1709 W. 8th St. | map
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Architects: Stanton Reed & Hibbard, who also did the Hotel Figueroa.
History: This building erected by Charles Forve was billed as the "Carnegie Hall of the West." In addition to the theatre, there were 220 soundproof music studios.
In the late 30s, the Beaux Arts Theatre was used for Federal Theatre Project productions such as "Hansel and Gretel" (the opera), "Vaudeville" and "Pinocchio."
In 1939 and 1940 the theatre was the site of a controversial production of "White Cargo" starring noted actor John Harvey. Harvey played opposite Patricia Saunders as the partially clad African siren Tondeleyo.
The show ran almost 600 performances and ended in a police bust in December 1940. The show's run set Los Angeles legit theatre records. "White Cargo" actually dated from 1923. A 1934 revival of it starring its author, Leon Gordon, had played the Hollywood Playhouse. There have been two film versions, including a tame one in 1942 starring Hedy Lamarr.
A program from "White Cargo" that was
discovered by Michelle Gerdes. It's on
eBay and can be yours for $8.00.
full size view
In 1941, the theatre hosted a production of "Dracula" starring Dwight Frye.
In 1952 silent film actress Louise Glaum reopened the dormant theatre as the Louise Glaum Playhouse, also referred to as the Louise Glaum Beaux Arts Theatre.
Status: It's now the Crescent Arms Senior Housing. The building was reconfigured into 186 senior housing units by Killefer
The theatre has been repurposed as a dining area and social center for the residents and little of architectural interest remains.
More Information: See the Answers.com page on Louise Glaum for more details about her career. Wikipedia also has a Louise Glaum article.
F.D. Redding advised us about the "White Cargo" adventure at the Beaux Arts. See the Wikipedia article on actor John Harvey and the "White Cargo" obscenity trial.
A view of the entrance. The
of the building's musical past are bits of
exterior ornamentation -- such as the
lyre over the entrance.
The auditorium in 2010. We're looking back
toward the balcony. The brown paneling
at the ceiling step-down is the balcony front.
[ click on these photos to
A 2010 view of the repurposed rear
of the main floor and lobby areas.
You can see these 2 columns in the
photo from the USC Archives.