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. 

Palace Theatre: recent exterior views

630 S. Broadway Los Angeles CA 90014 | map |



A no traffic day for this stretch of Broadway. It was setup time for a "Night on Broadway." Photo: Bill Counter - January 30, 2016



Thanks to the Palace for the greetings during the 2015 Christmas season. It was a post on the Palace Theatre Facebook page.



A fine look south toward the signage of the Roxie, Palace and Orpheum. Photo: Eric Solis - October 2015. Thanks, Eric! And thanks to the Bringing Back Broadway team for posting the photo on the BBB Facebook page.



The view south during the 1st "Night On Broadway." Photo: Hunter Kerhart - January 31, 2015. Thanks, Hunter! The photo was taken from the roof of the Los Angeles Theatre. Keep up with Hunter's explorations: on Facebook | HunterKerhart.com | on Flickr



A big crowd at the Palace for the 1st "Night on Broadway." Photo: Hunter Kerhart - January 31, 2015



The vista north on Broadway. Here we see the fruits of the neon repairs done during the summer of 2013. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - August 2013



A late night look south on Broadway. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - July 2013



The Palace viewed from a window on the second floor of the south storefront space at the Los Angeles Theatre. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



The Palace facade from the 4th floor of the Bullock's Building (now a parking garage) at 7th & Broadway. Thanks to Stephen Russo for his 2012 photo appearing on the LAHTF Facebook page.

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 supports events and offers tours of the buildings.
www.lahtf.org | group Facebook page | official Facebook page |



Another shot from the Bullock's building -- this time from the 6th floor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The facade from across the street. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2012



A view south on Broadway in 2012. Photo: Hunter Kerhart



The vertical signs of the Palace lighting a deserted Broadway. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for her December 2010 photo.  See her Palace Theatre set on Flickr for more great views. And don't miss her other Theatre sets.



A street level view looking north on Broadway. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - c.2009 



Looking south on Broadway c.2009. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF. The red brick-colored building in the distance at the center of the photo is the State Theatre at 7th & Broadway. Thanks for the photos, Don!



A big show in 2007. Photo: Bill Counter



A crowd waiting for a L.A. Conservancy film screening. Photo: Don Solosan - 2006



Thanks to Tom Zimmerman for this 2002 photo. It's in the collection of the California State Library.


Signage details:


Not a vertical sign view that you get everyday Photo: Hunter Kerhart - January 31, 2015



Gazing up along the south vertical sign toward the polychrome terracotta at the cornice. Thanks to Will Campbell for his 2009 photo, one of 65 great shots in his A Morning at the Palace Theater set on Flickr.



The south vertical. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - 2006


The view up the north vertical. Thanks to Sean Ault for his 2006 photo.The facade on the left is the Schaber's Cafeteria Building (1928), that had reopened as the restaurant Les Noces Du Figaro. It closed suddenly in 2015, a victim of the instability of Broadway. The facade has been preserved but the building behind was demolished in 2017 and replaced with a new structure.


The north vertical sign. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - c.2009



The north vertical. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the c.2008 Gary Leonard photo. It's in the Palace Theatres website's exterior photo album.


A look at the top of the north vertical. Check out the bulb sockets in the terracotta cornice. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A 2016 marquee view that appeared on the Palace Theatre Facebook page.



"One Hell of a Night" It's a fine marquee view from August 2015 that appeared on the Palace Theatre Facebook page.



A lovely look up at the neon that appeared in 2015 on the Palace Theatre Facebook page.

 

The Palace marquee once again came alive in the summer of 2013 after much repair work. All the neon got fixed and the animation is a sight to behold. Photo: Hunter Kerhart



The marquee from the 4th floor of the Bullock's Building across the street. Photo: Stephen Russo - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012



A 2010 view looking south. Photo: Bill Counter 



A corner marquee detail of the corner of the Palace marquee. Thanks to Nick Bradshaw for the 2007 photo, one included in his Dead Cinemas, Downtown Los Angeles set on Flickr.



A neon detail. Thanks to Don Solosan for his 2006 photo taken at a Los Angeles Conservancy screening. The Conservancy offers walking tours of the theatre district and an annual film series, Last Remaining Seats, featuring classic movies exhibited in historic theatres. www.laconservancy.org | on Facebook



Looking out a 2nd floor office building window at the marquee. It's a c.2008 Gary Leonard photo. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group -- it's in the Palace Theatres website's exterior photo album.


Facade terracotta and fixture details: 


The facade's center arch. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - 2006

 

The lettering above the marquee. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - 2006

 

The fixture on the south side of the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A closer look at one of the fixtures. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012



One of the muses of vaudeville: music. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007 



Another muse: drama. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A collage of the 4 muses appearing on the Palace Theatre facade. Photo: Wendell Benedetti- LAHTF Facebook page - 2011. David Saffer comments on the muses: "They are Song, Dance, Drama, and Music and were done by Domingo Mora who also did the the sculptures for the old Metropolitan Opera House in NYC. His son, Joseph, would later do the figures on the Million Dollar."



The south end of the cornice. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 



Some of the terracotta above the 5th floor windows. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The north end of the cornice and a peek into the windows of the Palace's 5th floor studio from Ian Wood's "Downtown Los Angeles" on Vimeo. It's four minutes and forty five seconds of wonder that's not to be missed. He spent several months in 2014 shooting downtown theatres and other historic buildings from a drone that resembled "a mutant chicken." The footage also appears with stories by Brigham Yen and LA Observed's Kevin Roderick.



A column capital as seen out a 5th floor window. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the c.2008 Gary Leonard photo. It's in the Palace Theatres website's exterior photo album.


In the south exit passageway: 


The view in through the office building lobby toward Broadway. Those are the elevators on the left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The stairs up to the 2nd balcony. The doorway into the office building lobby is off to the left.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Looking out toward the alley. The exit door we see goes into the house right side of the
lobby. Behind us is an exit from the office building lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Looking west from the alley. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



A better view of the Stage Door sign. The photo was a 2016 post on the Palace Theatre Facebook page. The sign was painted for the 1993 TV movie version of "Gypsy" starring Bette Midler. See the Theatres in Movies post for shots from that film featuring the Palace.



Looking up in the south exit passage toward the windows on the upper floors of the office building. Thanks to Will Campbell for his 2009 photo, one of 65 great shots in his A Morning at the Palace Theater set on Flickr.


In the north exit passageway:



We're looking toward Broadway with the balcony exits from the theatre at the left. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the c.2008 Gary Leonard photo. It's in the Palace Theatres website's exterior photo album.



A view toward the alley from up in the office building. Straight ahead we're looking at the top of
the dressing room wing of the stagehouse. Photo: Bill Counter - 2016



Another look toward the alley in the north exit passageway but down a bit lower. The windows we see are in the stagehouse, offstage right.  Photo: Gary Leonard / Broadway Theatre Group - c.2008



A view toward the alley outside a main floor exit. Behind us would have been access to the house left stairs to the 2nd balcony but it's been bricked over. Photo: Bill Counter - 2016


Around the back:


The stagehouse -- still with a "Newsreel Theatre" ad from the 40s. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A view from Spring St. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2012



The rear of the theatre from above. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The south side of the stagehouse. Shall we climb that ladder? Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Looking across the Palace roof toward the Los Angeles. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014. Is this guy great, or what? Keep up with his recent explorations: on Facebook | HunterKerhart.com | on Flickr


On the roof:


Looking across the street toward the Los Angeles Theatre. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the c.2008 Gary Leonard photo. It's in the Palace Theatres website's exterior photo album. The Los Angeles Theatre is also owned by the Broadway Theatre Group.



A closer look at that lovely piece of terracotta seen on the left in the image above. Photo: Gary Leonard / Broadway Theatre Group - c.2008



The view northwest toward downtown's highrises. Photo: Gary Leonard / Broadway Theatre Group - c.2008



Looking southwest toward 7th & Broadway and the State Theatre. Photo: Gary Leonard / Broadway Theatre Group - c.2008. The State is also owned by the Broadway Theatre Group.

| back to top - recent exterior views |

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

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