Allen Theatre

3809 Tweedy Blvd.  | map

South Gate, CA 90280

Opened: 1924 as the Garden Theatre. The neighborhood was part of the Home Gardens tract (thus the theatre's name), an area later annexed by South Gate. In the 1930s the theatre, in addition to films, occasionally hosted plays produced by a local theatre company.

The Garden was later renamed the South Gate Theatre (possibly after a 1936 remodel) and, sometime after 1943, became the Allen Theatre. The Allen Brothers (A.E. and Lawrence W.) operated other theatres in the area.

Not related to these Allens were Robert J. Allen and William Lanier Allen, operators of the Avon Theatre in South Gate. See the Cinema Treasures page about the Avon.

Ken McIntyre notes that in the early 80s the Allen was being advertised as the New Allen Theatre. It was still running as a single screen movie house into the 80s (as a $1.00 house at the end) and then became a venue for rock performances. Olga Kerr purchased the theatre in 2000.

Architect: The original architects are unknown. Joe Vogel on Cinema Treasures reports that an item in Southwest Builder and Contractor's issue of November 17, 1936 noted that the theatre was getting a remodel by architect Clarence G. Smale.

Seating: 673

Status: Still there but closed since 2007.  See the 2012 story in the South Gate - Lynwood Patch about the owner's hopes to attract new promoters to the space for plays and concerts. The story notes that it's largely stripped of equipment inside, including seats.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Allen for interesting research on South Gate Theatres by Joe Vogel and Saraswati8.

Yuri's Records, adjacent to the theatre, has a noirish 2013 view on their Facebook page.  There's a South Gate Old Photos group to browse on Flickr.

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.

    Michael Poulin on Flickr    

A 2007 look at the Allen by Michael Poulin.
full size view

    South Gate High    

A 1981 look at the Allen on the South Gate
High "Memories of the Allen Theatre" page.
full size view

A c.2000 facade photo.

Looking toward the missing boxoffice.
full size view

    South Gate - Lynwood Patch

A 2012 look at the front of the closed theatre
 from the 2012 story "Locals Hopeful...."
slightly larger view

A look upward at the Allen's signage.

photo: Ken McIntyre - 2008

[ click on either of these photos for a larger view ]

The facade of the Allen from across the street.

photo: Ken McIntyre - 2008

Thanks, Ken!

Additional 2008 photos from his Allen set on Photobucket:
 Check out Photos of Los Angeles, the
terrific Facebook page that Ken curates.

    Ozfan22 on Flickr

A c.1978 street view of the Allen from Ozfan22's
collection. "Close Encounters" is playing.
The photo above also appears on the South Gate
High "Memories of the Allen Theatre" page.

An undated view. from across
the street at the Union 76.

An undated photo of the Allen's
 maroon-tiled boxoffice, later removed.
full size view | on Flickr

The photo above also appears on the South Gate
High "Memories of the Allen Theatre" page.

A look at the Allen's snackbar. 
full size view | on Flickr

Ozfan's photos also appear on Flickriver:
| South Gate CA old photos |