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Pantages: backstage

A look onto the great stage with some Fanchon & Marco "Idea" scenery in place and the Western Electric speaker system in position. Those are Western Electric 12A horns with 555 drivers. It's a 1930 Mott Studios photo in the collection of the California State Library.

A closer look at the speakers. The whole box traveled offstage on a track instead of going up into the flies.  It's another Mott Studios photo in the California State Library collection. For lots more on early Western Electric sound equipment see Kurt Wahlner's Projection and Sound pages on his Grauman's Chinese website.

The Frank Adam/Major pre-selective dimmer board, offstage right. It's been removed  to provide much needed space downstage. It's a Mott Studios photo in the California State Library collection.

In the basement under the dimmer board was this clapper board. The relays on the board controlling different banks of stage and auditorium lights were activated by switches (either manual or via 10 presets) on the board above.  The Mott Studios photo is in the collection of the California State Library.

Proscenium width: 54'

Stage depth: 70'

Stagehouse width: 180'

Orchestra pit: It's on a lift, originally with a bandcar as well. Storage for the platform was in the upstage "bustle."

Pipe organ: Sorry, never got one. The chambers are there but the contract for the organ was cancelled during construction.

Sound in 1930: Western Electric. The film sound speakers traveled offstage via a monorail. In addition to the film sound system, the Pantages had PA speakers (around the proscenium) covering the auditorium. There were other concealed speakers in the lounge and lobby areas. These all were controlled from a PA room adjacent to the projection booth.

Projection: See the projection booth section for more information about the theatre's projection gear.

Movie screen in 1930: Ready for wide film or Magnascope, 30' x 60' with motorized masking.

Dimmerboard in 1930: The Frank Adam / Major pre-selective resistance dimmer board, now removed, was offstage right. Other theatres in Los Angeles to get similar Frank Adam boards included the downtown United Artists and the Warner Hollywood.

Terry Helgesen, in the Theatre Historical Society's Annual devoted to the Pantages, notes that "The huge switchboard installed in the Pantages was designed by Cass Hayes, consulting engineer for the Pantages circuit. The board cost $45,000 and was 8 feet longer than that of the famous Roxy."

For more about Frank Adam equipment see Bob Foreman's Vintage Theatre Catalogs article on Frank Adam equipment. It includes a complete 1952 catalog from the company as well as other photos and information.

Rigging in 1930: 75 sets, operated at stage level stage right.

Steam Curtain: Of course the Pantages had one, originally at the footlights. But it's gone.

Checking out microphones onstage. Note that one flown in from overhead. In addition to the film sound system, the Pantages had PA speakers (around the proscenium) covering the auditorium. There were other concealed speakers in the lounge and lobby areas. These all were controlled from a PA room adjacent to the projection booth.  The footlights were of the "disappearing type" so the bandcar could roll off the stage and onto the pit lift. It's a Mott Studios photo from the California State Library.

A mic set up in the middle of the auditorium during a pre-opening check of the sound system. It's a Mott Studios photo from the California State Library. If you don't like the looks of that guy, there's another Mott Studios photo of the same view without him as photo #4 of the Library's photo set #001416979.  Note the partial view of the screen above the stage with the size of the big Magnascope screen masked down to a more conventional size for 1.37 to 1 aspect ratio films.

An August 30, 1930 article in Exhibitors Herald-World discussed backstage and the technical equipment at the Pantages:

"... Seventy-five sets of scenic lines stretched overhead above the stage include the screen, which is 30 by 60 feet in size. A motor control masking device diminishes or increases its size, according to the picture, whether standard or wide film. The 'working' stage measures 60 feet wide and reaches a depth of 75 feet. Dressing rooms are capable of accommodating several hundred people. The automatic hydraulic elevator used to lift the orchestra pit to stage level, may be swung back on the stage when necessary.

Two miniature stages on either side of the main stage are used in presentations, or for poster display in announcing coming attractions. A mono-rail carries eight reproducing horns directly behind the screen. These are supplemented by five additional speakers lining the proscenium arch.

A public address system with seven horns provides an arrangement for broadcasting to any part of the auditorium, restrooms and lobby. These horns are concealed in the walls with grilled openings. The restroom and lobby horns are used for reproduction of popular phonograph records. Supplementation of the sound system to obtain special effects is also possible...."

A look at the Pantages board from the Terry Helgesen collection that appears in the Annual on the Pantages that was produced by the Theatre Historical Society. The man is Cass Hays, who was the designer.

The photo above also appears on Bob Foreman's Vintage Theatre Catalogs blog. His post on Frank Adam equipment includes a complete 1952 catalog from the company as well as other photos and lore. Bob is Atlanta based and while his major mission is documenting the technical aspects of the Atlanta Fox, he has many interesting articles on other vintage technical topics as well. See his  Backstage at the Fox 1929 and Fox Fact - a companion site.
The Pantages website has a Facts and Trivia page. On it they discuss the theatre in 1930:

 "At a cost of $1.25 million, the new Pantages Theatre was clearly state of the art when it opened in 1930. The hydraulic lift that raised and lowered the orchestra pit and musicians was so powerful, it could do the same with an average bungalow. The stage, at 10,000 square feet could practically accommodate a baseball game. And the lights that illuminated the stage were said to be enough to illuminate the entire length of Hollywood Boulevard."

A 1940 Herald-Examiner photo by Otto Rothschild of the L.A. Philharmonic, led by Albert Coates, onstage at the Pantages for a "young peoples" concert. Note the interesting rebuilt profile of the front of the stage. Here the pit lift is down several feet from stage height at "overture" position.  It's a photo in the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library.

A photo of the stage renovation underway in 2000 for "The Lion King" from the Pantages website's Facts and Trivia page. They note: "To prepare the Pantages for the local premiere of 'Disney’s The Lion King,' a 40 x 40 foot pit was cut in the stage to accommodate the state-of-the-art computerized hydraulics required by the elaborate musical. The many dressing rooms that used to exist under the stage had to be relocated to a new two-story subterranean area below the building."

 The view toward stage right. Thanks to Albert Domasin on Flickr for his 2010 photo. 

Offstage right: a look up at the flyfloor and beyond.  Thanks to Howard Nugent, former master electrician at the theatre, for his 2014 photo. It was taken during the run of "Pippin."

Up the ramp to the loading door. Thanks to Albert Domasin on Flickr for his 2010 photo.

One of the dressing rooms. It's a photo from Albert Domasin on Flickr in his 2010 Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation Pantages Tour set.  Thanks, Albert! Also see: another view toward stage right | lockrail view | looking toward stage left |

Terry Helgesen, in the Theatre Historical Society Annual devoted to the Pantages, notes:

"The stage shows at the Hollywood Pantages really never fully utilized the huge stage during the Fanchon & Marco reign with their 'Ideas.' It was simply too vast, both in depth and in width for the average Fanchon & Marco 'Idea' presentation. True, they did augment the chorus line, just as they did in all the big Fox houses.

The one stage show which did use the huge stage to its fullest capacity was an independently produced version of Ravel's 'Bolero' -- done after Fanchon & Marco had departed. It was an outstanding production, a 'one-time' affair that possibly may never again be duplicated.

The production started with the augmented orchestra rising in total darkness as the house curtain rose -- one could see all this because of the orchestra-stand lights. The orchestra reached stage level and the band car slid back to the last 20 foot area at the rear of the stage; a scrim came down to partially hide them. The pit, in the meantime, had lowered again and came up with the dancers who, in pairs, slowly proceeded on to the stage dancing to the sensuous rhythm. They were costumed lavishly in every color imaginable. The set was a courtyard of an old Spanish inn.

When the music had built up to the point of the entrance of the premier danceurs, who were costumed in gold and silver, the stage appeared to be filled with dancers undulating and whirling about. A large refectory table had appeared onstage and the principal dancers were elevated onto it to be seen above all the others just before the finale.

Each pair of dancers appeared to have their own spot (overhead backstage spots -- so very effective) -- it seemed like hundreds were onstage -- the primcipal dancers were spotted in white and gold, the rest in various fabulous colors, all being constantly followed by their individual spot.

But just as the climax started the steam curtain at the footlights started to rise and the effect of all those spotlights, plus the concert borders and the tree-spots on the steam, which rose to the top of the proscenium, gave the wildest blurred effect one could imagine. The feeling of heat was intense and the whirling of the gaudy costumes in the steam was sensational. With the last chord in the climax of the music the entire stage was blacked out.

The orchestra took first bows by coming forward on the band car to the pit (once again at stage level -- during the blackout the refectory table had been removed to the wings) then descended into the basement. Next the dancers took their bows the same way.

This was one production which really used the huge switchboard to its fullest capacity as well as the complete stage facilities. hat a pleasure to have seen such a production and to recall such a fantastic performance."

Thanks to theatre historian Kurt Wahlner for sending along the Helgesen text. The Pantages used to be his favorite theatre -- until they stopped running movies. The new favorite is the Chinese. Don't miss his exhaustively researched Grauman's Chinese website.

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Pantages: projection booth

A 1930 Mott Studios photo from the west end of the booth.  That beast with the strange hood closest to us is the dual Brenograph effects projector. Beyond are the film projectors: Super Simplexes with Hall & Connolly lamps on Western Electric Universal bases. This is one of 5 photos in set #001416979 of the California State Library collection.

The 1930 booth installation: The Pantages opened with Super Simplexes and a Western Electric sound system that could handle both film and disc reproduction. In addition, an elaborate public address system included coverage of the auditorium, lobby and lounge areas. And we had a huge complement of follow spot and effects projector gear in the booth.

The theatre was "ready" for the then trendy "wide film" boasting a huge screen with adjustable masking. An August 30, 1930 article in Exhibitors Herald-World noted it was "30 by 60 feet in size. A motor control masking device diminishes or increases its size, according to the picture, whether standard or wide film." The article went on to discuss the PA system and projection gear:

"... A public address system with seven horns provides an arrangement for broadcasting to any part of the auditorium, restrooms and lobby. These horns are concealed in the walls with grilled openings. The restroom and lobby horns are used for reproduction of popular phonograph records. Supplementation of the sound system to obtain special effects is also possible. There are four projectors in the projection room equipped to handle sound-on-film, disc and wide-film. The booth is 16 feet wide and 50 feet long...The public-address monitor room and the film storage vault adjoin the projection room.."

In the October 25, 1930 issue of Exhibitors Herald-World is an article by F. H. Richardson: "Projection at the Pantages." Richardson lists the original equipment as three Super Simplexes with Ashcraft 600 lamps, a Brenograph, two Brenkert spotlamps, an Ashcraft high intensity flood and two Chicago Cinema spots (with five color effects each!). The sound equipment was by Western Electric, some of which he describes in detail. Note that in the Mott Studios photo of the booth we see the projectors with Hall & Connolly lamps, not the Ashcrafts mentioned by Richardson.

Like a lot of theatres of the era, the theatre was described as being ready for wide film -- there were 70mm and 65mm processes that made it to a few theatres in the 1929-31 time period. The "readiness" at the Pantages did include a big screen and a comfortably wide proscenium but the theatre didn't get projectors capable of running anything other than 35mm until 1960.
For lots more on early Western Electric sound equipment see Kurt Wahlner's Projection and Sound pages on his Grauman's Chinese website.

The Western Electric amp rack for the film sound system. In the left rack we see the horn control panel, one 41-A amp and one 42-A amp. In the center rack are the two 43-A power amps. In the right rack below the patchbay are two 42-A amps. It's a Mott Studios photo in the California State Library set #001416979.

The vista at the east end of the booth. The follow spots are nearest us with the film projectors beyond.  This Mott Studios photo is one of 17 of different areas of the building in set #001407754 of the California State Library collection.

The PA room adjacent to the booth.In the two PA racks we have 2 207A horn control panels, one 203B panel, a patch panel, two 41-A amps (with the boxes covering the tubes), one 42-A amp and two 43-A amps. On the left wall we have a 42-A amp bridging the film sound equipment's output -- it could be patched into the PA system if desired.  The Mott Studios photo is included in the California State Library collection set #001416979.
Upgrades in the 30s, 40s, 50s: Well, there were undoubtedly were a few, as would befit a major first run house. Alas, there are  no photos or  bits of information.

70mm arrives in 1960: The theatre got an installation of Norelco DP70 35/70 mm machines and Ashcraft Super Cinex lamps in 1960. The Pantages hosted many reserved seat engagements including "Spartacus" in 1960 and "Cleopatra" in 1963.

"Indoor Luxury From Sidewalk To Screen," a May 9, 1960 Boxoffice article, discussed the first phases of the 1960 renovation program. The later aspects of the renovation were detailed in a January 20, 1961 article titled "RKO Pantages in Los Angeles Faces New Era After $100,00 Remodeling." A 55' x 27' screen was installed and the front of the house completely draped. Or, as Boxoffice put it: "...the proscenium arch was eliminated." The actual picture size for "Spartacus" was 54' x 20'.

The sound was an Ampex 6-4-1 system with "high level mixing" -- meaning changeover switching was post-preamp. Speakers were Altec Voice of the Theatre. Boxoffice noted that the 4 3/4" Bausch & Lomb lenses ("the first and only ones of their kind") were, of course, made especially for the RKO Pantages and "are the result of a series of new developments."

Pantages: support areas

A 1930 Mott Studios photo of the Pantages boilers. It's in the California State Library collection, one of 17 photos in their set #001387214. The Library also has another take of the boiler room shot.

Howard Nugent, a former master electrician at the Pantages notes: "This boiler room existed until the 1999-2000 renovation. The boilers and hardware were removed and this space was converted into 2 floors of modern dressing rooms, principal rooms upstairs and ensemble dressing rooms downstairs. The door at the end of this photo was the only access to this space before. They cut through the 3-4 foot thick concrete wall, the wall behind the boilers in the photo, to give access to the dressing rooms. Compared to the old dressing rooms these new dressing rooms are great." Thanks, Howard!

A Mott Studios look at the chiller for the air conditioning system in 1930.  The photo is in the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection, part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection.

Thanks to Albert Domasin on Flickr for this look at one of the mechanical rooms taken during the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation 2010 "all-about" tour. Check out all 53 photos in his
2010 LAHTF Pantages Tour set on Flickr.

Ritz Theatre

6656 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028
| map |

The News: If it ever gets open it'll be a hologram theatre operated by the company Film On. The marquee and signage on the facade has all been rebuilt and is flashier than it's been in decades but it appears that there's a bit of work to do before the opening. Photo: Bill Counter - July 2016

Work began in December 2015. Since mid-2016 the marquee has been advertising a Billie Holiday hologram show as coming soon but as of early 2017 the renovation appears stalled. First News Junkies had an April 2016 story.  The company's website:

Did the money run out for the renovation? The sign work is all done - and it's on all the time. But no signs of an opening over a year after work began.  Photo: Bill Counter - July 2016

Original opening: Converted from a bowling alley in 1939 to a newsreel theatre, the News-View -- a name it kept at least until the mid 50s. In the 1942 city directory it's listed simply as the Newsreel Theatre. It was later known as the New-View -- at least into 1974. The "s" came down and was replaced by a longer hyphen when the house gave up the newsreel business and converted to features. Frequently in ads the name lacked the hyphen.

John Gordon Huber notes that in 1968 it was where "Bonnie and Clyde" played exclusively during its sub-run. The theatre did so much business it justified adding a snack bar, when before they only had vending machines in the lobby. The film had originally opened across the street at the Vogue Theatre.

It once had an infamous nightclub, Masque, in the basement. Pacific Theatres was the operator in the 60s and early 70s. In 1974 it went to porno as the Pussycat Theatre. The chain gave it a remodel with the present marquee, as Cinema Treasures contributor Joe Vogel has noted, coming from that re-do.

You can still see the remnants of the oval Pussycat signage atop the facade. The big booking as the Pussycat was "Deep Throat" and "Devil in Miss Jones" -- running about 10 years. In 1989 it became the Ritz and was booked as a revival theatre.

Closing as a film house was in 1991. It became a church in 1994. At end of 2015 the church was gone and work on the marquee and facade began in preparation for the new tenant, a hologram theatre. The project seems to have stalled despite the brightly lit rebuilt marquee. Opening day? We'll see.

Architect: Harry Wright

Seating: 386

The Ritz in the Movies: 

A look east on Hollywood Blvd. during the filming of  Paul Mazursky's "Alex in Wonderland" (MGM, 1970). That's a bit of the Vogue over there on the left. Thanks to Bobby Cole for adding the photo to the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page. The Ritz (in 1970 called the New-View) is down there in the distance on the right, partially obscured by smoke. It shows up more clearly in the shot below.

An L.A. Times photo by Don Cormier of lovely Hollywood Blvd. during the filming of "Alex in Wonderland." The film stars Donald Sutherland and Ellen Burstyn. See the Theatres in Movies post on "Alex in Wonderland" for another shot showing the Egyptian.

The New-View appears near the end of "The Zodiac Killer" (Audubon Films, 1971). There are also shots of the Vogue, the Hollywood Theatre and Warner.

Mel Gibson comes out of a nightclub and ends up under the Ritz marquee for some mayhem near the end of Richard Donner's "Lethal Weapon" (Warner Bros., 1987). The film also stars Danny Glover.

Looking east on Hollywood Blvd in "Lethal Weapon" with the Vogue Theatre on the left, and across the street, the Ritz -- called the Pussycat at the time of the film.

We get some serious auto action on Hollywood Blvd. in "Lethal Weapon." We're looking west with the Ritz/Pussycat Theatre on the right.

Shepard Fairey does his bit to the old Pussycat oval atop the Ritz Theatre in Banksy's "Exit Through the Gift Shop" (Producers Distribution Agency, 2010).

Status: Soon to be a holographic theatre. Maybe. See the news at the top.

Thanks to Christopher Crouch for this lobby photo, a contribution of his to the Cinema Treasures page on the Ritz.

An auditorium view during the theatre's days as a church. Thanks to contributor Socal09 on Cinema Treasures for the photo.

A 40s look at the theatre that Ken McIntyre found on eBay. He had it as a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.

A 1944 view of the theatre as the News-View from the Bison Archives collection of Hollywood Historic Photos. Look at that great banner underneath the readerboard: "One Hour Show -- SPEND A Worthwhile HOUR." First News Junkies also ran the shot with an April 2016 story about the theatre's proposed new life as a venue for viewing concert holograms.

Note the "Tele-View" signage that has appeared atop the marquee. That chain had briefly operated the theatre that was later to be known as the Hitching Post as a newsreel house.

The photo has also been seen in a cropped (and non-watermarked) version as a post by Ken McIntyre on Facebook's Photos of Los Angeles. The page also had a re-post of a slightly different version. A smaller version of the photo also appeared on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.

A 1951 Life Magazine photo by Ralph Crane looking east on Hollywood Blvd.. It gives us a glimpse of the Ritz in its News-View days. It's on the far right -- we see "Newsreels," the lettering above the west readerboard and a squished look at the white News-View neon on the facade.

Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the shot for a post on his Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. It's also on Google/Life Images and Tourmaline has it on Noirish Los Angeles post #35733.

There's also this slightly different take by Ralph Crane for Life -- with banners across the street. It's in the Google/ Life Photos collection.

Another 1951 Life photo, this time looking west. Can you find the News-View/Ritz in the forest of neon this side of the Egyptian's green tower?  Thanks to Ken McIntyre for spotting the photo in the Life collection and posting it on Photos of Los Angeles. On the same Facebook page Bill Gabel also has added another version. You can also find it on Tourmaline's Noirish Los Angeles post #35733.

A view of the theatre from Magnum Photos. Magnum dates it as 1951 and locates it in New York City, but we know it belongs in Hollywood.  It is a photo by Elliott Erwitt and was located in the archive by Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel.

"Welcome Santa - Merry Xmas To All" says the marquee in this 1951 Christmas parade view of the News-View behind the Marymount College float. It's a Los Angeles Daily News photo in the collection of the UCLA Library.

A look east on busy Hollywood Blvd. on
November 28, 1952. In this great view located by Ken McIntyre for Photos of Los Angeles, you can see the Ritz readerboard (then saying "Newsreels" atop it) just above the second car on the right. The towers in the distance are the Warner. The theatre marquee on the extreme left is the Vogue.

The photo also appears on Vintage Los Angeles, SoCal Historic Architecture and  Noirish L.A. post #10750. James J. Chun also did a repost on Photos of LA.

A lovely c.1955 view west from the Richard Wojcik collection on Vintage Los Angeles. On the left just past the intersection is the New-View/Ritz with the green tower of the Egyptian beyond in the distance. On the right, note the tower of the Vogue.

Richard notes: "No date, but streetcar service ended in 1954---because their tracks have been removed and the street looks recently paved, I think this is circa-1955."

A nice post on
the site LAist, "Vintage Videos: Hollywood Blvd. in the 1940s, 50s and 60s," offers a great selection of short video clips focusing on Hollywood Blvd. Here we get a shot of the New-View in 1956 from a Getty Images one minute clip from Alison Martino, of Vintage Los Angeles Facebook fame called "Hollywood Blvd. part 3 1956," Part 3. It's on YouTube. 

A fine look east in August 1964 from Richard Wojcik on Vintage Los Angeles.  The News-View is in the center, between the two light posts. Over on the left the Vogue is running "A Shot in the Dark."  Thanks, Richard!

The superb Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection includes this 1972 photo of the Ritz when it was the New-View playing "The Last Picture Show" and "Easy Rider."

The collection also includes a 1976 view from atop the building, a 1979 facade view and several others. Browse the site for more Hollywood theatre photos to purchase.

A 70s view west from Cherokee toward the theatre, then still the New-View.  Thanks to Sean Ault for the photo from his collection. It's also been seen on Vintage Los Angeles as a post of Richard Wojcik.

A shot of a young Joan Jett outside the Ritz/ Pussycat Theatre. It's a 1977 Brad Elterman photo. You can find it on Mr. Elterman's website in the "old" section. He also has it on a SOKO- Joan Jett Story page where he re-created his Hollywood shots with Ms. Jett using the french singer SOKO as a project for

The photo also appears in Chapter 4 of Jay Allen Sanford's "Pussycat Theatres: A Comprehensive History of a California Dynasty."

A photo taken early in the multi-year run of "Deep Throat" after the theatre was renamed the Pussycat. It appears in Chapter 4 of Jay Allen Sanford's history of the chain: "Pussycat Theatres: A Comprehensive History of a California Dynasty." This rambling book-length history is on blogspot in two sections: Chapter 1 and Chapters 2 to 15. It first appeared in the San Diego Reader in 2010 -- but their online version is now missing all its photos.

A photo of the theatre in its Pussycat Theatre days from Cezar Del Valle's collection. Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian. For other interesting material visit him on Facebook and on the Theatre Talks blog.

Thanks to Jay Allen Sanford for this shot taken during the final week of the "Deep Throat" run. It appears in Chapter 4 of his history of the chain: "Pussycat Theatres: A Comprehensive History of a California Dynasty."


The theatre c.1981 in its Pussycat days. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the post of the image on Photos of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Kevin Miller on the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern for this 1983 photo.

"$2.00 Always 3 Big Hits." It's 1989 and the Ritz is running "The Abyss," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Night Game." The photo is a find of Ken McIntyre who posted it on Photos of Los Angeles.

Another 1989 photo, this time from the Billy Smith / Don Lewis album Vanishing Movie Theaters on Flickr.

The Ritz Theatre when it was running revivals c.1990. It's a Gary Graver photo. He was a filmmaker and cinematographer who took many photos of vintage theatres. More can be seen on You Tube: "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2." Thanks to Sean Graver for use of the photo. See the Wikipedia article on Gary.

Thanks to Eric Evans on Flickr for this fine 1990 photo.

Ed Ruscha, perhaps better known for "Twentysix Gasoline Stations" and "Every Building on the Sunset Strip," also had a fling with Hollywood Blvd. Here we get a look at the Ritz in 1973 (as the New-View, top) and in 2002 (with Ritz signage but as a church, bottom). The video, part of the Getty initiative "Pacific Standard Time Presents:Modern Architecture in L.A.," has been posted by The Getty on YouTube as a five minute video, up one side of the street and then down the other.

Many of his works reside at The Getty. This one, from the "Streets of Los Angeles" archive at the Getty Research Institute, was part of their exhibition "Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future 1940-1990." Mr. Ruscha lives and works in Culver City. 

 The Ritz Theatre as a church. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

The "R tz" Theatre in 2008. Down the street a bit (out of sight) on the left is the Egyptian. The Vogue Theatre is on the right. Musso & Frank's is just out of the frame on the right side. It's a view from Google Maps. Head there for a current interactive version.

A 2012 look at the facade by Ken McIntyre on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.

The Ritz getting ready for a new tenant after the church left the building. Note here that the "R tz Theatre" letters (the "i" had been missing for years) that were on the facade even when it was a church had just been removed.  Photo: Bill Counter - January 2016

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page for lots of discussion. The Cinema Tour page has additional exterior views of the theatre.

The other Ritz: The perhaps more famous one was the Fox Ritz on Wilshire Blvd. It was gone by the time this one started using the Ritz name.