Venice and Ocean Park Theatres








    Ocean Park Pier Area    


Along the Ocean Park Promenade

< seaward side  | east side  >


Ocean Park  >>

 


Beach St.  >>




Hill St.  >>

3 blocks east >>
Bobs Theatre
2734 Main St.
[ 1913-14 ]

Brooks Theatre
O.P. Promenade
near Ashland
exact address unknown
[ 1912 - ? ]

Ashland Ave.  >>

1 1/2 blocks east >>
Empress Theatre
118 Ashland
[ 1915 - 16? ]

O.P. Municipal Auditorium
2850 Ocean Park Promenade
[ 1921-1974 ]

Grand Theatre
Ocean Park Promenade
exact address unknown
[ burned 1912 ]
Kinney St.  >>

Rosemary Theatre
Ocean Park Promenade
n. of Pier Ave.
[ #1 - burned 1912 ]
exact address unknown

Princess / Wonderland
2939-41 O.P. Promenade
[ 1913 - 16? ]

2 blocks east >>
Rosemary Theatre
Trolleyway between
Pier & Kinney
[ #2 - 1913  ]


Rosemary Theatre
2946 Ocean Park Promenade
[ #4 - 1919? - 24 ]

in the Casino Building
Family Theatre
O.P. Promenade just north of the Pier
[ 1907 - 1912 ]
Pier Ave.  >>
<< on the Ocean Park Pier
Starland Theatre [ 1911-12 ]
Rosemary Theatre [ #3 - 1913-19? ]
Strand Theatre [ 1920? - 1924 ]
Star Theatre [ 1947 - 48? ]

in the Auditorium Building
O. P. Promenade between Pier & Marine
Ocean Park Auditorium [ 1905 - 1912 ]
Crescent Vaudeville Theatre [ 1905-8, 11? ]
La Petite Theatre [ #1 - 1908 - 09? ]


Dome Theatre [ #2 - 1925 - 1957 ]
3014 Ocean Park Promenade

La Petite Theatre
3015 O.P. Promenade
[ #2 - 1909? - 1912,
 #3 -1913 - 23 ]

Marine St.  >>
La Grande Theatre
[ burned 1912 ] Marine St.
exact address unknown


Ocean Park / Santa Monica
- - - - - - - - - 
Venice
Dome Theatre [ #1 - 1922 - 1924 ]
Rosemary Theatre [ #5 - 1925 - 70s ]
14 Ocean Front Walk



Navy St. >>


Ocean Park
Bathhouse











    Venice Pier Area   

Along Ocean Front Walk

< seaward side  |  east side >



Horizon Ave.  >>

Neptune Theatre
1409 Ocean Front Walk
[ 1911 - 28 ]




Market St.  >>
[ formerly Zephyr ]
California / Venice Theatre
1508 Ocean Front Walk
[ 1920 - 52 ]

Unique Theatre
Windward Ave.
[ 1907 ]
exact address unknown

<<  Venice Pier  |  Windward Ave.  >>
<< on the pier
Venice Auditorium
[ 1905 - 20 ]



17th Ave.  >>









    Alternate Name Directory    



Bobs Theatre  2734 Main St.  Ocean Park

Brooks Theatre  O.P. Promenade  near Ashland  Ocean Park

California Theatre -- see Venice Theatre 1508 Ocean Front Walk   Venice

Crescent Vaudeville Theatre   Ocean Park Promenade @ Marine  Casino Building, Ocean Park

Dome Theatre [ #1 ]   14 Ocean Front Walk    Venice

Dome Theatre   [#2]  3014 Ocean Park Promenade  Ocean Park

Empress Theatre  118 Ashland  Ocean Park

Family Theatre  O.P. Promenade @ Pier  Casino Building, Ocean Park

Fox Venice Theatre  620 Lincoln Blvd.  Venice

Grand Theatre  Ocean Park Promenade   Ocean Park

The Herald -- see Empress Theatre  118 Ashland  Ocean Park

Horsehoe Pier Auditorium -- see Ocean Park Auditorium   Ocean Park
Promenade @ Marine  Casino Building, Ocean Park

Hyman Theatre -- see Neptune Theatre   1409 Ocean Front Walk   Venice

La Grande Theatre   Marine St.  Ocean Park

La Petite Theatre [ #1]   Ocean Park Promenade @ Marine 
Casino Building, Ocean Park

La Petite Theatre [ #2 & 3]  3015 O.P. Promenade   Ocean Park

Neptune Theatre  1409 Ocean Front Walk   Venice

Ocean Park Auditorium   Ocean Park Promenade @ Marine 
Casino Building, Ocean Park

Ocean Park Municipal Auditorium  2850 Ocean Park Promenade  Ocean Park

Princess Theatre -- see Wonderland  2939-41 O.P. Promenade  Ocean Park

Rialto Theatre -- see Rosemary Theatre [ #3 ]  Ocean Park Pier   Ocean Park

Rosemary Theatre [#1]  Ocean Park Promenade n. of Pier Ave.  Ocean Park

Rosemary Theatre [#2]  Trolleyway between  Pier & Kinney  Ocean Park

Rosemary Theatre [ #3 ]  Ocean Park Pier   Ocean Park

Rosemary Theatre  [#4]  2946 Ocean Park Promenade   Ocean Park

Rosemary Theatre [ #5  ]  14 Ocean Front Walk    Venice

Shell Theatre  836 Ocean Front   Ocean Park

Star Theatre Ocean Park Pier   Ocean Park

Starland Theatre   Ocean Park Pier   Ocean Park

Strand Theatre Ocean Park Pier   Ocean Park

Theatre Beautiful, Hyman's -- see Neptune Theatre 1409 Ocean Front Walk  Venice

Unique Theatre  Windward Ave.  Venice

Venice Auditorium  Venice Pier  Venice

Venice Theatre  -- see Venice Auditorium  Venice Pier  Venice

Venice Theatre 1508 Ocean Front Walk   Venice

Venice Theatre  703 Venice Blvd.  Venice

Venice Theatre -- see Fox Venice Theatre  620 Lincoln Blvd.  Venice

Wonderland Theatre  2939-41 O.P. Promenade   Ocean Park










    More Resources    


 
Venice History --


A great place to start reading is Jeffrey Stanton's amazing Venice, California History Site.  Mr. Stanton is the Author of "Venice, California - Coney Island of the Pacific."

His wonderful article "Abbott Kinney Pier" traces the history of the amusement pier from 1905 until 1920.  "Venice Amusement Pier" details the history of the Venice amusement business from 1921 until the pier closed in 1946. 

See his maps of the Abbott Kinney Pier in 1920,  Venice in 1925, and the Venice Amusement Pier in 1925. And don't miss Mr. Stanton's Movie Making in Venice and Ocean Park section.  And how about the "Venice Timeline 1890-1909" and "Venice Timeline 1910-1929"?

Paul Tanck has a great display of Venice photos on his great Venice Yesterday and Today page.  Also see his "Walkstreet History" for a discussion of the Fox Venice, the California and the Neptune theatres.

Check out the Venice History website. 

Brent Dickerson has some great historic views on his "Hollywood and Venice" tour.

Arcadia Publishing's Postcard History Series has several titles with wonderful early views of Ocean Park and Venice. Check out "Venice," Santa Monica in Vintage Postcards" and "Early Los Angeles County Attractions."


Ocean Park  --

See Jeffrey Stanton's great maps of the Fraser Million Dollar Pier and the Pickering and Lick Piers - 1923

For more history of the piers, see his articles "Fraser's Million Dollar Pier", "Fraser / Pickering / Lick Piers (1913-1924)" and "Ocean Park Pier (1926-1956)."

See the L.A. Fire Department's Historical Archive for an article on the Million Dollar Pier Fire.  Note that some of the photos are of the 1924 fire.

Also visit the blog "Ocean Park History."  There's a nice 9 minute film on YouTube, "The Hidden History of Ocean Park."


Santa Monica  --

See our Wilshire Blvd. Theatres site for lots of information on Santa Monica theatres in the downtown area.

The Water and Power Associates DWP museum pages have a fine series of photos of Santa Monica. See "Early Views of Santa Monica page 1" and Early Views of Santa Monica page 2."


Pacific Ocean Park --


Pacific Ocean Park opened July 28, 1958 and closed October 6, 1967. The pier was demolished 1974-1975.

Wikipedia has an article about POP.

See Jeffrey Stanton's memorial site devoted to "Pacific Ocean Park (1958-1967)".  Also head to the home page of the Venice, California History Site.

See the YouTube video "Pacific Ocean Park 1960" for a tour.  Also see "Pacific Ocean Park."

See "The Underground Site of P.O.P." for lots of interesting photos. "Rest in Peace - Pacific Ocean Park" is another interesting ride.













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Bobs Theatre

2734 Main St  | map |
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

We know nothing about this one except it's listed in the 1913-14 city directory.

Brooks  Theatre

Ocean Front Promenade near Ashland
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405
[ exact address unknown ]

It's listed in the 1912 city directory.

The Santa Monica Outlook for April 1, 1913 reported that a Mr. O. F. Stone was manager. The theatre was participating, along with the Rosemary and the Princess Theatre, in a benefit for flood victims.

Crescent Vaudeville Theatre

Ocean Park Promenade s. of Pier Ave.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opened: 1905 in the Ocean Park Auditorium Building.  This was not the main theatre in the building but a smaller space used for vaudeville shows.

In 1908 the space became the home of the La Petite Theatre.  In the 1911 city directory we once again have a listing as the Crescent at "Fraser's Pier - Ocean Park"

Closed: The building burned in the September 1912 pier fire.

    Early Los Angeles County Attractions   

by Cory & Sarah Stargel
Arcadia Press Postcard History Series, 2008
Arcadia Publishing  |  preview on Google Books



A great view of the Auditorium Building at a time when
the Crescent was a tenant. Look at the fullsize view and you
can see "Crescent Vaudeville Theater" on the banner
across the boardwalk.  full size view


Dome Theatre

Original Dome Theatre:  1922-1924
14 Ocean Front Walk    | map
Venice, CA  90291

Opened: The first Dome Theatre was originally a dance hall that had opened on July 4, 1916. The building was constructed on the Great Western pier at Ocean Front Walk -- just south of the Santa Monica city limits.  Just to confuse matters, the 1923/24 directory lists this location as 3034 Ocean Front Promenade, Venice.

The Demise: Demolished after a fire on January 6, 1924.

New Dome Theatre:  1925 and after
3014 Ocean Front Promenade 
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA   90405

Opened: 1925 West Coast Theatres and the Venice Investment Co. acquired the assets of the Pickering and Lick Pier Pier operating company two weeks after the 1924 fire. After difficult negotiations with the city of Santa Monica, they rebuilt the pier including a new Dome Theatre.

Architect: Clifford A. Balch

Seating: 2213

Status: Closed for the remodel of the pier area into Pacific Ocean Park in 1958. The Dome Theatre building was used for the Flying Carpet ride.  The park closed in 1967 and the building was later demolished. 

More Information: See our page on the 2 Dome Theatres.

    L. A. Public Library Collection   

www.lapl.org

A 40s view by Ansel Adams of the second
 Dome Theatre in the Library's collection.
full size view


Empress Theatre

118 Ashland Ave.  | map |
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Open from 1913 to 1917.  It's listed as The Herald in the 1913-14 city directory. It's the Empress Theatre in the 1915-16 city directory.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page.


Family Theatre

Ocean Front Promenade @ Pier Ave.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA   90405

The Family Theatre is listed in the 1907-1908 Henry's Official Western Theatrical Guide. Henry's tells us that the Southwest Amusement Co. was the lessee with a P. Ruppert as manager. They were doing four shows daily. The same information appears in the listings in the trade magazine The Billboard for 1907 and 1908. The Family Theatre was located in the Pier Avenue Casino Building.

The Casino Building was located on the west side of Ocean Front Promenade, just north of Pier Ave.

The Santa Monica Outlook for August 2, 1907 advises us that the theatre is "one of the largest and best ventilated theatres on the Pacific coast, always presenting the very latest of motion pictures and illustrated songs and it can easily be seen that this popular theatre has captured the hearts of the amusement loving public of the Santa Monica Bay district..."  An ad in the August 19 issue advises us that "OTHERS LIKE IT, SO WILL YOU."

Seating:
300

The Demise:
The building burned in the September, 1912 pier fire.

    USC Archives   



A very early view of the Casino Building
 from the USC Archives.  full size view

    L. A. Public Library Collection   

www.lapl.org


A pre-1905 view of the Casino. The outdoor
 bandstand was removed when the Auditorium
 building was added to the left (south) in 1905. 
full size view

Also in the LAPL collection:
| 1890s view - looking up Pier Ave.  |

    Photos of Los Angeles   

www.facebook.com/groups/244565982234863


A great postcard view looking up Pier Avenue with
the facade of the Casino Building at the left. 
full size view

    Santa Monica Library Collection   

http://digital.smpl.org

Casino Building photos:
 
opening - 1898  |  1900 view  |
Pier Ave looking east  - 1905 - Casino on L., Auditorium on R.  |

Fox Venice Theatre

620 Lincoln Blvd.    | map |
Venice, CA 90291

Opened: Around 1942. It was a fairly standard Fox West Coast Skouras-style building.

The Fox Venice ran conventional Hollywood movies until the late 60s when it became a daily change revival house.

Architect: Unknown

Seating: 1003, all on a single level.

Status: Closed in 1988. Currently it's fairly intact but with a flat floor. It's being used as a swap meet.

More Information:  See our page on the Fox Venice.

    USC Archives   


A view (part of a set of 6) of a 1951 premiere
at the Fox Venice in the USC Archives. It's a
 photo from the Herald Examiner collection.
 full size view


Grand  Theatre

Ocean Front Promenade north of Pier Ave.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405
[ exact address unknown ]

Open in 1912.  The Santa Monica Outlook of September 4, 1912 reporting on the fire that consumed the Ocean Park business district described the theatre as farther north of Pier Ave. than the Rosemary Theatre

The Outlook reported "Northward from Pier Ave. the destruction was complete up to and including the Grand Theatre, owned by Mrs. Emma Summers, the oil queen."

La Grande  Theatre

Marine St.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405
[ exact address unknown ]

Open in 1912.  The Santa Monica Outlook of September 4, 1912 reporting on the fire that consumed the Ocean Park business district described the location as being on the north side of Marine St. in the "Holmes Block occupied by La Grande Theatre."   The theatre was destroyed by the fire.

La Petite Theatre


Note: See our Wilshire Theatres site for information on the downtown Santa Monica La Petite Theatre.

La Petite location #1: 1906 - 1909?
Ocean Park Promenade s. of Pier Ave.
Auditorium Building
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Sometime around 1906 the La Petite management of B. A. Wheelock took over the space in the Auditorium Building that had previously been the Crescent Vaudeville Theatre.  The Santa Monica Outlook of June 11, 1908 refers to the theatre as the "La Petite in Ocean Park".

The La Petite Theatre No. 1 is listed in the 1907-1908 Henry's Official Western Theatrical Guide.  Henry's gives an address of just "Ocean Front."  Mark Hanna is listed as manager. Capacity is listed as 150 and they were running 10 shows a day.  The same information appears in the listings in the trade magazine The Billboard for 1906, 1907 and 1908.

In an ad in the October 30, 1908 Santa Monica Outlook  Bert Atwood is listed as manager.  They're offering "Refined Vaudeville & Motion Pictures." The program was changing 3 times a week and included four reels of motion pictures, two illustrated songs and one act of vaudeville. Admission was 10 cents with nightly shows at 7:15 and 8:15.

The Santa Monica Outlook for January 15, 1909 mentions the "La Petite Theatre, Horseshoe Pier Auditorium Building on Ocean Front." In a January 20 listing it's just called the "Horseshoe Pier Bldg." This may have been a very temporary location. In 1909 the La Petite Theatre management was already constructing a new building.

Closing: The Auditorium Building burned in the 1912 pier fire.

    USC Archives   

A nice c. 1909 postcard view from the
 USC Archives showing the signage for the
 "La Petite 10 cent Theatre".

The building we're looking at is Fraser's
Ocean Park Auditorium Building. On the
 right is the building's outdoor bandstand.
 full size view


La Petite #2: 1909? - 1912
3015 Ocean Front Promenade @ Marine St.

Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opened: In January 1909, the Santa Monica Outlook ran a piece detailing the plans of B.A. Wheelock to engage noted theatre architect Alfred Rosenheim to construct a theatre in Ocean Park. 

The December 24, 1909 Santa Monica Outlook has an ad for the Pacific Souvenir Co. in the Auditorium Building, "opposite La Petite Theatre."  I'm assuming that this means the La Petite had by this point moved across the street to this new location on the east side of the Promenade.

The April 26, 1910 Santa Monica Outlook had an article about the attorney for La Petite's Wheelock (and partner Boland) protesting against a frame theatre building being constructed on the Marine St. Pier "within the fire limits" and "being constructed without the necessary building permit." The La Petite is in the 1911 city directory at "Ocean Front Promenade ne cor Marine"

In February, 1912  the operation of Wheelock and Boland was sold to Mssrs. Kramer and Stineman who planned to erect a larger theatre on the site. The operation was sometimes listed as La Petit Theatre.

Closing: We don't know if a new building got started in 1912 but it would have burned in the September 1912 pier fire. The September 4, 1912 Santa Monica Outlook reported that the fire caused a $25,000 loss for the owners of the La Petite.

La Petite #3: 1913 - 1923
3015 Ocean Front Promenade @ Marine St.

Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

This would have been a new building constructed after the 1912 pier fire. Or perhaps just a remodel if it survived.

The 1913-14 city directory lists the La Petite as being on the Promenade between Pier and Navy. The 3015 O.F. Promenade address listed in the 1915-16 city directory would place the theatre on the east side of the Promenade, across from the former Auditorium Building location. In the 1919/20 directory the address is 3017 Ocean Front Promenade.

The La Petite was the subject of a discrimination lawsuit in 1916 for refusing to seat a black patron on the main floor.  The La Petite is listed in the Film Daily Yearbook in both the 1921 and 1922 editions.

The 1919-20 city directory lists F.L. Stineman as still being involved as president of the company. His onetime partner Kramer seems to have vanished.  H.W. Levergood was VP and D.H. Wager as secretary-treasurer. With a lot of filming on the beach, the La Petite folks also got into the movie props business with their props department listing an address of 3017 Ocean Front Promenade.

The La Petite was around until 1923 when it was converted into a store. The 1923-24 city directory lists this address as "Hamberger's Art Shop" and in 1927 as "O M Hamberger - ladies clothes."

More Information:
See Joe Vogel's research on the theatre on Cinema Treasures.  We had other La Petite locations in downtown Los Angeles at 508 S. Broadway and 514 S. Main St.  (later the Galway). There was also a downtown Santa Monica La Petite.

    Vintage Los Angeles   

Suzanne O'Connell posted this view on Vintage Los Angeles.
Her grandfather, actor and director George Holt, was in the film
"God's Country and The Woman," a 1916 release.
full size view

We had other La Petite Theatres but they had all closed or been
renamed prior to 1916 so the assumption is that this photo
 is the Ocean Park La Petite.

Neptune Theatre

1417 Ocean Front Walk -- opposite the Plunge   | map |
Venice, CA   90291

Opened: 1911 as the Hyman.

Seating: 750

It was originally owned by David Evans and operated by Arthur Hyman who ran the Hyman (later the Garrick) and College theatres downtown. See our College Theatre page for more on the Hyman circuit.

In 1911 Hyman was advertising this venue as "Hyman's Theatre Beautiful." It was an Italianate 2 story structure with an arched colonnade much like the buildings on Windward Ave. It originally ran both vaudeville and films with the "Venice Orchestra" as accompaniment. In 1911 it also had a brief fling with Kinemacolor, an early color process.

The address if the theatre was sometimes listed as 1415 (1913/14, 1918 and 1919/20 city directories) and at 1409 Ocean Front (1923-24, 1925  and 1927 directories).

Closing: 1928. The building got a seismic retrofit in the 60s and was not demolished until the 1990s.

More Information: The Neptune is at #31 on Jeffrey Stanton's 1925 Venice map

See Paul Tanck's "Walkstreet History." It's mostly about the Fox Venice, but the California and Neptune theatres get a bit of discussion at the bottom of the page. 

Also see the Cinema Treasures page for more details. 

    Card Cow   

www.cardcow.com



A view looking north on Ocean Front Walk from
 Card Cow's nice selection of Venice postcards. 
The huge structure on the left is the Plunge. The
white arched structure on the right is the Neptune.
 full size view

On Card Cow:
more Venice viewsOcean Park views  |

    Jalopy Journal   

www.jalopyjournal.com


A c. 1925 view of tourists on a trolley with the Neptune
in the background. It was part of a post on one of the site's
 HAMB forums: "History of Los Angeles". It's
in a 2010 post #353 by BrerHair.
full size view

The view is an L.A. Times photo from
the UCLA Changing Times Archive
full size view  |

    L. A. Public Library Collection   

A c.1912 view of the front of the Neptune from
the Library's collection. That's the Neptune
 on the right.  full size view

    Ken McIntyre on Photobucket   


On the left you can see the Neptune Theatre marquee
 in a 1915 view discovered by Cinema Treasures
 researcher Ken McIntyre.  full size view

A colored post card version of the view above.
That's the Plunge on the right side. We're looking
south on Ocean Front Walk toward Market Street.
full size view

    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   

The Neptune is the white 2 story structure on
the right in this 1921 view from Jeffrey Stanton's
 wonderful Venice History site.   full size view

    USC Archives   


The Neptune Theatre (on the left) in a 1912
 view in the USC Archives. Here we're
 looking north on Ocean Front Walk.
 full size view

The card also appears on Vintage Los Angeles.

    Venice Yesterday and Today   

www.paultanck.com


A great early view of the Neptune from Paul Tanck's
 great Venice Yesterday and Today page. Here,
as we can see from the roof sign, it's still under
 the management of Arthur Hyman. 
full size view

Ocean Park Auditorium

Ocean Park Promenade s. of Pier Ave.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opened: 1905. The monumental Ocean Park Auditorium Building was constructed by Alexander Fraser in 1905 on Ocean Front Promenade between Pier and Marine Avenues.

The space between this building and the Casino Building, just north of Pier Ave., would become the entrance to the "Million Dollar" Fraser Pier which opened June 17, 1911. The construction cost was reported to be in excess of $100,000.

In addition to a large auditorium, an outdoor bandstand and many other businesses, the building housed a vaudeville theatre. The vaudeville theatre opened as the Crescent Vaudeville Theatre and was later taken over by the La Petite Theatre management.

The building was also referred to in the Santa Monica Outlook as the Horseshoe Pier Auditorium Building and as just the Horseshoe Pier Building.

The Demise: The Auditorium Building burned in the pier fire of September 3, 1912.

More Information: The Auditorium Building is at #6 on Jeffrey Stanton's great map of the Fraser Million Dollar Pier.  See "Venice" in the Arcadia Publishing Postcard History Series for more photos of the Auditorium and Casino buildings

    Card Cow   

www.cardcow.com



An early view (card postmarked in 1908) of the
 Ocean Park Auditorium Building from the south.
It's one of many great cards in Card Cow's
online collection.  full size view



A view of the auditorium postmarked in 1907. 
full size view

also on Card Cow:
more Venice viewsOcean Park views  |
 | Auditorium facade at night  |

    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   

www.westland.net/venicehistory



A postcard view of the Auditorium Building
 from Mr. Stanton's amazing Venice History site.
The "Casino" sign is on the smaller Casino Building
 just to the north of the Auditorium.
 full size view

    Santa Monica Library Collection   

http://digital.smpl.org


The auditorium building in a 1900 photo by H.F. Rile.
full size view

Auditorium Building Photos:
| opening - 1898 |
 | Pier Ave looking east  - 1905 - Casino on L., Auditorium on R.|
| similar 1905 view  | 1905 - from up Pier a bit |
| outdoor bandstand detail |


Ocean Park Municipal Auditorium

2850 Ocean Front Promenade
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opened: The dedication was October 21, 1921. The opening attraction was an L.A. Opera Company production of "The Mikado" with Lawrence Tibbett.

The area in front of the Municipal Auditorium Building was frequently used for open air band concerts. The address was listed as 2810 Ocean Park Promenade in the 1930-31 directory.

Closing: It was used for events into the 50s and then repurposed for Pacific Ocean Park's Westinghouse Enchanted Forest exhibit opening in 1958. The structure was destroyed by fire July 12, 1974.

More Information: See Jeffrey Stanton's map of the Ocean Park and Lick Piers - 1929. It's #5 on the map. It's also on his Pickering and Lick Piers - 1923 map in spot #1.

    Santa Monica Library Collection   




A view from the Library's collection showing the
Auditorium set up for a outdoor concert.
full size view

Also in the SMPL collection:
undated postcard - north on the Promenade |
facade in 1950  |  proscenium view -1951  |
1953 exterior  |

    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   

www.westland.net/venicehistory



A 1922 view of the Municipal Auditorium
from Mr. Stanton's wonderful collection.
 full size view


Rosemary Theatre

Rosemary Theatre #1:  Destroyed by fire 1912
Ocean Front Promenade north of Pier Ave.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA   90405

Opened: Prior to 1912.

Closing:
Completely destroyed in the September, 1912 pier fire. The pier and much of the Ocean Park business district were gutted.

Rosemary Theatre #2: 1912 - 1913
Trolleyway  [ later known as Neilson Way / Pacific Ave. ]
between Kinney and Pier

Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA   90405

Opening: It's unknown exactly when the Rosemary got running again after the September, 1912 fire. Construction was announced only two weeks after the fire. Evidently they were open by December, 1912.

Closing:
It's unknown when the Rosemary Theatre management moved out to their new building on the Fraser Pier.

Rosemary Theatre #3:  1913 - 1919 ?
6 Ocean Park Pier

Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA   90405

This location for the Rosemary was half way out on the pier, just beyond the Breakers Restaurant. Perhaps on the site of the old Starland Theatre.

Opening: The pier reopened in May 1913. We know the theatre was running in June.  By 1919 or 1920 this building had been renamed the Rialto Theatre.  It evidently was also known later as the Strand Theatre.

Closing:
Unknown. It would have burned in the 1924 pier fire.

Rosemary Theatre #4: 1919
? - 1924
2946 Ocean Front  Promenade 
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA   90405

Opening: Unknown. This location was at the head of the Fraser/ Pickering/ Ocean Park Pier at the foot of Pier Avenue. It was on the north side of the pier entrance.
The Demise: Destroyed by fire on January 6, 1924

Rosemary Theatre #5:  1924 and after
14 Ocean Front Walk    | map
Venice, CA  90291

Opened: May 30, 1924 on the boardwalk in the spot previously occupied by the Dome Theatre.   In the 1925 directory this location is listed as 3034 Ocean Front Promenade, Venice.

The theatre was operated by West Coast Theatres and after the merger with Fox it was advertised as the Fox Rosemary.

Seating: 1454

The Demise: The closing date is unknown.  It doesn't get a listing in the 1954 city directory or the 1957 yellow pages. The Rosemary, along with the rest of the amusement area, was demolished around 1970.

More Information: See our page on the 5 Rosemary Theatres.

    USC Archives   

digitallibrary.usc.edu

A c.1925-30 view of the beach at Santa Monica, the
 Lick Pier and the south side of the 1924 Rosemary Theatre.
It's a photo from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
collection.  Sorry, no larger view. This photo, #CHS-33169,
seems to have been lost from the USC Archives. 


Shell Theatre

836 Ocean Front
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

We know nothing about this one except it's listed in the 1911 city directory. The address may be a typo.

Star Theatre

151 Ocean Park Pier
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

This one is listed in the 1947-48 city directory. It's possibly in the spot of the old Rosemary/Strand Theatre that burned in 1924.

The Star in the Movies:


We get a fuzzy glimpse of the Star Theatre out on the pier in
Norman Foster's "Woman on the Run" with Ann Sheridan and
Dennis O'Keefe (Universal-International, 1950). We also get a view
of the Dome Theatre. It's set in San Francisco and we're pretending
it's Playland at the Beach but we're really in Ocean Park.
larger view

Starland Vaudeville Theatre

on the Fraser Pier - between Pier & Marine Avenues
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opened: 1911 with the opening of the "Million Dollar Pier."   Seating capacity was 1000.

In December, 1910 the magazine Nickelodeon reported that "A large theatre will be erected on Fraser's Million Dollar Pier for W. H. Clune and Associates, who have secured exclusive rights to the vaudeville and moving picture privileges. The auditorium will have a seating capacity of 1,000 persons."  It's unknown if Clune actually operated this building -- or any others on the pier. See the Cameo Theatre page for more on Billy Clune.

The Demise:
The theatre and all the other structures on the pier burned in a fire in September, 1912. The Santa Monica Outlook reported that the burned theatre was operated by the Globe Theatre Co.  After the rebuilding, The Rosemary (location #3) opened in a similar (perhaps the same) spot on the pier in 1913.

More Information: See Jeffrey Stanton's map of the Fraser "Million Dollar" Pier - 1912. The Starland is at #16. Cinema Treasures has a page on the Starland but with little additional information.

    Card Cow   

www.cardcow.com


A view of the Starland Theatre at night
looking at the Million Dollar Pier from the south.
full size view

On Card Cow:
more Venice viewsOcean Park views  |


    Early Los Angeles County Attractions   

by Cory & Sarah Stargel
Arcadia Press Postcard History Series, 2008
Arcadia Publishing  |  preview on Google Books



A view of the Fraser Pier and the Starland Theatre
roof sign at night.  full size view

    Huntington Digital Library   

hdl.huntington.org/cdm


A look at the pier in August 1912 (the month before
the September fire). It's a view by G. Haven Bishop taken
for the Southern California Edison Co.
full size view  -- use the slider

Also in the Huntington Library collection:
| another 1912 view -- from the south  |
1912 pier view - revolving grotto restaurant |

    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   




A view of the Starland Theatre out on Fraser's Million
 Dollar Pier in 1911 or 1912 from Mr. Stanton's
 extensive collection.  full size view

    USC Archives   

digitallibrary.usc.edu



A postcard view of the Starland Theatre
 from the USC Archives.
full size view

In the Santa Monica Public Library collection:
| similar view - black and white  |


Strand Theatre

on the Fraser Pier -- 3000 Ocean Front Promenade
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opened:
As the Rosemary in 1913 -- possibly on the spot of the old Starland Theatre. The pier had a grand reopening (after the 1912 fire) in May, 1913. See Jeffrey Stanton's map of the Pickering/Lick Piers - 1923. The Strand Theatre is at #18. 

This building was the 3rd location for the Rosemary Theatre.  After 1919 or so (when Rosemary location #4 was built) this became the Rialto Theatre and (if Mr. Stanton is correct) ended its life as the Strand Theatre.

Closing: It would have been destroyed in the 1924 pier fire. This spot was possibly reincarnated as the Star Theatre after the fire.

More information:
See the page on the Rosemary.

    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   

www.westland.net/venicehistory


A 1914 view of the Rosemary Theatre -- a building later
known as the Rialto Theatre and the Strand -- on
 the Ocean Park Pier from Mr. Stanton's site.
 full size view


Unique Theatre

Windward Ave.
Venice, CA   90291
[ exact address unknown ]

Opened: June 3, 1907

The Santa Monica Outlook for June 3 announced that the formal opening of the Unique would be that night. The show was to feature Jolly Zeb and his company of vaudevile artists along with Marie Stuart Dobb "musical artist" and Miss Evelyn Ellsworth, a singer from the Unique Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

Along with the live show there were to be "moving pictures by the Uniqueograph."

Later in the 1907 season, the Unique was advertising Orpheum Circuit vaudeville acts --  "A Dollar Show for Ten Cents."

Closing: Unknown

Venice Auditorium

on the Abbott Kinney Pier
Venice, CA 90291

Opened: 1905

In the 1913-14 city directory it's listed as "Venice Theatre - Venice Pier."  In 19/20 it's listed as "Windward Ave. Pier."  The 1911 city directory lists a "F.A. Johan" at Windward Pier, Venice under the "theatres" category.

Films were occasionally shown in the Auditorium. "Birth of a Nation" drew thousands in 1916.

Seating: 3000

The Demise: Burned in December, 1920

More Information: See "Venice" in the Arcadia Publishing Postcard History Series for more views of the Venice Auditorium.

    Card Cow   

www.cardcow.com



A lovely view with a 1906 postmark from
the Card Cow collection.  full size view

Also in the collection:
 | c.1909 view -- dancing pavilion  |

    L.A. Public Library Collection   

www.lapl.org



An undated view of the Ship Hotel and the
 Venice Auditorium at the end of Kinney Pier in Venice.
 full size view



A closer view, again undated.
 full size view

    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   




A 1905 view of the Venice Auditorium
 on Jeffrey Stanton's great site.



A 1907 view of the interior set up for
 refreshments and music.  larger views

See Mr. Stanton's 1920 Abbott Kinney Pier
map that his images are keyed to.

    Theatre Talks - Cezar Del Valle  

flickr.com/photos/theatreposts/with/5716622361



A 1907 view of the interior set up with theatre seating
 from Cezar Del Valle's dazzling collection. 
full size view

 Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian. See his Flickr collection
for many more L.A. theatre cards. For other interesting material see his
website Theatre Talks and visit him on Facebook.

    USC Archives   


An undated view of the Auditorium in
 the USC Archives.  full size view

Also in the USC Archives:
 | framing - 1905  |  from the beach - c.1905  |
 | facade closeup - c.1905  | looking seaward - c.1910   |
 | c.1913 view  |


Venice Theatre

1508 Ocean Front Walk     | map |
Venice, CA 90291

Opened: 1920 as the California Theatre on the water side of Ocean Front Walk.
The location was between Windward Avenue and Market St. (formerly called Zephyr).

In the 1923-24 directory it's listed at 1506 Ocean Front Walk.

Architect: David B. Smith

Seating: 960 seats.

Status: Closed in 1952 and was later demolished. Business was dismal after the city started closing the amusement areas.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page for the California Theatre.  And see Paul Tanck's "Walkstreet History" for more information. 

    L. A. Public Library Collection   

A 1938 view of the California Theatre -
soon to be renamed the Venice Theatre. 
full size view



A 1949 view looking north toward Market St. on Ocean
 Front Walk with the marquee of the Venice Theatre
 (former California) on the left.
full size view

The building on the right is the St. Marks Hotel at the
 N.E. corner of Ocean Front Walk and Windward Ave.


Also in the Library's collection:
 | another 1938 marquee view |



    Jeffrey Stanton - Venice History   




A 1922 postcard view with the California
 (later the Venice) Theatre on the right.
 larger view

We're looking south on Ocean Front Walk.
The beach is to the right behind the theatre.

See Mr. Stanton's 1920 Abbott Kinney Pier
map that his images are keyed to.


    Uncanny - Tom Wetzel   

http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/pery.htm


A great view looking north on Ocean Front Walk
 from Windward Ave. in the 20s

That green thing sticking out on the left just beyond
 the "Billiards Bowling" sign is part of the California Theatre.
You can see a bit of the big white arch of the facade.

Down in the next block there's a glimpse of the
 arches of the facade of the Neptune on the right.

The photo is on Tom Wetzel's great site
 about the L.A. Red Cars. This photo is on
 his Venice Line page.  full size view


Venice Theatre - Venice Blvd.

703 Venice Blvd.     | map |
Venice, CA  90291


It's in the 1928 and 1930/31 city directories. It doesn't appear in the 1933 edition.

More Information: I wish I had some.


Wonderland Theatre

2939 - 41 Ocean Front Promenade
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA  90405

Opening: All we know is that It was running in 1913 as the Princess Theatre.

The Santa Monica Outlook for April 1, 1913 reported that a Mr. C.P. O'Connell was manager. The Princess Theatre was participating, along with the Rosemary and the Brooks Theatre, in a benefit for flood victims.

The Outlook listed the address as "Ocean Front and Pier Ave." The 1913-14 city directory gives us an address of 2941 Ocean Front Promenade.

It was running in 1915-16 as the Wonderland Theatre.

Closing: Unknown

More Information:
Cinema Treasures has a page on the Wonderland but with no additional information.