Paradise Theatre

9110 S. Sepulveda Blvd.  | map

Westchester (Los Angeles), CA 90045

Opened: August 23, 1950. Part of the complex was a bowling alley and cocktail lounge just south of the theatre. It was a project of Alex and Max Schreiber. The initial operator was Fanchon & Marco's Southside Theatres.

The L.A. Times noted that the company was owned by Fanchon Simon and her three brothers Marco, Ray and Rube Wolff. The firm, among other theatres, also operated the Baldwin, the Manchester, the Hollywood Paramount (the El Capitan) and the Paramount downtown (the former Metropolitan).

The location of the Paradise is just south of Westchester Parkway and north of LAX. Its neighbor the Loyola, a Fox West Coast house, had opened in 1946 only a third of a mile north on Sepulveda.

No footprints in the forecourt. The gimmick here was that they did a time capsule
honoring the award winners each year buried under a plaque for the year in the flagstone
flooring of the entrance.

The lobby featured a "Wall of Fame" that highlighted Academy Award winners since 1927. In the auditorium, recesses on either side of the proscenium held potted plants.

Bill Gabel, on Cinema Treasures, quotes one account:

 "The front is of fieldstone, brick and glass in the modern California style. Live plants under the canopy give this area an outdoor patio effect. After passing through a mirrored and planted lobby with a curved refreshment stand and a manager’s office at one side, the patron enters a magnificent foyer with pastel walls trimmed in redwood and aquamarine carpeting studded with yellow and beige stars. Special features on the auditorium include a rear crying room and Telesonic Theatrephone hearing aids for the hear of hearing patrons."

The last chain to operate the theatre was Pacific Theatres. After they ditched it, it had a short spell as an independent before closing.

Seating: 1,314 -- all on a single level

Architects: Arthur Froelich (Los Angeles) and Ted Rogvoy (Detroit)

Status: The building still stands but it was gutted in 1978 for office use. It's now sort of a two story mini-mall inside the auditorium.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Paradise. Cinema Tour has a page that includes three 2003 exterior views. Also on Cinema Tour is a pdf of the August 18, 1950 story "Westchester Theater Will Open Wednesday."

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    Cinema Treasures    

A recent street view of the re-purposed building.
 It's a photo from Ross Melnick.
full size view | on Cinema Treasures

The photo also appears, uncredited, as part of a post
 on the SoCal Historic Architecture  Facebook page.


    Los Angeles Public Library

A 1950 "Open Soon" Herald Examiner
shot by Ed Braslaff in the LAPL collection.
full size view

The photo at the top of the page is a wider version
of the one above, also in the LAPL collection.
| on the LAPL site |

    Noirish Los Angeles

A photo by Noirish Los Angeles contributor
Flying Wedge of the plaque in the office complex
giving some of the building's history. 
full size view

21 of the display panels formerly in the lobby that
 honored Academy Award winners are now dispersed
along the halls of the complex.

Flying Wedge offers this comment with his photo of the
 one above: "Here is one of the restored Academy Award plaques;
in the top photo, Douglas Shearer is receiving the 1936 Oscar
for Sound Recording (for MGM's 'San Francisco') from the
 self-proclaimed 'Father of Radio'" Lee de Forest."

No footprints in the forecourt. Instead they did a time capsule
honoring the award winners for a particular year buried in the flagstone
flooring of the entrance. This is Flying wedge's photo of the plaque
 above whatever "momentoes" [sic] were buried for 1952.
 full size view

Thanks to Noirish contributor Flying Wedge
for the photos. All three of the shots above appear
 on his Noirish Los Angeles post #30778.

Also on Noirish, see Flying Wedge's post #13248 for
a recent street view as well as a vintage aerial shot of
Westchester. Noirish post #30745 by Hoss C includes the
1953 Julius Schulman photos of the building.

    SoCal Historic Architecture

A rendering for the Paradise complex by Detroit
architect Ted Rogvoy that appeared in Michigan Architect
and Engineer. Thanks to Benjamin Gravel  for posting it
 on the SoCal Historic Architecture page.
full size view | on the SoCal page

An August 1950 look at the soon-to-open Paradise.

photo: Herald Examiner / Los Angeles Public Library

"Push Back Seats  RCA Sound  60 Ton Ice Machine"

The photo above has also appeared on the Facebook page
 SoCal Historic Architecture, a post of Stephen Russo.

[ click on either of these images to enlarge ]

Paradise re-purposed.

photo: Bill Counter - 2013


The opening of the theatre was covered by Boxoffice
 on page 62 of their August 26, 1950 issue.

A look toward the screen from the cover
of the September 2, 1950 issue of Boxoffice.
full size view | the whole page

The theatre gets a big story with lots of photos
starting on page 122 in the October 7, 1950 issue.

A look to the rear of the house from
the October 7, 1950 issue of Boxoffice.
We got a lobby view of the theatre
on page 114 of the October 7, 1950 issue.
 It was in an ad for Spongex rug padding.

A look out toward the front doors was
featured on page 115 of the October 7, 1950
issue in an ad for RCA theatre carpeting.
full size view

A look down the curving hall of the lobby toward
the panels celebrating Academy Award winners.
The photo appeared with the October 7 article.

The Paradise snack bar gets featured on page 150 of the
October 7, 1950 issue in an article about concessions.
"Of decorative interest is the contrast in textures between
masonry wall, wooden paneling, drapery and growing plants."

Thanks to Bill Gabel and Dallas Movie Theatres for putting
 nice versions of several of these on Cinema Treasures.

   Julius Schulman - Getty Research Institute

A 1953 look north toward the Paradise -- "Kids Free."
Schulman was out photographing branch offices for
 Bank of America. This was his Job #1434.
A 1953 view from the same set as we look south
on Sepulveda. This is a detail from a wider shot.

Thanks to Hoss C on Noirish Los Angeles for
digging through the Getty Archives to find these photos.
This set is the subject of his Noirish post #30745.

Also on Noirish, see Flying Wedge's post #13248 for a recent
street view as well as a vintage aerial shot of Westchester.