving Picture News in 1914 gave the capacity as 128.

More Information: See the Cinema treasures page on the BijouSee our page on one of Quinn's later ventures, the Superba, for more information about Quinn and his other theatrical holdings.

     B'hend and Kaufmann Archives     

A look at the facade of the Bijou c.1910 from a newspaper
photo. The image is in the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann
Collection, part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection..
full size view



     L.A. Times    



A 1911 L.A. Times photo looking north from the
Pacific Electric Building at 6th & Main.  Over on the left,
the 2nd building beyond the intersection is the Howell
Hotel Building. Later it would house the Art Theatre.
Presumably at this time the Bijou Theatre was a tenant. 
full size view | on FB/LAtheatres

Thanks to Tom Ohmer for posting
this one on Photos of Los Angeles.



A detail from the photo above with the Art/ Bijou
Theatre building at the left. The "vaudeville" sign is
 for the Star Theatre.
It appears that the Bijou's
facade is the center of the three bays of the building.


Burbank Theatre

548 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1893 as a project of dentist Dr. David Burbank (also the namesake of the city).  Was known as Morosco's Burbank while Oliver Morosco was operating it. 

Architect: Begun in 1897 by James M. Wood and finished by Robert Brown Young.  

Seating: 1,844 initially. Later capacities were listed as 1,580 and 1,027.

Status: Demolished in 1973. It's now a parking lot.

More information: See our Burbank Theatre page for more photos and details.

     Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org


Here's a view of the Burbank's
 later moderne facade.
 
full size view

California Theatre

810 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: December 24, 1918 as Miller's California Theatre. It was leased in 1919 to Samuel Goldwyn, who employed the not yet famous "Roxy" Rothaphel to manage the variety shows. The address in city directories has varied from 808 to 812 S. Main.

Architect: A.B. Rosenthal

Seating: 2,000 initially. Later down to 1650.

Status: Closed (as part of the Pussycat chain) in 1988. Demolished in 1989. There's a recent one story building on the site.

More information:  See our page on the California Theatre for more details.

     California State Library    

www.library.ca.gov


Here's a 1960's exterior by William Reagh
 in the  State Library collection.
 full size view

Cineograph Theatre

114 Court St.   |map| (approximate -- Court St. is no longer)

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: October 18, 1890 as the Tivoli Theatre, 12,14,16 Court Street. With the renumbering of the streets around 1900, these old numbers probably represent the later 114 designation.

The theatre was between Main and Spring on a vanished block of Court Street that would now be in the middle of the 1926 City Hall.

The Tivoli didn't last long -- by December 1890 it was closed and furniture sold to pay its debts. The Cineograph (presumably in the same space), opened in August 1902 probably with a combination of movies and vaudeville with the movie bill changing daily.  It's listed in the 1903 city directory as at 112 Court, in 1904 and later as at 114 Court.

It lasted as the Cineograph at least into 1910 -- it's in the 1909 and 1910 directories.  Between 1918 and 1925 it was doing Chinese stage shows with the Sun Jung Wah Co. in residence.

Seating: 1,200

Status: Demolished for City Hall construction in 1926

Sources: See the work of Joe Vogel and Vokoban on the Cineograph page on Cinema Treasures.

     A Visit to Old L.A.    

www.csulb.edu  

This early map of the streets of the area prior to
the 1926 construction of City Hall is on Brent
 Dickerson's New High Street & Broadway Pt.1.  
larger view

Clune's Theatre

N.W. corner Main and 5th -- 453 S. Main    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: May 15, 1909.  This early nickelodeon was operated by Los Angeles theatre operator and movie making pioneer Billy Clune.

Clune opened Clune's Broadway (later the Cameo Theatre) in 1910 and also had other exhibition adventures. The Cameo page gives a timeline.

Seating: 1,000

Status: The building was demolished to make way for the Rosslyn Hotel building on the site which opened in 1915. 

More information: There's lots more on our page devoted to Clune's Theatre.

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm



One of the few photos to exist of this building -- and
Ken McIntyre found it in the Huntington Library collection.
We're looking at the Main St. side of the theatre. Around
the corner to the left would be the entrance on 5th.
full size view

Crystal Theatre

247 S. Main  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

All that is known is that the 1911 city directory had a listing under "moving picture theaters" for the Crystal Theatre at this address.  The listing in 1912 was for B T Lustig, who also had the Rex and the National (on the site of the Regent).

Status: Perhaps the building at 245-247 S. Main that housed the Crystal is still there and just remodeled. The city's Planning Department does not have a  construction date for it.  The 247 space, a door north of the Downtown Independent, is now the club The Smell

Denver Theatre

238 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

This one was open as the Manhattan Theatre 1910 through 1913 -- it's in those city directories. It's listed as the Denver Theatre in the 1914 city directory.

Status: Demolished


Dohs Theatre

166 N. Main  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Well, it's unknown what the name of the theatre even was. All that is known is that the 1911 city directory had a listing under "moving picture theaters" for Wm. Dohs at this address. David Ross gets a listing in the 1912 directory and in the 1913 directory this address gets a listing for C R Walrod.

Status: Demolished


Dorkel Theatre

1013 - 1015 E. 7th St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90021
 
Opened: This theatre between San Pedro St. and Central Ave. opened in 1915 or earlier. It's in the 1915 through 1918 city directories as the Merryland, 1013 E. 7th St.  The address is shown as 1015 in 1919 and 1922, at 1015 1/2 in the 1921 directory. In a 1923 Paramount ad and the 1923 and 1929 city directories it's still listed as the Merryland at 1015 E. 7th.  There's also an L.A. Times reference in 1930, still under the Merryland name.

By January 1938 it had become the Columbia Theatre and it's listed as such in the 1939 city directory. In the 1942 city directory it's called the Dorkel Theatre.

Status:
Demolished -- there's now low income housing on the site.

More Information:
See the Cinema Treasures page on the Dorkel Theatre where Ken McIntyre has reported his investigations.

Downtown Independent



251 S. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012  

(217) 617-1033

Website: www.downtownindependent.com

Opened: December 2007 as the ImaginAsian on the site of the Linda Lea Theatre

The photo here is from 2010 -- click on it to enlarge.

It soon morphed into the Downtown Independent, a hip venue for indie films, foreign cinema and documentaries.

Status: The Independent and the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live are the only downtown Los Angeles theatres regularly running movies. 

More Information: See our page on the Linda Lea / Downtown Independent.

El Rodeo Theatre

807 E. 5th St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013  

Dates: 1911 until at least 1918.

The magazine Nickelodeon in December, 1910 noted that "A moving picture theater will be erected on East Fifth street near Central avenue, Los Angeles, for R.C. Guirado. It will be a mission style structure, 30x100 feet, of brick construction. The auditorium will seat 350 people."  There's a 1912 listing at 805 E. 5th for Claus Jasper. As the El Rodeo it's in 1913 through 1918 city directories.

Status: Demolished

Electric Theatre

262 S. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened:
April 2, 1902 by Thomas Tally as the first purpose-built venue for the movies in Los Angeles. Titles on the first program included "Capture of the Biddle Brothers" and "New York in a Blizzard." The movie business wasn't wonderful (perhaps due to lack of product) and Tally closed it in June.

Tally reopened it July 18, 1903 as a vaudeville house called the Lyric. It's still listed as the Electric in the 1903 city directory but is the Lyric in the 1905 directory. It was still the Lyric as late as 1908. It's listed (but with "Main St." as the only address) in the 1907-1908 Henry's Theatrical Guide as the Lyric under the management of Wm. Orvitt.

In 1909 the city directory listing was for Southwest Amusement Co. By 1910 it was known as Glockner's Automatic Theatre with a directory listing for Automatic Theatre. The 1911 city directory lists it as "W L Glockner" and just as "Glockner" in 1912.  Closing date is unknown.

Seating: 200 to 250. The numbers vary.

Status: The building survived long after the theatre closed but has now been demolished. 

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Glockner's Automatic Theatre.   Also see the Cinema Treasures page on the Tally's Electric at 311 S. Spring St. for many comments about this Main St. location.

Also see our listing for Tally's first exhibition site on Spring Street:  Tally's Phonograph and Vitascope Parlor. See the Tally's Broadway page for a listing of his other exhibition adventures.

The other Electric:  See the the listing for the Roosevelt Theatre at 212-14 N. Main -- it was known in its early years as the Electric.

     USC Archives    

A sign for Glockner's Automatic Theatre shows up on the left
of this view looking south. USC dates it as c.1918 and as looking
toward 4th.  Probably it's earlier and we're actually looking toward
3rd -- a 200 something address can be seen on an awning.
  full size view

Empire Theatre

128 E. 3rd St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: Prior to 1906 as the Empire.  It's still listed as the Empire in the 1909 city directory. In the fall of 1909 it was renamed the Unique Theatre under the management of Flora E. Hentz and John U. Zallee. An ad in the The L.A. Herald for October 6 advised:

" UNIQUE THEATER—Hentz & Zallee, Props. 138 [sic] East Third Street.  REOPENING OF UNIQUE THEATER IN THE BUILDING FORMERLY OCCUPIED BY EMPIRE THEATER. Offering strictly high class vaudeville and comedy dramas under direction of popular Al. Franks. Matinees Mon., Wed., Sat. and Sunday. Evenings two performances. Ladles' souvenir matinees Wed."  

An October 24, 1909 ad called the theatre "cozy and attractive." They were offering "excellent vaudeville" and the "Unique Comedy Company" on a reserved seat basis.

It's unknown how long the Unique at the Empire survived.  There's no listing under either name in the 1911 directory. The H&Z team had previously run their operation at a number of other locations including a Unique Theatre at 456 S. Spring St. and the Unique Theatre at 629 S. Broadway. See the page on the Broadway location for more about the team, including photos and a program.

Status: By the early 20's it had ceased being a theatre and was used as a private garage. It was later demolished.

Sources: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Hippodrome for lots of discussion by Vokoban and other researchers about the Empire Theatre.

     Jeff Bridges on Flickr    

www.flickr.com/photos/vokoban


A nice 1906 Sanborn fire map unearthed by Jeff (aka
Vokoban) as part of his ongoing Main Street theatres
research on Cinema Treasures. It's posted on his
  Flicker pages and shows the location of the Empire.

Note also around the corner on Main Street the
 circular Panorama Building, later the site of the
 Hippodrome Theatre.     full size view

The Empire also shows up on the very bottom
of  a 1909 birds-eye map Vokoban has on his
 Flickr pages.   Also see Jeff's Mainly Main L.A.
 Conservancy poster set on Flickr for maps
of the theatres on Main St.


Estella Theatre

513-515 N. Main St.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: It was in the 1911, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19 and 1921 city directories as the Metropolitan at 515 N. Main.  The 1912 directory gave the address as 513 N. Main. In the 1922 directory it had become the  Estella -- still at 515 N. Main. It was still operating as the Estella in 1929.  Closing date unknown -- it evidently survived at least until 1930.   

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Estella for lots of discussion about this location and the Teatro Hidalgo at 373 N. Main St.


Federal Theatre

300 N. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The 1913 city directory has a listing at 302 N. Main for H G Bailance. As the Federal it's in the 1914, 1915 and 1916 city directories with the address as 300 N. Main.


Fischer's Theatre

121 W. 1st St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: Sometime prior to 1908.  It also was known as the Princess First St. Theatre, the Princess and the the Spanish Theatre. It was demolished for the 1926 construction of City Hall.

See our listing for Fischer's Theatre on the Spring Street Theatres page where there are several photos and more data.


Follies Theatre

337 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened:
1904 by Frederick Belasco as the Belasco Theatre. It was renamed the Follies by 1919 after a run as the Republic.

Architect: A.M. Edelman

Seating: 1,200 initially -- later down to 900.

Status: Demolished 1974

More information: Visit our Follies Theatre page for more details and photos.

Also see our page for the 1926 Belasco Theatre on S. Hill St. 

     UCLA - Calisphere Photo Collection    

www.cdlib.org | digital.library.ucla.edu/sclee



A view of the Belasco/Follies proscenium
and boxes from the UCLA collection's great
S. Charles Lee Archive.     full size image

 

Fuji Kan  Theatre

324 E. 1st St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1925.  Also known as just the Fuji Theatre. It reopened as the Linda Lea in 1945. It was also known as the Kinema.  Also see the other Linda Lea at 251 S. Main St.

Seating: 354

Status: Demolished

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Fuji Theatre.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org


A 1939 view of the Fuji Kan in the
Library's
collection.  full size view

Also in the collection: | 1941 view  |

Galway Theatre

514 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opening: Unknown. It's listed in 1906, 1907 and 1908 in The Billboard as the La Petite #5 with Mark Hanna as manager, a seating capacity of 580 and running 6 shows daily. It's listed similarly in the 1907-1908 Henry's Theatrical Guide  The building dates from 1905.

It is in use as a theatre again (the Galway) from 1956 or so through the late 80s. In its later years it was a porno theatre.

The building is still there, in use as a community services agency with offices downstairs and housing upstairs. 

More Information: See the page on the Galway Theatre for more photos and data. 

     Gary Graver on You Tube    

"Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2"



The Galway in an 80s view by Mr. Graver (1938-2006).
See his video for a great show of many photos he shot over
a period of several decades in Los Angeles and Portland, OR.

 larger view

Garden Theatre

1221-23 San Pedro St.   | map | 

Los Angeles, CA   90015

Dates: It's in the 1914 city directory as at 1223 S. San Pedro. In the 1915 and 1916 city directories the address is listed as 1221 S. San Pedro.

Status:  Closing date is unknown. It's been demolished and is now a parking lot.

Gayety Theatre

523 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Gayety Theatre opened as the Novelty in 1905. It was also known as the New Peoples (1906), then just as the Peoples through about 1909.  It's also been the Olympic (1910-11) and the Alphin

It was also known as the Century from about 1913 to 1916 (as a burlesque house) J.A. Quinn had it around 1914 and it was known as Quinn's Century. Later it was the Omar (1917-22). It was leased to the Gore Brothers in 1922 and became the Moon (1923-36). It was the Gayety from 1938 onward -- a burlesque house with films. It was located within the Waldorf Hotel building.

Seating: Estimates range as high as 1,200 (Henry's Guide). 700 is more likely toward the end.

Status: Demolished. A parking garage is on the site.

More Information: See the page on the Gayety Theatre.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org 



This undated view shows a bit of the Gayety
 Theatre marquee on the left as we look north. 

The Gayety was in the Waldorf Hotel Building. You
can see the "Hotel" signs on the doorway just to the
right of the marquee in the full size view. Looking
farther north toward 5th are the buildings
 of the Rosslyn Hotel.   full size view


Gem Theatre

649 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Operating:
Perhaps between 1912 and 1925. It's in the 1912 and 1915 through 1923 city directories as the Gem Theatre. In the 1913 city directory the listing is for C E Halsell and in 1914 for Jos Moent. It's no longer listed in 1929.

Status: Demolished. It's now a parking lot.

More Information:
See the Cinema Treasures page on the Gem.

Globe Theatre

202 - 204 E. 5th  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Dates: Opened in 1908 at the SE corner of 5th & Los Angeles. In the 1909, 1910 and 1912 directory  we get a listing for H W Nixon.  The Globe and Mr. Nixon both get listings in the 1911 city directory.

A 1912 L.A. Times article about the construction of the Globe #3 at 1624 W. Sunset (later called the Holly, Theatorium and Sunset) talks about a proposed demolition and replacement of the existing Globe Theatre #1 at 5th & Los Angeles Streets with a 10 story office building by the Chapman Bros. On the ground floor was to be a "modern vaudeville theatre" with a capacity of 1400 seats. Evidently this was not to be. The Globe #2 was at 3511 S. Central Avenue, later called the Amusu and Florence Mills.

In 1914 there's a city directory listing under theatres for "F H Whiswell" at 204 E. 5th. In 1915 it's "SW McCormick" at 202 E. 5th.  Joe Vogel on Cinema Treasures found a trade publication item saying that operators Silverman and Kramer reopened the theatre in 1916 calling it the Jewel Theatre.  The 1916 city directory lists the Jewel as at 204 E. 5th.

Architects: Eisen and Eisen            Seating: 600      

Status: It evidently closed prior to 1923 -- it's not in that directory. The building was around for a long time with other tenants. It's demolished.  The current building on the site dates from 1989.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Globe.

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm


A 1911 photo looking east from Los Angeles on 5th
 by G. Haven Bishop for  the Southern California
 Edison Co. The Globe is on the lower right.
 full size view



A closer look at the Globe signage.

Grand Opera House

110 S. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1884 as Child's Opera House. Starting in December 1894 this became the Orpheum -- the first home for Orpheum Circuit vaudeville in Los Angeles.  Orpheum moved in 1903 to what was later known as the Lyceum Theatre.  

In 1912 the theatre was known as Clune's Grand. It was still listed as the Grand as late as the 1929 city directory. With increased competition from newer theatres, the Grand became a showplace for Mexican stage shows and movies in the 30's as Teatro Mexico.

Architects: Ezra F. Kysor and Octavius Morgan.

Seating: 1,500 initially.

Status: Closed April 5, 1936 and was soon demolished. It's now the site of  the California Department of Transportation building.

More information: See our page on the Grand Opera House.

     California State Library    

www.library.ca.gov  



An 1890 view of the facade of the
 Grand Opera House.    full size view


Happy Hour Theatre

125 S. Main St.    | map |

Dates: Perhaps 1908 until 1914. This address is listed in the 1908, 1909 and 1912 city directories as "T.W. Johns," presumably the name of the proprietor.  The 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914 listings are for it as the Happy Hour


Hippodrome

320 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened:  November 27, 1911 as the Adolphus, primarily a vaudeville theatre.  The building also housed a 2nd floor dance hall that later became a gym.  The Hip was constructed on the site of the Panorama Building.

Architects: Edelman and Barnett

Seating: 2,100 -- not a great Los Angeles movie palace but it was the largest theatre on Main Street.

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 page on the Hippodrome Theatre for information on both the theatre and the earlier Panorama Building.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org    


The facade of the Hippodrome.
   full size view

Hollander Theatre

115 E. 1st  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Well, it's unknown what the name of the theatre even was. All that is known is that the 1911 city directory had a listing under "moving picture theaters" for Oscar Hollander at this address.

Status: Demolished. It's all been redeveloped.

Idylwild Theatre

2361 E. 9th St.  @ Santa Fe Ave.  | map | -- E. 9th was later renamed E. Olympic Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90013  

Dates: Opened in 1914 or earlier.  An ad in 1914 noted: "Change of programme daily  E. 9th St & Santa Fe -- This is a picture house not a vaudeville show."  The 2361 address comes from the 1914 city directory as a listing under "theatres' for "R E Scheidler." In the 1915 and 1916 directory listings it's shown as the Idylwild at 2361 E. 9th.

Status: Demolished. The city planning department's website notes that the two buildings on the site date from 1924 and 1937.

International Theatre

230 E. 1st  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: Perhaps 1910. That city directory lists it as International Theatre Company. This address gets a listing for "Y Horiuchi" under "moving picture theatres" in the 1911 city directory and for "G B Tani" in 1913. As the International Theatre it's listed in the 1914 through 1918 city directories.  The 1914 city directory also has a listing at this address for "G B Tain."

Status: The building on the site dates from 1910 so it is probably the one that housed the theatre. It's currently retail -- the Skuyeda Store. The photo here is a 2010 Google Maps image. Click to enlarge or go to an interactive view.

Jade Theatre

315 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: In the 1908 and 1909 directories we have a listing at this address for Figge & Kaiser (under "theatres" 1908, "moving pictures & machines" in 1909). This theatre was evidently demolished (or seriously redone) as the later venue at the address was reputed to be new construction.

The 1909 directory also has a listing for the Wonderland at 315 S. Main -- perhaps under construction?   It evidently opened  in 1910. It was a new building constructed for the owners of what had been the Wonderland Theatre at 430-434 S. Broadway.  The 1910 directory lists it as "Kaiser & Sturm." It's also in the 1910 directory (and later), as the Wonderland.  1912 gets a listing as "A.J.W. Ross."

Larry Harnisch talks about the Wonderland's trouble with the law in the late 20s for running indecent films in a November 10, 2007 post on The Daily Mirror. He notes "According to a 1909 story, the theater was a one-story brick building, 32 feet by 120 feet with a stamped metal front, marble lobby, tile floor and concrete floor in the auditorium, designed by A.C. Martin."   Among many other projects, Mr. Martin designed the building housing the Million Dollar.

Sometime after 1939 this one on Main became the Jade. The Jade can be glimpsed in the film "Black Belt Jones" (1974).

Architect: A.C. Martin       Seating: Estimates range from 250 to 340.

Status: Demolished. It was running as the Jade at least into the early 1970's. The site is now part of the Reagan State of California Building.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Jade

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm


A 1912 G. Haven Bishop view of the Jade, in
its Wonderland Days. It was taken for the
 Southern California Edison Co.
full size view



A detail from the Huntington Library photo.
Click on it to enlarge -- or go to the HDL page
linked above and zoom in for details.

The Huntington identifies this as being in Ocean Park but
we're on Main in Los Angeles. Also don't be misled by the
banner at right advertising something at 137 & 139 S. Spring.
The Devitt & Gollmer Saloon at left is listed in the
1915 L.A. city directory as at 317 S. Main St.

Lark Theatre

613 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Dates: Opened prior to 1923 (it's in the 1923 directory) was was around as late as 1939.

Seating: 250

Status: Demolished. It's now a parking lot.

More Information: See the Cinema treasures page on the Lark Theatre.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org  



This c.1937 view of the Lark Theatre, "The House
of Hits," by Herman Schultheis is from the Library's
 photo collection.      full size view


Liberty Theatre

266 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opening: 1910 or 1911

Architect: A.C. Martin           Seating: 540

Status: It was still in the 1929 city directory but perhaps closed by 1930.  Part of the property was lost when 3rd St. was pushed through to eliminate a jog at Main St. The theatre sat squarely at the east end of the street. There is a triangular building remaining at 3rd & Main that was once the theatre.

More information: See the page on the Liberty Theatre.  Also check the listing onn this page for the Novelty Theatre which later was calling itself the Liberty.

     Theatre Talks - Cezar Del Valle    

www.flickr.com/photos/theatreposts


A glorious postcard of the Liberty in Cezar's collection
on Flickr. It was postmarked 1918. The message read
"Just one of our many 5 cent theatres."
full size view

Linda Lea Theatre

251 S. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1925 as the Arrow. In the 40s it was the Aztec and the Azteca, sometimes running burlesque as well as films. Apparently at one time it was also called the Civic before finally becoming the Linda Lea.

Architect: John Kunst        Seating: 500

Status: This theatre had once been very popular exhibiting Japanese films but had been closed since the 80's. Demolished in 2006 to make way for the new ImaginAsian Theatre (now the Downtown Independent) which opened December 2007. 

More Information: See our page on the Linda Lea / Downtown Independent.

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



A view looking north on Main in 1939. Note the interesting
marquee inserted into the original Arrow Theatre nickelodeon
arch. At this point we're advertising 2 Spanish language features
plus a stage show for 15 cents.  Note the Higgins Building
north of the theatre at 2nd St.  
full size view

Main Theatre

438 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Main was a porno house running from the 60's into the 80's. 

The theatre was located in a storefront in the Canadian Building, a 1909 structure by Parkinson and Bergstrom.  It was a conversion from retail space, probably sometime in the 60s.

The view of the Canadian Building here is from 2010 -- click to enlarge. That's a bit of the Regent Theatre on the far right of the image.

Status: The building survives and the theatre space is once again retail.

The view at right is the storefront at 438 that was the theatre space.  Click to enlarge.

More Information: See the Cinema treasures page on the Main Theatre for a lively discussion.


     American Classic Images    

www.americanclassicimages.com


A 1983 view of the Main Theatre that's
 in the collection of American Classic Images
.
 full size view | the Main and the Regent - 1983

Merced Theatre

420 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1871. It's the oldest surviving theatre in Los Angeles. Also known as the Teatro Merced and Mercedes Theatre

Status: The facade was restored in the 60s and interior work was done in the 80s.  It's currently owned by the City of Los Angeles and is sitting vacant. The photo here is from 2010 -- click to enlarge.

More Information: See our page on the Merced Theatre.

Metropolitan Theatre

257 E. 5th  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Listed in the 1908, 1909, 1914 and 1915 city directories.

Status: Demolished

Miller's Theatre

842 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened: 1913? It's in the 1914 through 1918 city directories as Miller's Theatre. While Fred Miller had the Alhambra on Hill St. (around 1915-16), this theatre was known as Miller's Main Street. In the 1919 directory it's listed as both the Garden Theatre and Ray's Garden Theatre.

From 1920 to at least March, 1926 it again was Miller's.  At one point the roof sign just said "Theatre Main Pictures 10 cents" when they took the "Miller's" off the top of it.  It was  known as the Triangle from 1929 through 1931 and by 1938 had become known as the Roosevelt. Miller's was in (or rather, behind) the Argyle Hotel Building, later known as the Hampshire Hotel. 

Seating: 800

Status: Demolished. It's now a parking lot.

More Information: See our page on Miller's Theatre.

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



A detail from a 1917 image in the USC Archives shows
the Miller's Theatre facade and roof sign.   full photo 

Mott's Hall

131 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1886 by Thomas D. Mott. It was located over Mott's Market and customers were evidently always complaining of smells drifting up from below. The space was also known as Armory Hall.

Many famous performers appeared here. In 1887 Charles Dickens Jr. gave a reading from his father's books. In 1887 noted soprano Adelina Patti performed.  The Chamber of Commerce took over the space in 1890 and stayed until 1894. In 1895 it became a vaudeville venue. It's unknown what happened to the space after that time.

Seating: About 500

Status: Demolished. Closing date is unknown. There's now a Police Department building on the site.

More Information: James Miller Guinn's "A History of California..."(1915) has data on early performances at Mott's Hall on p.318.  Also see p.360 of "Los Angeles From The Mountains To The Sea" (1921) by John Steven McGroarty.  See also a mention of vaudeville in Mott's in 1895 on p. 215 of "The Businessman in the Amusement World" by Robert Grau.  "Sixty Years in Southern California" by Harris Newmark also mentions Mott's.

     A Visit to Old L.A.    

www.csulb.edu/~odinthor/essalist.html


This detail is from an early postcard view of the block
on Brent Dickerson's Tour of Main Street

The T.D. Mott Building is the one with arched
windows right behind the front of the streetcar.
  full size view


Muse Theatre

417 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: Prior to 1925. It's in the 1926 city directory.

Seating: Estimates range from 270 to 400

Status: It was running at least through the early 1950's. The building was demolished for a parking garage.

More Information: See the Cinema treasures page on the Muse.

Novelty Theatre

136 S. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dates:  It's in the 1912 city directory as the Novelty and kept that name until at least 1939. In 1915 it was listed as at 132. It evidently ran through the 50's.  Also known as the Chinese -- in the '42 directory. It was also known as the Liberty in the 40's and running sex films. In the late 40's it was running Mexican Films. 

Not to be confused with another Liberty Theatre at 266 S. Main St.  And the Gayety, 523 S. Main had opened as the Novelty in 1905.

Seating: 248? 280?

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page for a lively discussion.  See a  1942 ad, when it was the Liberty, on Photos of Los Angeles.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org 


This view of the Novelty Theatre circa 1938
 is from the Library's collection. full size view

They're running "Feud of the Trail," a 1937 release.



Another view of the Novelty Theatre.
It's a Herman Schultheis photo.
 full size view

Also see:
| fistfight in front of the Novelty -- Herman Schultheis photo - c. 1937  |

Olvera St. Theatre

21 Olvera St / 620 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: In 1930 with the rehab of Olvera St. as a tourist destination as the Leo Carillo Theatre, named after the film star. It originally featured live shows. By the mid-30s it had become the Olvera St. Theatre featuring puppet shows by Walton & O'Rourke. 

Status: The building dates from around 1910 and is known as the Machine Shop.  Apparently the early tenants did metal work and related light industrial tasks. The space ran as a theatre evidently into the 50s. It's now a retail store, Casa California.

More Information: The Website La Nopalera has a terrific map of the Plaza area showing current streets (as well as ones that have vanished) with many of the Olvera St. buildings shown. | map detail | more maps | Richard Wojcik has a nice 1941 view on Vintage Los Angeles looking into Olvera St..

The City's El Pueblo site has a listing for the Machine ShopPublic Art in L.A. also has a listing for the Machine Shop and its use as a theatre. The Arcadia Publishing book "Los Angeles's Olvera Street" has a photo of the theatre's entrance. Also see our listing for the Teatro Torito in the next building to the north, the Sepulveda House.

     Sean Ault Collection    


A 40s view discovered by Sean where we're looking
 north on Olvera toward the Olvera St. Theatre.

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm


A c.1939 Dick Whittington Studio photo looking
north down the east side of the 600 block of Main St. The
Olvera St. Theatre is the last low building in the row.
Olvera St. views in the USC collection:

Optic Theatre

533 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1911 by Robert W. Woodley who had briefly operated the Optic Theatre  and Woodley's Theatre (later called the Mission Theatre) on Broadway. It's in the 1911 city directory. In the 1922 and 23 directories it's Gore's Optic. The Optic here on Main St. ran through the 1980s.

Seating: 700

Status: Demolished. A parking garage is on the site.

More information: See the Optic Theatre page for lots of photos.

     Gary Graver on You Tube    

"Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2"


The Optic in an 80s shot by Mr. Graver.
 larger view

Pearl Theatre

414 E. 1st St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dates: This location between Central and Alameda Streets gets a listing under theatres in the 1909 directory as J U Imoto, as Weinstein & Levi in 1910, and for a Mr. Hamada in 1912. all at 414 E. 1st. In the 1914 city directory it's as the Pearl Theatre, 416 E. 1st. In the 1915 & 1916 city directories it's listed as the Pearl at 414 E. 1st.  There's no other data at present.

Picture Theatre

545 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Dates: The Picture Theatre was operating by 1909 -- it's in the 1909 city directory. It ran at least through 1923. In the 1913 city directory the listing is for "Huntoon & Rolfes" and in 1914 "W C Rolfes." In the 1919 directory it's listed as "Noyers & Gibbs, props. " It's the Picture in the 1915 through 1918 and 1922 and 1923 books.

Status: Demolished. The site shows up as a parking lot on insurance maps as early as 1931. A parking garage is now on the site.

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


Plaza Theatre

349 N. Main St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90012

It's listed in the 1908 city directory as the Plaza Theatre.

It's listed as the Playo Theatre in the trade publication The Billboard for 1907, 1908 and 1909.  It's listed in the 1907-1908 Henry's Theatrical Guide as the Playo Theatre. At the time it was operated by Southwest Amusement Co.

Seating: 250

See also a Plaza Theatre at 224 N. Main St.  There was also a Plaza Theatre listed at both 423 and 425 in the 1911 directory and at 423 N. Main in the 1914 city directory -- a building later known as the Principal Theatre.

Status: Demolished


Plaza Theatre

224 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Listed in the 1927 and 1929 city directories but no other information is available. See also a Plaza Theatre at 349 N. Main St. and the Principal at 423 N. Main St.

Status: Demolished


Principal Theatre

423 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Plaza Theatre gets three listings in the 1911 city directory as Stern & Gore at 423 N. Main and as the Plaza at both at 423 and 425 -- depending on whether you look under "moving picture theaters" or just "theaters."  In the 1913, 14, 15 and 16 city directories it's the Plaza at 423 N. Main.  1913 also got it a listing as Gore and Monet.

In the 1922 directory it's called the Metropolitan. In the 1923, 1926 and 1927 city directories it's the Principal.  A 1928 news story unearthed by Cinema Treasures researcher Ken McIntyre lists this location still as the Principal Theatre.

More Information: See the Cinema treasures page on the Principal Theatre for more speculations by Joe Vogel. Also see the mention of the Principal and other venues offering Spanish language films and legit productions in "Handbook of Hispanic Cultures" on Google Books. It mentions the prime years for this theatre as from 1921 to 1929.

     Calisphere    

www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu



A view posted on the Skyscraperpage.com Noirish LA forum by
Ethereal Reality as post #1419. He calls our attention to the
curious extension of the building at the right side of the photo.
Look at the full size view and you can see the signage for "Teatro
Principal" above the tailgate of the truck.

The corner store's awning gives the address for that
space as 427.  The undated image is from the collection
of the Bancroft Library at UCB.
 full size view

Principal Theatre

223 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Principal Theatre was at this address in 1923, according to an ad for Paramount pictures.  Possibly it's a typo for 423. Or was this a venue for films and the Principal at 423 a Spanish language theatre?

See the Cinema treasures page on the Principal Theatre for more speculations.


Progressive Theatre

320 E. 1st St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Progressive was in the 1911 city directory.  In the 1913 directory this adress is listed as the Tivoli Theatre.

Status: Demolished. It's now a parking lot


Regal Theatre

323 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1894 as as Turn Halle, a German social Hall. By World War I it was changed to the less Germanic sounding Turner Hall.

Architect: John Paul Kremple. See "A History of California..." by James Miller Guinn on Google Books for more information on Kremple.

Active Dates: The auditorium in the building by 1906 was known as the New Star Vaudeville Theatre. On April 22, 1906 it reopened as the Hecla Theatre under the management of J.J. Cluxton, who had earlier been with the Unique.  The bit in the Herald that day mentioned that the Star had been of "unlamented reputation."

In 1908 it was the Bijou.  In the 1908 city directory it's the Theatre Royal and from 1909 was the Regal. In the 1909 directory we get a listing for Bockoven & Dean.

It ceased being a theatrical venue around 1919 and was turned into a men's club (L.A. Men's Club) and gym. It's still listed in the 1918 city directory as the Regal.

Status: Demolished. The building had a fire in 1951 that led to its demise. The site is now part of the Reagan State of California Building and garage.

More Information: Lots of research by Jeff Bridges and others appears on the Cinema Treasures page devoted to the Regal.   See the updated 1906 Sanborn insurance map in Jeff Bridges' Flickr album that shows the New Star, Belasco and Hotchkiss/Empress Theatres.

Note that this was the third Turnverein building. The first Turnverein Hall was a wood frame building at 1345 S. Figueroa St. 

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. 

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org   



A view of the facade of the Turn Halle/
Regal Theatre.  full size view

Also in the LAPL collection:
 | 1951 interior - as a gym, after a fire  |


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A look toward the stage after the theatre had
been converted to a gym. The photo is from
the UCLA collection.
full size view

 

Regent Theatre

448 S. Main St.    | map |

 Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: The current building is the second theatre on the site, opening as the National in February 1914. 

It replaced an earlier theatre, also called the National, that had opened in 1911.  Both were operated by Bert Lustig.

Later the current building was called Gore's National and by 1917 it was the Regent.  In 1923 it was the Regent No. 1

Status: Closed in 2000 after decades as a grindhouse and (at the end) an adult venue.  The floor is still sloped and the proscenium and most of the original gothic inspired ceiling is intact.  This is the last remaining historic movie theatre on Main St.  It's reopening soon as a club and performance venue.

More Information: See our Regent Theater page for more on both buildings.


Republic Theatre

629 1/2 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Operating:  It was running in 1915 still in the 1929 city directory. Perhaps gone by the 40s.

Status: Demolished. It's now a parking lot.

More Information: See the Cinema treasures page on the Republic Theatre for various speculations about this theatre.


Rex Theatre

324 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Dates: Open in 1912. Brooklyn based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle came across a February 24, 1912 Moving Picture News article about Bert S. Lustig operating the "recently opened" Rex on Main between 3rd and 4th. The Rex was still around to get a listings in the 1912, 14 and 14 city directories.  There's no listing for it in 1915.

More Information: See Cezar's Bijou Dream post on the National Theatre for the Moving Picture News article.  The article also mentions Lustig running the National, a building later replaced by a second theatre of the same name, now called the Regent. Thanks, Cezar!


Roosevelt Theatre

212  N. Main St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: The 1911 city directory gives this address a listing under "moving picture theaters" for Morris Hurwitz. It's in the 1913, 14 15 city directories as the Electric Theatre at 212 N. Main. In 1916, 17 and 18 it's listed at 214. In 1919 and later it's shown at 212 again. It was evidently a conversion from retail space in an existing building.

Through 1939 it was still running as the Electric. By 1942 it was running as the Roosevelt, a name that had been used earlier by  Miller's Theatre at 842 S. Main.  It was still running in the 50's as the Roosevelt. This one shouldn't be confused with the Tally's Electric of 1902 at 262 S. Main.

Seating: Estimates range from 800 to 340

Status: Demolished for an eastward extension of Temple Street in 1960. 

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page for lots of interesting comments.

The Roosevelt in the Movies:  The theatre gets a cameo near the end of Andre de Toth's "Crime Wave" (Warner Bros., 1954). The film, which also gives us a nice view of several Glendale theatres,  stars Gene Nelson and Sterling Hayden.



The Roosevelt, sadly closed, in "Crime Wave."
 |  larger view another view  |  yet another shot  |

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



A view of the facade of the Roosevelt Theatre from
across the street in 1936. Temple Street was later extended
east through the lot where the theatre is shown.
   full size view




A 1935 view of the block. We're looking at the
east side of Main Street with the U.S. Hotel at
center. The theatre is up in the next block.
full size view

A slightly different version of the shot
above appears on Photos of Los Angeles.


Rosslyn Theatre

431 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: Prior to 1926 in what had been retail space in the original Rosslyn Hotel Building.  It's in the 1926 city directory. The Rosslyn Hotel name later encompassed the building south of the original building as well as 2 larger buildings on both the northwest and southwest corners of 5th and Main.



A 1931 insurance map from the Los Angeles
Public Library showing the Rosslyn Theatre.
 full size view  |  more maps

Seating: 270 to 350

Status: Running into the early 1950's at least. The building was eventually demolished for a parking garage.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Rosslyn.  The  "Main Street Then and Now" page of  the Los Angeles Conservancy's Historic Theatre Committee has views of the Rosslyn. There are lots of Rosslyn Hotel photos on Flickr.

     Los Angeles Public Library    

www.lapl.org



A look at the original Rosslyn Hotel building in
1906  -- long before the northern part of it (in the area
of the awning) was converted into the Rosslyn Theatre.
 full size view

The building to the left, in this photo another hotel,
later became part of the Rosslyn operation.

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



A lovely USC Archives view of the block as we
look south in the 30s. The newer Rosslyn Hotel
buildings are north and south of 5th St.
full size view



Here we have a detail from the image above
 showing the Rosslyn Theatre entrance a bit better.



A 1939 Dick Whittington Studio view of the block
from the south. The Rosslyn's in the middle.
  full size view

Sanchez Hall

425 N. Los Angeles St. [ more or less ]  | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Some sources only give a location as "just south of the plaza" or "on the eastern side of the square" or "near Los Angeles plaza."

The hall (we think) was built on the site of Don Vincente Sanchez's earlier adobe house. Either the house, or the hall (or both) were reputed to be the only two story structures in town at the time. Sanchez Street, between Main and Los Angeles, is named for Don Vicente.

Opening date: Around 1841. We know that the the new Mexican governor of California, a Sr. Michelotena, took his oath of office in Sanchez Hall on December 31, 1842.

The hall, along with Stearns's Hall, was a major venue for parties, traveling shows and musical events.

Decor: One writer in 1842 described the hall as being "painted out in the most comical style with priests, bishops, saints, horses and other animals -- the effect is really astonishing."

Status: It survived into the 1870s according to one source. If we have it right, it was replaced by the Garnier Building, present home to the Chinese American Museum.

More Information: See The LAOkay article on Vicente Sanchez, part of John Kielbasa's "Historic adobes of Los Angeles County." On Google Books see p.67 of Volume 3 of the "Publications of the Historical Society of Southern California."

Sherman Theatre

518 S. Main St.  
| map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opening: 1915. Cinema Treasures researcher Ken McIntyre cites a 1915 L.A. Times article about the "imminent opening" of a theatre at 518 S. Main to be called the Sherman, named after the general.

There's no listing in the 1915 city directory but it is in the 1916 and 1918 editions (but not 1919 or later).  S. H. Friedlander was the proprietor. Closing date of the Sherman is unknown. 

USC Archives has an undated photo of 520 S. Main, a tailor shop south of theatre. We can see the Sherman's signage advertising "6 reels first run pictures 5 cents" and  "Entire change of program Monday and Thursday."  The caption mistakenly identifies the theatre as the Burbank.

After decades as a news stand, a business at this location returned to movies (of a sort) as a porno arcade called Nero's in the 70s. It appears that it was just an array of peep show booths.

The photo here is a 2010 view from Google Maps. Click to enlarge or head to an interactive view.  The beige building to the left once housed the La Petite / Galway Theatre. Off to the right several more storefronts is the Nickel Diner at 524 S. Main.

Status:  The building that housed the Sherman has evidently been demolished. The city planning department shows a construction date of 1924 for the building currently on the site. It's now retail.

518 S. Main St in the Movies: This location gets a walk-by in the 1979 epic "The Clonus Horror," in which politicians are looking for an eternal hold on power via cloning. Main Street is, of course, the place to go if you're trying to hide from the evil scientists. 


A view of the "adult movies" arcade at
518 S. Main in 1979 in "Clonus."
larger view

Spidora Theatre

224 E. 5th  St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

How's that for a name?   All we know is that it was listed in the 1917 city directory.

Status: Demolished. The current building on the site dates from 1989.

Star Theatre

529 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opening date: Unknown

It's in the 1914 city directory as "Curtet & Haymann." This theatre was in business as the Portola Theatre in 1915 through 1918. In the 1919 city directory it's the Virginia. In the 1920 directory its listed as the Victoria -- perhaps a typo.  It's listed as Virginia (again) from 1922 at least through 1930.  Sometime prior to 1936 it became the Star Theatre.

The theatre was located in a hotel building known over the years as the Brennan Hotel, Your Hotel and the Green Hotel.

Seating: 300

Status: Closed perhaps in the early 50s. The building has been demolished.  A parking garage is on the site.

More Information: See the page devoted to the Star Theatre.

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A wonderful 1936 view of the Star
 taken by Alfred Esisenstaedt.
full size view  | on FB/LATheatres

Stearns's Hall

300 block N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opening date: 1858

Don Abel Stearns and his wife Arcadia lived in a rambling adobe compound known as "El Palacio," parts of which dated back to the 1830s. The 14 room compound was the early social center of the pueblo.

In 1858 Don Abel opened a performance venue for travelling mintrel shows, musical acts and other performers. One source, Nicolas Kanellos, has it running as late as 1875.

Status: Demolished. The property became the site of the Baker Block, 342 N. Main St., in 1875.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org 


An 1870 view in the Library's collection looking
north on Main St. The Stearns' compound is the low rise
 stuff halfway between the Bella Union and the larger
 brick building in the distance (the Pico House).
 full size view

Also in the collection:
 | 1857 view another 1857 view |
| N. Main and Arcadia Sts. - 1871|
  | looking to orchards beyond - 1875  |


Teatro Alarcon

[ location not known ]  Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opening: July 4, 1848.

Don Antonio F. Coronel, a future mayor of Los Angeles, opened the Teatro Alarcon as an addition to his adobe house. The theatre was possibly named for the noted Mexican playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcon. The theatre sported a proscenium with a drop curtain and a good supply of scenery.

The theatre was active as a spot for Spanish and English language drama presented by traveling troupes through the 1860s and 70s.

Seating: 300

More Information: On Google Books see p. 19 of "Mexican American Theatre: then and now" by Nicolas Kenellos. See also p.249 of "Handbook of Hispanic Cultures... " edited by Francisco Lomeli. Wikipedia has an article on A.F. Coronel.


Teatro Hidalgo

373 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: It's in the 1914 through 1922 city directories as the Hidalgo with the exception of 1919 when it was listed as the Sun Ban Theatre. Still listed in the 1929, 1932 and 1936 city directories.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Teatro Hidalgo.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org   



A view of the Teatro Hidalgo in the 1920s from
 the Library's collection.   full size view



Here's an undated facade photo of the
 Hidalgo Theatre.    full size view

Also in the Library's collection: 
| the band at the Hidalgo |


Teatro Torito

W-12 Olvera St. / 622 N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: In 1930 with the Yale Puppeteers being the initial troupe. This company closed their show here in less than two years and later surfaced at the Turnabout Theatre. In the mid 30s, the Monro Marionettes performed at the Torito. 

Seating: 80

Status: The theatre was in the Sepulveda House. It dates from 1887 and now houses the Plaza District's visitor's center.

More Information: The puppet shows at Teatro Torito are seen in the 9 minute 1937 Vericolor short "A Street of Memory" on YouTube.  The Ballard Instutite page on the Yale Puppeteers discusses the Torito. The City's El Pueblo site has a page on the Sepulveda House. Also see our listing for the Olvera St. Theatre in the next building to the south.

Union Theatre

255 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: It was open in 1906 as the Nickel Theatre operated by a C.M. Bockhaven. It's listed in the trade magazine The Billboard from 1906 to 1909 as a venue running continuous shows with a capacity of 250.  For all 3 years, Billboard lists Bockhaven as manager. In 1907 and 1908 they spell it Nickle.

In the 1908 city directory there's a theatre listed at 253 S. Main as being operated by a C.D. McIntosh.  In 1909 the listing is for Wm. Rolfus at 255 S. Main, in 1910 for Rolfes & Bockhaven.  It's also listed as the Union Theatre in 1910.

There's no listing for this address in 1911. In 1912 it's listed as F S Hoyt.  In 1913 and 14 it was called the New York Theatre.  It also gets a 1913 listing as Stone & Robinson. It's still the New York in the 1915 city directory. Sometime in 1915 it became the Western Theatre.

Seating: 250

Status: Demolished. Closing date unknown. Possibly replaced by the Linda Lea building in 1925.  The Linda Lea has been now  been replaced by the Downtown Independent and the property south that would have been #255 is a vacant lot.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Union.  It was running in 1907-08 as it's listed in Henry's Official Western Theatrical Guide on p.33.

The other Nickel: In addition to the listing for the Nickel/Nickel at 255 S. Main, The Billboard gives us a listing in 1907, 1908 and 1909 for another Nickel Theatre (with no address) that was operated by Southwest Amusement Co.  It's maybe the same place: 250 capacity, continuous shows.


Union Theatre, Guerrero's

[ location not known ]

Los Angeles, CA 90012

From 1852 to 1854, Don Vincente Guerrero directed Spanish language drama in his Union Theatre for performances on Saturdays and Sundays.

More Information: On Google Books see p. 19 of "Mexican American Theatre: then and now" edited by Nicolas Kanellos.


Victor Theatre

1718 S. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Opened: In 1912 as the Royal Theatre. It was advertised in the LA Times in 1914 as at 18th & Main St.  It's in the 1914 through 1929 city directories as the Royal.  In the mid 20s West Coast Theatres was the operator. It reopened as the Victor Theatre in 1938. In the 1939 city directory listing it's listed as the Victor.   It's listed as the Globe in the 1913 directory, presumably a typo.

Seating: 755

Status: Demolished. The 10 freeway runs across the site.

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

     Theatres in Los Angeles    


A 1938 view of the Victor Theatre in  "Theatres in Los Angeles"
by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc
Wanamaker. Most of the rare photos in the book are from Mr.
Wanamaker's Bison Archives. Arcadia Publishing, 2008. 
larger view  |  on Photobucket  | on Photos of LA

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The Victor in 1942 running "Mississippi Gambler"
and "Murder in the Big House" plus a cartoon and
a comedy. Ken McIntyre found the photo.
larger view

The photo also appears on Cinema Treasures.

Wood's Opera House

400 block N. Main St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1876 by showman Colonel J.H. Wood.

Architect:  Unknown

This theatre was only 4 doors south of the Merced Theatre and its greater opulence caused the demise of the Merced.

J.H. Wood was bankrupt by 1878 and the theatre closed. It reopened in 1883 as the Club Theatre, a variety house. The Perry Brothers were involved in the Club Theatre operation and later went over to the Tivoli Theatre for a brief fling in 1890.

Status: Closing date is unknown. It's been demolished.  The building was evidently around as late as 1945.

More Information: See the 1920 & 1921 photos from the Los Angeles Public Library on our Merced Theatre page for both alley and street views of the Wood's Opera House building.