Lakewood Theatre

4501 E. Carson St.    | map |

Long Beach, CA   90808

Opened: In 1945. The location was just east of Lakewood Blvd.

Ron Pierce notes on Cinema Treasures: "According to Maggie Valentine’s book 'The Show Starts On The Sidewalk' the Lakewood Theatre was originally a theatre and town hall in Quincy, a town in California, which architect S. Charles Lee had designed. Due to a wartime restriction on building materials, in 1945 Lee had the wood sections of the building dismantled and moved to Long Beach and reassembled with brick and steel to construct a building seating 1,124. Movie listings show that for more than 30 years it was and independent theater."

Debra Simpson, daughter of the operator of the theatre from the late 50s onward notes that the business was sold to Loew's around 1971 and then, when Loew's exited the southern California market, it was operated by General Cinema.

It was twinned in the 70s and in 1977 became a Pussycat Theatre. It ran as an adult theatre until 1988 and then went back to a family policy.

Architect:  S. Charles Lee

Seating: 1,124

Status: Demolished in the late 80s.  An office building was constructed on the site in 1991.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Lakewood. The Los Angeles Public Library has an undated drawing of the proposed exterior.

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    A Box of Pictures   

A postcard view of the Lakewood from the
now-vanished website Yesterday L.A.
full size view | on Flickr

The card is part of the Vintage Los Angeles set.

    Cinema Treasures

A 1940  look at the Lakewood added to
 the Cinema Treasures page on the theatre
the prolific CT contributor Bill Gabel.
full size view | on Cinema Treasures

The Lakewood in 1961.

Thanks to Debra Simpson for the photo from her collection. She recalls
that her father and a partner bought the theatre around 1957 and ran it as
a family friendly environment that included lots of Disney product, westerns
 and family matinees. Long runs included "Funny Girl," "Dr. Zhivago" and
"2001."  She worked her way up from the snackbar to
cashier to usher up  assistant manager.

    S. Charles Lee Papers - UCLA |

A Julius Schulman photo of the Lakewood's exterior.
full size view

A Julius Schulman photo of the Lakewood's lobby. 
full size view

A sidewall photo by Julius Schulman.
full size view

Looking toward the screen
-- Julius Schulman photo.
full size view

Also in the collection:
| Lee on opening night | marquee detail | another lobby view |
 | drawing - proposed exterior | drawing - proposed theatre + retail |
 | aerial view |

The exterior shot and the two auditorium photos above are
 also in the Shulman collection of the Getty Research Institute.
 It was his job "Lee-LL: Lakewood Theatre (Lakewood, Calif.), 1946"

Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Hoss C for
finding the Schulman photos in the Getty's collection.
They're on his Noirish post #37286.