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

This wonderful 1926 photo looking east along Seaside
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

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


The Tracy's facade during the appearance of
radio personality Major Bowes and his traveling
 "All Girl Revue." It's on 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

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
, 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

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 balcony 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  |

    Photos of Los Angeles

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

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

There's also a similar view (but with a
crowd below in what then was a park) taken
 by Loomis Dean for Life Magazine in 1953.

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

A 1925 view of the theatre when it was still
called the Ritz.
All these images are from the Mott
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

A view of the theatre's
balcony lobby.

full size view

A view of the proscenium from
the Mott Studios collection.

full size view

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

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

More from the California State Library:

The Library has a total of 14 Mott Studio
photos of the Tracy, cataloged as the
Capitol Theatre, set #001385743.

     Life Magazine

A delightful 1953 Life magazine view of
the beach and the Tracy Theatre. Thanks to
Ken McIntyre for finding the photo.
full size view | on Photos of Los Angeles

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

Another 1953 photo taken for Life as
part of the same shoot by Loomis Dean.
Also on Life Images:

Another 1953 Loomis Dean shot looking a bit farther
west. The building with the peaked roof at the front in
 the upper center of the photo is the
Victor Theatre.
full size view
| on Life Images/Google

The occasion for the photo shoot was the
performance of some acrobats overhead. See
more from the set on Life Images/Google.

Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tourmaline for
 finding the two lower shots above in the Life collection. These and
other Long Beach views are included in Noirish post #35908.

    Long Beach Public Library

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

    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

    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? |