Garmar Theatre

2325 W. Whittier Blvd.    | map |

Montebello, CA   90640

Opened: March 29, 1950

The Garmar Theatre was named for the two sons, Gary and Mark, of the owner Al Olander.  Olander also owned the Vogue in Montebello.

Architect: S. Charles Lee designed the building using a quonset hut for the auditorium.  See our Blogspot posts for a few more by Mr. Lee.

Seating: 998

Status: Closed in the late 70s or early 80s. It was demolished for a strip mall, the Garmar Plaza. Pacific Theatres was the last chain to operate the Garmar.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Garmar for a nice description of the building as well as recollections by many contributors about great times at the Garmar.

See the LA Eastside post on the Garmar for lots of comments about moviegoing in Montebello.

Boxoffice magazine, in their Vault section has an August 5, 1950 story on the Garmar with an exterior rendering and a auditorium view.  A lobby photo is featured in the December 2, 1950 issue.

    UCLA - S. Charles Lee Papers |

A view of the boxoffice of the Garmar
in 1950.  It's an L.A.Todd photo.
full size view

A view of the cry room -- L.A.Todd photo.
full size view

A view looking down the long auditorium
 toward the booth. The wall paneling is combed
plywood. L.A.Todd photo.
full size view

A view of the booth. Motiograph projectors and
sound, Strong Mogul lamps. L.A.Todd photo. 
full size view

Also in the S.C. Lee Papers Collection:

 | rendering of exterior |

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    American Classic Images

A 1983 view of the Garmar in the American
Classic Images collection. It was spotted by
Cinema Treasures researcher Ken McIntyre.
 full size view

    L.A. Eastside

Al Desmadre has this 1979 view of the Garmar in his 2008
post: "Memories of a Lost Boulevard: The Garmar Theatre."
His article also has other views of the Garmar (some from
the S. Charles Lee UCLA collection) as well shots
of neighboring businesses.
full size view | on the Eastsider site

Al says: "The Garmar was indeed, the 'ritziest' of the Whittier
Boulevard 'Shows' (as we called them). For sheer luxurious comfort,
perfect sightlines and cool comfortable temperatures, this was the 'Tops.'
You always found ample, conveniently adjacent parking, moderate and
civilized crowds and top-notch projection values, and of course, the glass
walled 'Crying Room' for your movie viewing convenience."

The facade photo above also appears in an album from
 Stacey Kay on Flickr and on Photos of Los Angeles.

    Photos of Los Angeles

A 1950 look at the Garmar added to the Photos of
 Los Angeles collection by Bill Gabel. The theatre is
 running "The Red Shoes' and "Four Days Leave."
 full size view | on Photos of LA

A proscenium view posted by Benny Ballejo.
full size view | on Photos of LA

Thanks to Steven Otto for sending the
proscenium view in our direction!