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The El Capitan Theatre

Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for this postcard view of the theatre on an opening night. It's one of over 400 cards in his Hollywood Postcards collection that was viewable on Picasa until Google decided to "retire" that platform.

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 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 -- 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.

The Metropolitan / Paramount Theatre

Grauman's Metropolitan, at 6th and Hill, opened in 1923 and, despite being the largest movie theatre in Los Angeles and at a busy corner across from Pershing Square, seems to have been the subject of only one postcard. At least that's all that has surfaced so far. Thanks to Brooklyn theatre historian Cezar del Valle for sharing this one from his Theatre Talks collection.

Note here the verticals still say "Grauman's." Later they would be redone to say Metropolitan and in 1929 the building was renamed the Paramount. Head to our Metropolitan Theatre pages for more on the theatre, demolished in 1962.

The Warner Downtown

The theatre, opened as the Pantages in 1920, was the subject of many postcards. 7th & Hill was a busy intersection -- and B. Marcus Priteca had designed a terrific building to take photos of. It's still there, quite unchanged outside but now selling jewelry rather than films and vaudeville.  More vintage views -- and more postcards of the theatre -- are on our Warner Downtown page.

This great view from above highlights the verticality of the building -- and shows off the dome nicely. It was on eBay. Thanks to theatre sleuth Michelle Gerdes for the find.

The theatre became the Warner in 1929. The card above gives us the vertical sign saying Warner but it's been doctored. The card is based on an earlier photo, taken when it still was the Pantages.  Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for the card from his Theatre Talks collection.

A card from a bit later, when the theatre actually was the Warner -- note the quite different marquee when compared to the view above. Again, our thanks to Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle for the card.

A superb 30s view looking north on Hill St. Thanks to Brian McCray -- the card is in his wonderful Hollywood Postcards collection. Until recently his 400+ cards were displayed on Picasa -- and now they've vanished because Google has "retired" that platform. 

The RKO Hillstreet

There's certainly no shortage of photos of this house at 8th and Hill built by the Orpheum Circuit in 1922. But so far only one postcard of it has surfaced. Thanks to theatre researcher Michelle Gerdes for this one.

We're looking north on Hill -- a busy theatre street at the time. Behind us were (and still are) the Mayan and Belasco. Ahead at 7th & Hill is the Warner (now a jewelry mart), a block farther at 6th was the Metropolitan, now gone. At 5th and a block to the left (at 5th & Olive) was the Philharmonic Auditorium, also demolished.

Sadly, the Hillstreet didn't make it either. There's lots more on our RKO Hillstreet page including interior views.