Embassy Theatre

331 S. Western Ave.   | map

Los Angeles, CA 90020

Opened: October 20,1921 as the Wilshire Theatre and operated by West Coast Theatres. Jackie Coogan was in charge of the dedication.  The theatre's location was 3 1/2 blocks north of Wilshire.

It's still listed as the Wilshire in the 1929 city directory.

Sometime before the new Fox Wilshire Theatre at 8440 Wilshire opened in 1930 this one was renamed the Embassy, and was also known as the Fox Embassy.

It got a remodel in the 60s by Lippert Theatres.  Into the 80s it ran 3rd run films, Indian movies and Filipino movies.

Architect:  Lewis A. Smith. See our blogspot posts on Smith for views of a few more of his many projects.

Seating:  900

Status:  Rebuilt as as retail.

More Information: Everything we know about the Embassy is from the Cinema Treasures page on the theatre.  Also see their listing on 28 other theatres designed by L.A. Smith.

There was also an earlier Wilshire Theatre at 143 S. Western.

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    USC Archives    

A glimpse of the facade of the Wilshire is visible
 in this detail from a c.1924 USC image.
We're looking north on Western Ave.

 full size view

The photo is one of a series of 19 shots taken
on Western between 3rd and Olympic.

A 1927 Dick Whittington Studio
photo looking north from 3rd.
full size view

A detail of the Wilshire from the 1927 photo
above. The feature is John Barrymore and
Delores Costello in "When A Man Loves."
larger detail view

Thanks to HossC for including the 1927 shot of the
Wilshire on his Noirish Los Angeles post # 20896.

The Embassy Theatre and Edy Williams in 1970.

photo: Larry Darian collection

Thanks, Larry!

An 80s view of the Embassy after closing.

 photo: Gary Graver

Gary Graver was a filmmaker and cinematographer who
took many photos of historic theatres. More can be seen on
YouTube:"Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2."
Thanks to Sean Graver for use of the photo.

 [ click on either of these photos to enlarge ]

The Embassy after a rebuild.

photo: Don Solosan - 2009.

Thanks, Don! And thanks to Hillsman Wright of the Los Angeles Historic
Theatre Foundation for sending the photo our way. It was taken by Don
as part of a Los Angeles Conservancy survey of extant theatre buildings
in Los Angeles.
The LAHTF is active in preserving the historic theatres
of Los Angeles and regularly sponsors events and tours.

www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook

     American Classic Images     

A 1983 view in the American Classic
Images collection.
full size view



A 1965 look at the Embassy on eBay.
the announcement of Lippert Theatres
reopening the house.
full size view

"Available for the showing of elegant films."

Thanks to theatre researcher Michelle
Gerdes for finding the ad on eBay!