Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections:
| Downtown | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood/Brentwood | Santa Monica | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces |
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Theatres in Movies site and the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.

Navigating Your L.A. Theatre Tour

Welcome to the tour!  In addition to this Los Angeles Theatres site, I have two other websites devoted to historic theatres in the L.A. area. All the material on those sites is (slowly) moving over here. The version of the program they're hosted on is being discontinued. But the pages should be up and functional at least into the middle of 2018.

I'm currently working on the downtown theatres -- with a few side trips to do new versions of pages for some of the more important buildings in outlying areas. The Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page will let you know what new items have been added either here or to the doomed web pages. My Theatres In Movies site might also warrant a look -- it's an ongoing project tracking which Los Angeles area theatres have showed up in films.

If you can't find what you're looking for, leave me a comment on this post or do an e-mail to counterb@gmail.com. See you at the movies!    -- Bill Counter

This site on a Mobile Device: If you find what you're looking for here on this post, terrific. But also note that you can go to the bottom of any page or post and click on "View Web Version" to get the navigation links at the top of the page and the long list down the right side.



Historic Theatres Downtown

The survey page gives a rundown on the 20 major surviving theatre buildings in the Downtown Theatre District. There are links to pages about each of them for more detail. You might also want to consult alphabetical rundowns on pages for Hill St. and farther west, the Broadway Theatres, Spring St. Theatres and Main St. and farther east. Those pages give you more detail, including discussions about all the theatres that have vanished.

In addition, there's a downtown alphabetical theatre list with alternate names and a theatre list by address.


Historic Hollywood Theatres

Hollywood wasn't just about the movies. Starting in the mid 20s it was also a center for legitimate theatre and musical revues at four newly built playhouses. You'll find an alphabetical list of the theatres in the district on the Hollywood Theatres overview page that includes a bit of data on each and links to pages for more details. Down below this list there's also an alternate name directory.

Also of possible interest is a separate section with a list of theatres by street address.



 Westside Theatres

The Westside started booming with retail and housing in the mid 20s and the theatres followed. Many theatres along Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills, and in other neighborhoods became prime venues for everything from small foreign films to major roadshows. It's a huge territory. The Westside Theatres overview page gives you both a list by neighborhood as well as a survey arranged alphabetically.

Also see the list of Westside Theatres: by street address and the Westside Theatres: alphabetical list page which includes alternate names.


Westwood and Brentwood

Westwood Village was the third significant theatre district to evolve in Los Angeles, after Downtown and Hollywood. With the construction of the UCLA campus beginning in the late 20s there was a chance to develop a unique shopping and entertainment district for faculty and students. By the 1970's the area had evolved so that Westwood had the largest concentration of first run screens of any neighborhood in Los Angeles. The Westwood and Brentwood Theatres overview page will give you a tour of the area.



Santa Monica Theatres 

Santa Monica had a vibrant theatrical life even in the days when it was a small town isolated from the rest of Los Angeles. There were opera houses, nickelodeons and, later, a selection of movie palaces to chose from. The Santa Monica Theatres page will give you the rundown on theatres including the Aero, the Criterion, the Elmiro, the Mayfair and many more.



[more] L.A. Movie Palaces

This section tries to fill in all the other areas of Los Angeles County. You'll find links to separate survey pages on theatres North of Downtown, San Fernando Valley Theatres, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, Theatres Along the Coast, and lots more. The index page has links to all these theatres organized by area.

More resources: If you are still having trouble finding what you're looking for, these pages might help. The alphabetical lists also include alternate names for each venue.
- Downtown Theatres: alphabetical name list
- Downtown Theatres: by street address
- Westside Theatres: alphabetical name list
- Westside Theatres: by street address
- Hollywood Theatres: by street address
- Main Los Angeles County Theatres list: alphabetical
- Main Los Angeles County Theatres list: by address
- San Fernando Valley Theatres list: by street address
- San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier Theatres list: by street address
- Film and Theatre Technology Resources
- Theatre History Resources
- Theatre list by Architect
- Theatre Tours and Events

Happy touring! Please let me know if you spot errors, links that don't work, etc. 

Roxie Theatre: recent exterior views

518 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013 | map |



The Roxie -- downtown's only deco movie palace. The photo was taken from a fire escape across the street. The street setup going on is for the January 30, 2016 "Night on Broadway." Photo: Bill Counter



The "triplets" -- Roxie, Cameo and Arcade. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - January 2016. Thanks, Hunter! The photo originally appeared on the LAHTF Facebook page. Keep up with his latest explorations: on Facebook | HunterKerhart.com | on Flickr



The Roxie as a screen for digital projections during "Night on Broadway." Thanks to Stephen Russo for his January 2016 photo.



Retail at the Roxie Theatre. The north side of the lobby, at left, had just been renovated and was awaiting a new tenant. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - June 2014



South on Broadway from a balcony level office. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - April 2014



Another view across the Roxie marquee. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - April 2014



Looking north on Broadway from the 2nd floor. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - April 2014



The view up the Roxie facade. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2013



The "triplets" from the north. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A long-covered deco panel on the south storefront that was uncovered in 2012. Photo: Bill Counter



A detail of the storefront panel. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A look north on Broadway in 2010. Photo: Bill Counter



A 2007 view of the marquee and the thriving retail operation in the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter



The entrance terrazzo. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



The Roxie, Cameo and Arcade theatres before the street is awake. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



An early morning facade view. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007 



A closer look at the tower. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A 2005 photo by Carol Highsmith that's in the Library of Congress collection. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the image in the LOC collection. There's also a page listing more Highsmith photos of L.A. buildings. Highsmith's Roxie photo appears, uncredited, on the website Legends of America in their article "Los Angeles - City of Angels."


Around the back: 

 
A view from Spring Street. The Arcade/Pantages is at left (beige), the Cameo (brick) in the middle and the Roxie (unpainted concrete) at right. Note the stagehouse on the Roxie. Perhaps the owners were optimistic about the return of vaudeville. The ramp down on the left is a loading ramp into the Arcade Building basement. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007 



The south exit passageway, between the Cameo and Roxie Theatres. Here we're pointed toward Broadway looking at the stairs coming down from the balcony. Thanks to the Roxie's owners, Downtown Management, for the photo. See the Roxie page on their Downtown Filming website for more views of the theatre. The firm also owns the Arcade and Cameo Theatres as well as the nearby Chester Williams and Arcade Buildings.



Up on the balcony stairs looking toward the stage end of the building. Beyond the gate, across the parking lot, that's Spring St. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008



A ground level view looking toward the Spring St. That's the Cameo over on the left. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008. Thanks!
 
 
 
The beginning of our back alley tour. This is the rear of the Roxie and we're looking north down the alley. It continues behind a building north of the theatre then takes a left and heads toward Broadway! Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The exit passageway on the north side of the Roxie. We're in the alley looking toward Broadway. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



Looking south in the alley. The concrete mass in the center is the stagehouse end of the Roxie. Straight ahead on the right beyond the Roxie is the Arcade Theatre and the Arcade Building beyond, where the alley stops.

Off to the left in the distance is the parking lot that opens onto Spring St. It's the site of a proposed parking garage and/or highrise residential/retail development -- there have been several plans announced. Behind us is a building fronting on 5th St. -- the alley doesn't go straight through. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 



The alley takes a turn to the west and continues toward Broadway. We're looking toward Broadway in this view. The building at the left is 510-514 S. Broadway. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 



Here's where we come out. This is the alley's exit on Broadway. We're looking south toward the Roxie Photo: Google Maps - 2011 


Up on top: 


On the roof of the Cameo (just south of the Roxie) looking toward Broadway. Note the bulging roofline of the balcony end of the Roxie Theatre and the back of the Roxie's sign. Photo: Bill Counter - 2011



From the roof of the Cameo, a look at the stagehouse of the Roxie and the mechanical room above. Photo: Bill Counter - 2011

| back to top - recent exterior views |

| Downtown: theatre district overview | Hill St. and farther west | Broadway theatres | Spring St. theatres | Main St. and farther east | downtown theatres by address | downtown theatres alphabetical list

| Westside | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | [more] Los Angeles movie palaces | the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on facebook | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide

Roxie Theatre: interior views

518 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90013 | map |

Lobby areas:


A peek in from Broadway to the Roxie lobby in 1943. In the display cases: "The Mysterious Doctor" and "Heaven Can Wait." The Roxie, opening in November 1931, was the last of the theatres to open on Broadway and the only one in an art deco style. Thanks to Bill Housos for the photo from his collection. It's one he purchased decades ago from the Theatre Historical Society.



Looking toward the Roxie lobby in 2014. The north side of the lobby, at left, was just renovated at the time of the photo and was awaiting a new tenant. Thanks to Hunter Kerhart for his photo. Keep up with his latest explorations: on Facebook | HunterKerhart.com | on Flickr



Looking in toward the south side of the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - August 2014



A shot by Marty Culbert looking into the north side of the lobby during the 2014 renovation of that retail space. The photo originally appeared appeared on the LAHTF Facebook page as a post by Hillsman Wright.



The north side of the lobby. We have a wall, at right, dividing the lobby into two retail spaces. A look at the top of the photo will reveal that the lobby ceiling is gone -- we're looking up at the underside of the concrete slab.

Look at the floor for a glimpse of the terrazzo -- the front of this space was once the open entrance area around the boxoffice. The door at the rear will get you onto the stairs up to the house left side of the balcony lobby.  Photo: Bill Counter - August 2014



Looking up the north (house left) stairs toward the balcony lobby. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The balcony lobby looking toward the stage. Note the steps of the upper balcony seating risers above us. The stairs at the center of the photo go up to the house left vomitory into the balcony. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The balcony lobby looking toward Broadway. We're in the house left side of the balcony lobby. The room with the yellow sign above it is the men's room, facing out over Broadway. The lit doorway to its left was evidently either an office or storage. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014

The retailers in the two retail spaces the theatre lobby has been divided into each have use of half of the balcony lobby for a restroom and storage. The wall at the left separates off the house right (south) area. The main floor lobby is currently occupied as retail with no decorative features visible.



A balcony lobby west wall detail. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014


The auditorium: 


A main floor view c.1945. The photo is from the AMPAS B'hend and Kaufmann Collection and came from Tony Heinsbergen. It once was included in a Broadway photo album on the L.A. Conservancy website but vanished after a site makeover. 


 
A rare vintage view of the proscenium of the Roxie as viewed from the balcony. It's a c.1945 photo from the B'hend and Kaufmann Collection / Tony Heinsbergen via the L.A. Conservancy. 



The rear of the auditorium in 1943. Thanks to Bill Housos for the photo from his collection.



A c.2008 main floor look at the stage when the auditorium was being used for storage. Thanks to the Roxie's owners, Downtown Management, for their photos. See the Roxie page on their Downtown Filming website for more views of the theatre. The firm also owns the Arcade and Cameo Theatres as well as the nearby Chester Williams and Arcade Buildings.



A look down from the balcony. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008 



A balcony view house left. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008 



Another shot from farther up the balcony. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008



A view across to house left. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008



A look back at the booth. Photo: Downtown Filming - c.2008



A 2009 look at boxoffice in an interesting location: the middle of the main floor. Thanks to Emily Yoshida for her photo on Flickr.



The house left wall as seen from the main floor. Photo: Emily Yoshida - Flickr - 2009



Admiring the deco interior. Photo: Emily Yoshida - Flickr - 2009



A boxoffice detail.  Photo: Emily Yoshida - Flickr - 2009  



Thanks to Elizabeth Brennan for this look toward the stage in 2014 during the filming of "Foxcatcher." It was once posted on Twitter. 



A main floor view during the "Foxcatcher" shoot. Again thanks to Elizabeth Brennan for the photo on Twitter -- and also to Hunter Kerhart for spotting these two views.  



A 2015 look to the rear of the house. It's a Trevor Hammonds photo on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page. Thanks to Linda Hammonds for the post.



The auditorium from in front of the booth. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A closer look at the proscenium. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A detail of some of the proscenium plasterwork from the photo above.



The empty stage from the house left corner of the balcony. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Looking across from the front of the balcony house right. Best remaining seats: row two, party of four only. Note the interesting layout of the thrust stage that was added for some filming. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The house left wall in the balcony. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A view back toward the colorful booth. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A closer look at the deco pattern on one of the ceiling beams. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014. Thanks for all the photos, Hunter!



A view down from the booth. It's a 2015 Trevor Hammonds photo appearing on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.

| back to top - interior views |

| Downtown: theatre district overview | Hill St. and farther west | Broadway theatres | Spring St. theatres | Main St. and farther east | downtown theatres by address | downtown theatres alphabetical list

| Westside | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | [more] Los Angeles movie palaces | the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on facebook | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide |