10912 Downey Ave. | map |
Downey, CA 90241
The theatre was initially operated by Pearl Merrill and Laura Peralta, who each gave a syllable of their last name to the venue. The address was originally N. Crawford St.- it got renamed. Mrs. Ada B. Adams was the owner of the property.
In the 50s, the Meralta was operated by Cummings Theatres, who also had the Avenue Theatre nearby and the Norwalk on Firestone.
Seating: 853 after the 1961 reseating.
Architect: Evan Jones, of Hollywood.
It got a remodel in 1947 by Clarence Smale and he gave it another re-do in 1961. The 1961 remodel included work on the facade (but retained the earlier signage) plus new auditorium wall treatment and seating. The August 7, 1961 issue of Boxoffice ran an article describing the renovations that year.
Status: Closed in the 70s and demolished in 1978. It's now a parking lot.
More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Meralta for research by Joe Vogel and other dedicated.contributors.
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A lovely but lonely early morning view
looking along Downey Ave. Thanks to Larry
Latimer for the undated photo.
full size view
A 20s look at the Meralta facade.
This view is also in the collection of the
Downey Conservancy on Flickr.
A rare postcard look at the
Meralta from Michael's collection.
The Meralta in 1961 or 1962
running "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
A 1961 auditorium view added
to Cinema treasures by Bill Gabel.
Also in the collection:
| facade shot - 1961 "The Grass is Greener" |The auditorium photo and facade view both appear in
the August 7, 1961 issue of Boxoffice, part of an
article describing the renovation that year.
There's also a nice facade view in a Wagner
ad in the December 3, 1949 issue of Boxoffice.
thedowneyconservancy.org | on Flickr | on Facebook
A c.1928 photo of the Meralta from the
collection of the Downey Conservancy.
At the time, the theatre was playing "The Cameraman"
with Buster Keaton. The building was flanked by auto dealers:
Pontiac on the left, a Buick dealer on the right.
A cropped version of the photo above appears on page 73At the Avenue are "Wake Island" (1942) and "So Proudly We Hail"
of the Arcadia Publishing book "Downey" by Larry Latimer
and the Downey Historical Society.
Also in the Conservancy's collection is a late 30s shotThe Avenue, a darker brick building, is a block closer and a bit
looking up Downey Ave. from Firestone. In this small detail
from it the Meralta stands out with its tall white stagehouse.
to the left with the auditorium parallel to Downey Ave. And it sports
a stagehouse that was later removed. Thanks to Cinema
Treasures researcher Joe Vogel for spotting this one!
1950 vintage photos of the nearby Avenue and the Meralta.
It's a page from a publication that showed them both at the
time being operated by Cummings Theatres.
(1943). Evidently they're running a couple of oldies to celebrate their
new facade remodel. The Meralta is running "Ma and Pa Kettle Go To
Town" (1950) and "The Great Rupert" with Jimmy Durante (1950).
full size view | on Flickr
It's Fall 1953 and we're giving away a car at the
"Halloween Jalopy Revue," courtesy of the neighboring
Pontiac dealer. Films this week were "The Caddy" with Martin
and Lewis along with Jimmy Stewart in "Thunder Bay."
A cropped version of the photo above appears on
page 73 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Downey" by Larry
Latimer and the Downey Historical Society.
The entrance of the Meralta in 1957.
Also in the collection: