Historic Neighborhood Theatres all around Los Angeles

Los Angeles got lots of interesting movie palaces outside of the 3
historic theatre districts of Downtown, Hollywood and Wilshire (a very
long, stretched out district) during the 1920's and into the 1930's.

An amazingly diverse range of styles included art deco
(the Warner Grand is great!), Spanish revival (of course) and
Roman imperial (the Forum).

All of the studios were interested in having opulent venues in
the neighborhoods to show off their movies to the greatest
advantage. Sometimes they made booking arrangements with
other studios or circuits, sometimes they built their own palaces. 

I've gathered information on just a few of my
favorite historic Los Angeles theatres on this site.
And a few in surrounding communities.

The criteria for inclusion here have been somewhat random. 
Of course there's the idea that the buildings of greatest architectural
interest should be included. But I've also given weight to those
that are just survivors -- still running movies after many of
their competitors have dropped. 

Of the ones that have vanished, some have merited inclusion
on this site due to location, sometimes the availability of historic
photos or, occasionally, just curiosity on my part.

Let me know if I've missed your favorites and I'll get back to
work and try to do something about it. If you're looking for the major
venues along Wilshire, in Hollywood or in Downtown Los Angeles
you won't find them here. See the links at the top of the
page to view the 3 separate sites for those areas. 

The mission here is humble. Simply to point you in the
direction of those websites and archives that have all the information
and interesting photos concerning these historic theatres.

--- Bill Counter

Los Angeles Historic Theaters:

[ some saved, some endangered,
some that have vanished ]

    L.A. Art Deco Wonders   

On this site:

Pan Pacific Auditorium

Warner Huntington Park

Warner San Pedro

On the Hollywood Theatres site:

On the Wilshire Theatres site:

On the Wilshire Theatres site:

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium


Alhambra Theatre

Capri Theatre

Garfield Theatre

El Rey Theatre

Superba Theatre

    Atwater Village    

Atwater Theatre

    Baldwin Hills    

Baldwin Theatre


Alcazar / Liberty Theatre


Bellflower / Nubel / Holiday

    Beverly Blvd.   

New Beverly Cinema

Fairfax Theatre

Laurel Theatre

Pan Pacific

    Beverly Hills    

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Warner Beverly Hills

See the Beverly Hills list
on the
Wilshire Theatres
site for more listings


On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Brentwood Theatre

Brentwood Twin

Brentwood Theatre - VA Campus

Wadsworth Theatre


Cinemaland Theatre

Daly Theatre

Federal Theatre

Starland Theatre

See the Broadway page of the
Downtown Theatres site for theatres
on Broadway downtown.

See the San Fernando Valley
page for more listings.

    Catalina Island   

Avalon Theatre


Cinemaland Theatre

Kim Sing Theatre

King Hing Theatre

On our Downtown Theatres site:

Chinese Theatre

Cineograph / Chinese

Fuji Kan Theatre

Linda Lea Theatre

Mandarin Theatre


Covina Theatre

    Culver City   

Culver Theatre

Meralta Theatre

Palms Theatre


See the
Downtown Theatres

site for many more listings.

    Eagle Rock    

Eagle Theatre

Sierra Theatre

    East Los Angeles    

Also see the
North of Downtown page
for El Sereno, Elysian Park
and Lincoln Heights listings.

    Echo Park    

Ramona Theatre

Holly Theatre

    El Monte    

El Monte Theatre

Tumbleweed Theatre

    El Segundo    

Old Town Music Hall

    El Sereno    

Cameo Theatre

El Sereno ? Theatre

Mazatlan Theatre

    Elysian Park    

Knightsbridge Theatre

Sunbeam Theatre

And on the Downtown
Theatres site:

Laemmle's Grande

Variety Arts Theatre

Musart Theatre

Turnverein Hall


    Glassell Park    

Division Theatre

Glassell Theatre


On the Hollywood
Theatres site:

Cinerama Dome

Egyptian Theatre

El Capitan Theatre

Grauman's Chinese

Hollywood Pacific Theatre

Music Box / Henry Fonda

Pantages Theatre

Vista Theatre

See the
Historic Hollywood Theatres

 site for many more listings.

    Huntington Park    

California Theatre

Lyric Theatre


Academy Theatre

Fox Inglewood

Granada Theatre

Ritz Theatre

United Artists

    La Brea Ave.    


On our Hollywood
Theatres site:

Gordon / Showcase Theatre

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Fox La Brea

    La Cienega Blvd.   

Coronet Theatre

Turnabout Theatre


Lakewood Theatre

    La Puente    

Star Theatre


Larchmont Theatre

    Leimert Park    

Leimert / Vision Theatre

    Lincoln Heights    

Daly Theatre

Federal Theatre

San Carlos Theatre

Starland Theatre

    Long Beach    

Art Theatre

Atlantic Theatre

Cabart Theatre

Fox Belmont

Fox Long Beach/Mission

Crest Theatre

Ebell Theatre

Egyptian Theatre

Imperial Theatre

LaShell Theatre

Municipal Auditorium

Palace Theatre

Rialto Theatre

Roxy Theatre

State Theatre

Strand Theatre


Ritz / Tracy Theatre

United Artists Theatre

Victor Theatre

West Coast Theatre

See the
Long Beach Theatres

 page for more listings.

    Los Feliz    

Los Feliz Theatre

Studio Theatre

On the Hollywood
Theatres site:

Vista Theatre

     MacArthur Park    

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Westlake Theatre

Alvarado Theatre

See the MacArthur Park list
on the
Wilshire Theatres
site for more listings

    Manhattan Beach   

La Mar Theatre

    Melrose Ave.    

Academy Theatre

Marquis /Academy Award Theatre

Melrose Theatre

Melrose / Ukranian Culture Center

Theatre Mart

On the Hollywood
Theatres site:

Continental Theatre

     Miracle Mile    

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Carthay Circle

El Rey Theatre

Four Star / Oasis

Fox La Brea Theatre

Fox Ritz Theatre

See the Miracle Mile list
on the
Wilshire Theatres
site for more listings

    Monterey Park    

Monterey Theatre


     North Hollywood    

    Ocean Park    

Dome Theatre

Rosemary Theatre

See the
Venice & Ocean Park
for information on
other Ocean Park theatres.

    Orange County    

Fox Fullerton

    Pacific Palisades   

Bay Theatre


Palms Theatre


Academy 6

Colorado Theatre

Esquire Theatre

Fox Pasadena

     Pico Blvd.    

Bundy Theatre

Del Mar Theatre

Empire/Fiesta Theatre

Fedora / Star Theatre

Forum Theatre

Fox Stadium

Keystone Theatre

Lido Theatre

Midway Theatre

Picfair Theatre

Pico Theatre

Pico Drive In

Picwood Theatre

Sunbeam / Sun Theatre

Victoria Theatre

See the Pico Blvd. Theatres
page for more listings


Fox Pomona


Rampart Theatre

    Redondo Beach    

Art Theatre

Also see the section on
 Pasadena Theatres

    San Pedro    

 See the
San Pedro & Wilmington
page for many more listings

    Santa Monica    

On this site:

Bundy Theatre

Dome Theatre

Rosemary Theatre

See the Venice & Ocean Park page
 for more listings in Ocean Park.

On the Wilshire site:

Aero Theatre

Nu Wilshire

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

See the Santa Monica list on the
Wilshire Theatres home page for more
downtown Santa Monica listings

    Santa Monica Blvd.    

Carmel / Paris Theatre

Crown Theatre

Loma / Paramount Theatre

Monica / Pussycat / Studs

Nuart Theatre

Royal Theatre

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

  Mayfair Theatre


Crown Theatre

Nuart Theatre

Royal Theatre

    Sepulveda Blvd.    

Loyola Theatre

Paradise Theatre

    Silver Lake    

Knightsbridge Theatre

Palms Theatre

Rialto Theatre

    Spring St.    

King Hing Theatre

See the Spring St. Theatres page
of the Downtown Theatres site for
theatres on Spring downtown.

     Studio City    

Studio City Theatre

    Sun Valley   

Lankershim Theatre

    Sunset Blvd.    

Pacific Palisades

Granada Theatre

Ramona Theatre

Tiffany Theatre

And on the Hollywood
Theatres site:

ArcLight Cinemas

Cinerama Dome

Earl Carroll Theatre

Hollywood Palladium

Oriental Theatre

Sunset 5 Theatres

Vista Theatre

    Temple St.    

Granada / Owl Theatre

Palms Theatre

Rampart Theatre

On our Downtown Theatres site:

Ahmanson Theatre


Grand Theatre

Stadium/Pussycat Theatre

Torrance Theatre


Fox Venice Theatre

See the
Venice & Ocean Park Theatres
for information on:
California / Venice Theatre
Neptune Theatre
Venice Auditorium

    Vermont Ave.    

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Fox Parisian

Fox Belmont

    Washington Blvd.   

Boulevard Theatre

Culver Theatre


La Tijera Theatre

Loyola Theatre

    Western Ave.    

Cinema Theatre

Sunset Theatre

On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Fox Uptown

Wiltern Theatre

Embassy Theatre

Wilshire Theatre (1923)


On this site:

Academy Theatre

New Beverly Cinema

Bundy Theatre

Campus Theatre

Cinema Theatre

Coronet Theatre

Crown Theatre

Culver Theatre

Del Mar Theatre

Empire/Fiesta Theatre

Esquire Theatre


See the
Wilshire Blvd. and
Hollywood Theatres
sites for many more
westside listings.


On the Wilshire
Theatres site:

Bruin Theatre

Crest Theatre

Fox Westwood Village

See the Westwood list
on the
Wilshire Theatres
site for many more listings.


Wardman / Whittier Village Cinemas

Whittier Theatre


See the
East Los Angeles Theatres

page for lots more listings


    Wilshire Blvd. Corridor    

On the Wilshire



See the Wilshire Theatres
site for many more listings.

Note that there are separate sections on this site for:

| north of downtown  | san fernando valley  |
glendale |  pasadena  | san gabriel valley  |
| east los angeles  | pico boulevard  |
| south and southeast
along the coast  |
venice and ocean park  |
san pedro and wilmington long beach  |

Visit the Los Angeles Theatres by Address page if you're
looking for a building at a particular address or just want
to see what theatres were on a certain street

The Alphabetical Theatre List gives you an index
of alternate names many of the theatre operated under.


The spire of the Alex Theatre in Glendale.
Check out our Glendale Theatres section.

photo: Bill Counter

[ click to enlarge ]

about the photos from other websites...

We've tried to give appropriate credit.
Any uncredited photos are by Bill Counter. 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.

Academy Theatre

4667 Melrose Ave.
| map |

Los Angeles, CA   90036

Dates: Running until at least 1942. The city directory listing for that year is under "theatres," not "motion picture theatres" so it may have been a small legit venue. The L.A. Department of City Planning lists a construction date for the main building on the site of 1933 with a 1947 remodel.  It's now an Aamco Transmission shop with none of its theatrical past recognizable.

Seating: perhaps 300

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Academy for some research by Joe Vogel and Ken McIntyre.

New Beverly Cinema

7165 Beverly Blvd.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA   90036

Opened: The building was constructed in 1929 and most likely was originally retail space.

It's also been known as the Dahl Theatre, the New Globe, the  Capri/Riviera (a twin), New Yorker Theatre, the Europa, the Eros and the Beverly Cinema

Architects: Original architect of the building is unknown.    Seating:  300

Status:  The New Beverly runs a mix of cult favorites, classics and indie releases. It's the last of the commercial repertory style revival houses left in Los Angeles. In 2009 Quentin Tarantino purchased the building to preserve it as a repertory cinema.

More Information:
See our page on the New Beverly Cinema.

Campus Theatre

1020 N. Vermont Ave.

(@ Santa Monica Blvd.)
| map

Los Angeles, CA   90029

Opened: 1939

Seating: 850 originally, perhaps 400 at the end.

The "campus" of the name is the nearby Los Angeles City College. At some point the entrance got rebuilt and the building shortened resulting in the loss of the moderne facade. The now-shorter building has a courtyard in front. The photo is a 2011 Google Maps view. Click on it to enlarge or head to the interactive version.

The Campus in the Movies: The Campus is one of many Los Angeles area theatres (including the Monica and the Esquire) that we get a quick look at in the nine minute short, available on the Internet Archive, "Let's Go To The Movies."  It was produced by RKO in 1948 for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Campus in "Let's Go To The Movies"

Status: The Campus closed for films in 2006, last operated by Metropolitan Theatres running mainstream product with Spanish subtitles. For a while after that it was a live theatre venture known as Teatro Los Chuperamigos.  They left in 2011 and it then became a nightclub, the Teatro Casablanca. Lately it's been sitting vacant.

David Saffer reported on the LAHTF Facebook page in October 2015 that the owner wants to remove the seats and level the floor so he can do banquets and other events.

More information:
See the Cinema Treasures page on the Campus Theatre. On the Cinema Tour page there's a 2002 facade photo by Bob Meza.  Patrick Cates has a nice 2007 facade view on Flickr.

    American Classic Images    

An 1983 look at the flashy neon on the
Campus before it lost its marquee.
full size view1983 daytime shot

    Cinema Treasures    


A c.1968 look at the Campus with "Oliver" playing.
Thanks to David Zornig for posting the photo, one
 from the Michael Moran collection.

The theatre near the end of its film days
running "Chronicles of Narnia" in 2006. Thanks
to Jeterga for the photo on Cinema Treasures.
Thanks to Don Solosan for this c.2009 view. At the time the
theatre was a Spanish language legit operation. The photo was
taken as part of the Conservancy's Historic Theatres Committee
survey documenting surviving theatre buildings in Los Angeles. 
Thanks to the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation
co-founder Hillsman Wright for sending the photo our way.

Cinema Theatre

1122 N. Western Ave.

| map

Los Angeles, CA   90029

Opened: 1939

Seating: 800

Architect: S. Charles Lee did a conversion from what had been retail space.  The location is just north of Santa Monica Blvd. The photo is a 2014 view looking north on Western from Google Maps. Click on it to enlarge or head to the current interactive version.

The theatre was opened by Louis Berkoff, a member of a family of Russian dancers. The Berkoff family was also involved in the Coronet Theatre and the Esquire. Later operators included Joe Moritz, Louis Federici and the Art Theatre Guild. By 1969 the theatre had gone to porno.  

Status: Now a church. Closing date as a theatre is not known but it was running into the mid 1980s.

More Information: See our page on the Cinema Theatre.



"Old Store Building Becomes Modern Movie" -- The Cinema
gets pictured in the March 2, 1949 issue of Boxoffice.
full size view | in the Boxoffice "vault"

Coronet Theatre

366 N. La Cienega  Blvd.
| map

Los Angeles, CA   90048

(310) 855-0350

Opened: 1947 by Freida Berkoff, a member of a famous Russian dancing family. The Coronet has been mostly famous as a legit venue, hosting over 300 productions. It  opened with the world premiere of Bertolt Brecht's "Galileo" with Charles Laughton. Throughout the 50s it was a venue for independent and experimental film. In the 60s it was home to Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Theatre Co. In addition to the theatre space, there were acting and dance studios upstairs.

Manohla Dargis, in a November 6, 2011 New York Times article "Laboring in the Shadow of Hollywood" calls the theatre "legendary." The venue as a film theatre was programmed by Raymond Rohauer, who later was involved in programming the Rivera and Capri Theatres (now a single screen venue, the New Beverly). 

Status:  Since 2008 the theatre has been the home of Largo at the Coronet, featuring comedy and music performances. The photo is a c.2010 Google Maps view -- click on it to enlarge.

More information:  USC Archives has a page on Bertolt Brecht's "Galileo" at the Coronet.  See the Wikipedia page on the history of the Coronet. Also see the Wikipedia page on the Turnabout Theatre, a strange venue farther up on La Cienega.  Yelp has a page on Largo at the Coronet, including some photos.

    Largo at the Coronet    

A 1950s look at the Coronet by Danny
Rouzer, from the Tim Lanza Collection.
 full size viewon FB/LAtheatres

The photo above also appears on Vintage Los Angeles
 -- with many interesting comments.

Culver Theatre

9820 Washington Blvd.    | map |

Culver City, CA   90232

Opened: August 13, 1946 as the Culver Theatre.

Architect:   Carl G. Moeller did the 1946 building. Steven Ehrlich was the architect for the renovation into the Kirk Douglas.  The photo here is a 2010 view by Bill Counter -- click on it to enlarge.

Seating: 1,091 -- with the rear of the house in a stadium style configuration.

The Culver was operated by Fox West Coast and its successor companies National General Corporation and Mann Theatres. It was later an independent operation after being dropped by Mann. The auditorium got triplexed with 3 long skinny theatres served from the original booth. It  closed in 1989 and was gutted in 1994.

Status: Interior remodeling began in 2002 for a 317 seat legit house operated by the Center Theatre Group, the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The venue reopened in 2004.

More Information: See our page on the Kirk Douglas / Culver Theatre.

Crown Theatre

11380 Santa Monica Blvd  | map -- approximate |

Sawtelle (Los Angeles), CA  90025

Dates: The Crown Theatre operated from about 1915 until about 1925. When it was running the address on the old numbering system was at times 342 and 504 Santa Monica Blvd.  11380 is an approximation. Until 1922, the Sawtelle district was a separate town east of Santa Monica and had its own street numbering system prior to being absorbed into Los Angeles. 

The theatre was in a building known variously as Masonic Hall,  the Barker Building or Barker Block.  In addition to the Masons, other tenants included the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Foresters and other similar organizations. 

Status: Demolished.

More Information: See our page on the Crown Theatre.


  This seems to be our theatre building.  Note
the posters on display in the arch on the left.  
full size view
| image information

Esquire Theatre

419 N. Fairfax Ave.     | map |

Los Angeles, CA  90048  

Architect: Clifford A. Balch. It was a remodel of an existing building.  See our Blogspot posts for more by Mr. Balch.

Opened: May 27, 1937. The theatre opened as an independent owned by Betty Berkoff It was later an art house operated by Herb Rosener, who also had the Laurel, Sunset and Studio theatres.

Seating: 500

The Esquire in the Movies: We get a quick look at the Esquire in the nine minute AMPAS/RKO 1948 short "Let's Go To The Movies," available on the Internet Archive.

The Esquire in "Let's Go To The Movies"
larger view | on FB/LATheatres

Status: It's been Canter's Deli since 1953. The projection booth, second floor restrooms and a photo on the wall are the only remains from its theatre days.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Esquire Theatre.



The opening rated a photo and a story in
the July 24, 1937 issue of Boxoffice. The photo
 is from National Theatre Supply.

    Photos of Los Angeles   


A 1938 photo of the Esquire.

A 2005 photo by David Liu from
the Wikipedia article on Canter's.

Fairfax Theatre

7907 Beverly Blvd.     | map |

Los Angeles
, CA  90048  

Architect:  W.C. Pennell


1504 when it opened in 1929. As a triplex it was 800 after reseating by Laemmle in 2001 with wider seats.

Closed and endangered. In 2009 the owner, Alex Gorby, proposed demolishing the building to erect a 71 unit condo building with street level retail and basement parking.

The theatre closed in January 2010 after heavy rains on an already problematic roof made it not feasible to continue running films.

More Information: See our page on the Fairfax Theatre.

Granada Theatre

9000 Sunset Blvd.    | map

West Hollywood, CA   90069

Opened:  August 1967 with "King of Hearts." The Granada was a little art house operated by the Walter Reade circuit, who also ran the Music Hall and Beverly Canon in Beverly Hills. It was located in an office building across the street from the Roxy nightclub.  The decor was minimalist 70s.

Architect:  John Weidman Design did the interior which featured some Spanish architectural details purchased from the Hearst Estate at San Simeon, according to John Ptak on Cinema Treasures. Mr. Ptak was the first manager of the theatre.

Seating: 379

Status: The building is still there but the space is now a Wells Fargo branch. A closing date is not known but the theatre was still in the 1972 phone book.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Granada for everything that is known about the theatre. Other Granada Theatres include the Granada / Owl Theatre on Temple, the Granada in Wilmington, the Granada at 7425 W. Sunset -- later called the Oriental. Inglewood had a Granada on Market St., later the site of the Fox Inglewood.

    Cinema Treasures   

The building at 9000 with "King of Hearts,"
the opening attraction, on the marquee.
 It's a John Ptak photo.
full size view

The interior of the Granada. It's a
 John Ptak photo. Thanks, John!
full size view

Holly Theatre

1624 W. Sunset Blvd.
| map |

Echo Park (Los Angeles), CA   90026

Opened: 1912 as the Globe #3. It was built for the Globe Amusement Co. by Henry Jensen, who later ended up running this one as well as building a few more such as the Palace Grand in Glendale, the nearby Melrose and the Raymond in Pasadena.  The photo: Bill Counter - 2011. Click on it to enlarge.

It's just a half block east from the Jensen's Recreation Center building (1924). It was later known as Jensen's Theatorium, the Theatorium, the Hollyway, the Holly and Jensen's Holly.

Seating: 732 more or less

Status: As a theatre it made it until early 1951. It was converted into a branch bank later in 1951, then a market. No trace of its theatrical past remains. 

More information:  See our page on the Holly Theatre.

    Cezar Del Valle / Theatre Talks   

Thanks to Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar del Valle for this
 terrific 1925 facade view of the theatre, here called the Hollyway.  He's
got it in his Theatre Talks blog post "The Circus Comes to Echo Park."

Cezar found the photo in the October 17, 1925 issue of Motion
Picture News. He notes that the feature is Buster Keaton's "Seven
 Chances" but all the hoopla is for a now-lost 15 part serial called
"The Great Circus Mystery" starring strongman Joe Bonomo.

Larchmont Theatre

149 N. Larchmont Blvd.    | map

Los Angeles, CA   90004

Opened: March 15,1922. It was between Beverly and 1st in the Larchmont shopping district. The theatre was built for investor J.J. La Bonte and was operated by silent film star Alice Calhoun according to "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker.  The Larchmont was later operated by Fox West Coast.

Architect: Unknown        Seating: 835

The Larchmont in the Movies: 

Part of the Weiss-O-Rama set of late silent era comedy
(available in a collection on Amazon), this view
from Poodles Hanford's "Better Behave" (Weiss Brothers
Artclass Pictures, 1928) shows the Larchmont's facade.

larger view

Thanks to the famed silent film detective John Bengtson
for the "Better Behave" photo and data. Visit John's blog
 "Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)"
 for accounts of his latest investigations.

The Larchmont makes an appearance in the
 background of this shot in the Three Stooges
 short "Hoi Polloi" (Columbia, 1935).
Peter Chaconas has a sharp version of
 the shot above on Vintage Los Angeles.

Pete Smith gives us a peek at the Larchmont in the
 background of this shot from his short "Pedestrian Safety"
 (MGM, 1952). The photo appears on page 44 in the Arcadia
Publishing book "Location Filming in Los Angeles" by
 Karie Bible, Marc Wanamaker and Harry Medved.
 larger view | on Google Books

Status: Closed perhaps in 1952. It's been demolished. There's now a retail development on the site.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Larchmont.



A c.1943 look at the Larchmont. It looks like we're
closed and maybe there was a bit of fire action upstairs.
 The photo could have been yours for $9.99. Thanks to
L.A. transit historian Sean Ault for locating it on eBay!
full size view

    Photos of Los Angeles   


A 1934 shot of the Larchmont playing "It Happened One
Night" posted on Photos of Los Angeles by Bill Gabel.
full size view | on Photos of LA

The photo above also appears in Ally Quest's
"Theatre District" photo gallery and on page 50 of the
Arcadia Press book "Theatres in Los Angeles."

A 1935 look at the theatre during a kids film party
 added to the Photos of L.A. collection by Ken McIntyre.
The photo above also appears in the Hollywood Historic Photos
collection and on page 51 of the Arcadia Press book
 "Theatres in Los Angeles."

    Cinema Treasures   


A 1950 photo of the Larchmont with a newer marquee
added to Cinema Treasures by Senorsock.
full size view

The photo above also appears on Vintage Los Angeles.

Laurel Theatre

8056 Beverly Blvd. 
@ Laurel 

Los Angeles, CA   90048    | map |

Opened: August 28, 1941

The Laurel was  part of a small, local chain operated by Herb Rosener who also had the Vagabond, Esquire, Studio, and Sunset theatres.  In the 50s it was run by the Edwards circuit.

The photo here is a 2011 Google Maps view. Click on it to enlarge or head to the interactive version.That's the auditorium at left with the unrecognizable remodeled facade, covered in brown marble, at the right.

Architect:  Unknown            Seating: 850

Status: Closing date is unknown. It's been a synagogue for decades.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Laurel.

    Photos of Los Angeles   


The 1941 grand opening of the Laurel.
Young ladies advertising the opening.
full size view | on Photos of LA

Loma Theatre

5528 Santa Monica Blvd. ( @ Western)   | map

Los Angeles, CA   90046

Opened: 1921 as the Paramount Theatre, built for James C. Allen and Edward Helt. The initial operator was Turner, Dahnken & Langley, a firm that later became part of West Coast Theatres. Later it was operated by Cabart Theatres Corp. It's listed in the 1923, 1929 and 1942 city directories (and a 1934 ad) as the Paramount. By sometime in the early 40s it was operated by Fox West Coast as the Loma

Architect:  Frank Rasche               Seating: 900

The Paramount/Loma in the Movies:

The Paramount Theatre (as it was then known)
appears in this shot from Buster Keaton's
"Sherlock Jr." (Metro Pictures, 1924).
larger view

Thanks to John Bengtson, "the great detective of silent film locations," for identifying the theatre. See his Silent Locations blog for several great posts about "Sherlock Jr."  He also discusses additional locations on the Blu-Ray edition of the film.

Status: Demolished. After closing as a theatre in the 50s, it became a furniture store. It burned in the 80s and there's now a strip mall on the site.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Loma Theatre for research by Joe Vogel and others.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


A detail from a photo showing the south side of
Santa Monica Blvd. with the Paramount Theatre
at right
showing "The Humming Bird," a Paramount
release with Gloria Swanson (1924).
  full photo

Los Feliz Theatre

1822 N. Vermont Ave.    | map

Los Angeles, CA  90027

Opened: 1934. It was triplexed in the early 1990s.

Architect: Clifford A. Balch

Seating: 780 originally as a single screen.

Status: The theatre continues to do well as a triplex offering first run releases.

More Information: See our page on the Los Feliz Theatre.

Marquis Theatre

9038 Melrose Ave.    | map |

West Hollywood, CA   90048

Opened: 1925 and was operated for decades by Fox West Coast. The building was sold to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 1946 and was renamed the Academy Award Theatre.

Architect:  Frank Rasche         Seating: 950

Status:  When the Academy opened their Beverly Hills building in 1976 this property was sold and demolished.  It's now the site of an office building and parking.

More information:  See our page on the Marquis Theatre.


A 1945 view of the Marquis Theatre on Chexydecimal's
 blog post "Real Gone Places: Marquis Theatre."  
full size view

Melrose Theatre

4350 Melrose Ave.
| map |

Los Angeles, CA   90029

Dates: All that is known is that this one was running in 1916 -- it's in that year's city directory. The building on the site dates from 1914 -- it's now a mini-mart.

The photo is a 2011 Google Maps view. Click it to enlarge or head to the interactive version. On the left is Heliotrope Dr. On the right we're looking west on Melrose.  We're just a block or so west of the 1924 Jensen's Melrose, listed below.

Melrose Theatre

Historic Los Angeles Theaters -- the Melrose  on Melrose Avenue
Ukranian Culture Center

4315 Melrose Ave.
| map

Los Angeles, CA   90029

Opened: 1924 as Jensen's Melrose Theatre by Henry C. Jensen.  It was later operated by Fox west Coast.  Jensen was a brick maker turned theatre operator who was also involved in other properties nearby as well as in Pasadena and Glendale.

Architect:   Elimar E.B. Meinardus     Seating: 880

Status: Closed in 1959. Since 1961 it's been the Ukranian Culture Center.  Most of the interior detailing remains, now with an opulent new paint job after lots of restoration work including plaster repairs in 2011. The main floor has been leveled and the balcony is now a separate theatrical space. The photo is a view from 2010. Click on it to enlarge.

More Information: See our Melrose Theatre / Ukranian Culture Center page.

Meralta Theatre

9632 Culver Blvd.    | map |

Culver City, CA   90232

Opened: The Meralta was opened in 1924 by two sisters, Pearl Merrill and Laura Peralta. They also had theatres in East LA and Downey. Will Rogers was the MC for the opening. The feature film from Thomas Ince was "The Galloping Fish." 

The Meralta was a replacement for an earlier theatre (and city hall) on Main St. on the site of the Culver Hotel.  When Harry Culver built the hotel (originally called the Hotel Hunt) in 1924 the Meralta was constructed nearby. By the early 30s, the theatre was being operated by Fox West Coast.

Architect:  Unknown          Seating: 1000. Perhaps 700 in later years.

Status: Closed in January 1983.  The building was redeveloped into "Meralta Plaza."

More information: See the page on the Meralta Theatre.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


The facade of the Meralta in 1928. We're running
 "The Lovelorn" with Sally O'Niell (1927). 
full size view

Monica Theatre

7734 Santa Monica Blvd.   | map |

West Hollywood, CA   90046

Opened:  This theatre four blocks west of Fairfax opened in 1940 as the Monica Theatre running Hollywood product and then foreign films. As a porno house in the 60s it was the Left Bank Theatre and then became the Pussycat. Later as a gay porno venue it got rebranded as the Tomkat, Studs Theatre and then Studs at the Pussycat.

Architect:  Unknown         Seating: 638

Status: It's still running as a gay porno house, converted into a four screen operation in 2011.

More Information: See our page on the Monica Theatre.

    Vintage Los Angeles   


The Monica as the Pussycat with its big hit
 "Deep Throat." which ran nearly a decade. It's a
Jim Stephenson photo from April 1974.
 full size view

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Blvd. 

Los Angeles, CA 90025  | map |

Opened: 1930

Seats: 660

Status: The Nuart has been operated by Landmark Theatres since 1974. It runs a mix of first run indie, foreign and art releases along with occasional revival programs. Cult films are offered at midnights on weekends. 

History: The Nuart ran for decades as a typical sub run neighborhood theatre under Fox West Coast Theatres management. It got a new marquee in 1939.

In the early decades of the Landmark management (the chain's first theatre) it was a renowned repertory house with changes of double bills daily. The Nuart got an extensive renovation in 2006.

More Information: See our page on the Nuart Theatre.

Palms Theatre

1703 W. Temple St.     | map

Los Angeles, CA 90026

All we know is that there was Palms Theatre at 1703 Temple St. listed in the 1914 city directory. The block is now the site of the Silverlake Medical Center.

Palms Theatre

3751 Motor Ave.     | map

Los Angeles, CA 90034

Opened: Around 1928. In its later years it was an independent neighborhood sub-run house with many loyal customers.  Nearby were the Culver Theatre and the Meralta.

Seating: 599

Status: Demolished in the late 80s -- there's now a post office on the site.

More information:  See the Cinema Treasures page on the Palms Theatre for lots of stories by patrons who miss the place.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


It's uncertain what the ghost images are all about but the
underlying view of the Palms shows the theatre running
 "Love" with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, a version
 of "Anna Karenina" released by MGM in 1928.
 full size view

A 1985 shot of manager Don Nakagiri at the
Palms by Chris Gulker for the Herald Examiner.
 full size view

    Theatres in Los Angeles   

by Suzanne Tarbell
 Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker.
Arcadia Publishing, 2008.
www.arcadiapublishing.com | google books preview

Another version of the LAPL 1928 photo, without
 the added collage. It's on page 98 of "Theatres
 in Los Angeles." The photo also appears
as a post on Photos of Los Angeles.

A 1938 look at the theatre's facade is featured
on page 99. On Google books: full size view

The photo can also be seen on Classic Hollywood,
Photos of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Theatres
Facebook pages.

The theatre in 1960 running "Psycho."
On Google books: full size view

The 1960 view is also on Classic Hollywood,
Photos of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Theatres
Facebook pages.There's also a cropped version (and
 a re-post) on Photos of Los Angeles.

Pan Pacific

Pan Pacific Theatre  |  Pan Pacific Auditorium

7554 & 7600 W. Beverly Blvd.
    | map |

Los Angeles, CA   90036

Architects: William L. Periera designed the Pan Pacific Theatre (1940).  Walter C. Wurdeman and Welton Becket designed the streamline moderne Pan Pacific Auditorium (1935).

The theatre building that fronted on Beverly Blvd. also housed a cafe, ice rink and bowling alley. It was a structure separate from the Auditorium, which was behind the theatre building.

Seating: 850 in the theatre, 6,000 in the auditorium

Status: The Theatre closed in 1984 was soon demolished. The Auditorium closed in 1972 and decayed until 1989 when it burned. There's currently a new Pan Pacific Recreation Complex building on the site that has echoes of the original structure.

More information:  See the page on the Pan Pacific Theatre and Pan Pacific Auditorium.

    Calisphere - UCLA   


The marquee of the Pan Pacific Theatre in 1940.

full size view

Paris Theatre

8163 Santa Monica Blvd.    | map

West Hollywood, CA   90046

Opened: 1924 by West Coast Theatres as the Carmel Theatre.  It was later known as the Fox Carmel.  By the early 60s it had gone to a porno policy and was renamed the Paris Theatre (the "newly beautiful Paris").

Architect: Lewis A. Smith    Seating: 1,098

Status: Demolished.  The theatre closed in 1976 -- it was destroyed by fire.

More information: See the page on the Paris Theatre.

    UCLA Archives - Changing Times   


A 1970 L.A. Times photo with the midnight freight in front
of the Paris at Santa Monica Blvd. and Crescent Heights. 
full size view 

Ramona Theatre

2139 W. Sunset Blvd.
| map |

Echo Park (Los Angeles), CA   90026

Opened:  This venue was built in 1914. In the 1915 and 1916 city directories it's listed as the Creation Theatre. In 1917 it's the Sunset.

It's called Mitchell's Theatre in the 1919 directory and in 1925 and 1929 it's listed as the Garden Theatre. Then for a long period it was the Ramona Theatre. The photo here: Bill Counter - 2011. Click on it to enlarge.

An article on Blogging L.A. reported that It became the Studio 1 in 1966 with the intent of showing German films -- "Die Fledermaus" was the opener. It soon ran conventional Hollywood product. By the 80s it had become Estudio 1 and was showing Spanish language (or Spanish subtitled) films.

Seating: 500

Architect: Alfred Grayson was the architect. Cinema Treasures contributor Lost Memory came up with the information that the builder was J. Louis Pancoast, who had an office down the street.

Status:  Nothing remains of the building's theatrical past except the marquee. It was gutted when converted for retail use. After years as a store and then a period of being vacant, the building now houses a restaurant, Mohawk Bend. The name derives from the fact that the venue is just east of a bend in Sunset at Mohawk St.

More information:  See the Cinema Treasures page on the Ramona. Cinema Tour has several 2003 exterior photos by Bob Meza. LA Eater had a 2010 story about the conversion to a restaurant.

    Gary Graver   

A look at the theatre during one of its
transition periods. Perhaps the 80s.
full size view

    You Are Here   

A look at the building in its abandoned period.
full size view | a view from the east

Rampart Theatre

2625 W. Temple St.
(near Rampart)  | map

Los Angeles, CA 90026

Opened: 1924 with Constance Talmadge in “Her Night of Romance." The theatre was operated by W.A. Sobelman and John Balk. The owners of the building were L.J. Smith and Fred J. Tabor.  The theatre's opening was profiled in the November 11, 1924 issue of the l.A. Times. The cost of the building was about $125,000. In addition to films, vaudeville acts were sometimes on the bill as well.

The owners boasted of "the only completely square auditorium in the West" as well as an advanced bowl shape for the rake of the floor. The sides were a bit higher, and we got an upward slope at the front -- something that became popular in the 40s as the "reverse curve." The photo is a 2014 Google Maps view looking east on Temple. The cross street here is Benton -- Rampart is a block east. Click on the photo to enlarge or head to the interactive version.

Seating: 900

Architect: Lewellyn J. Smith was architect, builder and a partner in owning the building. Decoration was by the Robert E. Power Studios.

Status: The building is still there -- it's now used as a church. In the 60s it had been used as a movie studio for making commercials. Closing date as a theatre is not known.

More information:  See the Cinema Treasures page on the Rampart for some fine research by Jeff Bridges (vokoban) and Joe Vogel.  Jeff has the opening night ad on Flickr.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


An undated photo of the front
of the Rampart's auditorium.
full size view

A look at the rear of the auditorium.

Ravenna Theatre

233 N. Vermont Ave.   | map |

Los Angeles, CA   90004

Opened: In 1925 as Chotiner's Ravenna.  It was also advertised as Chotiner's Hollywood Ravenna. The Max Chotiner circuit also included the Parisian. It was later just the Ravenna Theatre. It's also been listed as 241 N. Vermont. Closing date as a theatre is unknown -- evidently running into the 60s.

Architect: Richard D. King, who also designed the Fox La Brea and Hermosa theatres. See our LATheatres.blogspot post for more by Mr. King.

Seating: 798         Status: Demolished around 1985. There's a parking lot there now.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Ravenna Theatre. There's a 1926 facade view of the theatre on page 46 of "Theatres in Los Angeles" -- but it's not included in the Google Books preview. A some what skewed version of it is on the Facebook page Photos of Los AngelesJeannie on Jazz has a small exterior view.

    Motion Picture News   

This auditorium view appears in the Motion Picture News issue of
 February 18, 1928. It's part of a story about theatres decorated by
 Robert E. Powers Studios. They call this one Moorish-Spanish.
The photo is also part of Charmaine Zoe's wonderful
 Theatres: Stage and Movie set on Flickr with over 700 photos
from (mostly) various issues of Motion Picture News.

Royal Theatre

11523 Santa Monica Blvd.   | map  |

Los Angeles, CA 90025

Opened: March 8, 1924 as the Tivoli Theatre.

Architect: Not known

Seating: 600 when it was a single screen operation. With a 2012 triplexing, the total seat count is down to 300.

Status:  Long operated by Laemmle Theatres, the Royal remains one of the premiere venues for foreign films in Los Angeles. The photo here is from 2007.

More Information: See our page on the Royal Theatre.

Silent Movie Theatre

611 N. Fairfax Ave.  | map

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Opened: February 1942 by John Hampton and his wife Dorothy as a venue for silent films. With gradually dwindling audiences over the years, they closed the theatre in 1980. John Hampton died in 1990.

Seating: 224

Status: After several later owners, the theatre was taken over in 2006 by Cinefamily. It's alive and well as the home of revivals, cult films, festivals and more.

More Information: See our page on the Silent Movie Theatre.

    Don Solosan - LAHTF   

A c.2010 look at the theatre's facade taken by Don as
 part of a Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation survey.
full size view

Studio Theatre

1715 N. Vermont Ave. @ Hollywood   | map |

Los Angeles, CA   90027

Opened: 1945       Architect:  Unknown         Seating: 430

Status: It's been demolished. The theatre closed in 1960.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Studio.

    Photos of Los Angeles   


One of the few views to exist of the Studio, this
1948 shot looking north was added by Ken McIntyre
to the Photos of Los Angeles collection. 
full size view

The photo comes from the Arcadia Press book "Theatres in Los Angeles"
by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker.
The photos in the book are from Mr. Wanamaker's Bison Archives.

Sunset Theatre

1508 N. Western Ave. (@ Sunset)  | map |

Los Angeles, CA   90027

Opened:  1929 or earlier. It's in the 1929 city directory. As part of the Rosener circuit in the 40s and 50s (and up at least to 1960) it ran foreign films and revivals. Then the porno wave hit and it started running adult product under new management. It became a Pussycat Theatre in 1962 or 63.

Seating: 535      Architect: Unknown

The Sunset in the Movies:

The theatre's front before the Pusycat renovations in a
shot from "Mondo Bizarro" (Olympic International, 1966).

The Sunset's marquee after the Pussycat renovations appears
 in the documentary "Inside Deep Throat" (Universal, 2005). The film
 also visits the Optic, the Art Theatre and the Monica as well.

Status: The Sunset closed in 2003 and was soon demolished for housing and a Walgreen's parking lot.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Sunset. The Cinema Tour page has 16 exterior photos from 2002 and 2003.  Corey Miller has a nice 2002 marquee detail. Richard Wojcik has a fine 1972 exterior shot on Vintage Los Angeles.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


A 1979 look north across Sunset Blvd. toward
the theatre in a Roy Hankey photo.
full size view | similar shot | another angle

    Photos of Los Angeles   


The boxoffice at the Sunset.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

Also on PoLA:
| 1947 ad | facade - American Classic - 1983 |
| marquee - 2002 Corey Miller photo |

    San Diego Reader   


A 1983 photo of the Sunset in its Pussycat days.
The photo is from Jay Allen Sanford's 2010 article
 on the history of Pussycat Theaters.
larger view

The version of Sanford's article now online at SDR has
lost all of its photos. A better bet might be on Blogspot:
 Pussycat Theater History 1 and Pussycat Theater History 2.

Also from the article:
| marquee - "Deep Throat" | facade - "Positions Wanted" |

The "Little Girls Blue"shot also appears in a larger watermarked version
 on American Classic Images and on Photos of Los Angeles.

Theatre Mart

605 N. Juanita Ave. 
| map |

Los Angeles, CA   90004

Constructed: 1927. Noted theatre patron Alice Pike Barney opened the building as a theatre in 1928. 

In 1933 Preston Shobe and Galt Bell did a remodel and reopened it as a dinner theatre style venue with a view toward doing a season of classics. The opening attraction, "The Drunkard," sold too well to continue with the rest of the proposed season.

"The Drunkard"  opened July 6, 1933 and closed October 17,1959. That's 9,477 performances over 36 years -- a world record at the time.

Seating:  340

Status: After it closed as a theatre, the building became the Los Angeles Press Club in 1960.  The building was later used as a vocal studio. It's now used as a Korean restaurant and private club, Garam, with an entrance facing Vermont Ave.  The photo above is a 2011 Google Maps view.

More information:  See our page on the Theatre Mart for more details about the building and its most famous production "The Drunkard."

Tiffany Theatre

8534 Sunset Blvd.    | map |

West Hollywood, CA   90069

Opened: 1966 by producer/exhibitor Robert Lippert and veteran exhibitor Harold Goldman and gained fame as a repertory cinema. It was remodeled in the mid 1980s into two 99 seat legit houses.

Seating: 400

The Tiffany in the Movies:
The Tiffany appears in "Point Blank" (1967) when Lee Marvin first sees Keenan Wynn. It also gets a shot in "The Hard Road" (1970).

Status: Demolished in 2013. It had been closed since 2004. The building was sitting vacant for years awaiting redevelopment plans. The sign was be saved. LAist had the story, and a nice history of the theatre, in August 2013.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Tiffany. There's a Rocky Horror at the Tiffany Facebook group.

Wikipedia has an article on the Tiffany as well as one on exhibitor Robert L. Lippert. Ken McIntyre took a 2009 photo.

    Los Angeles Theatres   


A nice 1978 view of the Tiffany added
to our Facebook page by Scott Santoro.

    Mid Century Modern   


A photo of the Tiffany taken by Lisa Kurtz Sutton
 in the Summer of 1980.  Thanks, Lisa!
slightly larger | on the MCM page

A look west on Sunset toward the Tiffany
 from the Alison Martino collection.
 full size view

Also see:
 | article about the opening |

Turnabout Theatre

716 N. La Cienega Blvd.    | map |

Los Angeles, CA   90069

Opened: The Turnabout Theatre was open between 1941 and 1956.  The first half of a show was an adult marionette comic drama, usually revolving around themes of current interest. The seats flipped around for the second half facing the other end of the room where there was a stage for a musical revue.

Performers of note included the Yale Puppeteers, Harry Burnett, Forman Brown, Richard Brandon and Elsa Lanchester.   Previously Burnett and Brown had set up shop in the 30s on Olvera St. at the 80 seat Teatro Torito.

Seating:  180. The seats were reupholstered Red Car seats that could be flipped to face either direction.  They were all given dual names like "Salt & Pepper, "Sugar & Spice," "Man & Woman."

Status: The 1941 vintage building is still there, although now with non-theatrical tenants.

More Information: The Turnabout Theatre archive is included in the collections of the Los Angeles Public Library.  You can search the archive or, for an overview, take the virtual tour.   Wikipedia has a short article on the theatre.  The L.A. Times ran a story about the theatre on the occasion of the 1993 death of co-founder Harry Burnett. Also see a 5th year L.A. Times entertainment section ad.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


The theatre's entrance and patio.
full size view

On the live stage looking toward the puppet
stage at the opposite end of the room. Yes, those
are fake spectators in the dummy box on the right.
full size view

    Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr   


A look at the seating chart -- with the
humorous names of the seats.
full size view

A 1944 ad for the Turnabout that appeared
 in a program for a show at the Biltmore.

An illustration of the dual action at the Turnabout.

These items are from Eric's marvelous Paper Ephemera
set. And don't miss his equally wonderful 400+
item Los Angeles Theatres set.