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The El Capitan Theatre















The El Capitan certainly wasn't as popular a subject for postcards as its neighbor across the street, the Chinese. But it got some interesting ones nonetheless. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for this premiere night card in her collection -- she dates it as c.1931. It was a post on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.
















Another version of the card with quite different coloring appears in the collection of Brian Michael McCray. It's one of over 400 cards in his Hollywood Postcards collection that was displayed on Picasa until Google decided to "retire" that platform. Thanks, Brian!


Thanks to Ken Mcintyre on the Facebook page Photos of  Los Angeles for this lovely 30s card looking east on Hollywood Blvd. with a bit of Grauman's Chinese over on the left.
















Here's the same card in a 40s version with newer cars, a different sky -- and a flag added down at Hollywood and Highland. It's in Elizabeth Fuller's Old L.A. Postcard Collection on Flickr. This one has a 1947 postmark, but it's a pre-42 image -- the tower still says El Capitan. Thanks, Elizabeth.
















Another 40s card that's mostly of the Chinese -- but we get the El Capitan Building lurking over there on the right -- sadly, without its tower lit. It's from Brian Michael McCray on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
















A late 40s or early 50s look east from Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles.  Note the new marquee from the 1941 remodel -- it also got renamed the Paramount at the time. No vertical sign on the building yet.
















A 1960 look with the El Capitan again getting second billing -- it's down the block in the shadows. Thanks again to Ken McIntyre for this one on Photos of Los Angeles.
















A 1960s card from the now-vanished website Yesterday LA.
















A "Fabulous" view -- wish we could read what's on the marquee of the theatre, here still called the Paramount in the early 60s. It's a card on Photos of Los Angeles.
















Thanks to Steven Otto for this rare view of the theatre in the mid-60s when it was operated by Loew's. He has it as a post on Photos of Los Angeles.

See our El Capitan street view timeline page for more photos and postcards.

The Avalon Theatre














An early postcard view of the Avalon harbor on Catalina Island before the construction of the Casino Building by William Wrigley. Thanks to Brent Dickerson for the card, appearing in Part 3 of his Catalina story on his epic "A Visit To Old Los Angeles & Environs." This chapter has an amazing collection of early Catalina views. At the bottom of the page are links to other chapters.
















A look at the Casino Building, with the theatre downstairs and a ballroom upstairs, from the Penny Postcards from California collection.
















Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for this fine postcard of the Casino Building from his collection.
















A proscenium view card from the collection of Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle. See his Theatre Talks site for more of his collection. He also has a Theatre Talks blogspot page. Thanks, Cezar!
















A postcard detailing the backwall of the theatre from the collection of Hank Zaletel. It's a post of his on Cinema Treasures.
















And if you're curious about a closer view of some of that backwall mural by John Gabriel Beckman, here's a card from the extensive collection of Michelle Gerdes. Thanks, Michelle!

If you'd like to see other views of the theatre, visit our page on the Avalon Theatre.


Grauman's Egyptian















Sid Grauman's first Hollywood theatre, the Egyptian, opened in 1922. This delightful early postcard view of the theatre is from Brian Michael McCray's Hollywood Postcards collection, a set that was on Picasa before Google pulled the plug on that platform.

Note the style of the building on the corner -- it predated the theatre and hasn't yet had its Egyptian makeover. The card also features in John Bengtson's article "Keaton's Short Fuse," analyzing locations in Hollywood for Buster Keaton's "Cops" (1922).  It also appears in the California State Library collection, on RarePostcard.com and in the collection WorthPoint.

Head to our Egyptian street view timeline page for over a hundred facade photos of the theatre arranged chronologically.
















When the Chinese came along in 1927 there were instantly many facade postcard views. But here at the Egyptian, all the fascination seemed to be with its unique forecourt. Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for this view in from the street. It's 1923 and that the billboard at right is advertising "The Covered Wagon."  There's also a version with slightly different coloring in the Cezar Del Valle collection.
















This early view looking a bit deeper into the forecourt also gave us a photo of Sid himself. Note the Bedouin patrolling the rooftop. This printing from the California State Library collection was published in 1930, long after Sid had relinquished any involvement in the theatre.
















Another card that started from the same photo as the one above is this version in the collection of the New York Public Library.  We don't see Sid this time around but get different coloring, a look at the roofline on the shops at the left and a better view in to the entrance doors.



This classic view of the Egyptian forecourt's east wall near the theatre entrance comes from Elizabeth Fuller's fine Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr. Thanks, Elizabeth!
















A favorite view that shows up in at least half a dozen collections is this look at the theatre's usherettes arrayed in front of the mural on the west wall of the forecourt. Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for the version of the card seen here.
















Another west wall look from closer to the street with some tenting deployed is this one that popped up on eBay. It can also be seen in the California State Library collection.

For more views of the forecourt, head to our Egyptian forecourt page.
















A rare proscenium postcard of the Egyptian from Brian Michael McCray's Hollywood Postcards collection. Thanks again, Brian! See our Egyptian auditorium page for other views of the space.

Grauman's Chinese















Where do you start with postcards of the Chinese? -- there have been hundreds. More than of any other theatre in the world. This lovely 20s view is from the terrific collection of Brian Michael McCray. His 400+ cards were all on display on Picasa until Google decided to "retire" that platform.























Another great card from the McCray collection.
















A 40s look east along Hollywood Blvd. from above. It's a card in Brian Michael McCray's collection.
















A 40s premiere night at the Chinese from Brian Michael McCray's collection.  Thanks, Brian!

See our Chinese street view timeline page for many more cards featuring the theatre.

The Warner Bros. Hollywood














Thanks to Brian McCray for this charming postcard with an image from 1928. Above the marquee we get "See and Hear Vitaphone" and playing is "My Man" with Fanny Brice. Brian's collection of 400+ Hollywood postcards was on Picasa until Google decided to "retire" the program.
















Brian McCray's great card from 1935 has the Warner running "G Men." Note the vertical sign for the radio station on the corner of the building.
















Here's the "G Men" card again but retouched to give us a brighter day and fluffier clouds. It's a version from the California State Library collection.
















If you want the scene to be on the gloomier side, check out the variation from Card Cow.  Similar to Brian McCray's version but printed on a different color stock.
















Another fine card from Brian's collection is this one showing the Warner running "The Invisible Man Returns," a 1940 release.















Another take on the card above appears on Photos of Los Angeles. Here we've lost the border and it's not printed on yellow stock.
















A different version of the 1940 card appears in Elizabeth Fuller's Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr. Thanks, Elizabeth!   Although based on the same photo, note that the signage on the buildings on the right differs. Among other things, here we don't get the signage just above the streetlight for the dentist.  But we get added signage for "Paris Fashions" on the far right.
















A version of the card appearing on Photos of Los Angeles with different coloring.
















A look down the street with the Warner running "Cinerama Holiday" in 1956.  That's the Iris (later renamed the Fox Theatre) on the right.  It's a card from the now-vanished website Yesterday L.A. 
















Another card from Yesterday LA. We're at the premiere for "Back Street" with Susan Hayward and John Gavin. Note that the Cinerama signage has been temporarily removed. Cinerama would return to the house in August, 1962.
















A 1962 postcard view taken during the 28 week run of "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm." It's on the In Cinerama website's Warner page curated by Roland Lataille.

Head to our Warner Bros. Hollywood street view timeline for exterior photos of the theatre organized by year.

The Roxie Theatre
















A great 50s postcard view looking south on Broadway from 4th with the Roxie on the left. We don't get a title on the marquee but "James Stewart  Charlton Heston  Richard Boone" -- presumably in 3 different features.  It's from the collection of Steven Otto. Thanks, Steven!















Another version of the card. Thanks to Sean Ault for sending it our way.  Want more data on the theatre? It's currently dormant with retail in the lobby but we have lots of photos. Head to our Roxie Theatre pages for many views inside and out.  It's at 518 S. Broadway, the last of the theatres to open on Broadway and the only one in a deco style.

The Crown Theatre















The Crown Theatre operated from about 1915 until about 1925. It was on Santa Monica Blvd. in the Sawtelle neighborhood. The card appears on the site Art.com -- that's our theatre over on the right.

See our page on the Crown Theatre for more information on this vanished theatre.

The Philharmonic Auditorium















The Auditorium, at 5th & Olive, opened in 1906 and was the center of the city's cultural life until the Music Center was built in the 1960s. As a result it was the subject of many postcards.   Thanks to Ken McIntyre on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles for this very early view across what was then known as Central Park and up 5th toward the Auditorium.
















Another other shot that popped up on eBay has us looking the other direction, east on 5th.
















A better look at the facade appears in this card from the collection of Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle
















Another facade view, this one from in the park, appears in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
















Here we get palm trees and a fine look at the red and white striped awnings. It's in the terrific collection of  Brian McCray on Picasa. Thanks, Brian! Well, Brian's 400+ cards used to be on Picasa. They vanished when Google decided to "retire" that program.
















One more low-level facade view, this time from Elizabeth Fuller's lovely Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr.
















An up-in-the-air view from the Elizabeth Fuller Old Los Angeles Postcards collection. Note that there's no Biltmore Hotel yet on this side of the park.
















Another view from above, here looking north with Hill St. on the right side. Sorry, only a sliver of the auditorium appears -- over on the far left. Thanks to Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles for this one. 
















A last one from above -- this linen card looking north based on a photo taken after the Biltmore opened in the mid 20s. Thanks to Brian McCray for this one, appearing on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.


We're not so lucky as far as the number of interior views.  But that's typical. Maybe only 2. This look toward the back of the house appears in several collections.   Thanks to Cezar Del Valle's Theatre Talks collection for this one.

















One last one -- gaudy enough to make you get out the sunglasses. We're looking at the house right boxes. It's from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.


For many more photos -- and even a few more postcards -- see our page on the Philharmonic Auditorium.