West Coast Theatre


333 E. Ocean Blvd.    | map |

Long Beach, CA   90802


Opened: July 7, 1925 for the West Coast Theatres circuit. In 1928 the theatre got the Fox banner after acquisition of the circuit by William Fox and was frequently advertised as the Fox West Coast.

The West Coast had a full stage and offered vaudeville along with the films until the depression. It survived the earthquake of 1933 with no damage and was, for a time after the quake, the only theatre operating in Long Beach.

In the late 50s, the theatre was experimenting with an import policy featuring such fare as "Room at the Top" and "Look Back in Anger."

It was later operated by Mann Theatres and finally dropped by the chain in 1974 as it was no longer a viable operation in declining downtown Long Beach. It had spells as a rock venue, church and Mexican film house before closing for good in 1985.

The West Coast was just east of the Imperial Theatre, also operated by Fox West Coast.

Architects: Meyer and Holler.

They were better known for their work in Hollywood for Sid Grauman at the Egyptian and the Chinese. They also did the Granada, later the Oriental Theatre, on Sunset Blvd.

The West Coast got a streamline makeover in the 40s so, for most of its life, it had a much simpler looking auditorium than the early interior views on this page show.

Seating: 2038 - the largest in Long Beach.

Status: Demolished in 1987. There's now a hotel on the site. The last film to play was "Footlight Parade" at a closing party.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the West Coast for many interesting tales. William has contributed lots of research to the page.

The Pacific Coast Architecture Database has pages on Phillip Holler, his partner Gabriel Meyer and the West Coast Theatre.


    Cinema Treasures   

cinematreasures.org/theaters/1971



Theatre designer (and at one time West Coast
Theatre manager) Joe Musil in the balcony. Behind
 him note the moderne re-do of the proscenium area.
The photo is from the Bill Gabel collection.
 full size view



    Missing on Flickr   



A great view looking west on Ocean Blvd. that was
on Flickr but has gone missing. The West Coast
 and Imperial are on the right with the United Artists
 in the distance in the center of the photo.
 full size view

The view also appears in a smaller format on the
Cinema Treasures page for the Imperial Theatre.




A detail from the photo above, giving a better
look at the West Coast and the Imperial.
Source of the photo is unknown.
larger view




Another view that's gone missing on Flickr -- looking
west. Note that the LAPL has a similar view but this
one is slightly different, as well as sharper. 
Origin of the photo is unknown.
full size view




    Long Beach Public Library   

encore.lbpl.org



A 1968 Jeffrey Nisbet photo looking west on Ocean
 Blvd. from the Long Beach Public Library collection.
 That's the West Coast on the right behind the bus. 
full size view

Also in the collection:
 | 1929 roof sign view -- looking east on Ocean  |



    Photos of Los Angeles   

www.facebook.com/groups/244565982234863



A close look at the West Coast's marquee during
the run of "Love Letters" (1945) with Jennifer Jones.  
full size view



    Port of Long Beach   

http://polb100.com/photos/

Historic Long Beach Theatres - The West Coast

The 1955 Miss Universe parade passes in front
of the West Coast Theatre. It was posted on
Vintage Los Angeles.
full size view

The theatre is running "Seven Year Itch" with MM.

The Port is celebrating it's 100th birthday. Their
website has lots of historic Long Beach photos.



    UCLA - S. Charles Lee Archives   

digital.library.ucla.edu/sclee/


An exterior view of the West Coast Theatre.
The archive shows this as a 1931 view but it
 seems to be somewhat earlier.
Photo by George D. Haight.

The archive also attributes the building to Lee
 but his involvement was only with a later
 moderne style remodeling.
full size view

A version of the photo above also appears on
 the CSULB page about the West Coast.


A c.1931 view of the main floor
 lobby of the West Coast. 
full size view

The photo above also appears on the
CSULB page about the West Coast.



A c.1931 view of the mezzanine lobby of
 the West Coast, again by Mr. Haight. 
full size view



A rare view by Mr. Haight looking toward
 the rear of the auditorium. Note the unusual
 side wall indirect lighting fixture. 
full size view



A c.1931 proscenium view. 
full size view

Also in the collection:
house right organ grille area  |
balcony light fixture detail  |

The S. Charles Lee Archive also has a number
 of sketches indexed under "Fox Theatre Long Beach,"
presumably for a proposed 1931 deco remodeling.
 |  proposed facade  | interior elevation  |

The moderne re-do it eventually got
 was much simpler in scope.









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 
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Assume that all the images are subject to copyright 
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question concerning reproduction or other use.



    American Classic Images   

americanclassicimages.com



A 1983 view of the Imperial (on the left) and the
 West Coast from the American Classic Images collection.
 full size view

Also in the collection:
| 1980 marquee detail  |  1982 facade  |  another 83 view  |



    California State Library   

www.library.ca.gov



Looking west on Ocean Avenue in a view
similar to those in several other collections.
The Library dates this one as 1929. 
full size view

To the right of the hulk that's the West Coast Theatre is
the stagehouse of the Mission/Fox Long Beach.


 

    Huntington Digital Library   



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

On the Huntington Library page, you can zoom in and pan around
to look at details. Note the original Municipal Auditorium, the Ritz
(later the Tracy) and the State Theatre at the left side of the photo.


    Island of Long Beach    



A 1925 view looking east along Ocean Blvd.
Note
the scaffolding on the front of the West Coast,
then under construction.
 
full size view



    L.A. Public Library Collection   

www.lapl.org



A wonderful 20s view looking west on Ocean Blvd. 
full size view




A 1968 photo of the West Coast.
full size view



An undated view of the boxoffice. 
full size view

A version of the photo above also appears on
 the CSULB page about the West Coast.

More Exterior views from the Library's collection:
 
looking east -- 1925 during construction  |
 |  early facade view   | c.1926 facade - same as in USC Archives  |
 | West Coast Theatres - parade float  |  1927 exterior view  |
 | 20s facade view - ladies with a map  | c.1928 aerial view -
looking east on Ocean  |  20s aerial view -  from farther north  |
 |  1968 - West Coast and Imperial  |




The lobby in 1925.  full size view



A view from the balcony in 1925. 
full size view

A version of the photo above also appears on
 the CSULB page about the West Coast.



An auditorium view from the 30s.
full size view


    USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



A c.1926 exterior of the West Coast.
Note the Imperial Theatre at the left. It's
a California Historical Society photo.
 full size view | similar take



A 1920s interior view from the USC Archives.
full size view

Also in the USC Archives:
In an undated birdseye view the West Coast can
be seen on Ocean Blvd. It's to the right of the
 Municipal Auditorium, which is jutting out into
 the bay on the left of the photo

Ocean Blvd. - looking east in 1925. The new West Coast
Theatre (with its water tower) can be seen under construction
in the distance. The State Theatre is at the far right.


    Jeff Zimmer on Facebook   


A Jeff Zimmer photo of the statue that was on the
 West Coast's facade. It got saved and is now outside
 the hotel complex built on the site.
full size view


Thanks, Jeff!