Ambassador Theatre & Cocoanut Grove

Ambassador Hotel

3400 Wilshire
| map

Los Angeles, CA 90010

Opened: February 5, 1921

The Ambassador Theatre never became widely known but the hotel's nightclub, the Cocoanut Grove, became world famous as a celebrity hangout.

The theatre was originally operated by the Gore Brothers and Sol Lesser. The Ambassador Theatre was still occasionally running movies in the 50s. For awhile in the 60s a local church used it for services on Sunday mornings. It also saw various rentals and trade screenings after its life as a regular film house ended. The location buried in the hotel complex was problematic for a regular theatre operation.

Architect: Myron Hunt did the main building as well as the wing the Ambassador Theatre was in. Hunt also designed what is now the Ricardo Montalban Theatre (1927) in Hollywood.

Noted theatre architects Walker & Eisen did an expansion and re-do of the Cocoanut Grove in 1938. It was remodeled again in the 70s.

Seating: 542 in the Ambassador Theatre.

Status:  Mostly demolished in 2006. A small portion of the original building was saved became part of a new high school for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Ambassador Theatre.

See for more information on the building and links to many other sources.

Don't miss Mary Mallory's 2016 Daily Mirror article on the theatre, "Ambassador Theatre Entertains Hotel's Guests."

The announcement of the Ambassador
 Theatre's opening in the Criterion Theatre's
 program of January 8, 1921.

[ click to enlarge ]

    California State Library

A wonderful c.1921 view of the auditorium by Frederick
 Martin in the California State Library Collection. Note
the great high backed leather seats! 
full size view
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The Library also has another version of the photo.
The photo also appears on Photos of Los Angeles.

    You Are Here

A nice photo by Martin of the Ambassador Hotel.
full size view

Visit Martin's Wilshire Boulevard
page for a great tour.

A view of the what was left of the
 Ambassador Hotel in 2010.

photo: Bill Counter

[ click to enlarge ]

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     L.A. Public Library Photo Collection

An undated view of the lobby area of the
 Ambassador Theatre from the LAPL collection.
 full size view

A view of the auditorium. 
full size view

A 1987 view of the hotel by Javier Mendoza.
full size view

A 1922 view of the Cocoanut Grove.
full size view

An undated view of the nightclub.
full size view