12788 Hawthorne Blvd. | map |
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Opened: November 28, 1927 as the Plaza Theatre at the intersection of Hawthorne Blvd. and El Segundo Blvd. In the 1929 city directory the theatre was listed as at Hawthorne Way at the corner of Acacia Ave.
Soon it was to be known as the Fox Plaza. "Theatres In Los Angeles" notes that in 1930 Fox West Coast added a miniature golf course around the theatre, claiming that it was the only one in the world to have that amenity. The 18 holes of the Fox Movietone News Course were designed to give you the feeling of a trip around the world.
In the 1931 and 1933 directories it's the Fox Plaza Theatre at 201 Plaza Square.
In the 1935, 1938, 1940 and 1942 directories it's the same Plaza Square address but not listed as the Fox -- just the Plaza Theatre.
In June 1949 Boxoffice magazine noted that Sherrill Corwin and Lester Blumberg took over active operations of the Plaza and Cal Theaters in Hawthorne, having acquired controlling interest in the two houses from E.S. “Ned” Calvi. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the research.
A final address for the theatre was 4355 Plaza Square.
Architect: J.J. Frankenfelder, according to one source.
Seats: 891 was the capacity in 1941.
Status: The Plaza closed in 1964 and was demolished in 1971. New owners bought it in 1965 but never got the place open. They lost it in 1970 via eminent domain when the site was being redeveloped as a regional shopping center, the now-failed Hawthorne Mall.
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Plaza. Cinema Tour also has a listing for the theatre.
The theatre in 1927. Note
the "Grand Opening" banner.
A 1971 look at the back wall of the auditorium.
A proscenium photo in 1971.
A side wall detail from 1971.
A look at the house right organ grille area.
Also in the LAPL collection:
| facade view 1971 - on the top of this page |
The Plaza Theatre before demolition.
photo: Los Angeles Public Library - 1971
[ click on the image for a larger view ]
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A facade view from the Plaza Theater
page on the Cougartown site. Presumably
it's the 60s -- note the "For sale" sign.
An undated shot of the side of the building.
Another look at the facade.
The site also has a "then and now" panorama shot.
Scroll over to the right on the bottom view
from 1948 for a look at the theatre.
A 1938 look at the Plaza from Marc
Wanamaker's Bison Archives that appears on
page 120 of "Theatres in Los Angeles."