Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections:
| Downtown | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood/Brentwood | Along the Coast | [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 Tour of Historic Los Angeles Theatres

Easy search option #1: Scroll down and select one of the five geographical areas listed below and go browsing. Or hit the section for all the leftovers: [more] L.A. Movie Palaces.

If you have a name -- search option #2: Head for the Main Alphabetical List, which also includes the various alternate names each venue has used. This list includes those pages recently transferred to this site (in bold face) as well as the write ups on the older website. Note: Long Beach is on a separate list on an older website.

If you know an address, more or less - search option #3: Head to either the Main Theatre List by Address, the San Fernando Valley List by Address, the San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier List by Address or the Long Beach List. If what you're looking for isn't there, you'll find a link to take you to a more localized list for Downtown, Hollywood, etc.

Also of interest: The L.A. Theatres Facebook page lets you know what new items have been added or pages upgraded. The Theatres In Movies site tracks L.A. area theatres that have appeared in films.

Still can't find what you're looking for?  Send me an email at counterb@gmail.com. See you at the movies! -- Bill Counter

This site on a Mobile Device: If you find what you're looking for via this post, terrific. But also note that you can go to the bottom of any page 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.

Downtown L.A. Historic Theatres

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 page 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.

Theatres Along the Coast

Santa Monica had a vibrant theatrical life even in the days when it was a small town isolated from the rest of Los Angeles. And that's just the beginning. The Along the Coast section will give you links to theatres in Ocean Park, Venice, Hermosa Beach, San Pedro, Long Beach and other communities.

[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, 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 Historic 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 contact me if you spot errors, links that don't work, etc. 

Broadway Theatre

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


Opened: 1925 by Joseph Corwin of Metropolitan Theatres as the New Broadway in a space formerly a shoe store. By 1926, the theatre was just called the Broadway. This 1954 look south gives us a look at the big marquee on what was a tiny theatre. They're running "Rob Roy" and "Creature From The Black Lagoon." Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the photo from his collection.

The building that housed the theatre is on the east side of the street mid-way between 4th and 5th. Originally called the Broadway Central Building, it's a 10 story steel frame structure dating from 1907 (begun in 1906) by architect Charles R. Aldrich. It was later known as the Judson C. Rives Building. It's now known as The Judson Building.



The Broadway Central Building is seen in this detail from plate 002 of the 1910 Baist Real Estate Survey from Historic Map Works. Just south of it the Bumiller Building was the home of the theatre, museum and exhibit hall Wonderland/Eden Musee in 1908. 

Seating: 400 


In later years called the Teatro Broadway and ran Spanish language films.

Closing: The Broadway closed in 1988.


Status: It was split down the middle in 2007 and renovated in back into retail spaces. For a while one of the tenants was once again a shoe store.

The Broadway in the Movies: We get a glimpse of the Broadway Theatre in a cruise down Broadway in the opening credits of Dennis Hopper's "Colors" (Orion, 1988). You don't need to see the rest of the film. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for views of the Million Dollar, State and Palace from the film.

This theatre was on Broadway for six decades yet there seem to be no interior photos. 

More exterior views:


1907 - We're looking north on Broadway between 4th and 5th in an October photo. The Broadway Central Building, later the home of the Broadway Theatre, is the tallest on the block. Here it's still under construction.

The Bumiller Building, this side of the Broadway Central, was in 1908 the brief home of the Wonderland/Eden Musee. The Optic Theatre at 446 1/2 S. Broadway, is seen in the squat building in the bottom right, below the sign advertising "On the Quiet" at the Belasco on Hill St., a theatre later known as the Follies. It's a California Historical Society photo in the USC Digital Library collection.



1928 - Looking south toward 5th with the Broadway Theatre in the Broadway Central Building. The June photo from the California Historical Society appears on the USC Digital Library website.



1928 - A detail of the theatre from the California Historical Society photo.



1939 - A Dick Whittington view looking north from 5th. We get a glimpse of the theatre's signage in the middle of the block. Also note the signage for the Judson C. Rives Building that housed the theatre. The photo is in the USC Digital Library collection. 



1939 -  A closer view of the great marquee taken the same day as the previous photo. It's a Dick Whittington Studio photo.in the USC Digital Library collection.



1939 - A detail from the Dick Whittington photo above. 



1954 - A detail from the photo at the top of the page. Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the image.



1957 - Looking south on Broadway with the theatre over on the left. It's a photo from the Sean Ault collection.



1968 - A view north on Broadway toward the theatre. Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the photo from his collection.



c.1989 - "Miracle on Broadway" wasn't a film title, it was what they were hoping for. The Teatro Broadway had closed and it long after it had lost its earlier classy signage. It's a photo by  filmmaker and cinematographer Gary Graver (1938-2006). See an article about him on Wikipedia. More of his theatre photos can be seen on two compilations on You Tube: "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2." Thanks to Sean Graver for use of the photo.



c.1995 - The closed theatre is there in the shadows in this fine shot from Martin on his site You are Here. See his Broadway page for links to about a hundred photos he's taken of buildings up and down the street.  



2007 - The Judson Building, minus its theatre. Photo: Bill Counter



2007 - Remodeling underway. Photo: Bill Counter



2007 - The exit doors of what had been the Broadway Theatre during construction. Photo: Bill Counter



2010 - The retail spaces back in business. Here there's a shoe store in what had been the theatre's entrance. It had been a shoe store before the space was converted into a theatre in the 20s. Photo: Bill Counter



2018 -  The 10 stories of the Judson. Photo: Bill Counter



2018 - A view toward the north. The new Perla condo project is rising on the left. It's the Bumiller Building on the right. Photo: Bill Counter

More information: See the Broadway Theatre page on Cinema Treasures. Noirish Los Angeles contributor Broadway Central Bldg. has three of the USC views of the building on his Noirish post #30044. His Noirish post #30081 has photos he's taken of the building's entrance, lobby and basement.

For other theatres using the Broadway name see the pages on this site for Tally's New Broadway at 554 S. Broadway and Tally's Broadway at 833 S. Broadway. 

See a lovely 1950s downtown map that shows many theatre locations including the Central and the Cozy. It's from a now-vanished website by Tom Wetzel about the history of L.A. transit. 

| back to top | 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 | Along the Coast | [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 |

Central Theatre

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


Opened: The Central Theatre opened around 1929 as a conversion from retail space in a three-story building that dated from perhaps 1910. The first listing in a city directory is 1929. It was on the east side of the street right just north of the Cozy Theatre and right across the street from the Million Dollar. The March 1955 image is a detail from a Palmer Connor photo in the Huntington Library collection. That's the Bradbury Building on the left.

Seating: 562

Status: The theatre was running as late as 1956. It's in the phone directory that year. The building was demolished prior to 1960 with the site becoming a parking lot. The current single story building on the site dates from 1988.



A section of a 1931 insurance map from the Los Angeles Public Library's collection showing the Cozy and Central theatres. The Bradbury Building is on the far right, the Central Theatre to the left of Wilson Ct. Thanks to ace theatre explorer Michelle Gerdes for the photograph.


The Central Theatre in the Movies:


In "Footlight Parade" (Warner Bros., 1933) we're set in New York but we get a quick blurry shot of the Central and Cozy theatres as we're speeding down Broadway in a bus rushing performers between theatres. We also get a quick look at the Million Dollar. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for that one.



We're looking south on Broadway in "Between Midnight and Dawn" starring Edmond O'Brien and Gale Storm (Columbia, 1950). The Central, nearest us, is playing "The Counterfeiters" (1948) along with "The Black Cat" with Alan Ladd (1941), and "The Gay Cavalier" (1946). The Cozy is running "Mr. Wise Guy" (1942) and "Intrigue" with George Raft (1947) along with some unreadable third feature. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for another view looking north where we see the signage for the Million Dollar.



We get a view south on Broadway past the Bradbury toward the Central and Cozy theatres for the finale of "The Killer That Stalked New York" (Columbia, 1950). Evelyn Keyes is up on the Bradbury ledge. She was after her two-timing boyfriend but the real killer is that (gasp!) she has brought smallpox in from Cuba.



Looking down on the Central (below) and the Cozy (at the top) in "The Killer That Stalked New York." The Cozy is running a triple bill with "The Big House" as the main feature. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post on for several more shots from this sequence. It appears that they used some Main St. locations for several of the closeups on the ledge -- the vertical sign for the Hotel Cecil (640 S. Main) appears in a couple shots.


An interior view:


A look up an aisle toward the lobby. The 1940 Dick Whittington Studio photo was taken as documentation following an accident claim. The USC Digital Library has this shot plus two similar ones taken at the same time. 


More exterior views: 


c.1910 - A view of the Bradbury and, on the right, the Gilbert Block, the building that would later house the Central Theatre. Earlier there had been a single story structure on the site. The Bradbury dates from 1893. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection from the George H. Wyman Archive. Wyman supervised construction of the Bradbury and is generally credited as the designer. Sumner Hunt did some preliminary plans.



c.1916 - The building that would later house the Central Theatre is seen in on the far right in this California Historical Society photo appearing on the USC Digital Library website. That's the tower of City Hall in the distance. On the left this side of 3rd is a building that would be demolished in 1917 for construction of the Million Dollar Theatre.



1939 - The boxy marquee of the Central can be seen on the far left of this photo of the 300 block during a fire at the Gray Building, 336 S. Broadway. The building the Cozy was in is the five story building with "Boston..." on the side. Thanks to Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel for finding the newspaper photo. It's on a page from the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive. Scroll down their major incident index page for a link to more data and a page of photos of this fire.



c.1944 - Across 3rd St. it's the Bradbury Building at 304 S. Broadway with the shorter Central Theatre building just beyond. The taller building farther south is the Cozy Theatre building. On the left of the photo is the Rindge Building, dating from 1898. It's still on Broadway. Or part of it is. It's been chopped down to a single story and is unrecognizable. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection taken for the Works Progress Administration. Also see a 1968 photo in the Library's collection taken after the Rindge got chopped.



1955 - A photo looking north toward the Bradbury Bldg. and 3rd St. taken by Palmer Connor in March. It's in the Huntington Library collection. The photo at the top of a page is a detail from this image.



1955 - The Central is on the far left in this view from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives that appears on page 23 of the 2008 Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Mr. Wanamaker. The page with the photo is included in the book's preview on Google Books. It's available on Amazon.



1960 - A photo by Jack E. Boucher from the Library of Congress collection showing the Central Theatre's site as a parking lot between the Bradbury Building and the Cozy. It was taken as part of a Historic American Buildings Survey of the Bradbury. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding it in the collection. 



1964 - Another view of the Central's site as a parking lot. It's a photo taken during LBJ's visit to Los Angeles. Thanks to Sean Ault for spotting the photo on eBay. See Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality's Noirish post #32956 for this photo and five more from the LBJ visit.



2018 - A newish building, once a McDonalds, on the site of the Central. Photo: Bill Counter   

More information: The Central Theatre page on Cinema Treasures has all the known information about this theatre.

See a lovely 1950s downtown map that shows many theatre locations including the Central and the Cozy. It's from a now-vanished website by Tom Wetzel about the history of L.A. transit. 

| back to top | 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 | Along the Coast | [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 |

Cozy Theatre

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


Opened: The theatre opened in 1927. It's in the 1928 city directory. The Cozy was in a 1906 vintage building across the street from the Million Dollar. It was just south of the Central Theatre, 314 S. Broadway. Thanks to Nathan Marsak for this detail from a photo taken during LBJ's 1964 visit. He has it along with other photos of the occasion on his Noirish Los Angeles post #32465.

Architect: The building known as the Blackstone Building (318-322 S. Broadway) was designed by  Robert Brown Young. He's on the July 17, 1906 building permit along with P.M. Johnson as contractor. Blackstone Dry Goods was the initial tenant; later they moved to 9th & Broadway. It's unknown who designed the conversion of the retail space into a theatre.

The cornice was removed from the building around 1950 and floors four and five were removed in 1971. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tovangar2 for researching the building permits. See the Noirish post #27790 for more data on the building.

Seating: 350 initially, 403 was the count at the end.



A section of a 1931 insurance map from the Los Angeles Public Library's collection showing the Cozy and Central theatres. Note that the map gives a 1907 date for the building the Cozy was in, here seen in orange. Thanks to ace theatre explorer Michelle Gerdes for the photograph.

In the 1960s the theatre was renamed the Astro and ran Spanish language films.  Before that it had been a triple feature grind house operation.

Closing: The theatre space was converted to a restaurant in 1977 with Charles A. Ham as the architect for the conversion. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tovangar2 for the data.

Status: Currently there's retail space where the theatre once was. The building survives on Broadway but with two stories lopped off the top.


The Cozy in the Movies:


In "Footlight Parade" (Warner Bros., 1933) we're set in New York but we get a quick blurry shot of the Central and Cozy theatres as we're speeding down Broadway in a bus rushing performers between theatres. We also get a quick look at the Million Dollar. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for that one.



We're looking south on Broadway in "Between Midnight and Dawn" starring Edmond O'Brien and Gale Storm (Columbia, 1950). The Central, nearest us, is playing "The Counterfeiters" (1948) along with "The Black Cat" with Alan Ladd (1941), and "The Gay Cavalier" (1946). The Cozy is running "Mr. Wise Guy" (1942) and "Intrigue" with George Raft (1947) along with some unreadable third feature. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for another view looking north where we see the signage for the Million Dollar.



We get a view south on Broadway past the Bradbury toward the Central and Cozy theatres for the finale of "The Killer That Stalked New York" (Columbia, 1950). Evelyn Keyes is up on the Bradbury ledge. She was after her two-timing boyfriend but the real killer is that (gasp!) she has brought smallpox in from Cuba.



Looking down on the Central (below) and the Cozy (at the top) in "The Killer That Stalked New York." The Cozy is running a triple bill with "The Big House" as the main feature. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post on for several more shots from this sequence. It appears that they used some Main St. locations for several of the closeups on the ledge -- the vertical sign for the Hotel Cecil (640 S. Main) appears in a couple shots.


 More exterior views:  


1939 - The 300 block during a fire at the Gray Building, 336 S. Broadway. The building the Cozy is in is that five story building with "Boston..." on the side. The boxy marquee of the Central Theatre can be seen on the building just beyond. Thanks to Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel for finding the newspaper photo. It's on a page from the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Archive. Scroll down their major incident index page for a link to more data and a page of photos of this fire.



c.1944 - Across 3rd St. it's the Bradbury Building at 304 S. Broadway with the shorter Central Theatre building just beyond. The taller building farther south is the Cozy Theatre building. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection taken for the Works Progress Administration.



1955 - This view of the Cozy from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives appears on page 23 of the 2008 Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Mr. Wanamaker. The page with the photo is included in the book's preview on Google Books. It's available on Amazon. Note the Central Theatre on the far left.  



1964 - Looking south on Broadway toward the Cozy Theatre. The photo was taken during LBJ's visit to Los Angeles. The image at the top of the page is a detail from this. The parking lot beyond the Bradbury is where the Central Theatre had been. Thanks to Sean Ault for spotting the photo on eBay.  See Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality's Noirish post #32956 for this photo and five more from the LBJ visit.



1973 - A look north toward 3rd St. with the marquee of the the Astro seen this side of the Bradbury. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.



1973 - A detail from the previous photo. 



1974 - A look north on busy Broadway toward the Astro, as it was then called. Beyond is the Bradbury Building. The main feature is Zulma Faiad in "La noche de los mil gatos" ("The Night of a Thousand Cats"). Thanks to L.A. transit historian Sean Ault for finding the photo.



2007 - "Tu Musica" in what had been the entrance to the Cozy Theatre. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for his photo. He has it in a Photobucket album.  



2010 - The building in its shortened form. Photo: Bill Counter



2018 - The building's appearance after some restoration. That squat thing between the Cozy's building and the Bradbury is on the site of the Central Theatre. Photo: Bill Counter

More information: Head to the page on Cinema Treasures for research by Joe Vogel, Ken McIntyre and other contributors. They have the theatre listed as the Astro.



A great map from the 50s showing many downtown theatre locations. It was reproduced on a page about the area around the Subway Terminal Building on a great site by Tom Wetzel that has now vanished.

| back to top | 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 | Along the Coast | [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 |