Temple Theatre

234 S. Brand Blvd.    | map

Glendale, CA   91204

Opened: The building opened in 1928 as Glendale's Masonic Temple, housing a variety of Masonic organizations. For many years, the Masonic Temple was the tallest building on Brand Blvd.  The present structure replaced a 1914 vintage Masonic Temple on the site.

The Masons defaulted on their mortgage in 1934 and lost control of their building through foreclosure. With the building under private ownership, various Masonic organizations continued using the building although then as rental tenants.

The main floor theatre was used as a movie theatre, the Temple Theatre, beginning around 1938. The first city directory listing for the Temple Theatre was in 1940.

An exterior entrance for the theatre was created from a retail storefront to the left of the main building entrance.

In 1980 it became the US Cinema, an independent operation. By the mid 80s it was known as the Regency Two and operated by Pacific Theatres. Pacific also operated the Regency One (the former Sands Theatre) just up the block at 210 S. Brand Blvd.

Closing date as a movie theatre is unknown. It was a club for awhile after closing as a theatre. 

Architect:   Arthur G. Lindley.  With his partner Charles R. Selkirk, the firm of Lindley and Selkirk earlier had done the Alex Theatre and the Hotel Glendale (Broadway and Glendale Avenue).

Seating: 707 seats including a nice wrap-around balcony.

Status:  Since the late 80s the main floor theatre space had been used (on and off) as storage and a scene shop for A Noise Within, a theatre company specializing in the classics. Their performances were held in a 3rd floor ballroom in the building. They've now moved their productions to a new venue in Pasadena. See their website: anoisewithin.org  

The building is currently owned by Frank DePietro and Sons. An 18 page 2011 rehabilitation project design review from the City of Glendale Register of Historic Resources is available in pdf format: http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/packets/HPC_032210/6a.pdf.  See this document for a nice history of the building.

A view of the 7th floor lodge room from page 13 of the
City of Glendale document.  Click on it for a larger view.

The review discusses the owners' proposal to add windows on the south, east and west facades as well as renovate the lobby. The intent is to use the building as rental office space with commercial uses on the ground floor. The existing non-historic storefronts will be replaced with something more appropriate.

A look at a cross section of the building, again from the
City of Glendale document.  Click on it for a larger view.

Note the roof trusses up in the 7th floor lodge room. The main
floor Temple Theatre space is here apparent mostly due to the
appearance of a sectional view of the wrap-around balcony.

The Temple Theatre in the Movies: In Andre de Toth's "Crime Wave" (Warner Bros., 1954) we get some action in Glendale. Here we're looking south on Brand toward the Masonic Temple and the Temple Theatre.

A shot from "Crime Wave." 
larger view

See our Theatres In Movies post for two more shots
 showing the Temple. Also in the post are views we see
of the Alex, Glendale and Hide Away theatres in Glendale
and, from the end of the film, a look at the Roosevelt
 Theatre downtown on Main St.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Temple. Contributor DRB was the one who steered us to the City of Glendale document linked above.

Pasadena Weekly had a 2006 story about the theatre company and their projected move to a new space in Pasadena.

Brooks Stonestreet has some nice views of some of the upstairs spaces in the Temple Building on his blog "Stonestreet Photography."

A view of the Temple Theatre entrance.

[ click the image to enlarge ]

photo: Gary Graver -- undated

Compare this mini-marquee with the earlier
version shown in the photos on Dave's rail site and
in the USC Archives.

    Dave's Electric Railroads    

A 1950 view of the Temple behind a Pacific
 Electric Red Car from Dave's site. 
full size view

    Photos of Los Angeles   


A look north on Brand in 1938. That's the Masonic Temple
and the Temple Theatre over on the right. The photo was
discovered by intrepid researcher Ken McIntyre and added
to his Photos of Los Angeles collection.
 full size view

A look north on Brand Blvd. in the 40s toward
the Temple Theatre -- with a somewhat better
look at the marquee
full size view

    USC Archives    


A detail from a 1938 view looking north on Brand Blvd.
 showing the Temple with a 10c admission policy. 

We're running "Gateway" with Don Ameche. Note that this early
marquee spanned the main entrance arch of the building.
full size view

A view of the Masonic Temple Building.

photo: Google Maps - c.2009

[ click on it to enlarge or head
 to an interactive version on Google ]

The boxoffice and entrance to the Temple Theatre
with the main building entrance beyond.

photo: Bill Counter - 2013

[ click the image to enlarge ]

The entrance to the Temple Building.

photo: Bill Counter - 2013

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    American Classic Images   


A view of the facade as the US Cinema
from the American Classic Images collection.
full size view

    California State Library    


An early view of the building from the Mott-Merge
collection at the California Library. 
full size view

Note that here we're not yet using the entrance
to the left of the arch as a theatre entrance.

Another view by Mott Studios.
full size view

See the data page for more information on these two
 photos. The Library has them cataloged as set # 001385796.

    Gamma Infinity on Flickr   


A nice shot by Hugh looking toward the screen. The
 theatre space in 2011 was a shop and set storage area. 
full size view

It's one of many interesting views
in his set "The Monolith."

Here is a 2011 panoramic shot of the theatre and its
wrap-around balcony. Hugh titles this one "Cinerama
Finally Arrives at the Temple Theatre" 
full size view

Also see:
 | another (dark) auditorium view  |

    You Are Here   


A nice look at the Masonic Temple Building
by prolific photographer Martin. 
full size view