Highland Theatre

5604 N. Figueroa Street  
  | map |

Los Angeles
, CA 90042

(323) 256-6383

Website: www.highlandtheatres.com

Opened: March 5, 1925 with a personal appearance from Norma Shearer. The building was built for Clyde M. Church, a local banker. 

Highland park was once a thriving part of town with a vibrant theatrical life and supported six theatres. Other nearby venues included the Figueroa Theatre and the Sunbeam.

Architect: Lewis A. Smith, who also did the Rialto in South Pasadena, the Beverly in Beverly Hills, the Vista Theatre as well as a number of projects for Fox West Coast such as the El Portal and the Fox Ritz.

The Highland had a Moorish interior and much of the decor in the balcony area remains intact.

Seating: Originally 1432 seats as a single screen theatre.

Status: Times have been tough the last few decades in Highland park but this theatre survives by running a friendly, efficient operation and offering bargain prices.

History:  It was operated for years by Fox West Coast Theatres. After they gave it up it had a run as a porno theatre.

Family films came back in 1975 under owner Arman Akarakian. In 1983 it was cheaply triplexed with 3 theatres on the main floor. The balcony is used just for storage.

It's been designated a cultural historic monument by the City of Los Angeles.

What I'd like to see: Photos of the original interior. Also, I've never been into the abandoned balcony area, or even seen a photo of it.

The Highland in the Movies: The Highland has never been much of a movie star but we see the marquee as John C. Reilly does a nighttime drive by in "Cyrus" (2010).

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Highland Theatre for all the historic data and tales of former and current moviegoers.  Also see the site's list of other theatre projects by L.A. Smith.

The Cinema Tour page has several nice 2001 exterior photos by Bob Meza.

Highland Park Lights is a blog with information about the neighborhood. See their 2011 story about the project to "Help Re-Light the Historic Signs of Figueroa Street." Also see the story on Highland Park Patch.

A 2010 view of the facade.

photo: Bill Counter

[ click to enlarge ]

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    American Classic Images    


A 1982 view in the American Classic
Images collection.
full size view

Also in the collection:
| 1984 view  |

    The Eastsider  L.A.  


A 1962 look at the Highland, in a photo from the Highland
Park Independent Film Festival. The photo appeared with a
2015 article by Nathan Solis: "Highland Theatre celebrates
90 years of movie-going in Highland Park"

full size view | the Eastsider article

A look toward the rear of one of the auditoriums
on the main floor by Gina Christine. The photo was taken
during the 2012 Northeast L.A. Art Short Film Series.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

The photo also appears as part of a story
on the blog The Eastsider about the 2012
Northeast L.A. Art Short Film Series

An uncredited shot toward
the front of the auditorium.
full size view

    LA Okay   

A nice view of the facade from the site LA Okay.
Note that since the photo these sign faces got
replaced with a newer look.
 larger view

    Ken McIntyre on Photobucket   

A great view of the side of the building by
Cinema Treasures researcher Ken McIntyre.
full size view

Also by Ken:
 |  facade building from the north  |
 | entrance | marquee  |  sidewall near the front  |
 | another sidewall view  |

A view of the Highland Theatre roof sign in 2010.

photo: Bill Counter

[ click on these photos to enlarge ]

The roof sign the evening of its relighting.

photo: Escott Norton - May 18, 2011

The view is one of 19 in the
 "Highland Theatre Sign Lighting Ceremony"
album on Escott Norton's Facebook page Old Sign Art.

Each of the 502 bulbs on the sign was sponsored
by an individual as a community project.

The entrance to the Highland Theatre.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

    Arroyo Seco Journal   


See Edward Rivera's delightful 5 minute slide show
 "20 Theatres of Northeast Los Angeles." We get photos
of 20 theatres in the northeast area of the city. The Highland
is the only one still operating. 

Also on the blog:

 |  "Relighting the Highland"  |
 |  "Highland Theatre Sign Relighting"  |

    Highland Park Independent Film Festival    


hpifilmfest.com | hpifilmfest.com/photo-gallery

A vintage look at the Highland's ladies
lounge from the HPIFF Facebook page.
full size view
| on the HPIFF page

    Photos of Los Angeles    

A 1955 look south on Figueroa with the
Highland Theatre on the left.  It's in Ken McIntyre's
great collection on Facebook.
full size view

A detail from the image above.
larger view

An undated shot of the Highland from
the south from Ken McIntyre.
full size view  | on FB/LAtheatres

Also on Photos of Los Angeles:
  |  2008 facade view  |  2008 sidewall view