Vine Theatre

6321 Hollywood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90028     | map |

(310) 444-8955

The news:  Dolby took over the Vine in late 2013 and the theatre was gutted down to the bare walls in 2014.  It was rebuilt as a private demonstration showcase for their Dolby Vision process, featuring laser-based projection. They're working with Christie on the equipment. 

SF Gate had a May 2015 story by Benny Evangelista about the company's new technologies "Dolby hopes to lure movie fans back with theater of the future" that included photos of both the Vine and the Dolby Theatre. See some of the Vine photos lower on this page.

Hollywood Reporter had a December 2014 story about a demo at the theatre: "Sensory Assault: Dolby Takes on IMAX with Mega-Theatre Rival." Digital Trend ran a December story about the process: "Dolby Looks to Outdo IMAX..."

Opened: May 15, 1940 as the Admiral. It was originally a restaurant before the remodel into a theatre.

Noir City Dame in her Noirish Los Angeles post #19591 traces the use of the building as a restaurant.  In 1933 it was Henry's Restaurant.  In March 1934  Henry was out and it reopened as Perry's Brass Rail, Perry having moved from three doors to the west. By late 1936 it had become the Weiss Cafe.

The L.A. Times issue of May 16, 1940 reported
 the opening of the theatre. Thanks to Noir City
Dame for finding the article.

In the 60s the theatre was known as Rector's Admiral and, at the end, played mostly revivals and sub-runs.

Trans-Beacon (in association with New York's B.S. Moss circuit) gave it a $200,000 remodel in 1969 and re-named it the Vine.

Work included a greater height lobby area (with new lobby decor), redone boxoffice area, new seating, new booth equipment, redesigned rear exit scheme, a bigger screen and new auditorium decor (mostly drapes).

The remodel is profiled in the May 19, 1969 issue of Boxoffice.  article page 1 | article page 2 

Pacific Theatres operated the Vine for years (with a yet another remodel in the 70's) as both a Spanish language house and a $2 grindhouse.  At the end it was a sad independent operation with $7 double features.

Architect: S. Charles Lee

Seating: 603 after the 1969 remodel

The Vine Theatre in the Movies:

The Admiral gets a shot in Robert Wise's "I Want
To Live" with Susan Hayward (United Artists, 1958).
 Thanks to GS Jansen for posting the screenshot on
 his Noirish Los Angeles post #23572. We're looking
west from Hollywood & Vine toward the Warner.
larger view | in GSJ's Flickr album

The theatre is playing "Saratoga Trunk" (1945) with
Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman and "The Square
Jungle" (1955) with Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine.

We get the same shot repeated in Joseph Newman's
 "The George Raft Story" (Allied Artists, 1961) with Ray
Danton, Jayne Mansfield and Julie London.

For the purposes of "Raft" the towers of the Warner in
the distance with the neon saying "Cinerama" are a bit of
an anachronism. Thanks to Kliph Nesteroff for the
screenshot this time, posted on Vintage Los Angeles. 
 larger view | on Vintage LA

Status: It got gutted down to the bare walls in 2014 and has been rebuilt as a demonstration theatre for Dolby.

The Vine had been a rental house for a few years for various down market events and private screenings. The marquee's semi-permanent copy touted the theatre's 35mm and digital projection capabilities.

In June 2009 it had a fling as the home of the Laserium.  The L.A. Times had the story.  Evidently the Laserium folks couldn't make a go of it.  A January 2010 story detailed the defeat.

After 70 years of operation (with a few breaks) the Vine had closed as a regular film theatre in October 2007.

More Information: See the Cinema Tour page for more pictures. And there's lots of discussion on the Cinema Treasures page.  For a look at the block before the theatre existed, see the Dick Whittington 1939 USC view on Photos of Los Angeles.

Sean Ault Archives by Osiris Press

Looking east on Hollywood Blvd. in 1958. Rector's
Admiral is running "I Want To Live" with Susan
 Hayward. The 2nd big feature is "The Long,
 Long Trailer" (1953) with Lucy and Desi.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

Thanks, Sean!

Sean Ault is a noted historian of transit
 in the Los Angeles area.
You can see many more items
from his Osiris Press transit archive on YouTube.

Cinema Treasures

Intrepid photographer Hollywood 90038 stalks
all of Hollywood. Here's one of his images of
the Vine in its Laserium period in 2009. 
full size view

Check out the Cinema Treasures
Vine Theatre
page for many more views.

Looking west through Hollywood and Vine in a December
1948 photo by Arnold Hylen. The photo comes to us courtesy
of his grand niece Lisa Santa Lucia-Riccardi.
 full size view

Thanks, Lisa!

Los Angeles Public Library

Looking east across Vine St. toward the Pantages.
 Here in the lower left is Henry's restaurant, where
 the Admiral/Vine Theatre will later be.
  The photo
was taken before March 1934.

full size view

A c.1937 Herman Schultheis view looking across
toward where the Admiral Theatre would later be.
 It's still a restaurant at this point.
full size view

c.1950 photo by Ralph Morris looking west on
 Hollywood Blvd. Below us is the Admiral Theatre
 with Vine St. and the Pantages beyond.
 full size view

A 1946 Christmas view looking west at one of the
most photographed corners in the city, Hollywood and Vine. 
The Admiral marquee is glowing brightly on the right.
 full size view

The view above appears as part of the lovely post #2330
by GSJansen on page 117 of the delightful SkyscraperPage
discussion thread "Noirish Los Angeles."

Noirish Los Angeles- Skyscraperpage

The interior of the building as Henry's Restaurant
 before its conversion to a theatre.  The card appears as
part of Mr. Ethereal Noirish Los Angeles post #20899
and was a find by him on eBay.
full size view

An exterior view as Henry's located by Noir City
Dame as part of her Noirish Los Angeles post # 19591
She does a fine job of tracing the building through
 several  restaurant uses after it was Henry's.


A partial view in 1942 of the Admiral marquee from
a photo mostly about Sardi's (which is off to the right).
We're running "Footlight Serenade." 

It's in post #3988 by Ethereal Reality on the delirious
discussion thread Noirish Los Angeles -- page 200. 

You're looking at a detail from a much larger
image from The Black Dahlia in Hollywood:

A 1953 look at a slice of the Admiral. It's part of
Beaudry's fine Noirish Los Angeles post #28689 featuring
photos from the book "LAPD '53" (Abrams) by James Ellroy
 and L.A. Police Museum executive director Glynn Martin.

Also see the Los Angeles magazine article about the book:
 "James Ellroy and Glynn Martin Revisit the LAPD's Grim Archives..."

SF Gate

SF Gate had a May 2015 story by Benny Evangelista
  "Dolby hopes to lure movie fans back..."  that included
photos of both the Vine and the Dolby Theatre.

Dolby's idea for their Dolby Vision Theatre is to
 have a long entrance corridor rather than a lobby.
It's a photo by David Walter Banks.
 full size view

 "Instead of a traditional lobby, the entrance to the auditorium
 is a dark, curved corridor. Projectors cast a floor-to-ceiling video the
length of the corridor, with accompanying Atmos sound." 

A 2015 photo by David Walter Banks looking toward
the screen at the Vine after the 2014 renovations.
full size view

 "The seats and wall coverings are made of materials in flat
black to eliminate light reflecting from the screen. The speakers
 are hidden behind faceted panels, smaller in the back and larger
 toward the front, to help focus the viewer’s attention to the screen."  

The rear of the Vine's re-configured auditorium.
 It's a photo by David Walter Banks.
A 2015 street view from the SF Gate
article. No Dolby upgrades here.

UCLA  Calisphere

A busy 1947  Frasher Foto Card looking west
on Hollywood Blvd. across Vine Street. Look at
the full size view and you'll find the Vine
Theatre in the center.
 full size view

Note that on Calisphere, you can zoom
in and pan around looking at details.

This photo also appears on Vintage Los Angeles.
It's also part of Ethereal Reality's Noirish Los Angeles post #5198,
an extensive survey of the use of banners across L.A.'s streets.

Vintage Los Angeles

A 1945 view looking east toward Hollywood
& Vine. Thanks to Dann Pryce for the shot
 on Vintage Los Angeles.
full size view | on Vintage LA

Santa at the Admiral. Thanks to Johnny Wareham
 for the post.  It looks like 1939 with second run engagements
of "You Can't Get Away With Murder" with Humphrey
 Bogart along with Don Ameche and the Ritz Brothers
 in "Three Musketeers."
full size view | on Vintage LA

The photo is from an album belonging to Mr. Wareham's
mother, who notes "The little arrow [upper right] is pointing
 to where I worked during Xmas. Just up the street a little ways
is the 'Hitching Post' from the Taft building, still on Hollywood
 Blvd. Straight up from the theater, about 3 doors is
 'Melody Lane' a quite well known restaurant."


The Vine Theatre.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

The present marquee design (and
name) dates from a 1969 remodel.

[ click any of these photos to enlarge ]

A look west on Hollywood Blvd.

photo: Google Maps - 2009

The intersection of Hollywood and Vine is behind us.
Note the towers of the Warner Theatre in the distance.
Click to enlarge or head to Google for an interactive view.

The Vine Theatre in its brief Laserium phase.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

A signage detail.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

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.

Martin Alison on Flickr

Martin has a delightful collection of 1965 views of
Los Angeles. Here we're looking west on Hollywood Blvd.
with "Rector's Admiral" visible on the far left.
 full size view

The photo also appears on the Neat Stuff Blog
in a 2009 post "Vintage Los Angeles."


  The Trans-Beacon remodel and rebranding of the Admiral
 is profiled in the May 19, 1969 issue of Boxoffice.
article page 1 | article page 2

An exterior view.
The photo above is also on Cinema Treasures, an
addition to the site by prolific contributor Bill Gabel.

A look at the Vine's auditorium
after the 1969 remodel

The auditorium photo is also on
 Cinema Treasures, added by Bill Gabel. 

Hollywood Photographs    

In the great Bruce Torrence Hollywood
Photographs collection is this 1942 view. 
full size view | data page

Also in the collection:
1972 exterior  |  more Hollywood theatre photos  |

The Kingsley Collection

A lovely 1966 view
from The Kingsley Collection.
We're looking east on Hollywood Blvd. The
 theatre here is still called Rector's admiral.
full size view

The Admiral is running an MGM revival package that was
out that year. On the marquee: "Sweethearts" and "The Merry
Widow." Oh, that's the 
down the street on the left.

The Kingsley collection features photos from
 the estate of
Barbara Harlen.

A cropped version of this shot appears on
 Photos of Los Angeles as a post of Bill Gabel.

S. Charles Lee Archive - UCLA

Here's a photo by Julius Schulman from the

UCLA S. Charles Lee Archive collection.

This dates from 1939 or 1940 when the
was still called the Admiral. 
full size image

The photo above also appears
on Photos of Los Angeles.

Also in the UCLA Archives:
facade sketch  |


A nice post on this blog offers a great selection of short
video clips focusing on Hollywood Blvd.  Here we get a shot
of the Admiral/Vine Theatre in 1956 running "The Searchers"
on a 1 minute+ cli
p from Alison Martino, of Vintage
Los Angeles fame.
Click to enlarge or
 watch the videomore Hollywood videos on LAist

Ken McIntyre on Photobucket

In this photo from Ken's collection
 we get a glimpse of the facade in 1952.
 full size view


Mid Century Modern

...and Historical Los Angeles in the '60s, '70s and '80s

A sweet December, 1954 view of the Vine Theatre
marquee (on the
right) as we look west.  Here in 1954 the
theatre is still called the Admiral.
In the background, you'll
 see the towers of the
WarnerThe photo was added
to the page by Richard Wojcik.

full size view

The view above also appears on Vintage Los Angeles.

A January 2014 look at the Vine with the
"For Rent" lettering off the marquee. The Dolby
team was at work on a renovation. It's
 a photo by Andrew Gage.
full size view

Thanks to Stephen Russo of the LAHTF
 for spotting Andrew's photo!

Photos of Los Angeles

A 1952 view of a KTLA broadcast gets us a shot
of the Admiral / Vine marquee.  We're running "The Long
Voyage Home" (1940) and "Barbary Coast" (1935).
full size view

Well, it's hard to see much of the Vine in this one
but it's there on the right as we look west on Hollywood Blvd.
Douglas Rudd posted it on Photos of Los Angeles.
 full size view

A triple bill we're sorry to have missed at the
Vine in the 70s. It's a photo by Kolchak Ans
on Photos of Los Angeles.
 full size view | on FB/LATheatres

The Vine marquee in its later grind house
 days. The marquee is tying to tell us that
 it's two movies for $5.
The photo above is also on Flickr from Greg M.


Looking west from Hollywood and Vine in August,
 1963.  The photo was submitted to Shorpy by tterrace,
who says he's the guy visiting the big city. The Admiral is
 running a reissue of "Auntie Mame" (1958) plus "The
Day They Robbed The Bank of England (1960).
 Thanks to Phillip Cutler for giving a nudge to get this
one on the page by posting it on our Los Angeles Theatres
Facebook page. Visit Phillip's page devoted to
 Classic Hollywood/Los Angeles/SFV.

So Cal Historic Architecture

A terrific c.1958 Christmas postcard of the Admiral Theatre
as we look west on Hollywood Blvd. from Vine St. It was added
to the So Cal Historic Architecture page by Gary Fimbres. 
full size view

The card also appears on Gaylord Wilshire's
 Noirish Los Angeles post #9302 and in Elizabeth Fuller's
 Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr.

Theatres in Los Angeles

by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper,
Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker.
Arcadia Publishing, 2008.

www.arcadiapublishing.comgoogle books preview

This 1942 view of the Admiral Theatre appears on page 67
of "Theatres in Los Angeles."  On the marquee: "Hellzapoppin"
 and "Saboteur." Most of the rare photos in the book are
from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives
  full size view

Ken McIntyre has it on his Photos of Los Angeles
Facebook page. And on Photobucket.

See the uncropped version in the listing
above for Hollywood Photographs.

Uncanny -- Hollywood Boulevard Line

Here we're looking east along Hollywood Blvd. -- you
can see a sliver of the Pantages vertical on the left. The
main feature at the Admiral this week is "Razor's Edge" 
with Gene Tierney and Tyrone Power from 1946.
full size view

Tom Wetzel's Bits of LA History pages are lots of fun
and have many rare photos of LA interurban lines.  His
 tour of the Hollywood Blvd. Line also has views
of the Chinese, the Warner and the Pantages. 

The view also appears as a 2011 post by The Felix in Hollywood
Tour Company on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.