Spring Street Theatres

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Well, Spring street didn't see the same kind of theatrical
action that was on Main Street or
(later) on Broadway. But
we had a few interesting theatres. Also included here are some
on side streets east of Broadway and west of Main St.

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

See the Spring St. Financial District Wikipedia
article for a wonderful run down on the historic
office buildings along this corridor.

Our [more] L.A. Movie Palaces site has
sections on theatres outside the downtown core.

Have fun exploring!




    Spring St. Theatre Map    


 Also see our Alternate Names list below.


       W. Cesar Chavez Ave.    


San Fernando ? Theatre
618 San Fernando St.
[demolished]


     Paseo Luis Olivares    



         Arcadia St.        

The 101

           Aliso St.           



         Temple St.        


City Hall
200 N. Spring St.
| L.A. History - photos |

         Market St.        


Temple Theatre
 156 N. Spring St.
[ demolished ]




          Court St.         

1/ 2 block east >>>
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.
[ demolished ]


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

    Bradley Blvd/ 1st St.   


Lyric Theatre
128 S. Spring St.
  [ demolished ]

Ideal Theatre
 134 S. Spring St.
  [ demolished ]

Vienna Theatre
144 S. Spring St.
 [ demolished ]


L.A. Times
220 1st St.
| L.A. History - photos |


          2nd Street         


Lyceum Theatre
227 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]

Lyceum Hall
229 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]



California Theatre
238 S. Spring St.
  [ demolished ]

Douglas Building (1898)
257 S. Spring St.
| You-Are-Here |

          3rd Street         


Tally's Phonograph

and Vitascope Parlor
 311 S. Spring St. (1895?)
[ demolished ]

Washington Bldg. (1912)
311 S. Spring St.
| You-Are-Here |

Tally's Phonograph
and Vitascope Parlor
 339 S. Spring St. (1899)
[ demolished ]


Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.
  [ demolished ]

          4th Street         




Chronophone / Horne's
423 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]
Edison Theatre
436 S. Spring St.
  [ demolished ]

Regent Theatre
447 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]


Unique Theatre
456 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]





          5th Street         

Alexandria Hotel (1906)
501 S. Spring St., 210 W. 5th
| Big Orange |
Los Angeles
Theatre Center

514 S. Spring St.
[ legit theatres ]

Scenic Theatre
522 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]


Orchestrion
527 S. Spring St.
[ demolished ]


<< looking toward Broadway
     
[ the Arcade/Cameo/Roxie from Spring St. ]


Arcade Building (1924)
541 S. Spring St.
| L.A. History - photos |

Isis Theatre
542 S. Spring St.
  [ demolished ]

          6th Street         







<< looking toward Broadway
   [ the Palace Theatre from Spring St.
           -- Hunter Kerhart photo ]







          7th Street        








<< looking toward Broadway
     
[ the Globe from Spring St., 2012 photo ]







          8th Street         


<< looking toward Broadway
      [ the 8th St. facade of the Tower Theatre ]



<< looking toward Broadway
      [ the rear of the Rialto from Spring St. ]



<< looking toward Broadway
     
[ the Orpheum from Spring St.  2007 photo]



          9th Street        




Spring Street ends at 9th


See the photos from the vantage point
of the 9th/Spring/Main intersection
on the page for Miller's Theatre.









            Alternate Names            


  [ This list just covers theatres on Spring St. plus a few
on side streets between Main and Broadway.  See our
downtown directory
for a more complete list. ]


Big Show  see Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Biola Hall see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

California Theatre
238 S. Spring St.

Capitol
see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

Casino see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Chinese Theatre see
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.

Chronophone Theatre see Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.

Columbia see California Theatre
238 S. Spring St.

Edison Theatre
436 S. Spring St.

Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Fischer's Theatre
121 W. 1st St.

Fischer's Chronophone see Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Fischer's Lyceum Theatre
see Lyceum Theatre
227 S. Spring St.

Gaumont Chronophone 
see Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Gore's Capitol
see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

Gore's Regent Theatre
see Regent Theatre
447 S. Spring St.

Herman Theatre see Unique Theatre
460 (456?) S. Spring St.

Herman's Fireproof  Theatre see Unique Theatre
460 (456?) S. Spring St.

Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Horne's Nickelin
  see Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Hotchkiss see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

Ideal Theatre
134 S. Spring St.

Isis Theatre
542 S. Spring St.

Loew's Empress
see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Los Angeles Theatre
(1907) see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Los Angeles Theatre
(1888) see Lyceum Theatre
227 S. Spring St.

Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring St.

Lyceum Hall
229 S. Spring St.

Lyceum Theatre
227 S. Spring St.

Lyric Theatre
128 S. Spring St.

Market House Theatre  see
Temple Theatre

156 N. Spring St.

Music Hall see Lyceum Hall
229 S. Spring St.

New Vienna Buffet see
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.

Nickelin  see Horne's Big Show
423 S. Spring St.

Novel
see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

Odeon Theatre
see Orchestrion Theatre
527 S. Spring St.

Orchestrion Theatre

527 S. Spring St.

Orpheum
(1903) see Lyceum
227 S. Spring St.

Princess Theatre
see
Fischer's Theatre

121 W. 1st St.

Quinn's Empress
see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

Quinn's Lyceum Theatre see Lyceum Theatre
227 S. Spring St.

Regent Theatre
447 S. Spring St.

Rose Theatre
see Orchestrion Theatre
527 S. Spring St.

San Fernando ? Theatre
618 San Fernando St.

Scenic Theatre
522 S. Spring St.

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

Tally's Phonograh & Projectoscope Parlor  see
Tally's Phonograph and Vitascope Parlor
339 S. Spring St.

Tally's Theatre
see
Tally's Phonograph and Vitascope Parlor
311 S. Spring St.

Tally's Theatre
see
Tally's Phonograph and Vitascope Parlor
339 S. Spring St.

Teatro Zendejas see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Teatro Novel  see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Temple Theatre
156 N. Spring St.

Tivoli Theatre
see
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St. (12-14-16 Court St. before street renumbering)

Turnverein see Lyceum Hall
229 S. Spring St.

Unique Theatre
456 S. Spring St.

Vienna Theatre
144 S. Spring St.

Vienna Buffet see
Cineograph Theatre
114 Court St.

Waldeck's Casino
see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Waxman's
see Empress
344 S. Spring St.

Waxman's Capitol
see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.

Zendejas see Empress Theatre
344 S. Spring St.



back to top  |





The only theatre action on Spring St. these days is the
Los Angeles Theatre Center, shown here in a 2010 view.

It's old, but not an old theatre -- the complex
is a re-purposed bank building.



 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.



California Theatre

238 S. Spring St.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dates: This theatre is listed as the California in the 1909, 1910, 1912, 1914 and 1915 city directories.  In 1911 the listing is for W C Rolfes, in 1913 for Long, Barlow & Uhrlaub.  In the 1921, 1922 and 1923 directories it's the Columbia Theatre. Opening and closing dates are unknown.

Status: Demolished. There's a parking garage and lot at the site.

More Information: Cinema Treasures has a page on the California Theatre but there's no other information.

     Los Angeles Before Hollywood    

Journalism and American Film Culture, 1905-1915
by  Jan Olsson. National Library of Sweden, 2008
| National Library of Sweden - full book pdf | on Amazon |



A B'hend-Kaufmann Collection photo of the
California Theatre in 1910 appearing on page 238 of
"Los Angeles Before Hollywood."  "A Race Track Tout's
Remembrance" was a September 1910 release.

The Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection
is part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection.

Cineograph Theatre

114 Court St.     |1910 map | approximate Google map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened:  It opened October 18, 1890 as the Tivoli Theatre, 12,14, 16 Court Street. With the renumbering of the streets around 1900, these old numbers 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 Tivoli was operated by the Perry brothers (E.H. and J. H), earlier involved in a venture called the Our Club Theatre on Main, which before them had been Wood's Opera House.

Sometime prior to 1894 the building reopened as the New Vienna Buffet and gained a reputation as den of vice. In the 1894 city directory its listing says "restaurant, wines, liquors, amusement hall, F. Kerkow, prop. 10-16 Court." The Vienna was listed with the new 114-116 Court St. address in an 1895 Chamber of Commerce members list.



The 1894 Sanborn insurance map in the Los Angeles Public
 Library collection shows the "concert hall & restaurant" at 10-16
Court St. The auditorium had balconies along both side walls.
larger view |
more maps

The May 21, 1902 Los Angeles Herald reported that scandalous things had been going on behind closed curtains in the private boxes at the Vienna Buffet and that the police refused to take action. They were calling for the revocation of the theatre's amusement license. The July 14, 1902 Los Angeles Herald announced the closing:

"The Vienna Buffet closed last night. It will remain closed for six weeks 'for repairs and renovation.' The present proprietors, under whose management the buffet has attained such an unenviable notoriety, will retire. The place is to be conducted, when reopened, so its real owners announce, as a reputable amusement hall at popular prices. Even sinks of iniquity whitewashed and sustained by complaisant police commissions, cannot stand the white light of publicity. They flourish best in the dark —when they are left alone."

Apparently it attracted a crowd with widely divergent interests. The Vienna even gets a mention on page 24 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Lavender Los Angeles."

[ The Vienna Buffet had originally opened in the basement of a new building at Main and Requena St. as reported in the January 25, 1888 Los Angeles Herald.  Requena St. was later renamed Market St. ]

The building reopened as the Cineograph in September 1902 with a combination of movies and vaudeville with the movie bill changing daily.  It gets a mention in the August 31, 1902 L.A. Times. It's listed in the 1903 city directory as at 112 Court, in 1904 and 1905 as at 114 Court. It lasted as the Cineograph at least into 1910.  It's in the 1909 and 1910 city directories.



A detail from plate 003 of the 1910 Baist Real Estate Survey
map from Historic Mapworks showing the Cineograph Hall
on Court St.  That's S
pring running diagonally at the top.
larger detail view |
more maps

 Between 1918 and 1925 it was evidently called the Chinese Theatre and doing Chinese stage shows with the Sun Jung Wah Co. in residence. A March 3, 1918 L.A. Times article mentions that the space was earlier known as the Vienna Buffet. It's mentioned again in conjunction with Chinese stage shows in the May 31, 1925 issue of the Times.

Seating: 1,200

Status: Demolished for City Hall construction in 1926. Court St. is no more.

More information: See the heroic research work of Joe Vogel and Vokoban on the Cineograph page on Cinema Treasures. There's another 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.   Also see our listing for the original 1886 Vienna Theatre, not a den of vice,  at 144 S. Spring. Thanks to Katie D'Anna for her research on the Cineograph!

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org 


An 1896 look at the corner of Court and Spring
with the Cineograph building (at the time known as
 the New Vienna Buffet) over on the far left.
 full size view

    eBay    

www.ebay.com


An undated view of the building, here unused as a theatre. We're
 on the south side of Court St. with the Cineograph at the center of
the photo. The storefront is something called L.C. Steel's -- 114 and
116 are visible on two of its doors.  Upstairs are the "Corona Rooms."
Main is down at the left, Spring St. is around the corner to the right.
 full size view

     Noirish Los Angeles    

skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=170279


A detail from an 1899 photo originally on Shorpy.com
gives us a view of the theatre when it was the Vienna
Buffet.  F Hammon has this (and more about the building)
on his Noirish Los Angeles post #8321. That's Spring St.
 off to the right and Main over on the left.
 full size view | on FB/LATheatres



R Carlton did a colorized version of the full
photo for his Noirish Los Angeles post #8297.


Edison Theatre

436 S. Spring St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Dates: A nickelodeon operating at least 1909 through 1911 -- it's in those city directories. Opening and closing dates are unknown.

Status: Demolished.

More Information: Cinema Treasures has a page on the Edison Theatre but nothing more is currently known.  They have the address as 236 S. Spring.


Empress Theatre

344 S. Spring St.   | map |    (also listed as 338 or 340 Spring St.)

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: December 21, 1903 as Waldeck's Casino. The theatre was intended mostly for vaudeville with a 27' by 60' stage and a full orchestra employed. The building also contained a billiard hall, a wax museum and had a roof garden.

By 1906 it's known as the Hotchkiss Theatre and by 1907 as the Los Angeles. Note that the Lyceum Theatre, a block up the street, had opened as the Los Angeles Theatre in 1888.

By 1911 the operation was known as the Empress and running Sullivan and Considine vaudeville. It was also Loew's Empress, Quinn's Empress, Biola Hall, the Zendejas, Novel, Gore's Capitol, Waxman's and Waxman's Capitol.

Status: Closing date is unknown. Demolished prior to 1952. The L.A. Conservancy lists 1930 as a demolition date. In any case it's now a parking lot.

Architect: Abraham M. Edelman

Seating: 1,100

More information: See our page on the Empress Theatre for lots more.

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm


A 1913 view of the Empress in the Huntington Library
Collection. It's a photo by G. Haven Bishop taken for Southern
California Edison to advertise the joys of electric signage.
full size view

On the Huntington Library pages you can
use the slider to get a larger image -- then you
can pan around to explore details.

| more of the So Cal Edison collection  |

Fischer's Theatre

121 W. 1st St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: Sometime prior to 1908.  It's listed in the 1908 city directory as Fischer's. It's listed in the 1907-1908 Henry's Theatrical Guide as being managed by E.A. Fischer. Henry's notes that the house was at the time devoted to stock musical productions year round.

Stage Specifications: Illumination in 1907 was both gas and electric. The proscenium was 24' wide with a height of 22'. Stage depth was 30' with a grid height of 45' and a wall to wall measurement of 50'.

In the 19111 and 1912 directories it's the Princess. It's in the 1915 city directory as the Princess First St. Theatre.  In the 1919 and 1923 directories it's listed as the Princess although by June 1922 it was called the Spanish Theatre offering both movies and stage shows.

Seating: 800

Status: Demolished for the 1926 construction of City Hall.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Fischer's Theatre

Fischer also opened the Chronophone Theatre in 1908, a venue later known as
Horne's Big Show
. We also had a Fischer's Theatre in Pasadena (later called the Oaks) about the same time. Fischer also took over the Lyceum Theatre around 1912. There were also several Fischer's theatres in San Francisco in this period.

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm



A 1912 view of the theatre when it was called the
Princess in the Huntington Library Collection.
It's a photo by G. Haven Bishop taken for Southern
California Edison to advertise the joys of electric signage.
full size view



A detail of the photo in the Huntington Library
collection. Click on it to enlarge.


     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



This c.1905 C.C. Pierce photo of Fischer's
Theatre advertising vaudeville for 10 and
20 cents is in the USC collection. 
full size view

The photo is also in the LAPL collection:
Fischer's Theatre  |


Horne's Big Show

423  S. Spring St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: April 27, 1908 under the management of  local theatre operator E.A. Fischer as Fischer's Chronophone. It was also referred to as the Chronophone Theatre. This theatre specialized in shorts demonstrating an early talkie process from the Gaumont studios, the Gaumont Chronophone. The speakers were set up beside the screen and powered pneumatically by a compressed air system. 

The book "Early Cinema and the 'National'" by Richard Abel mentions the Chronophone Theatre on page 44 and notes that when it opened it was doing capacity business for both matinee and evening performances.  The April 26, 1908 Los Angeles Herald reported on page 24 that every seat was sold for the theatre's opening week.

The June 14, 1908 Los Angeles Herald discusses Mr. Fischer's problem with records and films that were quickly deteriorating. By then he had signed a contract directly with Gaumont (who had their U.S. studio in Flushing, N.Y.) so he could get "fresher" product instead of dealing with a L.A. distributor.  The July 5, 1908 Los Angeles Herald had an item on the Chronophone's Grand Opera Week that featured imported sound films highlighting great opera performances. The Flushing operation was also producing English language titles both operatic and otherwise.

Fischer also ran the 1st St. legit venue known as Fischer's Theatre and was for a time operating the Lyceum Theatre as well.

In late 1908 the theatre was taken over by Robert A. Brackett, who was also exhibiting sound films at the Royal Theatre on Broadway.  Presumably the Royal was also running Gaumont films and using their equipment. Brackett was a "reformer" who was interested in doing higher-class presentations (without all the chases and violence) that were seen in most nickelodeons at the time.

Starting in November 1908 the Los Angeles Herald got on the film reform bandwagon and offered free coupons to Brackett's shows. Not to be outdone by its competition, Hearst's Examiner started to print coupons for various nickelodeons running the normal, more sensational, product.

Brackett also included instructional lectures in his programs.  Soon the Broadway operation was dropped but he continued showing at 423 Spring. Later Brackett was the first manager at the new Clune's Theatre at 5th & Main , another attempt at a "high class" operation. It opened in May 1909.

Brackett and his programming on Broadway and Spring St. get a discussion on pages 224-226 in the book "Los Angeles Before Hollywood" by Jan Olsson. The full book is also available as a pdf from the National Library of Sweden. Both the Brackett programming and the Chronophone are mentioned on page 129 of John Fullerton's "Screen Culture: History and Textuality."

Evidently Brackett pulled the plug in late 1908 or early 1909 and the venue got renamed Horne's Big Show. It's listed in the 1909 city directory.

In the trade publication Motography for May 1911 they refer to as Horne's Nickelin Theater -- a neat reference to the admission price.  In the 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914 city directories it's listed as W T Horne. In 1911 the address is given as 421 S. Spring.  In 1912 it's listed as William T Horne. In the 1915 directory it's Horne's.

From the 1911 Motography article (available on Internet Archive), discovered by Cezar Del Valle:

"The Place with the Gold Pillars

Horne's Nickelin Theater, 423 S. Spring street, is one of the popular motion picture theaters of Los Angeles. ...Horne's show is devoted to pictures exclusively; there are no vaudeville stunts, nor illustrated songs. The only music is that which accompanies the films.

The program consists of three reels all second run -- another distinctive feature. Every film  is thus fresh and up-to-date. They are run through the machine with only a slight pause in between, and no intermission. It is a continuous performance, lasting from 10:30 A. M. to 11 P. M. The work is done by two machines with two operators in attendance all the time. A third machine is kept in readiness in case of accident. The two 'busy' machines bear the brand of Nicholas Power; the auxiliary machine is an Edison.

Now we come to the rarest feature of all. The screen is neither canvas, white-wash, mirror or patent paint. It is a piece of pure satin! What do you know about that? It is Mr. Horne's  own invention, and he has kept it a secret up till now.

Horne's theater seats 350 people. It is not such a large place, as motion picture theaters go nowadays, but like many nice little things it cost a good deal of money. A glance at the sumptuous exterior will give an indication of the style in which it has all been carried out.

The architecture is Moorish and those pillars in front are of solid 22-karat gold--at least they seem to be. It is known as 'The Place with gold pillars.' It was built in 1908; the house has a 25-foot frontage and a depth of 120 feet; the admission price is five cents; the place keeps ten employees busy; there are seven large fans and a cooling apparatus to entice pedestrians out of the California heat; and at night some 350 incandescent lamps blaze a welcome.

The 'Nickelin' is a favorite with everybody, especially with theatrical folk. Members of the Biograph stock company make it their own particular haunt. All who have ever met Manager W. T. Horne know just why his place is what it is."

Seating: 350

Status: Closing date is unknown. The building has been demolished. The current structure on the site dates from 1926.

More Information: Ken Roe has done some research on the Horne's Big Show page of Cinema Treasures.  Cinema Treasures also has a separate page on the Gaumont Chronophone Theatre (using a 473 S. Spring address) with some research by Joe Vogel. There's a post on the blog The Bioscope about that word Motography.

     Los Angeles Before Hollywood    

Journalism and American Film Culture, 1905-1915
by  Jan Olsson. National Library of Sweden, 2008
| National Library of Sweden - full book pdf | on Amazon |


 Reformer (and first American policewoman) Alice
Stebbins Wells talking to a kid outside Horne's. The photo,
from page 296 of the March 1911 issue of Good Housekeeping,
appears on page 263 of "Los Angeles Before Hollywood."

Various crusaders were convinced that all sorts of evil was
happening in darkened theatre auditoriums. Wells appreciated
 the fact that with shielded light fixtures and brighter projection
 there was no longer any need for dark auditoriums --
it could be what they called "daylight projection."



"Daylight projection" at an unidentified theatre.
The Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives photo appears
on page 235 of "Los Angeles Before Hollywood."

     Motography    

archive.org/details/motography56elec


Cezar Del Valle's post "Horne's Nickelin Theatre" on his blog
"Theatre Talks" offers excerpts from the trade publication
 Motography from May 1911 concerning Horne's.  They talk
 about it as the Nickelin Theatre but the photo with the
article still shows the Big Show name. 
full size view | on Internet Archive

Thanks to theatre historian Cezar Del Valle for the find. Visit
 his Theatre Talks blog.  The photo also appears in Charmaine
Zoe's Vintage Cinemas: California set on Flickr.

Ideal Theatre

134 S. Spring St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90012

In 1909 or 1910 John A. Quinn leased the Ideal Theatre, according to a 1913 biography of him on rootsweb. See the page on one of his later ventures, the Superba, for more information about Quinn and his other theatrical holdings.

The Ideal was still listed in the 1929 and 1932 city directories.  We don't have any other information.

Status: Demolished. There's an LAPL building on the site.


Isis Theatre

542 S. Spring St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Listed in the 1911 through 1917 city directories as the Isis Theatre.

Status:
Demolished

     Huntington Digital Library    

hdl.huntington.org/cdm



This is the only known photo if the Isis - and Ken McIntyre
 found it in the Huntington Digital Library.  It's a 1912 photo
taken for the Southern California Edison Co. by G. Haven Bishop.
full size view

On the Huntington Library pages you can use the slider to get
 a larger image -- then you can pan around to explore details.
| more of the So Cal Edison collection  |


Los Angeles Theatre Center

514 S. Spring St. 
  |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90013  

(213) 627-6500

Website:  thelatc.org

This is a complex of several legit theatres constructed in 1985  inside the 1915 vintage Security Bank Building.

The photo here is from 2010. Click to enlarge.

Lyceum Hall

229 S. Spring St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1887 ? as Turnverein Hall. This was the second Turnverein location.  The first Turnverein Hall was a wo0d frame building at 1345 S. Figueroa St.

This second Turnverein building at 229 S. Spring was just south of the Los Angeles Theatre (later Lyceum Theatre) at 227.  The venue hosted lots of musical events in its early years. 

J. Scott Shannon notes in a blog post "South from 250 Spring," that the building was later called Elk's Hall. It's unknown when it was renamed Lyceum Hall. And at some point it was called the Music Hall as well.

Status: Demolished. Date of demolition are not known. Photos from the 30s show that it was just a vacant lot next to the Lyceum Theatre. The site is now the L.A. Times parking garage.

The Turnverein 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.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org  



 We're looking north toward 2nd Street.
Lyceum Hall is in the foreground with "Music
Hall" on the pediment. The Lyceum Theatre
 farther north with the turreted roof. 
 full size view

     A Visit to Old Los Angeles    

www.csulb.edu  



An early postcard view of Spring street between 2nd
and 3rd on Brent Dickerson's Tour of Spring Street

We're looking south (at the west side of the street)
toward 3rd.  The Lyceum Hall building at the far
right side of the picture.  

Brent identifies the Lyceum Hall building as the
 Los Angeles Theatre when actually the theatre
in question (the Lyceum/Orpheum/Los Angeles)
is just off the picture, farther to the right. 
 full size view

The Spring St. tour is one of many great adventures on
 Brent's site. Details are on the site's index page.

From J. Scott Shannon's blog Los Angeles Past
comes a version of the card above where you can
see the Elk head  in the arch of the building.
  card on Photobucket | blog post


Lyceum Theatre

227 S. Spring St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened:
1888 as the Los Angeles Theatre.

In 1903 this interesting Richardsonian Romanesque building became the Orpheum - the second home of Orpheum Circuit vaudeville in Los Angeles. Previously they'd been at the Grand Opera House. Orpheum moved on again in June, 1911 to their new home at 630 S. Broadway (now the Palace Theatre). 

In 1912 this building became known as Fischer's Lyceum, operated by the Mr. Fischer of Fischer's Theatre on 1st St. (see listing above). Later it was just known as the Lyceum Theatre.  By the early 30s it was exclusively a movie theatre.

Architects: F. J. Capitain and J. Lee Burton. 

Seating: 1,488 originally. They were only using 800 during its last days as a movie theatre.

Status: Closed in 1941 as the Lyceum and was demolished the same year. The site is now the L.A. Times parking garage.

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

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org  


An exterior view while called the Orpheum -- note
the Orpheum flag flying. This was the second home
 of the Orpheum circuit in Los Angeles. 
full size view


Lyric Theatre

128 S. Spring St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: 1911 or earlier. A 1912 city directory listing is for G A Howell. It's listed in the 1913 through 1919 city directories as the Lyric Theatre

An article about the Lyric was located by Brooklyn based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle in the December 9, 1911 issue of Moving Picture News:

"The Lyric Theater, 130 South Spring street, Los Angeles, Cal., is one of the prettiest and best of the five-cent houses in the city, and since changing from Trust to Independent service several months ago, business has wonderfully increased. Four reels of pictures are shown, the program changing twice a week. The seating capacity of this popular theater is 400, and under the judicious management of Messrs. Howell and Skinner, it is always kept filled.

A $1,000 Peerless organ has recently been installed, which adds greatly to the pictures. Two machines are used and these, under the charge of Mr. E. Geary, always insure the best of projection."

The article is available on Internet Archive.

Status: Demolished

     Moving Picture News   

archive.org/details/movingpicturenew04unse


"A PROMINENT INDEPENDENT HOUSE -
THE LYRIC THEATER, LOS ANGELES,
CALIFORNIA"
The photo appeared with the article in the
 December 9, 1911 issue of Moving Picture News. 
full size view | on Internet Archive

Thanks to theatre historian Cezar Del Valle
for the find. Pay a visit to his Theatre Talks blog.

     L.A. Times on Facebook    




Stephen Russo spotted the vertical sign of the
Lyric Theatre (right above the streetcar) in this photo
of the 1912 Memorial Day parade on Spring St. 
full size view

Orchestrion

527 S. Spring St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: It was open 1909 or earlier as the Odeon -- it's listed in the 1909 city directory. It was operating in 1910 as the Orchestrion. The 1910 city directory also has a listing for Firhard & Fox at this address. In the 1912 and 1913 directories it's listed as the Rose Theatre. Opening and closing dates are unknown.

Status: The building that could have housed the theatre was demolished around 2006. It's now a parking lot.

More Information: Cinema Treasures has a page on the Orchestrion Theatre  which reports what little is known about this vanished Los Angeles theatre.

Regent Theatre

447  S. Spring St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Regent was running in 1925. Also known as Gore's Regent.

Status: Demolished. There's a parking lot at the site.

See also the page for the Regent Theatre on Main Street, which had a much longer run.

San Fernando Theatre

618 San Fernando St.   |map| -- approximate

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dates: Running in 1907. Note that the actual name of the venue isn't yet known. This was a short-lived film house in what was a slum area northeast of the Plaza.

The October 7, 1907 issue of the Los Angeles Express reported that warrants had been issued for the arrest of the owners, Mrs. M. Norton and Mrs. O. Andros. Kids under 14 were not allowed in movie theatres at the time and a volunteer reformer from Associated Charities had found fourteen of them under the age of 14 in the theatre.

The story is mentioned on page 126 of  John Fullerton's 2004 book "Screen Culture: History and Textuality."  The incident is also related on page 208 of Jan Olsson's 2008 book "Los Angeles Before Hollywood - Journalism and American Film Culture, 1905-1915." It's available as a pdf from the National Library of Sweden.

Status: Demolished. The block the theatre was on no longer exists -- it's now in the middle of the El Pueblo Parking lot.

San Fernando St. itself no longer exists as a designation. It was between N. Main and N. Spring/New High St.  The block north of the parking lot that once was San Fernando St. has been renamed N. Spring St. with addresses above Cesar Chavez Ave. beginning at about 640.

Scenic Theatre

522 S. Spring St.   |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90013

It was running in 1907-08 as it's listed in Henry's Official Western Theatrical Guide on p.35.  Southwest Amusement Co. was running 3 shows daily. It also gets a listing in The Billboard for 1907, 1908 and 1909.

Seating: 300
 

Tally's Phonograph & Vitascope Parlor

311 S. Spring St.   | map |   1895?-1889
Los Angeles, CA 90013

339 S. Spring St.   | map |   1899- ?
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Opened: In 1896, Thomas L. Tally curtained off the back of his phonograph parlor creating Tally's Theatre.  His first showings were July 25, 1896 according to an L.A. Times article of the same date. 

This was following the first successful exhibition of movies on a screen in Los Angeles at the Grand Opera House (then known as the Orpheum) on July 6, 1896. Tally wasn't involved in the event at the Grand. After the showings at the Grand Opera House the Edison Vitascope equipment went on tour for several weeks before ending up at Tally's. Tally moved to 339 S. Spring St. in 1899. 

Status: Both the 311 and 339 S. Spring St. buildings have been demolished.

More Information:
See our page on Tally's Phonograph & Vitascope Parlor for more information on Tally's, the Vitascope and the Kinetoscope.

Also see the Tally's Broadway page for a listing of his later exhibition adventures on Main Street and Broadway.

     L.A. Public Library Collection    

www.lapl.org 


Here's a photo from the Library collection of Tally's
Phonograph Parlor with the rear area draped off to
show movies - the "Mammoth Projecting Kinetoscope."  
 full size view

Temple Theatre

156 N. Spring St. at Main and Market
|
1910 Baist map | approximate Google map |

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened: 1859 by John Temple as the Market House, a two story brick structure designed to house a city market and his theatre on the second floor. It's unknown how long the space was used as a theatre.

The building was acquired by the county in 1861 and served served as the City Hall and courthouse from 1861 until 1869. The building fronted on Market St. and filled the small block bounded by Court, Spring, Market and Main.

Status: Demolished.

More Information:  See our page on the Temple Theatre.

     USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm

A view of the 1859 Market House/ Temple Theatre.
 full size view


Unique Theatre

456 S. Spring St.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA 90013

This theatre was running vaudeville and occasional films during at least 1901 and 1902.  It was under the management of Flora E. Hentz and John U. Zallee.

The team later ran their Unique Theatre operation at several other locations including a Unique Theatre at 629 S. Broadway and at the former Empire Theatre, 138 E. 3rd St.  It's possible they had other earlier locations before this Spring St. Venue.

They evidently moved from Spring St. to their more elaborate Broadway location sometime in 1902 or 1903. The 1903 city directory lists the Unique as being at 629 S. Broadway. They were on to 3rd St. by October 1909. See the page on the Broadway location for more about the team, including photos and a program.

The 1910 city directory lists 460 S. Spring as the Herman Theatre. It's not known whether this was the same space as the Unique or not. An ad in the July 8, 1908 issue of the Los Angeles Herald for Herman's Fireproof Theatre used the 460 S. Spring address" "WHERE THE CROWDS GO  Catering to ladies and children. Latest films, life, motion pictutes. Admission 5 cents."

Status: Demolished. There's a parking lot at the site.  We also had an unrelated Unique Theatre in East LA.

More Information: Cinema Treasures researcher Ken McIntyre has unearthed 2 postings about the Unique Theatre from the L.A. Times. He's  linked these on the Cinema Treasures page for the Capitol Theatre.  See the Unique article 12/01  and Unique article 5/02.


Vienna Theatre

144 S. Spring St.    |map|

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opened:  January 1886 or earlier. A photo in the John Miller/LAHTF collection noted on the back that a Mr. H.C. Watt was the initial manager. The January 22, 1886 Los Angeles Herald mentions an auction being held at the theatre -- and gives the address as 144 Spring St.

In February 1886 it was running a play called "The Convict's Daughter."  The Los Angeles Herald issue of Feb. 25, 1886 mentions this production and other offerings at the Vienna  The March 13, 1886 Los Angeles Herald has an ad for the Vienna noting that H. Frank was the lessee.

"Conducted as a strictly first-class theatre at POPULAR PRICES." Evenings were 25 and 50 cents,  a matinee Saturdays for 15 and 25 cents.  "The charming little actress Minnie F. Young" was appearing March 8, 9 and 10 in "Fanchon, the Cricket." March 11 and 12 plus a matinee March 13 were to be "The Convict's Daughter" and that Saturday and Sunday evening program was "A Dangerous Woman."  "No smoking or drinking. Large and fashionable lady audiences at every performance."

Status: Closing date is unknown. The building has been demolished.

More information: It's not known if this theatre operation had anything to do with the Vienna Buffet at N. Main and Requena (later renamed Market St.), open at about the same time. See the Cineograph Theatre listing for information on that and a later notorious amusement parlor called the New Vienna Buffet.




For more downtown Los Angeles theatre explorations:

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

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

And don't miss our Main Street Theatres page
for exploration of over 40 theatres!

See you at the movies!