North Beach Auditorium

"North Beach"
-- just north of the present pier

Santa Monica, CA   90401

| map  [ approximate]

Opened: 1901

The North Beach Bathhouse construction began in 1893. This was actually the second bathhouse in the vicinity.

In 1901 the Auditorium was built as part of an upgrade described by Luther A. Ingersoll in his "Ingersoll's Century History Santa Monica Bay Cities" on p. 219:

"Among the more important achievements of the year on the North Side was the building of the long looked for Auditorium, in connection with the North Beach Bath house. The cost was about $7,000 and it gave a large room for public meetings. It was opened by an entertainment given by the newly organized Y.M.C.A and was then taken possession of by a Vaudeville troop which made a brilliant failure and soon vanished."

There seem to be lots of bathhouse photos (both inside and out) but nothing indicating where in the complex the auditorium was or what it looked like.

North Beach was the area's premier beach destination for a few years but lost steam around 1905 as Abbott Kinney and others started developing Ocean Park to the south.

Eventually there was also development of the pier area
at the foot of Colorado St. (just south of the Bathhouse / Auditorium) with rides and other attractions.

Closing: The closing date is unknown.  The Deauville club was built on the site in the 20s.

More Information: See Jeffrey Stanton's article "Santa Monica - North Beach"  for some nice postcard views and a history of North Beach.  See also his article on the later "Santa Monica Pier." 

"Hometown Santa Monica" also mentions the North Beach Auditorium. Another nice resource on early Santa Monica history is Jake Klein's "Santa Monica Then and Now."  

The Santa Monica Public Library's "Imagine Santa Monica" is a comprehensive photo collection devoted to Santa Monica history that's lots of fun to search through.

See our Venice and Ocean Park Theatres page for information on the amusement areas south of downtown Santa Monica.

    Early Santa Monica    

by Louise B. Gabriel and the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum
Arcadia Press Images of America Series, 2006
on Amazon on Google Books  |

The book has many wonderful photos of early Santa Monica.
Here we're looking at the North Beach Bathhouse, opened
in 1894.
The image is dated as being from 1898.
photo on Google Books  | image from Santa Monica Library

| another bathhouse view |

That's the Arcadia Hotel in the distance. The Arcadia
site is now Loew's Santa Monica, 1700 Ocean Blvd.

(originally between Railroad & Front).

The current Santa Monica Pier location is between
the Bathhouse and Arcadia Hotel sites.

    Santa Monica Public Library

A 1958 view of the Deauville Club, built in the 20s on
the site of the old North Beach Bathhouse and Auditorium.
This building was demolished in 1964 after fire damage. 
larger view

Also in the collection:
| looking south to the bathhouse  - 1898 |
| looking north -- early undated view  |
| more north beach items |

    Santa Monica  Then & Now  

by Jake Klein
Gibbs Smith, 2003
ISBN: 1586852302

buy on Amazon  |  preview on Google Books  |

A much later view of the North Beach
area from Mr. Klein's fine book. 
On Google Books: larger view

    Venice, Ocean Park & Santa Monica

Thanks to TR Remick for this 1904 photo of the North
Beach Bathhouse. Over the door we see it says "Plunge."

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     Card Cow

A postcard view of the North Beach Bathhouse,
 Auditorium, restaurant and bowling pavilion. 
full size view

A closer view of the complex. This card
was postmarked in 1907. 
full size view

|1910 view from the bluffs | 1941 view of the area |

    "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"    

MGM, 1963

A look at the North Beach area in
the 1963 Stanley Kramer Film.
full size view

    Santa Monica A History on the Edge    

by Paula A. Scott
Arcadia Publishing, 2004
ISBN: 9780738524696
preview and buy on Amazon  |  preview on Google Books  |

An 1898 view of the North Beach area -- before the auditorium.
The Arcadia Hotel can be seen in the distance. 
Santa Monica Blue Book photo.
 larger view

    Vintage Los Angeles

This is a great Thomas Edison Co. clip from 1898 showing trains
going through the tunnel to the Long Wharf near Temescal Canyon.

That tunnel is now the entry to PCH northbound from Santa
Monica with the highway on the old railroad right-of-way.
The bridge we're seeing in this still shows pedestrians going
 from the Palisades down to the North Beach Bathhouse.

view clip on YouTube

The clip was added to Vintage Los Angeles
by Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours.

A 1900 view looking south toward the North Beach
Bathhouse once posted by A Little Birdie
Told Me on Vintage Los Angeles. 
full size view

A look in the late 50s from North Beach south toward
the pier. It's from the collection of Lori Schwartz. 
full size view

Also see:

  | 1902 Long Wharf postcard -  added by Hal Eaton |