Uptown Theatre

2316 E. Colorado Blvd.    | map |

Pasadena, CA   91107

The News: Well, there isn't any. Still vacant and for lease. See the theatre's listing from the brokers, Bob Riegel and Norm Sauvé of Sauvé Riegel Commercial Real estate. The firm also has a pdf with photos. The property is also listed on Loopnet.

Opened: May 6, 1925 as Warner's Egyptian Theatre by by Henry L. Warner, who was no relation to the more famous Warner Bros. The opening attraction was Al Christie's "Stop Flirting."

The theatre presented both films and vaudeville. It was constructed as an addition to the previously existing commercial building that became its lobby. Upstairs there was a nursery and the restroom area. Bob Bennett of the Pasadena Museum of History notes that the Pasadena Evening Post of May 5, 1925 described the theatre on page 15. 

Moving Picture World featured the new theatre in an article titled "Warner's Egyptian Theatre is Architecturally Picturesque" in their issue of July 25, 1925. It's on Internet Archive. They reported that "Temple-like lines, spaciousness, a replica of a golden throne of an Egyptian king, are just a few things that help make Henry Warner's East Pasadena Egyptian Theatre, typical of the architecture of the country from which it derived its name..."

Warner also operated Warner's Photoplay in downtown Pasadena. The area at the time of the opening was known as Lamanda Park. From about 1940 onward the theatre was known as the Uptown Theatre.  It closed as the Uptown in 1986.

There had been a projected restoration of the building as the Oasis. In 2003 the lobby was filled with antiques and the business was called Oasis Antiques, Art & Design Center.  Seating was installed and restoration was begun on many areas of the building. The project came to a sad end as a result of disputes between the landlord and the tenant.

Architect: The architect was Kenneth A. Gordon, who also designed Bard's Glen.  He was evidently a principal of the firm J.H. Woodworth and Son. 

Seating: 900 seats, all on one level.

Status:  Closed awaiting its next act.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Uptown includes some nice research by Joe Vogel.

See the Cinema Tour page on the Uptown for lots of photos by Ken Roe.  Silent Era Theaters has a page on the building.

Don't miss the two 2013 Hometown Pasadena articles on Warner's Egyptian by Sheryl Peters of the Pasadena Museum of History: "Mrs. Feynes and the Movies Part 3" and Part 4: "The Egyptian Becomes the Uptown."

Another theatre in Pasadena that had an Egyptian theme (originally anyway) was the Bard's Colorado, later known as the Academy.

The rear of the building.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

The protrusion up through the roof near the rear
is the flyspace for the asbestos curtain.

    Cinema Treasures   


A fine view of the marquee as the Egyptian from
the Bill Gabel collection. Our main feature is "The Cheat," a
 November 1931 release with Tallulah Bankhead, along with
 "Are These Our Children" as the bottom half of the bill.
More photos from Mr. Gabel on Cinema Treasures:
| early entrance view | distance facade view - "The Cheat" |

Thanks, Bill!

    From Script To DVD   


A 1964 view on the page devoted to the Uptown Theatre
on this great site. It's from a Boxoffice Magazine article
touting the theatre's renovations including new projection
equipment and a 42 foot screen. 
slightly larger view

See the Script To DVD section "70mm in Los Angeles"
for a rundown on 70mm runs and a page devoted to each
70mm equipped theatre.

    Hometown Pasadena    


A 1980 view of some ornamentation at the Uptown. It's a
photo from the Pasadena Museum of History in Matt Hormann's 
2011 article "Ghost Theatres of Colorado Blvd. - Part 1 of 2"
 full size view

Mr. Hormann notes: "Many faux-Egyptian features graced
the interior of the theater, including pharaoh heads, winged
scarabs, and double-headed snake gods. Most notably, an aluminum
 replica of King Tut’s throne stood in the foyer. Visitors were told
that if they sat in the chair and made a wish, 'the shades of the
Egyptian monarch will see that the wish comes to pass'.”

Also with Matt's article:
| 1980 interior view - with manager Rick Corpron |

 The ceiling's sunburst. The photo appears with the
second of two 2013 Hometown Pasadena articles on Warner's
Egyptian by Sheryl Peters of the Pasadena Museum of History:
"The Egyptian Becomes the Uptown." It's a 1980 photo
from the Pasadena Star News.
 full size view | on the HP site

Also see Ms. Peters' earlier article discussing the theatre's opening:
 "Mrs. Feynes and the Movies: Warner's Egyptian Theatre."

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


A glorious 1925 view of the proscenium
from the Library's collection.
full size view

    James Perry collection   

A view of the original signage for the Egyptian from the
James Perry collection. He links it on the Cinema Treasures
page for the Uptown and credits it to Tami Strong, whose
grandfather was manager in the late 20s and early 30s.

Here it's 1931 and the theatre is running
"The Cheat" with Tallulah Bankhead.
full size view

A wider view appears from Bill Gabel on Cinema Teasures.

A comment on Cinema Treasures about the photo:
 "..the large roof sign displayed a colorful “Chariot of Ramses”
scene atop the original electric sign. The tall brick facade behind
 the theater vertical sign fell years ago in an earthquake and was
 leveled to the existing roof line."

   Sauvé Riegel Commercial Real Estate   


The theatre has been vacant and for lease for years.
See the theatre's listing from the brokers, Bob Riegel
and Norm Sauvé of Sauvé Riegel. The photos below
come from the firm's Warner Egyptian pdf.

The stripped out lobby as we look in from the street.
full size view

The house left wall.
full size view

A look toward the stage. Needs a bit of work.
Another look toward the back of the house.
A sidewall grille detail.

Looking east along the facade of
 the Uptown Theatre building.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

[ click on these to enlarge ]

A closer look at the entrance.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

A peek into the lobby of the Uptown.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

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    American Classic Images   

A 1983 view of the Uptown marquee in the American
Classic Images collection. It was spotted by Cinema
Treasures researcher Lost Memory. 
full size view

Also in the collection:
 |  1983 day view  |

    Cinema Tour   

The Cinema Tour page on the Uptown has many great photos.
Here we're looking at a 2003 rear auditorium view by Ken Roe. 
full size view

A proscenium detail by Ken Roe. 
full size view

A look toward the stage from the James Perry collection. On
view is the 1925 fire curtain with painted advertisements.
 full size view

...and 17 more interesting views to look at

    Huntington Digital Library   


A great 1929 view of the facade. The theatre is
"The Shady Lady" plus vaudeville acts.
It's a photo by Harold A. Parker.

full size view

An Essex roadster in front of the Warner. The theatre
is running "Saturday's Children," a 1929 release.
It's a photo by Harold A. Parker.
full size view

More cars on display in a promotion with
 the local Essex dealer.

full size view

On the Huntington Library pages you can
use the slider to get a larger image -- then you
can pan around to explore details.

    Moving Picture World  


The theatre's entrance foyer.
full size view

Moving Picture World featured the new theatre in the article
"Warner's Egyptian Theatre is Architecturally Picturesque"
in their issue of July 25, 1925. It's on Internet Archive.

The inner lobby.
full size view

A look at the proscenium.
full size view

The rear of the auditorium.
full size view