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 three 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 Westside theatres -- the 100+ theatres that were once downtown will be up next. 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 Los Angeles Theatres -- Downtown

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

In addition, the site has a downtown theatre directory with both a list by address and an alternate name list.


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 site tries to fill in all the other areas of Los Angeles County. You'll find separate sections on theatres north of Downtown, San Fernando Valley Theatres, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, theatres along the coast, and lots more. The home 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.
- 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. 

iPic Westwood / Avco Cinemas

10840 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90014
| map | 


Opened: 1972 as a triplex by General Cinema as the GCC Avco Center Cinemas. The building is on the south side of the street a block west of Westwood Blvd. The large theatre was twinned in the 90's. The big 70mm-equipped theatre had been a favorite of many moviegoers. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

After General Cinema headed into bankruptcy, the theatre was operated by AMC as the AMC Avco Cinemas. AMC closed the house in December 2011 after they were unable to come to an agreement with the landlord, Avco Corp., about the terms of a new lease.

Phone: 310-475-0711   Website: www.ipictheaters.com

Seating: 1,100, 700 and 400 when it opened as a triplex. The big one was later split in half. It's now down to 480 seats total in 6 theatres.

Status: The building was renovated by Florida-based iPic Theaters to become a luxury 6 screen cinema with food service in the auditoriums as well as a full service restaurant, Tanzy. It's called the iPic Westwood. The reopening was May 2, 2014.



A photo of the upper lobby area in the theatre's 4 plex days. Thanks to Scott Neff on Cinema Tour for the 2008 photo.



A post-renovation boxoffice area photo from the iPic website.

 

Half of what had once been the big auditorium. It's a 2008 photo from Scott Neff on Cinema Tour.



A post-renovation auditorium photo from the iPic website.

More exterior views:


An Associated Press "Star Wars" photo published in June 1977. Alison Martino had it as a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. The film opened May 25, 1977, also playing at the Chinese

 A cropped version of the photo appears with a Tested.com article about "Remembering the Opening Day...." See Michael Coate's "A Force To Be Reckoned With," his extensive 2015 article about the film's initial engagements. It's on the site The Digital Bits.



A 1977 Fitzgerald Whitney photo on Calisphere from the UCLA Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives. People are reading "Fun in Space," a review of "Star Wars" posted in the theatre window.



Thanks to Don Solosan of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation for this 2008 photo.  www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook



Thanks to Marc Wanamaker for this 2009 photo from his Arcadia Publishing book "Westwood." There's a preview of the book to browse on Google Books.



A 2015 view of the revamped building as the iPic. Thanks to Alison Martino for the photo on Vintage Los Angeles. She added it as a comment to her post of a "Star Wars" opening day photo.



A night view from the iPic website.

More information: See the iPic Westwood page on Cinema Treasures. The Cinema Tour page has some nice photos by Scott Neff and Bob Meza.

Westwood-Century City Patch had a story about the coming of iPic in August 2012. iPic also runs the iPic Theaters Pasadena complex at the One Colorado development in Old Town Pasadena.  LA Observed had a May 2013 story about construction delays. It had been scheduled for an early 2013 opening.

There's a small 1998 shot of the Avco on the page about Westwood Theatres on the site Roadside Peek. There's also a small photo of similar vintage on the site Silver Screens in their two page 1999 survey of Los Angeles Theatres by Don Ceppi.

| back to topWestside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |

Mann Westwood 4

1050 Gayley Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024
| map |   

  
Opened: The Mann Westwood was opened by the circuit in 1975 as a tri-plex in a building that had been a Safeway. The largest auditorium was twinned in 1985. This was largely used as a moveover house.

The location was on a block with the Mann National on the south end and the Fox Westwood Village on the north. Thanks to Scott Neff for his 1997 photo appearing on the Cinema Tour page about the theatre.

Status: The complex closed in April 2002. The site is now a Whole Foods Market.



A tiny photo of the Mann Westwood by Don Ceppi from the Silver Screens page about Los Angeles theatres. Note no sign on the roof yet in this view.



Another tiny shot, this one from the Roadside Peek page about Westwood Theatres.



The former Mann Westwood 4 -- a supermarket once again. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

More information: See the page on Cinema Treasures.

| back to topWestside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |

National Theatre

10925 Lindbrook Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90024
| map |


Opened: The debut of the National Theatre was March 27, 1970. It was a project of National General Corporation, then the operator of the remnants of the Fox West Coast chain. The location was the northeast corner of Lindbrook and Gayley Ave.

It was acquired by Mann Theatres when they bought the chain and operated by them until 2007. The Mann Westwood 4 was just up Gayley.

The National hosted many record breaking exclusive runs over the years and was known for its giant screen and terrific 70mm presentations.

Seating: 1,112

Status: After Mann closed the theatre April 19, 2007 it reopened and ran as an independent but closed again on October 7, 2007. It was demolished in 2008.



Not a lot to see inside -- the auditorium was the fully draped 70's look as you can see in this Mark Campbell photo. It's on the page about the National on Cinema Tour where you'll find many more photos by Mr. Campbell along with others by by Adam Martin and Scott Neff.

More exterior views:


The crowd for "The Exorcist," a December 1973 opening. Thanks to Stephen Russo for the post on the Facebook page for the non-public group Mid Century Moddern Los Angeles. Provenance of the photo is unknown.



A detail from the photo above of the line for "The Exorcist." This version was a post from Alison Martino on her Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. Gregg Sultan did a repost on VLA with a curious version of the history of Westwood's decline as his caption.



We don't get very many cartoons about movie theatres. One that comes to mind is the New Yorker cartoon with the little girl in the rotunda of the Roxy saying "Mommy, does God live here?"

Thanks to Ken McIntyre for posting this one about the National's 1973-1974 run of "The Exorcist" on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. Robert Valding notes that this was an ad that the National ran in the L.A. Times.



A 1974 look at the National from Richard Wojcik's collection appearing as a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. Note the art for "Phantom of the Paradise" on the sidewall.



A 1984 L.A. Times shot of a line for "Beverly Hills Cop." It's a photo by Craig T. Matthew on Calisphere from the UCLA Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives.



A R.I.P. view added to the Mid Century Modern Los Angeles Facebook page by Alison Martino.

More information: Many National Theatre fans have posted their laments (and notes about the great movies they saw there) on Cinema Treasures. And if you want photos -- especially lots of demolition views, there are over 250 to look at.

The Cinema Tour page, along with lots of photos, has a nice history of the theatre. Curbed L.A. ran a story titled "Westwood Woe: Love Letters To Demolished Mann Theatre."

See Cinema Sightlines for a page curated by TJ Edwards that includes a reproduction of an extensive trade magazine article (with lots of photos) about the new theatre.

| back to topWestside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |

Plaza Theatre

1067 Glendon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024
| map |


Opened: The Plaza Theatre was opened in 1967 by Laemmle Theatres and run by them until 1991 when Mann Theatres acquired the lease. It was on the west side of the street between Weyburn and Kinross. Thanks to Scott Neff for his 2001 photo on Cinema Tour.

Seating: 650

Status: Closed October 2004. The theatre was demolished for a new development encompassing the whole block.



A 2004 Mark Campbell photo appearing on the Cinema Tour page about the Plaza.



Thanks to Mark Tufitee for this December 30, 2004 photo on Cinema Treasures.



The development that swallowed the Plaza Theatre site. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007.

The Plaza in the Movies:



We're in Westwood and get a look at the Plaza in Robert Aldrich's "Hustle (Paramount, 1975). The film stars Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve and Ben Johnson in a tale of an L.A. cop investigating a suicide that may actually have been something else.

Thanks to Eitan Alexander for spotting this one -- and providing the screenshot. See the Theatres In Movies post for one more shot from this scene

More information: See the Mann Plaza page on Cinema Treasures. There's a small 1999 shot of the Plaza on the Westwood Theatres page of the Roadside Peek.

| back to topWestside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |

Regent Theatre

1045 Broxton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024
| map |

The news: The theatre is closing soon. The owner plans to lease the building to two restaurants.



Opened: The Regent Theatre opened in 1966, a project of Laemmle Theatres. The building was constructed in the 40s as retail space but had later been used as a warehouse before the theatre conversion. The theatre was operated for years by Mann after Laemmle lost their lease on the building in the 70s.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

Phone: 310-208-3250     Website: www.landmarktheatres.com/los-angeles

It was acquired in 2002 by Landmark Theatres, who did a general refurbishing. They ran some artie product and then settled into a routine of first run or moveover mainstream product. Lots of Disney, etc.



An interior view from the Landmark Theatres website.

Seating: 400

Screen size: 35'

Status: The building owner plans to take off the 60s facade and use the building for two restaurant tenants.



Thanks to Mark NYLA for this photo appearing on the Cinema Treasures page about the Regent.



The building that later became the Regent. Thanks to Kevin Roderick for the photo in a February 2017 L.A. Observed article about the closing.



A shot of the theatre that appeared on the Regent Theatre page of TheWestwoodVillage.com, the site for the Westwood Village Improvement Association.



Thanks to Scott Neff for this 2001 photo of the theatre on the Cinema Tour page about the Regent.



Chris Nichols had the story about the theatre's closing for Los Angeles magazine in February 2017: "The Classic Landmark Regent Theatre in Westwood is Closing After 50 Years." 

More information: See the Regent page on Cinema Treasures for many comments. Several exterior photos are on Cinema Tour.

There's a small 1998 photo of the Mann Regent taken by Don Ceppi on the Silver Screens page about Los Angeles Theatres. The site Roadside Peek has a 1998 photo of the Mann Regent running "The Truman Show" on their Westwood Theatres page.

| back to topWestside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |

Royce Hall

340 Royce Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90095
| map |


Opened: 1929 as the original building on the UCLA campus. The first performing arts season was in 1937. This construction photo by Thelner Hoover is from the Los Angeles Public Library. They have about 150 more photos of the building in their collection.

The building is named after Josiah Royce, a California-born philosopher who received his bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in 1875 and became a noted philosophy teacher at UC Berkeley and Harvard.

The venue has hosted numerous greats including George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Arnold Schoenberg, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It's the main performance venue for UCLA, what they're calling the Center for the Art of Performance. 

Phone: 310-825-4321   

Website: www.roycehall.org | cap.ucla.edu | Center for the Art of Performance on Facebook

Architects: James Edward Allison (1870-1955) and David Clark Allison (his brother, 1881-1962) of the Los Angeles firm of Allison and Allison. The Italian Romanesque style building was modeled, in part, on the 10th/11th century San Ambrogio Church in Milan. Allison and Allison also designed the Variety Arts Theatre downtown.



A main floor plan from the RoyceHall.org website.

Seating: 1,836

The building was restored and upgraded after the 1994 earthquake. Landry and Bogan were the theatre consultants, Ashen + Allen were the executive architects, Barton Phelps & Associates were the design architects. Project cost was $68 million. It reopened in 1998 and is considered one of the nation's top concert halls.

Organ: It's a 5 manual, 104 rank Ernest Skinner organ Opus 818, built in 1930. It had a 1999 restoration by Turner Organs. There are pipes above the proscenium because the chambers designed by the architects were too small. 

Stage specs: 
Proscenium: 48' 5" wide x 23' 6 1/2" high
Fire curtain to back wall: 33' 9"
Fire curtain to edge of apron: 2'3"
Fire curtain to stage extensions (or pit): 12' or 17'
Pit capacity: 35 to 40
Pit depth below stage level: 7' 6"
Centerline to lock rail SR: 36' 11"
Centerline to wall SL:  38'
Balcony rail to curtainline: 80' 4"   22 circuits
Ceiling slots to curtainline: 71' and 85'  35 circuits each
Box booms to curtainline at center: 75'  12 circuits per side
Anti-pro and proscenium window areas: 26 circuits

Rigging: 34 single purchase sets operate stage level stage right. 11 double purchase sets upstage operate from the flyfloor. In addition there are 4 motorized sets for the first electric and orchestra shell components.  High trim about 50'. Sets use 7 lift lines on 9' centers. Average batten length 58'.  Typical arbor handles 1,200 pounds with 50,000 pounds of weight available.

Flyfloor: stage right, 21' 9" above stage.

Loading bridge: 47' 5" above stage.

Grid: 55' above stage. The deck is subway grating.

Stage floor: Sprung, no traps. Surface is 3/4" Plyron painted flat black.

Dressing rooms: Total capacity 56 with a green room and one room for four people at stage level, all others are under the stage.

Loading: A door upstage center leads to a corridor terminating at the loading dock 105' away. 

Lighting: 428 2.4 Kw, 24 6 Kw ETC Sensor dimmers. The console is an ETC GIO with ETC Obsession II and ETC Express 125 also available. House lights are on an additional 55 2.4 Kw dimmers

Road power: 2 400A 3 phase disconnects with Cam-Lok connectors or lugs downstage right, 1 100A 3 phase switch with Cam-Lok connectors upstage right.

Sound: Meyer line array left and right, Yamaha PM1D 96 channel console. House mix position is at the rear of the main floor.

Projection: 20' x 40' screen, 2 Simplex XLs with 4.5 Kw xenon lamphouses. A TB Woods control unit allows variable speeds from 16 to 24 fps. Soundheads are Simplex 5 Star optical analog plus Dolby Digital. Processing is a Dolby CP650D-EX unit. The throw to the curtainline is 119' and to the screen 127' 4".

Followspots: 2 Strong Gladiator II 2.5 Kw, 2 Colortran Colorarc 2000 2 Kw.

Head to the rental page on the Royce Hall website for links to PDFs with more detailed tech information.



 A lobby view provided by UCLA to Yelp.



The lobby from the second floor. Thanks to Mike Hume for all his photos taken during the August 2017 LAHTF tour of the building. In addition to what's on this page many more can be seen on his Royce Hall page. For photos and tech data on many additional theatres he's studied see the main Historic Theatre Photography page of the website.

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation is actively involved in the study and preservation of the vintage theatres in the L.A. area. The group frequently supports events and offers tours of various historic theatres. www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook



A lobby ceiling detail. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



A wonderful view of the auditorium during the renovations following the 1994 earthquake. It's a photo from Heliphoto, used with permission. The firm specializes in aerial and architectural photos of Los Angeles.



A  wide angle main floor view. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2017. Thanks, Wendell!



 A closer look at the proscenium. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



The view from the front. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



The lie-on-your-back ceiling detail. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



A view toward the stage from Richard L. on Yelp.



An organ pipe detail. The chambers were too small to get them all in. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



A closer proscenium view by Timothy Norris. It's a photo he took for a 2008 concert review for L.A. Weekly. It's also been seen on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.



A balcony level look across the house from Bernie G. on Yelp.



A sidewall detail from Natalie M. on Yelp. Note the drapes deployed to vary the acoustics.



A great view from the balcony. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



A ceiling detail by Danny P. on Yelp.



The house from the right side of the balcony. Thanks to James Cottle for his photo taken at the 2017 LAHTF tour. It's one of eight in a set on the LAHTF Facebook page.



The rear of the house. It's a Wendell Benedetti photo that appeared on the LAHTF Facebook page advertising their August 2017 "all-about" tour of the building.



A Tom Bonner photo looking at the rear of the auditorium from onstage. It's on the website of Landry and Bogan, the theatre consultants for the restoration and upgrade work following the 1994 Northridge earthquake.



A view offstage right from the Landry and Bogan page about their work which they describe: "Landry & Bogan designed the system of movable acoustical panels within the acoustical chambers, as well as the method of opening and closing the chamber doors. In addition, L&B worked with the design team to find opportunities for improvement wherever changes had to be made to structure or equipment.

"The stage gridiron was replaced with a new one which combined the required stiffness and properly-spaced loft wells. The main headbeam was relocated to provide the last possible inch of batten travel. Virtually all the stagehouse electrical items had to be removed, and the ones that had been preventing function were consolidated. Front of house lighting was improved modestly, and the massive 1984 loudspeakers and the door machinery and crane rails were replaced by a more modern and flexible system."



Another look across from stage left. The door on the upstage wall leads to the loading dock.  Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



A peek up at the grid. Note the upstage double purchase linesets that are operable only from the flyfloor.  Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



Offstage right. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



A look along the lockrail. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



The view into the house. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A few more exterior views: 


Opening day at the new campus, September 20, 1929. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library



Trekking up the Janss Steps in 1929. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library


 
A 1930 blimp view of the campus. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library



Many steps to get up to the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010 



A facade view. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010 



The arches of the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010 



The colonnade across the front of the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



Another look down the colonnade. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2017



A colonnade ceiling view. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017. Thanks for all the terrific photos, Mike!  



A night view from Pamela Y. on Yelp.

More Information: Check out "Temple of Academia..." Sandi Hemmerlein's  2017 Avoiding Regret photo essay about her visit to Royce Hall. Wikipedia has an article on Royce Hall. The Yelp page for Royce Hall currently has over 200 photos of the building.

| back to topWestside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |