The ABC Entertainment Center

A look down on the complex in 1979. 

[ click on the image for a larger view ]

Thanks to Alison Martino for her May  2011 post of the photo
on Vintage Los Angeles where it elicited many comments. There's
also a September 2011 re-post with many additional responses.

A slightly different version of the photo had been seen on
the Mid Century Modern Facebook page in 2010 and made
 a reappearance on Vintage Los Angeles in January 2013.

In both photos "Annie" was at the Shubert with the films "Meteor"
and "Fiddler On The Roof" at the Plitt Century Plaza Theatres.

The Century Plaza Theatres

2040 Avenue of the Stars
| map |

Century City (Los Angeles), CA   90067

Opened:  April 5, 1972 as the ABC City Theatres. It was initially a twin cinema with the two being advertised as ABC City Theatre One and ABC City Theatre Two. "Cabaret" was the initial attraction in the big house.

The film house, also known as the Century Plaza Twin and the ABC Century Plaza, was part of the ABC Entertainment Center with the City Theatres on the south side of a central plaza and the Shubert Theatre on the north. 

When ABC sold their theatre circuit (what was left of Paramount Publix) to Henry Plitt the twin became known as the Plitt Century Plaza Theatres.

The theatres were a favorite for trade screenings. Filmex used the theatres for their festivals in the late 70s and early 80s.  Both houses were equipped for 70mm. The big one got an installation of the HPS-4000 sound system in 1984, when the theatre was still run by Plitt.

In the late 80s Cineplex Odeon took over and triplexed the big house. The larger of the three chunks kept 70mm capability and the HPS-4000 sound system. The two smaller portions ended up with 35mm HPS-4000 systems.

The 800 seater (that had been the little house in the twin days) was refitted for THX.  The complex finished its days with a total of 2,000 seats and was advertised as the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza 4.

Seating: Initially as a twin it had 1,424 in the big house and 800 in the little one.

Architect: Henry George Greene

Status: Closed in 2003 and demolished in 2004. The Shubert has also been demolished. There's a new twin tower complex on the site.

The Century Plaza Theatres in the Movies:

We see the theatres in the Gilbert Cates film "Oh, God! Book II" (Warner Bros., 1980). See the Theatres In Movies post for two more shots from the film. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for the screenshot. The film stars George Burns, Suzanne Pleshette and David Birney.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page for lots of discussion and a few more photos. There are 13 2003 photos on the Cinema Tour page about the complex.

The website From Script To DVD has a page on the Century Plaza as part of their section on 70mm equipped theatres in Los Angeles.

    Cinema Treasures

A 2003 look at the just-closed theatre's
entrance taken by Mark Campbell. That's
part of a dead mall area underneath.

    Cinema Treasures    

Thanks to Bill Gabel for this look to the
rear of the big house -- when it was still big.

    Vintage Los Angeles

A 1978 photo from the collection of Robert Juzefsky.
At the Plitt Theatres: "House Calls" and "Star Wars."
The photo above also appears on Cinema Treasures.

A 1980 look at the complex from the Richard
Wojcik collection. "Evita" was at the Shubert. 
Thanks, Richard!

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The Shubert Theatre

2020 Avenue of the Stars  | map |

Century City (Los Angeles), CA   90067

Opened: 1972 with a production of "Follies." It was operated, as the name would suggest, by the Shubert Organization.

Initially there was a Playboy Club on the lower level, under the theatre.

Seating: 1,830

Architect: Henry George Greene

Major shows to play the house included "Sophisticated Ladies," "Ragtime," "Evita" (1980-81), "Cats," "Dreamgirls," "Amadeus," "Chorus Line" (1977), "Beatlemania" (1978), "Annie" (1979), "Les Miz" (1988) "Sunset Boulevard," "Mamma Mia" (2001) and many more.

Status: Closed in 2002 and demolished. A new office tower is now on the site.

More Information: Wikipedia has a page on the Shubert.  On Facebook there's a fan page about the Shubert Theatre.

     Card Cow

A look at the fountain in front of
the ABC Entertainment Center.
Thanks to Alison Martino for
 finding the card in the collection.

     Los Angeles Public Library

A 1986 Michael Haering view at the drop off.
We're looking over toward the Shubert,
where "42nd Street" is in residence.

     Mid Century Modern

A view south on the Avenue of the
Stars -- that's the Shubert nearest us.
Thanks to Alison Martino for the photo.
A photo from Alison Martino's collection looking
over toward the Shubert during the run of "Cats."
 Thanks, Alison!
full size view | on the MCM page

Nearing the end. A "Dame Edna" marquee
shot from Douglas McEwan taken during
 the theatre's final season.
full size view | on the MCM page

     UCLA - L.A. Times Photo Collection |

A Gil Cooper photo of the installation of one of
the chandeliers in 1972. Thanks to Eitan Alexander
for spotting it in the UCLA collection.

     David Zanzinger | on Facebook

A David Zanzinger lobby photo. It was a
 post on the MCM page by Kevin Miller.
Kevin notes: "When you entered the theatre from the
street level, that was the Mezzanine, and you had to
 take the stairs down to get to the Orchestra level."

A view to the rear of the house by Mr. Zanzinger.

Thanks to Kevin Miller for sending
 these two photos our way.