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: Select one of the five basic categories and go browsing: Downtown Theatres | Hollywood Theatres | Westside Theatres | Westwood and Brentwood | Theatres Along the Coast. Or hit the section for all the leftovers: [more] L.A. Movie Palaces.

If you have a name -- search option #2: Hit 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 the older site.

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 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.



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. 

Arcade Theatre: history

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

More Arcade Theatre pages:  vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | stage | basement | office building |


Opened: September 26, 1910 as the Pantages Theatre. Opening several weeks later next door was Clune's Broadway (later renamed the Cameo). These two, plus the opening of the Orpheum in 1911 (now called the Palace), put Broadway on the map as the new entertainment street in Los Angeles. In 1914 Quinn's Superba (now the site of the Roxie) was added to the block. The 1972 photo by William Reagh is in the California State Library collection.

The theatre was built for vaudeville magnate Alexander Pantages by developer William Garland. Three years later he would build the Morosco Theatre (now the Globe) down the street for Oliver Morosco to operate. The opening bill at the Pantages featured:

Barnold’s Dog and Monkey Actors in “A Hot Time in Dogville”
Sophie Tucker, singer and comedienne
Maurice Burkhart, character-singing comedian
MacLean and Bryant “17-20 on the Black” gambling sketch
Lelliott Brothers, comedy musical sketch
Yalto Duo, novelty whirlwind dancers

Status: There's currently retail in the lobby with the quite intact auditorium used for storage. The building is owned, along with the Cameo and Roxie Theatres to the north and the Arcade Building to the south, by Joe Hellen's Downtown Management Co. He's owned the theatres since the early 90s.

Management phone: 213-688-1100   Website: www.downtownfilming.com/ArcadeTheater.html

Architect: Morgan & Walls designed this vaudeville theatre to resemble an English music hall. The firm, already with deep roots in theatre work, later added Stiles Clements to the partnership and went on to design many other theatres including the Mayan, the Belasco (1926 version), and the El Capitan and Wiltern office buildings.

The Arcade Theatre is built on a lot 60' wide x 160' deep. In addition, the basement also extends under the Broadway sidewalk. The stagehouse (32' 9" deep on the outside) is the full 60' wide. The auditorium and office building portions of the structure are 50' wide, leaving a 5' exit passageway to Broadway on either side of the building.



The 1909 main floor plan by Morgan & Walls. Thanks to William Cervera for providing it. 

Seating: 1,400 originally. At some point the six upper level proscenium boxes got removed. Later the seating capacity was down to 800. There are currently no seats on either the main floor or in the balcony. The orchestra pit got covered at some point in the distant past but the main floor has not been leveled.



A September 19, 1911 ad for the Pantages featuring the Three Marx Bros. on the bill. No idea what that Pantagescope was all about. Thanks to Michael Dobkins for finding the ad. Wikipedia has a nice history of the Marx Bros. 



The cover of a 1911 program at the Pantages that's in the collection of Danni Bayles-Yeager's Online Archive of the Performing Arts. In some 1912 ads Pantages was listing the location as "Broadway near Mercantile," a reference to Mercantile Place, the shopping alley that's now the site of the Arcade Building.

Matt Lambros reports on an After the Final Curtain post about the theatre that on Christmas Day 1913, the theatre hosted an on-stage "wedding" with Napoleon, a vaudeville-performing and film-starring chimpanzee, getting hitched to Sally, another chimpanzee later with the E&R Jungle Zoo.



In October 1915 the theatre had an electric scoreboard installed so they could relay World Series results to patrons. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the ad. 

The Pantages vaudeville shows moved to 7th & Hill when Alexander Pantages opened his new Pantages Theatre (in 1929 renamed the Warner) on August 17, 1920. After the move he still kept the old theatre as the Broadway Pantages, a venue running musical revues. Sid Grauman discussed with his partners the possibility of taking over the house but nothing came of it.



An August 31, 1920 ad with the "New Pantages" running vaudeville and the "Broadway Pantages" playing a musical revue. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the ad for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. An organ-like instrument called a Photoplayer was installed in December 1921 to accompany films. In the 1921 city directory it's listed as the Broadway Pantages Theatre. Pantages continued to run both houses until 1922.

The theatre was taken over in March 1922 by the Dalton Brothers (Pete, Roy and Frank), a team later called "the Minskys of L.A." The brothers also operated the Follies Theatre at 337 S. Main St. It became Dalton's Theatre or, as the revamped vertical signs said, "Dalton's Broadway." They ran revues and stock company shows, sometimes along with feature films. The initial stock company was the Dalton's Broadway Musical Comedy Company. "Second Hand Rose," their first production, received a good review in the Times on March 14. 

In 1928, as a film house, it was given the name Arcade Theatre to capitalize on the popularity of the Arcade Building nearby. The theatre got wired for sound in 1930 and ran its first talkie engagement on February 21.


An August 2, 1932 ad in the L.A. Times. The August 1 Times had reported: "Struck by an exploding stench bomb which was hurled at the stage of the Arcade Theater, 534 S. Broadway, while she was dancing, Miss Henrietta Peterson, 21, was undergoing treatment at the Georgia Street Receiving Hospital for severe cuts and other injuries. The bomb was thrown by an unidentified man late Saturday night." Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the report.

Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker, the authors of the Arcadia book "Theatres in Los Angeles," comment: "In the early 1930s, theatre bombings spread across the country. Although the theatre denied labor friction, the unknown assailant who hurled a stench bomb at a burlesque dancer was probably not a crazed moralist but a unionist making a violent point."

The current marquee on the building dates from 1935 when S. Charles Lee did a facade renovation as well as interior work. There was more work in 1938. After a brief closure, beginning in mid-July the theatre was being advertised as the New Arcade.



The Times ad on August 22, 1941 when the theatre became the Telenews. The August 19 issue of the Times had a story about an Associated Press teletype machine the Times was installing so patrons could see the latest dispatches. They'd be pinned up on a big world map. The newsreel experiment was not a big success and by mid-November 1941 they were back to running features using the Arcade name. Although back to the old name, it's listed as the Telenews in the 1942 city directory.

Closing: The Arcade closed in 1992. In its final decades the theatre was a triple feature grindhouse operated by Metropolitan Theatres.

 The Arcade Theatre in the Movies: 


A look north on Broadway at the Arcade, Cameo and Roxie theatres from Kent MacKenzie's "The Exiles" (1961). It's a film about a group of Native Americans trying to survive in downtown L.A. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more shots from the film.



The Arcade Theatre (with the Cameo beyond) appears in Arthur Hiller's "W.C. Fields & Me" (Universal, 1976). The Los Angeles also makes an appearance. The film stars Rod Steiger and Vallerie Perrine. Thanks to Escott Norton of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation for the screenshot. See the Historic L.A.Theatres In Movies post for another shot from the film.



In this shot from the featurette about the making of Mark Steven Johnson's "Daredevil" (Fox, 2003) we see a night setup on the roof of the Arcade Theatre. Across the bottom of the photo are (from left) the Roxie Theatre (with stagehouse visible), the flat-roofed Cameo, the Arcade Theatre (with fake water tower on the stage roof) and the Arcade Building. The film has lots of rooftop action with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and others in what is supposed to be New York. Much of that was done on Broadway. See the Historic L.A.Theatres in Movies post for several views of the Olympic Theatre from the film.

The future of the three theatres: There have been numerous proposals for reactivating the three theatres but so far a tenant has not appeared with both a viable plan as well as the financing to execute it. If a theatre tenant is not found, they could become retail spaces.

There was a club venture discussed in 2011. A possible revival of the house as a legit venue named after Chita Rivera came along several years later. The Cameo would have become badly needed lobby and support space. It's unknown what would have become of the Roxie in that scenario. The word was that substantial funding had been located toward the cost of what was estimated as a $30 million project.

A 2015 report was that the three theatres would be turned into a multiplex / restaurant complex by a startup company called Fusion Multiplex. The Cameo might have been the lobby, the Roxie carved up into multiple screens (perhaps with more on an added floor) and the Arcade possibly would have been a restaurant. Fusion had no operating locations at the time but promised "a distinctive concept, ground-breaking technology, and exemplary service..."

The company's principals, Virgil M. Hollins and Andre D. Giles, had assembled a team of industry veterans to book and operate the venture. A firm called Lucid Global Partners was supposedly involved in fundraising for Fusion. Hollins noted in early 2017 that planning was still underway and they were still hoping to put a project together. We'll see.

More information: See the After the Final Curtain post about the Arcade by Matt Lambros for six 2017 interior photos as well as a fine history of the building. Nick Bradshaw has some 2007 interior views in his "Dead Cinemas, downtown Los Angeles" album on Flickr.

The Cinema Tour page about the Arcade has some 2003 photos (including interiors) by Adam Martin. Cinema Treasures has additional photos as well as lots of discussion about the history of the theatre.



A photo of Joe Hellen in the Arcade Building taken by Gary Leonard. It appeared with "The Survivor," Ryan Vaillancourt's 2010 profile of the theatre owner in LA Downtown News. Villancourt also had a 2012 story about Hellen: "Developer Opens One Historic Core Apartment Complex and Plans Another." Among the firm's many downtown properties are the Chester Morris Building and the Jewelry Trades Building, both at 5th and Broadway.

The project behind the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade: Included in Mr. Hellen's holdings are the lots on Spring St. directly behind the three theatres. Over the years he has floated a number of plans for construction there but none have proceeded. All the plans have raised concerns about their impact on the future viability of the three buildings as possible live performance venues. Whatever was built behind might obstruct exiting and loading access. Ideally, easy access to Spring St. would be desirable. Of course, how much access is needed in that direction depends on the ultimate use of the theatres.

The current narrow alley behind the theatres dead ends at the Arcade Building on the south. As one goes north it takes a turn to the west  a building beyond the Roxie and becomes an exit onto Broadway just south of the Jewelry Trades Building. There's no possibility of truck access that way. The page of recent Roxie exterior views has alley photos down near the bottom.

An L.A. Downtown News story from July 2011, "Spring Street Garage Plans Filed," discussed Hellen's plans at that time to build a small parking garage facing Spring St. Ryan Vaillancourt had a story in LA Downtown News in 2012 about plans for a garage plus six or seven stories of housing on top, for a building height of about twelve stories. The story, "Developer Opens One Historic Core Apartment Complex...," also talks about the company's renovation of the nearby Chester Williams building.

In 2013 the project grew to 40 stories. In "Veteran Developer Planning 40-Story Tower for Historic Core," Donna Evans discussed the new plans in an L.A. Downtown News story.



This rendering of the new design by Steinberg Architects and TSK Architects appeared with a March 2015 story by Chris Loos on Urbanize LA: "New Design Unveiled for Historic Core Skyscraper."  That's the Spring St. side of the Arcade Building on the left.

The article noted: "Hellen's firm Downtown Management is currently exploring options for the usage of these theaters [the Roxie, Cameo & Arcade] including live entertainment as well as retail spaces... The tower will feature 360 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, all built to condominium level specifications. At ground level, plans call for approximately 9,400 square feet of retail space." The rendering popped up again in a confused August 2017 story on Archinect. They had mistakenly grabbed this rendering from the 2015 Urbanize story when discussing a newer design.



The site plan from Steinberg Architects and TSK Architects. Broadway (with the three theatres in purple) is at the top. Spring (with the proposed tower in turquoise) is at the bottom.



A ground floor plan for the tower as it was envisioned in early 2015. The three theatres are at the left. The drawings are courtesy of Steinberg Architects. Curbed L.A.'s Bianca Barragan also had a March 2015 story about plans: "New Plan For 40-story Historic Core Tower..."

Eddie Kim ran a March 2015 story in the L.A. Downtown News: "Housing Plan Envisions Revival of Broadway Theaters." Regarding the theatres, he noted:

"Hellen purchased the 1910 Arcade, the 1931 Roxie and the 1910 Cameo decades ago, with plans to demolish the structures and build a retail complex in their place. He announced a $55 million project in 1992, but was met with fierce opposition from the Community Redevelopment Agency and preservation groups. He eventually scrapped the plan. 'We paid through the nose for the theaters thinking we could demolish them,' Martin [Greg Martin, Hellen's VP] said. 'Big mistake.'

"The theaters for years have mostly held swap meet vendors. Downtown Management’s renovation would refurbish the facades and signage and upgrade the interiors. Martin imagines the venues hosting live entertainment, and said the plan has sparked some early flickers of interest from potential tenant-operators. Still, he added, the tight confines make it a tricky sell.

"'I’ve heard that the theaters are too small to be profitable, and that any entertainment use would need corporate sponsorship, and that there’s no appetite for that now,' Martin said. 'It seems the people with vision have no money, and the people with money have no vision.' Another option, said Martin, is a retail conversion of the theaters, similar to what Urban Outfitters did with the 1917 Rialto Theater at 810 S. Broadway. Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway Initiative has sought to activate the street’s collection of historic movie palaces."

The word in February 2016 was that, after years of planning, the then-latest version of the project had been shelved. Downtown Los Angeles News reported in a February story that plans for a tower had "stalled following disagreements" between owner Joe Hellen and the city on the high-rise's design. Simon Ha noted that the tower's modern look was an issue. He's a principal at Steinberg Architects, the firm that had been working on the design.

Hellen evidently had balked at the changes that would have been required to give this one the historic features the city's Office of Historic Resources was after. One concern with this version, as with earlier plans, was that it would limit the future viability of the theatres due to limited access. That would have been fixable, of course.

The project rose again in 2017 as a shimmering blue-glass design by ASAP/Adam Sokol Architecture Practice. Urbanize L.A. had an August 2017 story about it by Steven Sharp: "Downtown Developer Considers Reviving Spring Street Tower." Sharp noted that the design "envisions a 45-story tower on the property at 525 S. Spring Street, featuring 360 residential units, 25,000 square feet of street-fronting commercial space and a below-grade parking garage. Renderings portray the approximately 500-foot building with an angular form that shifts to create open space along the property lines. The exterior is composed of varying shades of blue glass that gradually lighten moving up the tower."



A rendering looking along Spring St., one of four appearing with the 2017 Urbanize L.A. article. There is no mention of the future of the three theatres. Sharp posted a link to his story on the DTLA Development Facebook page where it attracted many comments. Stay tuned for the next chapter.



The rear of the (left to right) Arcade, Cameo and Roxie theatres in 2007. It looks the same over a decade later. There never have been any loading or patron exit provisions through the rear of the Arcade. The ramp you see at the left is a new-ish entrance to the parking garage in the basement of the Arcade Building. Photo: Bill Counter

The Arcade Theatre pages: back to top - history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | stage | basement | office building

| 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

Arcade Theatre: vintage exterior views

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

The Arcade Theatre pages:  history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | stage | basement | office building |


1910 - An interesting view showing the top of the newly completed Pantages, which opened September 26. Just to the right we see the roof of Clune's Broadway (later renamed the Cameo) with the sign frame constructed but with no signage installed yet. It opened October 10. It's a C.C. Pierce photo from the California Historical Society that's on the USC Digital Library website, where you can use the slider to get a larger image and explore details.

Note the Philharmonic Auditorium over on the left at 5th and Olive. The large white building under construction is the Metropolitan Building at 5th and Broadway. Not to be confused with the later Metropolitan Theatre of 1923 which would be built at 6th and Hill.



c.1910 - This lovely view looking northeast was probably taken not much after the Pantages opened. The theatre is on the far right, a bit down from the top. That's Pershing Square (called Central Park at the time of the photo) on the left with the Philharmonic Auditorium in the upper left. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for spotting the photo on eBay and including it on his Noirish post #2388.



c.1910 - A slice from the right edge of the previous photo with the Pantages up near the top. Down at the bottom it's a rare view of the Bandbox Theatre, 608 S. Hill St.



c. 1910 - A view looking south from 5th St. in the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection in the California State Archives. We get a sliver of the Pantages over on the left. It's cataloged as Album 5, Photograph 283. The collection includes over 3,000 photos taken by William and his wife Grace all over the country from about 1905 until 1938. Included are 76 photos of Los Angeles.  Thanks to Kim Cooper and Richard Schave for posting about the newly digitized collection on their blog Esotouric.



1911 - A view north on Broadway toward the Pantages. At the right it's the Orpheum (now called the Palace) under construction. It's a Warren Dickerson photo in the collection of the L.A. County Natural History Museum. The building in the distance with the pointed roof is City Hall.



c.1911 - A look north on Broadway with the Orpheum/Palace, the Story Building (1909) and, up in the next block, the Pantages. The Orpheum here still has only one vertical which means the photo was taken sometime prior to October 1913. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



c. 1912 - A view north from the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection in the State Archives.  It's cataloged as Album 7, Photograph 206. They date it as c.1915 but it's a bit earlier. In the lower right we see the Orpheum/Palace, 615 S. Broadway, and by late 1913 it had a vertical sign on the corner we see. 



1913 - A great view of the south side of the Pantages (including the stagehouse) that's part five of a six section panorama taken from a building at 6th & Hill. To the left of the Diamond Tires sign is a view of the Mercantile Place shopping alley between Broadway and Spring that predated the Arcade Building. It's a C.C. Pierce photo that's in the California Historical Society collection on the USC Digital Library website. The photos comprising the panorama also appear on Noirish Los Angeles post #1291 as part of a wonderful post by Ethereal Reality.



1913 - A G. Haven Bishop photo showing off the building's stud lighting that was taken September 1st for Southern California Edison. Note the elaborate roof sign on Clune's Broadway to the left of the Pantages. The photo is in the Huntington Digital Library collection where you can use the slider to get a larger image -- then you can pan around to explore details. Also see more of the So Cal Edison collection on the HDL site.



1913 - A detail of the entrance from the G. Haven Bishop photo. Note that lovely grille above the marquee. The awning on the south storefront (on the right) looks like it says "Pool Parlor," presumably in the basement. There's also a shoeshine stand. That bay also is the entrance to the office building. 



1913 - A fine mid-September look at the building from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Acts on the bill at the time included Lottie Mayer and the Diving Maidens, Tai Ling Sing, Johnny Singer, and Joseph Greenwood. Ms. Mayer got a nice writeup in the September 17 L.A. Times. She was still touring in the 1950s. She got a story in the June 23, 1956 issue of Billboard. It's on Google Books.



1915 - A wonderful view by G. Haven Bishop for the Southern California Edison Company. We're looking across the facades of the Superba (later the site of the Roxie), Clune's Broadway and the Pantages. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo in the Huntington Digital Library collection.



c.1915 - A view north toward the theatre from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. There's also a version of the photo from the California Historical Society in the USC Digital Library collection.  



c. 1915 - Day into night. This "Broadway By Night" postcard from Western Publishing is based on the daytime LAPL photo above. Thanks to John Vincenti for finding it for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.



1916 - A terrific view north by G. Haven Bishop from the Huntington Digital Library collection. What we see on the corner this side of the Pantages is part of the shopping alley called Mercantile Place. It would be demolished for construction of the Arcade Building in 1923-24. About 140' down Mercantile Place there would have been a passage leading to the Pantages stage loading door.



1916 - A detail from the G. Haven Bishop photo. A fire escape was later added to this side of the building to provide a second exit from the office building floors.



1916 - A dazzling view of "The Great White Way" from Cezar Del Valle's collection. The "Vaudeville" vertical on the right is all we get of the Pantages. The card bears a 1916 copyright date. Thanks, Cezar! A version of the card with slightly different coloring is on Brent C. Dickerson's A Visit to Old Los Angeles. See his great Broadway Tour Part 3 for many other vintage views. The card also appears on the Facebook page Bizarre Los Angeles.  



1920 - A dazzling view of the Superba, Clune's and the Pantages. It's a photo by Underwood & Underwood in the New York Times Archive. It's on Wikimedia Commons.



c.1921 - A photo by Martin Behrman looking south toward the Pantages. Note the Examiner offices in the building at the left, now known as the Jewelry Trades Building. Down the block from the Pantages the enlarged Silverwood's Department Store can be seen on the NE corner of 6th and Broadway. It opened in 1921. The larger building beyond is the Story building. The photo is in the California State Library collection.

Pantages had moved to his new theatre at 7th & Hill in 1920, a venue later called the Warner Downtown. For a short period of time he operated both houses until the Dalton Brothers took over the Broadway house. They also had the Follies Theatre at 337 S. Main St.



c.1921 - A postcard that's based on the photo above by Martin Behrman. Thanks to Nathan Marsak for including it in his Noirish Los Angeles post #1162. Also see another version of the card from the collection of Cezar Del Valle.



1921 or 1922 - A view looking south showing the building with a "Dalton's Theatre" sign painted on the side as well as redone vertical signs saying "Dalton's" and "Broadway." The Superba roof sign doesn't yet say "Tait's Coffee Shop," a conversion that happened in 1922. Beyond Dalton's, note that we still have Mercantile Place as the Arcade Building hasn't yet begun construction. It would open in 1924. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



c.1924 - A view north across Dalton's Broadway. Next door it's Clune's Broadway, here seen as the Cameo after its renaming by new proprietor H.L. Gumbiner. What had been the Superba Theatre beyond the Cameo is here seen as Tait's Coffee Shop. In 1931 the building would be demolished for construction of the Roxie Theatre. The image is a detail from the first of four photos by Mott Studios of the Arcade Building, seen here on the far right. The set is in the California State Library collection.



c. 1925 - Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for this great card from his collection. There's also a version of it with slightly different coloring in Elizabeth Fuller's terrific Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr. 



mid-20s - Looking north from 6th St. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.



1928 - A view looking south with the Dalton's vertical signs off the building. It's been renamed the Arcade Theatre. Note the Dalton's signage still on the side of the building with some of the Pantages text visible: "Unrivaled Vaudeville - American & European Artists." It's a California Historical Society collection photo on the USC Digital Library website.



c.1928 - Looking south toward 5th & Broadway. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



1929 - A view of the Arcade marquee by Keystone Photo Service that ended up in the Examiner collection. It's on the USC Digital Library website.



1929 - A detail from the photo by Keystone Photo Service.



early 1930s - A view looking south on Broadway from 5th with the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade Theatres. Although there's still a Dalton's sign on the side of the building, the theatre had been called the Arcade since 1928. The Roxie had opened in November 1931, the last of the Broadway show palaces to debut. On the far left note that the Examiner sign is off the Title Guarantee Building, here renamed the Jewelry Trades Building. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1930s - A view north across the facade of the Arcade Building on the right toward the readerboard of the Arcade Theatre. Yes, above the readerboard the lettering just says "Theatre." It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



1935 - A look at the theatre's entrance after the S. Charles Lee remodel and new triangular marquee installation. "Car 99" was a 1935 release, "The Lost Squadron" came out in 1932. The photo appeared five years later with "The All Important Meaning of Magnetism Out In Front," an article in the May 25, 1940 issue of Boxoffice on sprucing up theatre facades. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for finding the article and photo. The writer evidently thought the theatre was inside a shopping arcade. His copy:

"Arcade in Midst of Strong Competition - So common on the main streets of large cities, the arcade-type of theatre entrance must make the most of plentiful light, color and motion in display. The Arcade Theatre in Los Angeles is a striking example of what may be done in this sort of situation. Its marquee dominates its surroundings as a result of brilliant neonized effects and day-bright soffit lamping. Ample program display is also heightened by clear-cut silhouette letters and interior-illuminated display cases. For facing, gleaming structural glass in colors of suntan, tropic green and jade effectively surrounds the entire arcade-type lobby. S. Charles Lee, architect, designed the project."



1938 - A Dick Whittington Studio view looking south with the Cameo and the Arcade Theatres visible behind a Shriners parade. The photo is in the USC Digital Library collection.  



1938 - A detail from the Dick Whittington photo above. The Arcade has "Thrill of a Lifetime," a December 1937 release, along with "The Last Outpost" from 1935. Too bad it's not a night view. It looks like they've added neon up on the 3rd floor. 



1948 - A Bettman Archives photo from Corbis/Getty Images taken in June during Truman's visit to Los Angeles. Playing at the Arcade that week: "Nobody Lives Forever" (1946) with John Garfield and "Million Dollar Kid" (1944) with the East Side Kids.  The photo has made appearances on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles and on Noirish Los Angeles as part of post #3768 by GS Jansen.



1948 - A classy view looking north on Broadway toward the Arcade Building and the Arcade, Cameo, and Roxie theatres. Thanks to Laura DeMarco for finding the photo for a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. It seems to have vanished from there. It also popped up on Photos of Los Angeles where Vincent Paterno's sharp eyesight let him advise us that the Arcade is playing Dick Powell's "Station West," an October release, along with a revival of "Little Caesar" from 1931. 



1958 - Thanks to Richard Wojcik for this great photo from his collection.    



1961 - Shoppers with the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade theatres beyond. It's a William Reagh photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



c.1963 - A look north on Broadway from 6th with a bit of the Arcade Theatre on the right. They've got their Keno game on the marquee but aren't bothering with film titles. Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the photo from his collection. 



1967 - A photo from the 2008 Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker. It's available from Amazon. There's a preview of the book on Google Books that includes page 20 where this photo appears.



1972 - The Arcade running "Villa Rides" (1968), "Boxcar Bertha" (1972) and "The Oblong Box" (1969) ... plus Keno every night at 8 pm! Yes, they would stop right in the middle of a film for the Keno game. It's a photo by William Reagh in the California State Library collection.

Note that at this time the south bay of the building (right) included a jewelry store as well as the office building entrance. Later storefront use of the space occupied the full width of the bay after the upper building floors were abandoned. Also note the dentist's sign, here with the neon still on it. He was on the 2nd floor. And we get a good view of the restaurant in the north storefront. 



1977 - Thanks to a Facebook page about the Roxie Theatre for this lovely shot.



1980 - Looking south at the Roxie, Cameo and Arcade. It's a detail from a photo in the American Classic Images collection. Also see a view looking north of the three theatres taken the same year. 



1983 - Thanks to John Rice for his photo, a post on the Roxie page of Cinema Treasures.



1983 - A parade view from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1983 - A detail from a photo in the American Classic Images collection. Also see a night view from the north of the Roxie, Cameo & Arcade taken the same year.



1983 - Another view from American Classic Images. The site also has another daytime view taken at the same time.



1991 - The Roxie had died but two of the three theatres were still in business. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo.



1991 - A photo by cinematographer Gary Graver (1938-2006). More theatre views by Graver can be seen in two compilations on You Tube: "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2."



c.1993 - A view by Gary Graver of the three closed theatres. The Roxie closed in 1989, the Cameo in 1991 and the Arcade in 1992. Thanks to Sean Graver for the use of the photos.



c.1995 - A look at the Arcade with the lobby used as retail space. The photo appears on the fine Broadway Theater Tour page on the website of Grace Market Research.

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