Showcase / Gordon Theatre

614 N. La Brea Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90036    map



Status:  It's dormant. The theatre was in the clutches of a religious organization in 2012. They were calling it the Arc Theatre. Their operation appears to be moribund. It's unknown whether the group owns the building or if they were just leasing. Their former website is down and there are no posts since 2012 on the Arc Theater Facebook page

Opened: In 1938 as the Gordon. It was named for the owner, David Gordon.

Seating:   899 originally, now down to 750

Architect:  Clifford A. Balch designed this lovely Art Deco theatre.  David K. Mesbur of Mesbur+Smith Architects did the sensitive restoration for Cineplex Odeon in the 1985.  The auditorium murals by Tony Heinsbergen were uncovered and restored.

History:
It ran into the 80s as the Gordon. Cineplex Odeon acquired the venue and re-opened it in October 1985 as the Cineplex Odeon Showcase after a tasteful restoration. The company then jettisoned the property around 1999. The theatre later ran as an independent and closed in 2008.

It was then booked for awhile by the Laemmle circuit, closing again in May 2009. Following that closure it was purchased by Regent Entertainment and operated as the Regent Showcase, a venue open only  for special events. 

In late 2012 and early 2013 it was being called the Arc Theatre but that operation never blossomed.  ARC intended to use the theatre for inspirational stage and film presentations as well as church services.  The last rental information used an e-mail address of info@arctheaterla.com and 818-761-0661 as their phone number.

Screen size: 15' x 32'         Throw: approximately 100'

Sound: THX certified at one point. Ultra Stereo ECI-60, Dolby CP-200 processor

Projection: Simplex 35, Christie platter

The Showcase in the Movies: Near the beginning of Martin McDonagh's "Seven Psychopaths" (CBS Films/Blueprint Pictures, 2012) two of them (Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell) are seen watching a film in the Showcase auditorium.

The Gordon on TV:



The marquee of the theatre in its Gordon days
 appears in an episode of "The White Shadow" (1978).

 Thanks to Walter Santucci, who posted
the photo on the LAHTF Facebook page.
  full size view | on Facebook

The Gordon on Video:


The theatre's flashing neon puts in an appearance a little
over a minute into The Doors' "L.A. Woman" video.
With the name lit on the front.

Thanks to Sean Ault for spotting this one!

More Information: See the Showcase page on Cinema Treasures for a nice history.  One nice link on the page posted by "Bway" is to a Bing aerial view of the Showcase Theatre.

The auditorium is pictured in a Boxoffice ad for International seats in the April 29, 1939 issue.




Cinema Tour

www.cinematour.com 



A 2003 view of the Showcase's
neon by Adam Martin.
full size view

Also by Mr. Martin:

The site's Showcase Theatre page
also has Ken Roe's interior views.



Cezar Del Valle - Theatre Talks

www.theatretalks.com | theatretalks.blogspot.com


A 2002 look at the facade of the Showcase by Betty
Sword. Take a look at the great deco building on the
 left of the theatre. The photo is in the Cezar
Del Valle Theatre Talks collection. 
full size view

Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian with a
serious interest in Los Angeles Theatres.



Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation

Thanks to Nathan Marsak for his 1970s photo
of the theatre, then still called the Gordon.
 full size view | on the LAHTF FB page



Mesbur + Smith Architects

This great photo of the front of the auditorium
is from Mesbur & Smith Architects.

larger view

They did the renovation of the theatre in 1987
for Cineplex Odeon. The company specializes in
 entertainment projects and did a lot of work
 all over the US and Canada for Cineplex,
 including work at the Fairfax.



A view of the rear of the auditorium in 1987.
larger view
 


Photos of Los Angeles

facebook.com/groups/244565982234863



A look at the wonderful neon at the Showcase in
1988, when the theatre was under Cineplex Odeon
 management.  Thanks to Bill Gabel for the photo.
 full size view | on photos of LA 



A photo of the facade added by Ken McIntyre to
the Photos of Los Angeles collection in 2012.
 full size view | on Photos of LA



Ken Roe on Flickr

www.flickr.com/photos/kencta

Here is a lovely shot by Ken
of the Showcase auditorium.

 

The sidewall of the auditorium.  Take a look at
the full size view on Flickr to see the nice
plaster texture Ken has captured. 
full size view

 

The rear of the auditorium. 
full size view

More great work by Ken:
exterior 2002  |

For a real treat, browse the hundreds of great theatre
photos in Ken's Flickr album "Movie Theatres USA." 




The exterior of the Showcase Theatre.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

[ click to enlarge ]


about the photos from other websites...

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



American Classic Images

www.americanclassicimages.com



A 1981 view -- prior to the Cineplex renovation.
 It's on the website American Classic Images
 full size view



former Arc Theater website



An interior view from the website that was up in
2012 when a group was calling it the Arc Theatre.
 full size view



The rear of the deco auditorium.
full size view



Cinema Sightlines

http://cinemasightlines.com


Thanks to Cinema Sightlines for
this fine look at the theatre's neon.



A view at the theatre's snackbar.



The stairs up to the lounge area.



The mezzanine lounge.



An auditorium view.



A look across the house during
a busy night at the Showcase.

Thanks TJ!

See TJ Edwards and Garan Grey's
Cinema Sightlines Showcase Theatre page
for larger views of these six photos as well as
many other great views of the theatre.



Ken McIntyre on Photobucket

 photobucket.com...kencmcintyre


An nice exterior view from 2008.

No, that interesting facade on the left
isn't part of the theatre building.

 

A great shot by Ken showing the
art deco terrazzo and boxoffice. 
full size viewon Photobucket



Another look at the boxoffice. Thanks, Ken!
full size view | on Photobucket
 



Movie Palaces

SURVIVORS OF AN ELEGANT ERA

by Ave Pildas (photos)  and Lucinda Smith (text)
Foreword by King Vidor

Clarkston N. Potter, New York, 1980
Hennessey + Ingalls, Santa Monica, 2000
ISBN: 0940512254

buy the book:
 |  on AmazonBarnes & Noble |


A nice shot of the Showcase boxoffice by
 Mr. Pildas from his book "Movie Palaces".

Mr. Pildas' book has lots of shots of other Los Angeles
 theatres and he is (it seems) particularly fond of boxoffices.



former Regent Showcase website



A view from the booth that was on the theatre's
 website when it was the Regent Showcase.



A look at the lobby from the theatre's former
website when it was the Regent Showcase.



A look at the booth at the Showcase.