The Crest Theatre

    
1262 Westwood Blvd.  | map |

Los Angeles, CA  90024  

(310) 470-1508   

Website: www.crestwestwood.com | on Facebook |


Architect: Arthur W. Hawes

Seating: 500

Opened: December, 1940 by Frances Seymour Fonda, the second wife of Henry and mother of Peter and Jane Fonda.

History: World War II brought success for the house as a theatre featuring newsreels on the program. For awhile it was called the UCLAN.

In the 70s it was renamed the Metro. Pacific Theatres acquired the theatre in 1985, and it was then known as the Pacific Crest

In partnership with Disney, the auditorium was reconfigured, the screen was brought forward, new proscenium and sidewall treatments were devised and a gussied-up marquee was designed. 

Almost all of the current decor is from the Disney/Pacific Theatres remodel designed by Joe Musil, who also worked on the re-do of the El Capitan.

It's also been known as the Westwood and the Westwood Crest.

It was renamed the Majestic Crest when it was operated as an independent by Robert Bucksbaum from 2003 to 2010. When the building sold in August 2010, Mr. Bucksbaum had had it on the market since 2008, the year it was declared a cultural-historic landmark.

Crack reporter Kevin Roderick had the story of the 2010 sale to Bigfoot Entertainment on LA Observed: "Majestic Crest in Westwood sold."  Also see Patrick Goldstein's post for the L.A. Times: "Robert Bucksbaum on Selling the Crest Theatre."  Bigfoot is an international firm involved in film and TV production and financing.

It was operated for Bigfoot by Carmike Cinemas, a large chain headquartered in Georgia. Bigfoot is a major shareholder in Carmike Theatres. It was their only California site. They were advertising it as the Bigfoot Crest. The theatre was upgraded in late 2010 with digital projection and 3-D capability.

Carmike closed the Crest in early October 2011. Bigfoot put it up for sale in December 2011. According to a story on LA Curbed, the asking price was $4.5 million, or at the time it was available on a lease for $16,000 per month on a triple net basis.  Tom Maloney of Maloney Commercial, 323-251-2556, had the listing. 

Status: It's coming back from the dead with a program of revivals and special events. Curbed L.A. had a story on May 20, 2013. Evidently Bigfoot still owns the property but a new operator (and some of the old players) has signed on to run the venue. In the Summer of 2013 Emerging Pictures became involved by using the Crest to present opera and ballet screenings.

The theatre's Facebook page promises rebirth with private screenings and more. They're ready to pop the popcorn -- check their Facebook page for updates. 

The Crest on video: See the short video "Insiders Peek #4: Village, Bruin, Crest" on the LAHTF YouTube channel.

More information: See the Crest page on Cinema Treasures. For additional exterior photos go to Cinema Tour. And take a peek at the nice photo spread devoted to the Crest Theatre on Cinema Sightlines.


Another night marquee view.

photo: Don Solosan - Los Angeles
Historic Thestre Foundation - 2008


The rear of the auditorium.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007



The house right sidewall.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007




A sidewall detail.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007


[ click any of the images to enlarge ]




The house left front exit.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007




A left sidewall view.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007




A great view of the proscenium.

photo: Mark Peacock - 2010


Mark's photo originally appeared
on the LAHTF Facebook page.




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     The Crest on Facebook    

www.facebook.com/CrestWestwood


A look at the theatre in its Metro
days from the venue's Facebook page. 
"Benji the Hunted" was a 1987 release.


A 2011 view of the Crest signage with
the new "Bigfoot" neon added. 

On the Crest Facebook photo album:
 full size view



A 2009 look at the auditorium by Pamela Smith.
full size view




A booth view by Pamela Smith -- from
before the 2010 equipment upgrade. See
 the Projection Booth set for 11 more.
 full size view


The reflection you're seeing is from a platter.

See more great views on the Crest's
other Facebook albums.



     Theatres in Los Angeles    

by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper,
Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker.
Arcadia Publishing, 2008.
www.arcadiapublishing.comgoogle books preview



A 1963 view of the Crest running "Get On
With It" from page 88 of "Theatres in Los Angeles."
Most of the photos in the book are from
Mr. Wanamaker's Bison Archives. 


 Ken McIntyre has also posted a full
size view on Photos of Los Angeles.


     Westwood    

by Marc Wanamaker
Arcadia Publishing Images of America Series, 2010

Arcadia Publishing  |  Google Books preview



A 1963 photo in Mr. Wanamaker's collection.
We're at Westwood and Wellworth looking
north toward Wilshire Blvd. 

full size view

See the photo from "Theatres in Los Angeles"
for a more tightly cropped version of this image.





The Crest Theatre in Westwood.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007

[ click any of the images to enlarge ]




A great view of the marquee at night.

photo: Don Solosan - Los Angeles
Historic Thestre Foundation - 2004


www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook



The outer lobby.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007




Another outer lobby view.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007




The entrance to the house right aisle.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007




The snack bar area.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A view of the bar.

photo: Mark Peacock - 2010


On the LAHTF Facebook page:
 
full size view

Also see Mark's Vintage Theatres photo set on Flickr
and visit Mark's blog: On the Road With Mark Peacock.



Another proscenium view.

photo: Bill Counter - 2007





    Franck Bohbot   

www.franckbohbot.com


A look toward the screen in 2014 by Mr. Bohbot.
The view above also appears in
a 2014 Huffington Post article.



The rear of the auditorium.
A look across the house.

Also see:

These four views are part of Mr. Bohbot's stunning
Cinema portfolio of 35 (mostly) California movie palace photos.


Mr. Bohbot's photos of the Crest and other California
 theatres also appear on a 2014 post on Messynessy Chic.




    Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation   

www.lahtf.org  |  LAHTF on Facebook



A 2010 view of the rear of the auditorium by Don Solosan
during an LAHTF "all about" tour of the theatre.
full size view





A great sidewall view added as a post
in 2011 by Greensleeves Musik. 
full size view

See the LAHTF Facebook photo album for many
 more views of other Los Angeles movie palaces.

 


     Photos of Los Angeles    

facebook.com/groups/244565982234863/



The Crest during the 1973 run of "O Lucky
Man!" with Malcolm McDowell -- before the
 facade got the Disney deco treatment.
It's a Bill Gabel photo.
full size view  |  on FB/LATheatres





A photo from the Bill Gabel collection with the
Crest under Pacific Theatres management
running a revival of "The Ten Commandments."
The Crest running "Dick Tracy" in
1990. It's a Bill Gabel photo.
full size view





A 2011 look at the Crest marquee from Ken McIntyre
taken during the run of "Season of the Witch."

full size view | on FB/LAtheatres