California Theatre Huntington Park

6528 Pacific Blvd.    | map |  

Huntington Park, CA  90255

Opened: 1925 and was operated for decades by Fox Theatres as the Fox California Theatre. It got a bit of the Skouras decorative treatment in the 40s.

The theatre was triplexed around 1975 and known then as the California 3 Theatres. The main floor was left intact with a wall installed from the balcony rail up to the ceiling. The balcony was divided into 2 small theatres.

Architects: Arthur George Lindley and Charles R. Selkirk, who also did the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

Seating: 1,500 originally

Status: Closed in 2006.  In 2007 the main floor was converted to retail space. The owner installed new signage advertising the balcony theatres as "California 2 Theatres" but an operator willing to operate the venue has not yet materialized.

For leasing information contact Kristin Kim. You can reach Kris at (818) 306-0398.

Nearby: The Park Theatre, a twin operated by Metropolitan is just a bit north. A block south is the now-closed Warner.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the California Theatre. The Cinema Tour page on the California has several 2004 exterior views by Ken Roe. See Jim Henry's article on the Wurlitzer Style 216 that was in the California.

A closer view of the entrance.

photo: Bill Counter - October 2007

[ click any of these to enlarge ]

A bit of proscenium plasterwork -- now in a
closet at the back of a retail space.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

A 50s look south on Pacific toward the California. That's the
theatre's stagehouse in the upper center of the photo.

Thanks to Hugo Ruiz for the find!

That's the Park Theatre this side of the California.

about photos from other
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    American Classic Images

A 1983 look at the California operating as a triplex.
full size view

    Downey Historical Conservancy

A 1939 look at the California running "Five Came Back"
 with Chester Morris and Lucille Ball. The photo is from
 the Downey Historic Conservancy's collection.

full size view
| on FB/LATheatres

That's the marquee of the Park Theatre down at the
left edge of the photo.Thanks to Jason Vega for finding
 this one! Visit a Facebook page he curates:
Friends of the Warner Huntington Park

A view looking north on Pacific Blvd. The Warner
 is on the right. The California Theatre vertical sign
 can be glimpsed in the next block. It's from their
 Huntington Park set on Flickr.
full size view

   Huntington Park High School Sustainers

A 1933 post-earthquake view of the California Theatre
showing damage to the hotel south of the theatre.
The hotel building has been demolished.
full size view | on Facebook

Thanks to Hugo Ruiz for sending this photo our way.

    Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr

The exterior in August 2007 with signage
still in place. It's from Eric's wonderful
 Los Angeles Theatres set.
full size view

A 2007 view of the ceiling of the California.
full size view

A great view looking toward the stage from in front
of the balcony in 2007. The ductwork is being dropped
 down to reach new retail spaces in the area that had
 been the main floor of the theatre. 
full size view

Also in the set:
 | 2007 exterior  | closer facade view  |  entrance in 2007  |
 |  stagehouse exterior  | balcony lobby  | wall frieze  |
 |  frieze - orchard  | balcony theatre left  |
 |  looking toward the booth  | 

A view of the California Theatre in 2007.

photo: Bill Counter

[ click either of these to enlarge ]

Another view of the California.

photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A lobby wall frieze from a 40s
Fox West Coast remodeling.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

The balcony level lobby.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

    Cinema Treasures

A look at the auditorium from the Bill Gabel
collection. Note the later drapery treatment as
 compared to the earlier version when the house
first got the Skouras look.
full size view
| on Cinema Treasures

And thanks to Robert Tower for
calling our attention to the photo.

    Huntington Park   

by James Kinsey
Arcadia Publishing, 2007

A view north on Pacific from Zoe Ave. before the
1933 earthquake.
That's the California's vertical
sign popping up on the right. It's on page 61.
full size view
| on Google Books

A 1955 view with, as Mr. Kinsey notes, the
California running "Seven Year Itch" with Marilyn.
At the Park, farther down the street, it's Richard
Widmark in "Hell and High Water." 
full size view

The Park survives, in rebuilt form, as a
 twin operated by Metropolitan Theatres.

Thanks to Jason Vega for finding these!

    Los Angeles Public Library Collection

A 1937 shot looking north on Pacific Blvd. by Herman
 Schultheis.  The California is running an "owl show"
of John Ford's "The Hurricane."
full size view

A 1972 view from the Library's collection.
 full size view

Also in the LAPL collection:
| closer 72 view  |  premiere - Ralph Morris |

   Julius Shulman - Getty Research Institute

A 1951 look south on Pacific. The California, over
 there on the left, is running that great hit "Mark of the
Renegade." Shulman was out photographing branch
offices for Bank of America. This was his Job #1029.
The set of three photos also has a view looking north
on Pacific with the theatre down a block or so.

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 #31352.

    Skouras-ized for Showmanship   

Skouras' West Coast Theatres
by Preston J. Kaufmann

Theatre Historical Society, 1987
THS Website buy on Amazon

This 1987 THS annual (#14) is packed with photos of
 theatres that Fox West Coast gave the moderne
 "Skouras look" to in the 40s.

Here we're looking at the Skouras-ized proscenium of
 the California in a photo from this great collection.

A sidewall view of the California Theatre in the 40s.
Most of the 1926 decor has been stripped away.

If we've got the B'hend - Kauffmann Archive photo
credits sorted out, the top is from Jim Lytell and
the source for the bottom photo is not credited.