Roxie Theatre

518 S. Broadway     | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Lease and filming inquiries: Downtown Management Co.  (213) 688-1100


The February 2016 update:  The latest word is that there will be no tower built behind the theatres. At least for now. New designs for a 40 story tower behind the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade Theatres were unveiled in March 2015 but there were disagreements with the city over the lack of a historic feel to the proposed building. See our main Arcade Theatre page for more details along with drawings and links to news stories.  As for the theatres? The future for them depends on whether any viable tenants emerge.

Architect: John M. Cooper designed this deco extravaganza - the only art deco style theatre on Broadway. It was built for Gus A. Metzger and Harry Srere. These two, along with a third partner, had built the Fairfax Theatre in 1929.

Although the Roxie was built with a stagehouse, it was intended primarily for film presentation.  It's unknown how much rigging or other stage equipment was actually installed.

Opened: November 25, 1931. The Roxie was the last of the Broadway theatres to open.  It was built on the site of Quinn's Superba Theatre.

Seating:  Estimates vary from 1335 to 1637.

Status: Closed since 1989. Metropolitan Theatres was the last circuit to operate the Roxie.  Retail is currently in the lobby.

The building (along with the Cameo Theatre, Arcade Theatre and the adjacent Arcade Building) has been owned since the early 90s by Joseph Hellen. 

His company, Downtown Management (also known as Mideb) also has a number of other properties in the area. Ryan Vaillancourt had a nice 2010 story in LA Downtown News about Mr. Hellen: "The Survivor."

See the main page on the Arcade Theatre for more about Mr. Hellen and his plans to build a parking garage and housing complex behind the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade. It's a move that could limit the future usefulness of the three theatres by restricting access to the rear of the buildings.

The Roxie in the Movies: 

This section of Broadway has appeared in lots of movies.
In Kent MacKenzie's "The Exiles" (shot in 1958-59, released
in 1961) in we actually go inside for a show.  The entire
film can be seen on YouTube.

A view of the boxoffice area of the Roxie Theatre in
"The Exiles."  Note that we can smoke in the balcony!
"The Iron Sheriff" from 1957 is the main feature.
full size view

Another "Exiles" view as our lead, Mary Donahue, is
coming out of the show at the Roxie. We do get an
inside view, but it's just of a section of seats. 
full size view

A grainy look south on Broadway from "The Exiles."
The Roxie is running Douglas Sirk's "Imitation of Life"
(1959) with Lana Turner. 
full size view

Sean Ault notes that we get a couple of exterior Roxie
shots on the David Bowie video "Day-in  Day-out."

The Roxie terrazzo gets a cameo in "The Muppets"
(Disney, 2011) as we get a shot from overhead looking
down on Jason Segel during a musical number.
larger view

More Information:  The Cinema Treasures  page on the Roxie has a nice history.  The Roxie page on Cinema Tour offers some more exterior views of the theatre.  

Check out Hunter Kerhart's great photography of the Roxie in his December 2014 South On Spring post "A Look Inside The Abandoned Roxie Theatre."

On Facebook: Visit the Roxie Theatre Facebook page.  It's sponsored by a group seeking restoration and active reuse of the building as a theatre.

     Sean Ault Collection    

A great postcard view looking south on Broadway from 4th
with the Roxie on the left. We don't get a title on the marquee
but "James Stewart  Charlton Heston  Richard Boone" --
presumably in 3 different features. Thanks, Sean!
full size view | another version from Steven Otto

     Gary Graver     

A look at the Roxie, Cameo
and Arcade theatres in 1988.
full size view

Gary Graver was a filmmaker and cinematographer. 
More of his theatre photos can be seen on You Tube:
 "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2."
Thanks to Sean Graver for use of the photo.

     Metro Transportation Library

A 1955 view looking north on Broadway at
the Cameo and the Roxie. It's part of the Metro
Downtown Los Angeles set. It looks like the Cameo
is getting some marquee work done. The Roxie
is running Jane Russell's "Underwater."
full size view

     Online Archive of California  

A view of the marquee of the Roxie. It's a
detail from a 1943 photo from the Online
 Archive of California.

The full Madame Chiang Kai-shek
parade panorama.
full size view

     USC Archives

A wonderful Dick Whittington Studio view
of the Cameo and Roxie. On the marquee at the
Cameo is "Algiers," which was released in 1938.
     full size view

A detail from the photo above. The Roxie is
running "The Little Princess" and St. Louis Blues."
larger view | detail of the Cameo

The facade of the Roxie -- the only
art deco theatre on Broadway

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

 [ click on either of these photos to enlarge ]

A view looking north along the block.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

See our recent exterior views page
for many more post-2000 images.

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

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

     American Classic Images

A 1980 look at the Roxie.
full size view

A 1980 photo of the Roxie, Cameo
and Arcade theatres.
full size view

A view of the front of the Roxie in 1983
from the American Classic Images collection.

Another 1983 night view -- Roxie,
Cameo and Arcade Theatres.

     L.A. Public Library Collection  

A 30s view looking south on Broadway with the Roxie,
Cameo and Arcade Theatres.
We know it's 1931 or later due
to the Roxie being there. Note that the Arcade Theatre (renamed

in 1928) still has a Dalton's sign on side of the building.

full size view

Here's a 1968 marquee view
from the Library's collection.
 full size image

     Photos of Los Angeles

Thanks to Steven Otto for this 50s postcard looking
south on Broadway from 4th with the Roxie on the left.
 full size view | another version from Sean Ault

A great view of the view of the Roxie and
 Cameo Theatres with hot rods on parade.
full size view

Here we're still using the original milk glass
letters on the Roxie marquee. Kay Francis is billed on the
 bottom line on the south end of the marquee. Scott Santoro
suggests that the top line might read L (for Leslie) Howard.
That would put us in 1934 with the film "British Agent."

The photo also appears on the
 Bringing Back Broadway Facebook page.

The March 1951 cover  of Hot Rod magazine, which
featured the photo, is also on Photos of Los Angeles.

     Roxie Theatre on Facebook

A 1977 view of the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade
It's on a Facebook page not of the building's
owner, but from a group pushing for its reactivation.

full size view
| on the Roxie FB page

On the Roxie Facebook page:
 | more Roxie views  |


     Vintage Los Angeles

A look north on Broadway in 1958 featuring the Roxie,
Cameo and Arcade Theatres. It's another great view from the
Richard Wojcik collection that he's added to Alison Martino's
delightful Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.  
full size view

more roxie theatre pages:
recent exterior views  |  interior views  | 

on the same block:
Cameo theatre  | Arcade theatre |
| Superba
- formerly on the site of the Roxie
| Garnett Theatre - demolished |
| for more see our Broadway Theatres page |