Pussycat Theatre

 

1442 2nd St.     | map |

Santa Monica, CA 90401


Opening: Early 70s.  The building dates from 1913 and was a garage in the 20s through the 40s. In the early 50s it was office space for an accountant and a real estate company. It has a footprint of 2,678 square feet.

It was converted into the Pussycat Theatre sometime in 1972 or earlier and ran porno under the management of Vincent Miranda's Walnut Properties.

It had a brief spell in 1995 under a short sub-lease as the Asia, an art house. Then the porno returned. It closed in 1998 after the building was purchased by a local developer.

Architect:  Unknown

Status:  The marquee and parts of the facade remain but the building has been gutted. It was a Buca di Beppo but Scott Mumford advises that the restaurant closed in mid 2016. Buca di Beppo had been in the space least since 2008.

The Pussycat in the Movies:  Although most of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights" (Warner Bros., 1997) was filmed in the San Fernando Valley, they did make one excursion to Santa Monica for an exterior shot of the Pussycat.

Thanks to Scott Mumford for figuring this one out. Many of the shooting locations are lovingly outlined in the San Fernando Valley Blog's article "Filming locations: Boogie Nights (1997)."



The Pussycat in "Boogie Nights." Thanks to the
San Fernando Valley Blog for the screenshot. 
larger view

Mumford identified this Pussycat as the filming location in a comment to the San Fernando Valley Blog post. He noted: "The old brick building to the right is 'Rapp Saloon, the oldest building in Santa Monica (1875) and its first landmark. As well as a saloon, it functioned as storage space for Vitagraph (which had a building next door), and as city hall. Now it’s a part of the hostel behind it, and used for poetry readings.' You can see the young couple ran past it for a few frames in 'BN'..."

See our Theatres In Movies post on "Boogie Nights" for two screenshots of the Reseda Theatre in the film's title sequence.

More Information:

See the Cinema Treasures page on the Hitching Post for speculation about the Pussycat. This building, despite some comments on that page, was not the location of the Hitching Post. 

See our Hitching Post page for information on the building at 1448 4th St.

The San Diego Reader had a nice history of the Pussycat Theatres chain although the current version online is missing all its photos. A better bet (with the photos!) might be on Blogspot:  Pussycat Theater History 1 (Chapter 1) and  Pussycat Theater History 2 (Chapters 2-15).  It's a 2010 book-length read by Jay Allen Sanford.

Note: The block did have a theatrical history before the 70s. The Vitagraph Co. of America is listed in the 1913/14 city directory as being located at 1440 2nd.

A view with Buca di Beppo in the building.
We've added on a bit at the top.

photo: Google Maps - 2011

Click on the image to enlarge or head to
Google for the current interactive view.




A view of the Pussycat at the end of its days.

photographer: unknown

You can click on it for a slightly larger view.


    Jay Allen Sanford - Pussycat History    

It's a book length epic originally appearing in the San Diego Reader:
 Pussycat Theater History 1 and Pussycat Theater History 2.



A photo shoot staged for Stag Magazine c.1970 for
the opening of "Come One, Come All."  We assume the
 Dick Whittington on the marquee is not the famous
L.A. photographer.
It's from Mr. Sanford's Chapter 3.
An entrance view from the 1970
opening of "Come One, Come All."
A look at the Pussycat's lobby,
gold flecked mirrors and all.