Tracy Theatre Long Beach



219 E. Seaside Way    | map

Long Beach, CA   90802


Opened: May 24, 1925 as the Ritz Theatre.

Later in 1925 it was renamed the Capitol. In 1934 it became the Tracy.

The theatre was owned by Eugene V. Tracy who also owned the Laughlin Theater on Pine Ave.

Architect:  Carl Boller of Boller Bros. The building included a restaurant, 6 stores on the ground floor and two penthouse apartments among other spaces.

Carl Boller had moved west to set up the firm's Los Angeles office in 1921. Check out his stunning interior work on this one!

In the L.A. area, Mr. Boller also designed the Stadium Theatre (on Pico, 1930), Broadway (Santa Ana, 1925) the Corona Theatre, (Corona, 1929), the Fontana Theatre (Fontana, 1937), the Largo (Watts, 1924), the Inglewood Theatre (1922), Walker's West Coast (Santa Ana, 1923) and the Montrose Theatre (Montrose, 1924).

The firm was well known for its work in the midwest and perhaps best for the Kimo Theatre, in Albuquerque.

Seating: 1,158 originally. When it was reseated in 1941 the capacity was advertised as 1,200.

The theatre closed in the early 50s and then had several years use as a church before becoming derelict.

Status: Demolished in 1974.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Tracy Theatre for lots of memories and historical data from many researchers. 



    Cal State Long Beach   

csulb.edu/colleges/cla/departments/rgrll


This wonderful 1926 photo looking east along Seaside
 is
on the CSULB site's page about the Tracy Theatre. Note
the Victor Theatre (with the peaked roof at the front of the
building) this side of the Tracy -- here still called the Capitol.
 The photo is
from the Historical Society of Long Beach.
full size view  |  on FB/LATheatres

Compare the view above to a very similar c. 1923-24
view (before the Tracy was built) in the USC Archives.
 The Fairyland theatre occupies the Tracy site.



    Cinema Treasures  

cinematreasures.org/theaters/2036



Also a 1973 marquee view of the Tracy from the wonderful
website Cinema Treasures. The photo was taken by Mary
Ellen Tolson. It's from the collection of Gary Parks.  That's
Mr. Parks at age 10 in the photo.
full size view



    eBay   

www.ebay.com



The Tracy's facade during the appearance of radio
personality Major Bowes and his traveling "All Girl
 Revue." It's part of a scrapbook page with three
additional facade photos.
Our main feature is "A Southern Maid"
with Bebe Daniels, a 1933 release.



Another shot from the scrapbook page.
This week it's the "Hawaiian Follies."
full size view



A detail of the theatre's entrance. The scrapbook
page it's on also has a similar shot taken at night.
full size view | on eBay

Old Variety Store had the set on eBay (which
also included a bonus of three photos of elephants
bathing in the harbor) where it sold for $168.00.

Thanks to ace theatre sleuth Michelle
 Gerdes for finding the set on eBay!



    Huntington Digital Library   



A 1924 look west along Ocean Blvd. from Pettit's Studio.
The huge West Coast Theatre is in the center, with
 the stagehouse of the Fox Long Beach behind.
full size view

On the Huntington Library page, you can
zoom in and pan around to look at details.



A detail from the view above. Note the original Municipal
Auditorium
, the Ritz (later the Tracy) and the State Theatre
from the left side of the photo. Click on the photo to enlarge.




    L.A. Public Library Collection   

www.lapl.org



A c.1925 view of the Tracy Theatre, when it was
 named the Capitol, from the Library's collection.
full size view



We get a view of both the Victor Theatre and part of the
Tracy (at the far right) in this 1928 look at the beauties on
the beach for the Pacific Southwest Exposition. The
large building behind is the Breakers Hotel. 
full size view




A 1935 marquee shot with the Tracy running
 "Love Me Forever" and "Call of The Wild."
It's a Winstead photo.



A 1925 view of the mezzanine lobby of the Tracy. 
full size view




A 1925 view of the proscenium of the theatre.
full size view




An undated view of the organ grille area of the Tracy.
full size view


Also in the Library's collection:

 | 1935 night facade view  |


    Pomona Public Library   




The Frasher Foto Postcard Collection at the
 Pomona Library has hundreds of photos from all
 over southern California. Here we're looking
 at the Tracy Theatre in 1938.
 full size view











A postcard look at the Tracy Theatre.

The card  has a caption that says "Lincoln Park, in the heart of
downtown Long Beach with the Wilton Hotel as a background."
It's a Kodachrome card by Mike Roberts Studio.
larger view

The brown building with those nice arched windows is the Tracy.
The stagehouse is lurking behind the taller of those two center palm
trees. Ignore the low slung reddish building to the left (west) of the
Tracy and look at the two story red building (behind the palm tree)
with the peaked roofline at the front. You're looking at the
side of the Victor Theatre.


about photos from other
websites that appear on this page...

We've tried to give appropriate credit. Please 
contact us if there are incorrect attributions, links that 
no longer work or other issues. A link near each image will 
direct you to a full size version on the website hosting it. 
Assume that all the images are subject to copyright 
restrictions.  Contact the webmaster of the site in
question concerning reproduction or other use.



    California State Library   

www.library.ca.gov



A 1925 view of the theatre when it was still the Ritz.
All these images are from the Mott-Merge
 collection in the California State Library. 
full size view




A lovely view from the beach with the building
 now called the Capitol Theatre.
full size view




A view from the east. Don't you love the guys
 lounging in front in their beach chairs?
full size view


The photo above also appears on the
CSULB page about the Tracy Theatre.

More exterior views in the
California Library collection:

  | Ritz exterior - from the east  |
| Capitol exterior - from the west  |




A view of the Tracy Theatre's mezzanine lobby.
full size view

More Lobby views:
| arch and fireplace detail  |
same from the other side  |




A view of the proscenium from the Mott-Merge collection.
full size view




A closer view of the proscenium and house right
organ grille area with the fire curtain down. 
full size view


The photo above also appears on the
CSULB page about the Tracy Theatre.





A c.1925 look toward the rear of the
Tracy Theatre's auditorium.
full size view


More auditorium views in the collection:

 | proscenium and organ grille - house right  |
| organ grille - closer detail  |
 | balcony front exit - house right  |
 



    Long Beach Public Library   

encore.lbpl.org


A post March 1933 earthquake view. We're
 looking west along Seaside Way. Look at the
full size view and just to the left of the "Dancing"
sign you'll see the signage for the Tracy, then
 still known as the Capitol.

The building in the distance at center
 is the old Municipal Auditorium.



A 40s view from the Long Beach Public Library
 showing some construction work happening
 in front of the Tracy Theatre. We're looking
east along Seaside Way.
full size view




Ignore the kids. The Tracy Theatre
 is in the upper left of this 1948 image.
full size view


    Photos of Los Angeles   

www.facebook.com/groups/244565982234863/

Looking west along Seaside toward the
Municipal Auditorium and the Capitol Theatre in 1929. 
full size view




A delightful 1953 Life magazine view of the beach and the
Tracy Theatre posted by the tireless researcher Ken McIntyre
on his Photros of Los Angeles Facebook page. 
full size view

On the marquee: "See Hear About
Communism" -- a free show!




A 1956 Corbis view featuring a high wire act and
the Municipal Auditorium in the background. Look down
and you're viewing the roof of the Tracy Theatre. 
full size view


    USC Archives    




A forlorn look east along Seaside Way from Pine St.
 in 1961 from the USC Archives. It's an Automobile
 Club of Southern California Photo.

In the full size view you can make out the
 Tracy Theatre vertical and blank readerboard
 in the middle of the photo.




A c. 1940 view from Padilla Studios looking east along
the beach and Seaside Way. We get a view of the
Capitol sign on the far left.  The big hulk is,
of course, the Municipal Auditorium. 
full size view

Also in the Archives:
 | 1961 looking west - can you find the Tracy? |