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. 

Los Angeles Theatre: ladies room and nursery

615 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014 | map |

Note: The pages about the Los Angeles Theatre are [slowly] getting moved to this site over the next month or so. Until the project is complete, you might want to head over to the main Los Angeles Theatre page on the old platform.



The entrance to the ladies room and nursery on the south wall of the main basement lounge. Thanks to Mike Hume for his photo taken during the January 2018 "Night on Broadway" event. Visit his Historic Theatre Photography website for hundreds of great images of the theatres he's explored. Don't miss his page on the Los Angeles Theatre.

Take a left in that entry vestibule and you're in the nursery. A right gets you into the ladies cosmetics room.



A view from the entrance vestibule into the cosmetics room. The room benefits from the terrific new carpet installation but only had a solid color carpet when the theatre opened in 1931. Photo: Bill Counter - 2016



A wider look at the carpet. The center design is a scaled down version of the one that's in the grand lobby. Thanks to Angelo Costa for his 2016 photo, appearing in his Los Angeles Theatre set on the Angelo Costa Photography website. The carpet design was a joint project of Daelen Cory and Paul L'Esperance of L' Esperance Design, Sandra Costa of Sandra Costa Design Group and SDE Carpet Technology.



A detail of the carpet pattern. Photo: Angelo Costa - 2016  



Looking a bit more off to the right toward the doorway to the toilet and sink areas. Photo: Angelo Costa - 2016



The appearance of the room with its previous carpet installation. Photo: Ȑoobik Boodaghians - 2013



The cosmetics room in 2007. Thanks to Eric Lynxwiler for his photo on Flickr. For a real treat go browsing the nearly 500 photos in his Los Angeles Theatres album. 

The rug we see in Eric's photo was the last surviving piece of the original 1931 carpet from the grand lobby. The new carpet that was installed throughout the theatre in 2016 was created using this fragment and various historical photos.



A closer view of the room's chandelier. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for her 2009 photo. It's one of 72 great views of the theatre in her Los Angeles Theatre set on Flickr.



Ornament over the doorway leading into the "hall of toilets." Thanks to Auroraa for her 2007 photo on Flickr.



The view into the hall of toilets from the cosmetics room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



The sink area is on the right when entering the toilet hall. The plain door at the right gets you back out to the main lounge area, near the former restaurant space at the west end of the lounge. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



A view deeper into the sink area. The hand dryers sticking out of the walls have foot pedals to operate them. The door is the exit out to the main lounge. Photo: Floyd B. Bariscale - 2009. Check out his Big Orange Landmarks blog, his Los Angeles Theatre article and the 93 item photo set on Flickr.



One of the electric hand dryers. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



The sink area and the plaster ceiling styled to look like wood beams. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



A detail of the ceiling above the sinks. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



From the sink area, looking back out into the toilet hall on the left. Yes, those are the original 1931 yellow sinks. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



Toilet rooms on the left side of the hall. It's a c.1992 photo by Berger Conser Architectural Photography that appears on the Los Angeles Theatre website's photo gallery page devoted to the ladies room. Anne Conser and Robert Berger are the authors of the great book "The Last Remaining Seats: Movie Palaces of Tinseltown," available on Amazon. The Robert Berger Photography website has a portfolio of 16 photos from the book.



Looking down to the end of the hall. Thanks to Michael Hudson-Medina for the photo, a 2011 post on the Bringing Back Broadway Facebook page.


 
Plaster ornament on the south wall of the toilet hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



An individual toilet room. The rooms are done in a variety of different colors of marble. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013

Sadly, the original toilets had to be replaced as they started cracking. Several of the best were reinstalled in the men's room, but they didn't have a long life there either and had to be removed. The 1931 toilets were colored and as you walked down the row of rooms you'd see fixtures alternately in yellow, black, maroon and lavender.



Another bit of the plasterwork. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



A waste disposal bin built into the wall of a toilet room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



From the far west end of the toilet hall, looking back east toward the cosmetics room. Those lighter looking columns down at the end on the left are arches leading to the sink area. The main lounge area is off to our left in this view. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013


Vintage ladies room views:


The entrance to the ladies lounge and nursery on the south wall of the main basement lounge. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387264 - 1931



Looking into the cosmetics room from the entrance vestibule. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387263 - 1931



At the center it's the doorway back out to the basement lounge. On the right, a view of a mirrored alcove. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387266 - 1931



Another look at the cosmetics room. The famous "hall of toilets" is through that arch at the right. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387266 - 1931



The room with a different furniture arrangement. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387262 - 1931



A view from the cosmetics room looking west into the hall of toilets. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387264 - 1931



A look from the toilet hall toward the sink area. There's an exit from this room back out into the lounge. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387262 - 1931



The vista down the marble hall of toilet rooms. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387263 - 1931


In the nursery:


Looking in from the entrance vestibule. Thanks to Don Solosan for his 2009 photo taken for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation.

The LAHTF is active in promoting awareness of the historic theatres of Los Angeles and works toward their preservation. They frequently offer tours and sponsor other events related to historic preservation. www.lahtf.org | group Facebook page | official Facebook page



The clown seen on the north wall mural in the entrance vestibule. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009 



The nursery's east wall. The tented ceiling is, of course, made of plaster. Thanks to Gary Fimbres for his 2018 photo, one in a set of three on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.
  


The chandelier, adorned with faces of animals. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009



A closer look at the east wall. Photo: Don Solosan - 2009 



A detail of the plaster surface of the ceiling in the nursery. Thanks to Sandi Hemmerlein for her photo. It's one of many fine views appearing in "A Night at the Los Angeles Theatre," her Avoiding Regret photo essay about visiting the theatre for the 2013 LAHTF/Cinespia "Romeo + Juliet"
screening at the theatre.



Getting closer to the elephant in the southeast corner. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009



The south wall, the one you face upon entering. Photo: Don Solosan - 2009



A south wall detail. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009



The southwest corner. The doorway leads to a white marble kids' bathroom. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013 



The west wall. Photo: Floyd B. Bariscale - 2009  



A west wall detail. Photo: Floyd B. Bariscale - 2009



The northwest corner. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009



Looking north, back out toward the entrance vestibule. Photo: Gary Fimbres - 2018



A closer look at the north wall. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009



The entrance vestibule north wall mural. The doorway at the left gets you out to the main basement lounge or over to the ladies cosmetics room. Photo: Gary Fimbres - 2018



A closer look at the lady on the trapeze. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2009. Thanks, Michelle!


Vintage nursery views: 


The entrance vestibule. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387262 - 1931



The southwest corner. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387262 - 1931



The southeast corner. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - set # 001387262 - 1931



A 1944 view toward the south wall and an assortment of the nursery's equipment. Thanks to Wally Shidler for the photo from his collection. It's from the program for MGM's premiere of "National Velvet" at the Los Angeles. Also thanks to Michelle Gerdes for finding the program in the collection and photographing it.

| back to top - ladies room and nursery

| 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