Vista Theatre

4473 Sunset Dr.

Los Angeles, CA 90027  | map |

(323) 660- 6639

Website: showtimes


Opened: October, 1923 as Bard's Hollywood Theatre.

Lou Bard also operated the Town, College and 8th St. (later called the Olympic) theatres downtown as well as theatres in West Adams, Glendale and Pasadena.

Architect: Lewis A. Smith. It's a cute neighborhood house with an Egyptian flavored interior. 

Seating: 638

Status: Still open with first runs, moveovers and occasional revivals. It's now operated by Vintage Cinemas, who also operate the Los Feliz. The Vista is now equipped with a Sony 4K digital projector.

The Vista in the Movies:  

Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles found
 this shot of filming happening at the Vista
for "The Crooked Web" (Columbia, 1955).
 larger view

In Tony Scott's "True Romance" (Warner Bros., 1993) Christian
Slater visits the Vista. It's supposedly a Detroit theatre where he
meets Patricia Arquette during a triple bill of "Street Fighter,"
"Return of the Street Fighter" and "Sister Street Fighter."

Thanks to Joe Pinney for the alert regarding "True Romance" and
crack Noirish LA contributor Tovangar2 for actually getting the
screenshot above. It's now in our Theatres Appearing in Movies
album on Facebook

In Barry Sonnenfeld's "Get Shorty" (MGM, 1995) we
have John Travolta and Rene Russo seeing a film at the
Vista. At least it's the Vista inside. For the exteriors,
we're at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. 
larger view

The Vista in Wes Craven's "Scream 2" (Dimension
Films, 1997). The exteriors were done featuring the
Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena.
larger view

"Scream 2" also used the Variety Arts Theatre
downtown for scenes near the end of the film.

We see a bit of the Vista's exterior in
"Dear White People" (Lionsgate, 2014).

We get nice a facade view of the Vista in Woody Allen's "Café Society"
 (Lionsgate, 2016) when Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart take in
"The Woman In Red" with Barbara Stanwyck.  Earlier Eisenberg
 checks out the footprints at Grauman's Chinese.

More Information:  The Cinema Tour page on the Vista has a glorious photo spread of 51 photos by Bob Meza, Steven Rood and Mark Campbell. They go everywhere from the basement to the booth.

Also see the Cinema Treasures page on the Vista Theatre.  There's also a few pictures on Yelp.   The theatre's website has a nice array of photos as well.

And don't miss TJ Edwards and Garan Grey's Cinema Sightlines page on the Vista Theatre for a great photo spread and commentary. 

7-how-7 on Flickr   

Here's a nice interior shot posted
by 7-how-7 on her Vista Theatre set.   
full size image

Another view getting some
of the sidewall decor.
  full size view

Donna Grayson on Flickr   

A sidewall detail in Donna's Vista Theatre set.
Donna also has many more Los Angeles
theatre photos in her Flickr album.
full size image

Joe on Flickr

A 1980 shot of the theatre when it had a
 peep show neighbor across the street.
"The Tin Drum" was a 1979 release.

Gregory May on Photobucket

The Vista running a reissue of "Birth of a Nation"
in a photo discovered by Mr. May.
full size view

A neighborhood note on "Birth of a Nation":
When Griffith was working on the film, he screened it nearby in
one of the area's first soundstages. The location, 4212 Sunset Blvd.,
was constructed c.1910. It was rebuilt in 1961 as a cabaret space
and is now the El Cid Restaurant.
  | Wikipedia article  |  2003 LA Magazine Article  |
Vintage LA photo - as Jail Cafe  |

Noirish Los Angeles

Thanks to Martin Pal for spotting this 1970s
photo of the Vista on Flickr,  taken during
 the theatre's porno fling.

Photos of Los Angeles

A nice sidewalk view looking west on
Ken McIntyre's Photos of Los Angeles.
full size view

Ken Roe on Flickr

Ken takes amazing theatre photos all over
the world. Here's the Vista Lobby. 
full size view

A look at the sidewall. 
full size view

Don't miss Ken's wonderful
Movie Theatres USA set
-- over 700 photos.

Vintage Los Angeles

A look at the Vista when it was having a fling
 as a porno house.  It's a shot from a Charlie's Angels episode
 "Catch A Fallen Angel"  in 1980. Thanks to Daniel Siwek
 for posting the photo on Vintage Los Angeles.

A view of the Vista Theatre exterior.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

[ click on these photos  to enlarge ]

An earlier view of the Vista and its roof sign.

photo: Gary Graver - 1991

Gary Graver (1938-2006) 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.

The Vista's Egyptian style boxoffice.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

The Vista Theatre auditorium.

photo: Stephen Russo - Los Angeles
Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

The photo originally appeared on the
LAHTF Facebook page. Thanks, Stephen!

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation is actively involved
in the study and preservation of the vintage theatres in the L.A. area.
The group frequently supports events and offers tours of the buildings. | group Facebook page | official FB page

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.

Cinema Tour

2005 organ grille detail by Steven Rood.
full size view

A 2005 look at the booth gear from the
 Steven Rood collection. 
full size view

The Cinema Tour page on the
Vista has 51 photos to browse.

M.V. Jantzen on Flickr

A nice night view by M.V. Jantzen.
It's part of the Los Angeles 2007 set.
 full size view


L.A. Public Library Photo Collection

Here's a 1923 view of the opening (when the
 Vista Theatre was called Bard's Hollywood)
 from the Library's collection. 
full size view

A 1930 view of the junction of Hollywood and
 Sunset, looking east. Note the Vista vertical and a
bit of the marquee on the left. We also get a bit of
the roof sign peeking up at the left.
full size view

A 1938 Herman Schultheis look at the Vista.
They're running "The Great Waltz."
full size view | a similar shot

A great 1951 view of the Vista.
full size view

A 1980 look at the Vista, on the occasion
 of its reopening as a revival house.
full size view

A 1983 photo.
full size view

The 1980 and 1983 shots above also appear on
 "Early L.A. Historical Buildings page 3," a section of
the Water & Power Associates Museum website.

A Tom LaBonge photo of the Vista
playing "Freaks" and "The Haunting."
full size view

More exterior views in the collection:

| "Mildred Pierce" revival - Roy Hankey  |
| "Hannah and Her Sisters" - Gary Leonard  |

Vista Theatre website

The theatre's website has a great photo tour
of the building. Here's a view of the lobby. 
full size view

A look at the proscenium from
the theatre's website.
full size view

Take the website's theatre tour for 30 photos
of their lovingly maintained building.