Beverly Theatre

    
206 N. Beverly Dr.   

Beverly Hills, CA 90210        | map |

Opened: May 18, 1925 with "I Want My Man" with Milton Sills and Doris Kenyon.

The theatre was built for Beverly Hills real estate mogul Daniel Quinlan. It was initially operated by Fox West Coast (until the late 50's) as the Fox Beverly then by a whole series of other circuits: Amusement Corp. of America, Statewide, Loew's (as Loew's Beverly) and General Cinema. It was equipped for 70mm and was running roadshows in the 60's.

The opening was covered in the August 22, 1925 issue of Moving Picture World:

Fred Niblo and Screen Stars At Beverly Theatre Opening

"Rising majestically at the intersection of two of Southern California's most travelled boulevards, and in the center of the Movie Colony, the Beverly, owned and operated by the Hollywood Theatres, Inc, associated with the West Coast Theatres, Inc., opened in gala display on the evening of May 18.



A rear auditorium photo
from the MPW article.
larger view

A tremendous throng attended the big opening, and among those present were scores of Filmdom's most notable stars and screen celebrities. Director Fred Niblo was Master of Ceremonies, and was introduced by Executive Director J. L. Swope of the Hollywood Theatres, Inc. Mr. Niblo called upon all the stars who were present to appear before the spotlight, and applause greeted each one. In fact, it was acclaimed one of the premier theatrical events of Southern California during the current year.



The proscenium as seen
 in the MPW article.

The officials of the West Coast Theatres, Inc. including Messrs. M. Gore, President; A.L. Gore, Vice-President; Sol Lesser, Secretary., and Adolph Ramish, Treasures, were also introduced amid applause.

The big theatre is of strict East-Indian design, with the same motif followed out in the auditorium. Architecturally speaking, it is without question one of the most magnificent show palaces in the entire country, and in decorative scheme is wonderful.

Part of the equipment consists of a huge Wurlitzer Orchestral pipe organ. An eight-piece orchestra will be part of the house staff.

The house is under the resident managership of E. S. Kukyendall, under the supervision of J. Leslie Swope, Executive Director of the Hollywood Theatres, Inc. The policy of the theatre programs will be high class motion picture entertainment, coupled with magnificent stage presentations and high calibre vaudeville.

Situated, as it is, in the heart of Beverly Hills, which is motion picture folks' own community, this theatre takes an added significance because of the fact that anywhere from a dozen to two score celebrities can always be found among the audience. It is anticipated that the Beverly Theatre will be one of the most popular of the entire chain."

Thanks to Beverly Hills historian Kimberly Vinokur Reiss for posting the article on the LAHTF Facebook page.

See the painting from the Brian McCray collection showing the name originally intended for the theatre: New Hollywood Theatre.  Or did that just mean it was the new building for the company Hollywood Theatres, Inc.?

Architect: Lewis A. Smith designed an elaborate Chinese style temple with a unique almost-circular proscenium. It got a moderne makeover in 1936.

There was retail on the ground floor and two studios on the 2nd floor. The south storefront was occupied by Daniel Quinlan's real estate office.  The Quinlan family owned the building until 1936 when it got traded for property behind the Beverly Hills hotel.

Seating: 1,270

Status: Closed in 1977 by General Cinema. Much of the decor was still visible when it was converted to retail. A later banking tenant gutted it. The Beverly was demolished in 2005.

The Beverly in the Movies: The Beverly makes an appearance in the 1980 Universal Studios classic "Xanadu" with Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John. Mr. Kelly gets taken shopping to buy some "jazzy" new clothes.



Here's Gene Kelly on stage at the Beverly.
larger view

Take a look behind Mr. Kelly and you can see the original
proscenium arch with the curved sides (painted white).

Sometime prior to 1940 (see the Los Angeles Library's
1940 view), curtains had been installed within the outer arch

(painted cream & gold) to make the stage look wider
.

More from "Xanadu":
| the chorus line | on the shelves |

A clip of the number is on YouTube.


More information: Check out lots of information about the Beverly on the Cinema Treasures page.

Note that the Warner Bros. Beverly Hills Theatre was also known as "The Beverly" in its final years as a concert venue.

And don't confuse this theatre with the New Beverly Cinema on Beverly Blvd. For that one see our page on the Los Angeles Movie Palaces site.

See Marc Wanamaker's 2005 interview with Elinor Quinlan, daughter of the developer of the Beverly Theatre.  On YouTube:  Part One Part Two

A view from part 2 of the interview.

Not the Beverly: The postcard below has appeared numerous places and, because of the dome, it's been asserted that this is an early version of the Beverly. First of all, it says Hollywood on the card, not Beverly Hills. But no theatre with this facade was ever built in Hollywood either. 

It turns out that this was by a different architect than the Beverly. The drawing from A.B. Rosenthal appears (in a small size) on page 72 in the October 1920 issue of Architect and Engineer with an article entitled "The Planning of Theatres and Auditoriums."




A promotional rendering of an unbuilt project
by architect
 A.B. Rosenthal
, the New Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood.
It was to be operated by the Gore Bros.
full size view

The "New Hollywood" card is from from Brian McCray's amazing Hollywood Postcards set. Go browsing through the set -- 408 great views to look at.  It also appears on Vintage Los Angeles, Photos of Los Angeles, and as part of Ethereal Reality's Noirish Los Angeles post #8380.



     American Picture Palaces     

THE ARCHITECTURE OF FANTASY
by David Naylor

Van Nostrand Reinhold Company New York, 1981
paperback: 1991   ISBN: 9780130263292

This great book is a lush tour through the country's movie
palaces with many stunning photos that don't appear
elsewhere. Many Los Angeles theatres are represented.

buy the book:
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble |



An early exterior view of the Beverly. The photo
is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.




An early interior view in Mr. Naylor's wonderful

book. Again, it's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.


Although Mr. Naylor credits the two photos above
to the
LAPL, they don't seem to be in the current
online database. Lost?
The lower photo also
appears in a 1929 issue of Motion Picture News.





A view shot by Mr. Naylor showing the theatre
adapted as a Fiorucci boutique in the early 80s.



     Barry Photo     

barryphoto.smugmug.com  



The facade being stripped down to the
original look during demolition. 
full size view



A look at the north sidewall. 
full size view


Barry Weiss has a gallery of 11 photos

of the sad
2005 Demolition of the Beverly.  




     Beverly Hills Historical Society     

facebook.com/groups/379932822027613



A 1977 view down Beverly Drive toward the
 dome of the Beverly Theatre. The photo was
added to the Beverly Hills Historical Society
collection by Nick Faitos. 
 full size view



     Card Cow     

www.cardcow.com



A postcard view looking east on Wilshire in
Beverly Hills. The strange luminescent white
dome is the Beverly Theatre.
full size view




   Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation   

www.lahtf.og | LAHTF on Facebook



A rare view of the Beverly's rooftop signage (over on
the far left) saying "Fox Beverly." The c.1930 photo
was a contribution to the LAHTF Facebook page by
Beverly Hills historian Kimberly Vinokur Reiss.  
full size view | on the LAHTF Facebook page





A superb early 1954 look at the Beverly from Beverly
Hills Heritage. The photo was added to the LAHTF
Facebook page by Kimberly Vinokur Reiss.
 full size view | on the LAHTF Facebook page


The Beverly is running "His Majesty O'Keefe" with
 Burt Lancaster. The SHANE sign is advertising a return
 engagement coming February 24.
Thanks, Kimberly!



     L.A. Public Library Collection    

  www.lapl.org 



An early view from the Library's collection.
full size view

The photo above also appears
on the
 Beverly Hills Heritage Facebook page.



A rare view of the Beverly Theatre's interior in 1940.
The proscenium has been squared off a bit.
  full size view



An exterior from 1940's. 
full size view



An aerial view from 1978. 
full size view

The view above also appears on the
 Facebook page Beverly Hills Heritage.

More from the Library's Collection:
| 1926 exterior -- "The Road To Romance" |
| 1929 view down Wilshire by F. M. Huddleston
-- note the Beverly's dome on the left |
 | panorama toward the hills 
-- note Beverly minaret and roof sign far right |


     Motion Picture News    

archive.org/search.php


On the Internet Archive is the Motion Picture News
issue of December 28, 1929. Section Two is the
"Theatre Building and Equipment Buyers Guide"
with the Beverly on a page featuring photos of
 Fox West Coast theatres that had been
decorated by Robert E. Powers Studios.
the page | on FB/LAtheatres

Note the unusual inward curve of the bottom of the
inner proscenium arch in the theatre's early days.

This Beverly photo also shows up in a February 18, 1928
 Motion Picture News story about the Powers Studios. As well, it's in
 the collection of Charmaine Zoe on Flickr where she has over 700
photos culled from various issues of Motion Picture News.



     Photos of Los Angeles    

www.facebook.com/groups/244565982234863


A 1978 look toward the Beverly's dome added by
 Ken McIntyre to the Photos of Los Angeles collection.



     Preserve L.A.    

www.preservela.com


This early image of the facade is on a posting about
the Beverly Hills Demolitions. The Beverly theatre and
the Beverly Canon Theatre went down at the same time.

The photo is from the LAPL collection. On the
marquee is "The Road To Romance" from 1927.

full size view

The view also appears on the
 Beverly Hills Heritage Facebook page.



   Vintage Los Angeles    

www.facebook.com/VintageLosAngeles


A 1937 Life Magazine/ Alfred Eisenstadt view.
It's a lovely shot posted by Alison Martino on the
 Facebook page she curates.  It's in the
 "Vintage Los Angeles" album
.
full size view | a re-post




Another great view from this Facebook page
gives us a look toward the dome walking south
toward Wilshire along Beverly Dr. in 1945.
full size view



A 1949 view on Vintage Los Angeles. The
dome almost gets lost -- white against the white
building beyond. Note the roof sign. 
full size view





A terrific 1954 view of the Beverly from the collection
of Richard Wojcik added to the Vintage Los Angeles

"Vintage Beverly Hills" album

full size view


The film on the marquee is "His Majesty O'Keefe" from
January, 1954 with Burt Lancaster. "Shane" was released
in September, 1953 -- they were promoting an
upcoming return engagement.





The Beverly in 1955 with "Love is a Many Splendored
Thing" and "Night of the Hunter." Thanks to Alison Martino
 for the superb photo. It was spotted on eBay.




A 1974 view added by Ms. Martino to her great
Facebook collection. The Beverly is running  "Mash" &
"Harold & Maude."  The photo is by Jeff Yablon.
full size view



Another terrific shot in the "Wall Photos" album --
this time of the interior as the Fiorucci store. 
full size view

Also on Vintage Los Angeles:
| exterior as Fiorucci - 1978 -- Nile Hight collection  |
| another 1978 view -- Nile Hight collection  |






A 1964 postcard view looking
East on Wilshire Blvd.

We're looking at the dome of the Beverly with "Dr. Strangelove" on the
marquee. Note that the original facade has been "modernized."

[ click on either of these to enlarge ]



A late 50s view looking south on
Beverly Blvd. toward Wilshire.


Both of these cards are part of a collection that was
displayed on the now vanished website Yesterday LA.


 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
direct you to a full size version on the website hosting it.
Assume that all the images are subject to copyright
restrictions.  Contact the webmaster of the site in
question concerning reproduction or other use.



     Beverly Hills Heritage     

www.facebook.com/BeverlyHillsHeritage


A 1957 panoramic shot of the interior after the "moderne"
makeover
from Marc Wanamaker and Beverly Hills Heritage.  
full size view



A proscenium shot from Marc Wanamaker's
collection. Notice that after the remodel, we lost
the curve at the bottom of the arch.

full size view




A sidewall view from Mr. Wanamaker's
Bison Archives.  It's from 1957.
full size view





Another look at the house left sidewall.
It's from
Marc Wanamaker and Beverly Hills Heritage.
full size view




A great view of the mural on the right
side of the proscenium.
full size view




Another image of the interior, looking
at the side wall in the balcony.
full size view





A dazzling early view of the Beverly's facade as the
theatre nears completion. It's from
Marc Wanamaker's
 Bison Archives and Beverly Hills Heritage.
 full size view

From Beverly Hills Heritage: "Designed by prominent
 local architect L.A. Smith, the Beverly Theatre was constructed
in 1924-1925 for realtor Daniel M. Quinlan (1881-1944), and
 leased to West Coast Theaters, Inc. The building as originally
 constructed included four ground level retail stores, one of
which was utilized by Quinlan as his real estate office, and two
studios on the second floor, in addition to the 1500-seat theater."





A detail of the parapet wall -- note the "Quinlan Building"
lettering. 
It's another great one from Marc Wanamaker's
Bison Archives and Beverly Hills Heritage.

full size view



An early view from the Quinlan
collection via Beverly Hills Heritage.
 full size view





A 1925 marquee detail with the theatre running
"The Coast of Folly" with Gloria Swanson." The photo
is from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives and
Beverly Hills Heritage.
full size view




An early view of the east side of the building from
Marc Wanamaker. That's the Beverly on the left.
full size view




A 1927 view of street sign installation in front
of the Beverly. On the marquee: Buster Keaton in
 "College." The photo is from Beverly Hills Heritage.
 
full size view




A 1934 view of the theatre from Marc
Wanamaker's Bison Archives.

full size view 

Stephen Russo has looked at the marquee and
identified the double bill as "The White Parade"
and "Limehouse Blues," both released in 1934.




A wonderful 1937 aerial view of Beverly Hills
 from Marc Wanamaker and Beverly Hills
Heritage. Note the onion-domed Beverly
Theatre and the Warner Beverly Hills. 
full size view



A detail from the aerial photo above. 
larger detail view




A detail of the dome.
full size view




A great undated view showing both the Beverly
Theatre and, farther east, the Warner Beverly Hills. 
We're looking east on Wilshire Blvd.
full size view




A classic view east on Wilshire at Beverly Drive.




Looking toward Wilshire on Beverly Dr. --
this one from many blocks farther back.
full size view




A 1945 view from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives.
full size view




Another 1945 look at the Beverly
from Marc Wanamaker.
 full size view



A 1947 look north on Beverly. The main
feature is "Magic Town" with James Stewart. The
 bottom of the bill is "The Long Night" with Henry
Fonda, Barbara Bel Geddes and Vincent Price.




The Beverly in 1948 for the premiere of "Joan of Arc"
starring Ingrid Bergman and Jose Ferrer. 
full size view





A 1956-57 look at the Beverly Theatre. We're
 running "Invitation to the Dance" with Gene Kelly.
full size view




A closer look at the entrance during the
run of "Invitation to the Dance." It's a photo
from Marc Wanamaker.
full size view




A look at the theatre after the "modern" facade was
installed. Here it's 1958 and we're running "From The
Terrace" with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

The photo is from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives.
full size view




A great Beverly Hills postcard with the
Beverly Theatre dome on the right. 
full size view




A 1960 look at the Beverly. Check out the swirls on the
dome.
The photo is from Marc Wanamaker's Bison
Archives and Beverly Hills Heritage.

full size view




A c.1985 view by Jeff Yablon. 
full size view




A 2004 look at the building, after
 it had closed as a bank. 
full size view





A 2005 demolition view by Barry Weiss. 
full size view  | full album on Barry Photo




Another sad demolition vista. It's a shot from
 the Beverly Hills Heritage collection.
full size view


Also see:
| newsboys at Beverly Drive - 1950 | an aerial view |
| the Beverly Theatre album |


Thanks, Kimberly!



    UCLA S. Charles Lee Archive    

digital.library.ucla.edu/sclee



A 1936 rendering for a remodel of the Beverly
 Theatre facade by S. Charles Lee. 
full size view



    USC Archives    

digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm



A Dick Whittington view from the USC Archives.
Here we're
looking east on Wilshire c.1938.
full size view

We get the Warner on the right. On the left, just
beyond
the Brown Derby sign, you can see the
dome and
stagehouse of the Beverly Theatre.

The view above also appears on
Photos of Los Angeles and Vintage Los Angeles.



    Joe Zollner    

my.execpc.com/~joez/thsa/conclaves/index.html



A 2005 view of the Beverly Theatre by Joe Zollner.
full size view