Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections: Downtown | North of Downtown + East L.A. | San Fernando Valley | Glendale | Pasadena | San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier | South, South Central and Southeast | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Long Beach | [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

On a Mobile Device: If you're missing the right column navigation bar or links at the top you can go to the bottom of any page and click on "View Web Version." Still can't find what you're looking for? Send me an email at counterb@gmail.com. See you at the movies! -- Bill Counter

Downtown L.A. Historic Theatres

The survey page gives a rundown on the 20 major surviving theatre buildings in the Downtown Theatre District. There are links to pages about each of them for more detail. You might also want to consult alphabetical rundowns on pages for Hill St. and farther west, the Broadway Theatres, Spring St. Theatres and Main St. and farther east. Those pages give you more detail, including discussions about all the theatres that have vanished. In addition, there's a downtown alphabetical theatre list with alternate names and a theatre list by address.

Historic Hollywood Theatres

Hollywood wasn't just about the movies. Starting in the mid 20s it was also a center for legitimate theatre and musical revues at four newly built playhouses. You'll find an alphabetical list of the theatres in the district on the Hollywood Theatres overview page that includes a bit of data on each and links to pages for more details. Down below this list there's also an alternate name directory. Also of possible interest is a separate page with a list of theatres by street address.

 Westside Theatres

The Westside started booming with retail and housing in the mid 20s and the theatres followed. Many theatres along Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills, and in other neighborhoods became prime venues for everything from small foreign films to major roadshows. It's a huge territory. The Westside Theatres overview page gives you both a list by neighborhood as well as a survey arranged alphabetically. Also see the list of Westside Theatres: by street address and the Westside Theatres: alphabetical list page which includes alternate names.

Westwood and Brentwood

Westwood Village was the third significant theatre district to evolve in Los Angeles, after Downtown and Hollywood. With the construction of the UCLA campus beginning in the late 20s there was a chance to develop a unique shopping and entertainment district for faculty and students. By the 1970's the area had evolved so that Westwood had the largest concentration of first run screens of any neighborhood in Los Angeles. The Westwood and Brentwood Theatres overview page will give you a tour of the area.

Theatres Along the Coast

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

[more] L.A. Movie Palaces

This section fills in all the other areas of Los Angeles County. Hundreds of terrific theatres were being built by the studios and independents all over the L.A. area in the 20s and into the 30s.  You'll find coverage of theatres north and east of Downtown as well as in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley, Pomona, Whittier, Long Beach and many other far flung locations.   Some of those listings have been upgraded and appear on this site, many other links will take you to pages on an older site hosted on Google. The index page has links to all these theatres organized by area.

Searching by theatre name

If you don't find it in the right hand column, head for the Main Alphabetical List, which also includes the various alternate names each venue has used. This list includes those pages recently updated for this site (in bold face) as well as the write ups on an older website. For a narrower focus you'll also find separate lists for Westside and Downtown. As well, there are lists by name on the 10 survey pages for more limited areas like Pasadena, North of Downtown, Long Beach, etc. that are listed on the [more] Los Angeles Movie Palaces page.

Searching by address

If you know an address or street 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 should find a link to take you to a more localized list by address for Downtown, WestsideHollywood, etc. Also see the survey pages for more limited areas that are listed on the [more] Los Angeles Movie Palaces page.

Happy touring! Please contact me if you spot errors, links that don't work, etc.  

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Baldwin Park Theatre

 4024 Maine Ave. Baldwin Park, CA 91706 | map |

Opening: It opened as the Baldwin Park Theatre on December 27, 1925 with Richard Barthelmess in "The Beautiful City," according to research by Ken McIntyre. The location was on the east side of the street just south of Ramona Blvd. This 1970s photo from the Tom Pearson collection appeared as a post on the Facebook page of the Baldwin Park Museum and Historical Society. Thanks to Chris Nichols for spotting the post. 
 
The original address was 10 S. Maine Ave. In a 1931 city directory it's listed as 110 N. Maine Ave. and at 114 N. Maine in 1947. By 1956 the address had been changed to 4024 N. Maine. 

Seating: 590. The number presumably comes from a Film Daily Yearbook of unknown date.
 
 

A January 15, 1926 ad from the Covina Argus. Thanks to Chris Nichols for locating it. 
 
 

Part of an ad from the April 12, 1956 issue of the Covina Argus. It was another find by Chris Nichols. 

In later years it was just advertised as the Baldwin Theatre.
 
Closing: November 30, 1976 as a result of a fire next door. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the date. 
 
Status: The location is now a parking lot for the Police Department.  
 
 

A view to the east. The parking lot in the center was the theatre's location. The store on the left at Maine and Ramona, once McMahon's Furniture, is now Urban X. Photo: Google Maps - 2021
 
More information: There's a page about the theatre on Cinema Treasures.
 
The City of Baldwin Park has a web page about their Historical Society and Museum. The Historical Society also has a Facebook page.

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Electric Theatre

 On the Midway Plaisance Venice (Los Angeles), CA 90291 | map - approximate |

 
Opening: Presumably the Electric was ready to go when the Midway Plaisance opened in January 1906. It was along the south side of the lagoon. The theatre is seen on the right advertising "Moving Pictures & Illustrated Songs" in this view looking east. Thanks to Martin Turnbull for locating this c.1906 photo for a post on his Hollywood's Garden of Allah Novels Facebook page. It can also be seen on the Getty Images site.

The grand opening for Venice of America had been July 4, 1905 but many elements weren't ready and new attractions were added each season.
 
 
 
A wider view of the Midway from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The Electric Theatre is on the right, hiding behind the corner of the grandstand.  
 
 

A card with a sliver of the Electric's building on the far right. It's one that was offered on eBay. 
 
 

A colorful postcard view looking east but just missing the Electric, out of the frame to the right. But we do get a look at the Electric's neighbors Darkness & Dawn and the Temple of Mirth. That's the boathouse at the end of the lagoon. A bridge that formed the entrance to the Grand Canal is just out of the frame to the left. It's a card that was on eBay. A different card from the same angle is on the website of Loyola Marymount University.  


 
A 1905 map of the development, with the lagoon indicated as the "bathing lake" and a "chariot track" shown where the Midway would soon be. This appeared with "Remembering the Founding Father of Venice...," Grace Bruno's article on the site The Argonaut. That's the man himself, Abbott Kinney, in the lower left. Another version of the map appears on the Library of Congress website. 
 
 

In case you were wondering about those minarets at the east end of the Midway, they were part of the Streets of Cairo attraction. You could take a camel ride down Windward Ave. The Huntington has this nice photo from their collection appearing with their 2018 article titled "Venice: Real and Imagined."
 
 

A seldom seen view south across the lagoon. The Midway is out of the frame beyond the left end of the grandstand. At the center of the image we're looking toward Windward Ave. It's a card that was on eBay.  
 
 

Looking west along the Midway. A sliver of the Electric is seen left of center at the end of the row of amusement buildings, here with a red roof. It's another card that was on eBay. 
 
 

A wider view to the west. It's a card that was on eBay. 
 
 

"I am going bathing this afternoon." It's a view to the northwest with the Coral Canal on the left and the Lion Canal on the right. The building in the center is the Antler Hotel. This is one of many interesting postcards reproduced with Paul Gamble's article about Abbott Kinney on the site Surf City Tours.
 
Closing: The closing date of the Electric Theatre is unknown. The building exhibited other attractions before the Midway closed in 1910. Many of the attractions moved out to Venice Pier and Ocean Front Walk. A roller coaster was built on the Midway's site. 
 
 

The movie theatre building when it was housing a famous 30" tall lady billed as "Chiquita - The Living Doll." This photo is on the USC Digital Library website from the California Historical Society. They give it a 1910 date.  
 


An undated photo by Warren Dickerson that's in the L.A. County Natural History Museum Seaver Center Collection. The theatre building appears to have the same "Chiquita" signage painted on the facade as seen in the USC shot. 
 
 

This layout of the Midway with "Most of Bld'gs Vacant" is included on plate 35 of the 1909 Santa Monica Sanborn Fire Insurance Map that's in the Library of Congress collection. The 1909 date is suspect -- it was probably a later update.
 
 

Part of the Midway in April 1911, prior to demolition. The theatre building's roof can be glimpsed between the timbers of the grandstand. It's a Los Angeles Times photo appearing on a fine Water & Power Associates Museum page about early L.A. amusement parks. Scroll down near the bottom for many additional Venice photos. 
 
 

"The Race Thru The Clouds" coaster on the site of the Midway. In the upper left we get a view along the lagoon and the bridge across the Grand Canal. Thanks to Paul Gamble for locating the card. We were close to the beach but it's more of a lagoon scene than a "Beach Scene."  The coaster opened in July 1911. 
 

The lagoon in 1918 with the Midway gone but the roller coaster very much in evidence. The boathouse and a bridge across the grand canal can be seen at the far end of the lagoon. It's a photo from the California Historical Society that appears on the USC Digital Library website. 

Status: The Midway is long gone and the lagoon is now the Windward Ave. traffic circle. The Grand Canal has been filled in and is now Grand Blvd.

More information: See Jeffrey Stanton's many articles about Venice and Ocean Park on the Venice History Articles page of the Venice History Site.

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Artesia Theatre

17634 Pioneer Blvd. Artesia, CA 90701 | map

Planned: It was announced in 1948, originally with an address of 1122 Pioneer Blvd. Thanks to Scott Pitzer for locating the drawing and article that appeared in the January 23, 1948 issue of the Artesia News. The caption: 

"Soon to emerge as a reality is the new Artesia theater pictured above, designed as the most modern of its type in the Southland. Work on the $100,000 project will begin immediately at 1122 Pioneer boulevard, it is announced by Promoters J.E.Poynter and Terry McDaniel, and the theater will be ready for opening 90 days after start of construction. It is one of several projects planned throughout the Southland by Westates Theaters, Inc." 

The intended location was on the east side of the street, south of 176th St.

Architect: Clifford J. Smale

Seating: It was to be a 700 seat house.
 


Thanks for locating the article, Scott! Jenkins Realty, here noted with an address of 1114 Pioneer was, after street renumbering, listed with a 17626 Pioneer Blvd. address in a 1958 directory of real estate firms. 

Opening: Well, for reasons unknown, the project didn't proceed. 

Scott comments: 

"But was it built? I talked to a former Norwalk neighbor from a movie-crazy family and she can't imagine there was any such theater so close to home yet they never went. I spent a good part of early 2021 going through old L.A. and L.B. newspapers I was given (that's where this came from) but I didn't realize I needed to be checking listings for 'What's playing at the Artesia?' IF it existed."
 
Mark Flores adds: 
 
"I lived in Artesia for over 30 years and never heard of this place." 

A 1951 listing of area theatres with the Artesia conspicuous by its absence. Thanks to Mark for the image.

Status: What was the proposed site for the theatre is currently a vacant lot. Mark Flores comments: 
 
"The empty lot that sits there now still has banners around it claiming Marriott is going to build something. That’s not happening since the neighboring businesses put a stop to it due to too much congestion already.

"I remember three of the houses that were on that lot back in the 1980’s. One of them dated from pre-1920. The other one was occupied by an elderly man and his two sisters. They told me back then that they had all been raised in that house since childhood. So that house would also have been from the same period. The third house was the old Frampton House which was physically moved in 2002 to 186th St where it was turned into Artesia’s Historical Museum. "
 

The site at 17634 Pioneer Blvd. 176th St. is at the left edge of the image. Photo: Google Maps - 2021

More information: Well, at the moment there isn't any. 

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Venice Theatre / Pacific Resident Theatre

703 Venice Blvd. Venice (Los Angeles), CA 90291 | map |

Opened: Perhaps 1928 was the opening for this short-lived film house. The address is on the north side of the street between Pisani Pl. and Oakwood Ave. 

In the 1927 Santa Monica city directory the 703 address is shown as vacant. In the 1928 directory Venice Theatre is in the listings by address but not in the alphabetical section. The 1930/31 directory it says it's being run by Dominick Abate and is a venue for motion pictures. 

Closing: Perhaps it didn't last long as a theatre the first time around. It doesn't appear in the 1933 Santa Monica city directory.

Status: The building is now the home of Pacific Resident Theatre.


The building at 703 with Pacific Resident Theatre as the tenant. Photo: Google Maps - 2019

More Information: The City Planning Department's Zimas database uses an address of  701 E. Venice Blvd. for the property. They don't list a construction date. The building to the east at 705-707 dates from 1923 and was a grocery store for part of its life.

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Hollywood Christmas

The decorations along Hollywood Boulevard had a number of changes through the years. Some of the pre-war chronology is solid (1928, 1931, 1932, 1934) but dating other photos is a difficult proposition. Until more data comes in, here's what we have:  

1928 - Real trees with lights.
1929 - Deco chevrons on new conical metal trees.
1930 - Deco chevrons with candles.
1931- A repaint with random squiggles. 
1932 - The year of the portraits, small metal trees plus stars
1934 - A star on either side of the top of the tree. 
1935 - Evidently the same star design as 1934
1936 - ?
1937 - A cross hatch paint job and a little Santa flying atop each tree. 
1938 - 1939 - Two-dimensional painted leaves on the trees plus a star plus "Santa Claus Lane" 
1940 - Polka dots on the trees and bases. 
1941 - Trees? Santas?
1942 - 1943 - Large non-illuminated Santas. 
1944 - Presumably the Santas again.
1945 - 1959 - Redesigned trees. 
1960 - 1966 - Revolving trees
1967 + - Garlands and lit ornaments across the street.

 Thanks to Glen Norman for his research!

 
1928 - 100 real trees were on the sidewalk for this Christmas season. After New Year's Day they were planted on the grounds of the Hollywood Bowl. It's a view from the USC Digital Library looking east with the Egyptian on the right.
 

 
1928 - From the USC Digital Library collection comes this stunning California Historical Society photo of the Warner from above. We're looking at illuminated Christmas trees down Hollywood Blvd in December. Real trees that year.



1928 - On the left of the entrance to the Chinese is one of the decorated trees in a wooden planter. Plus Grauman has his own decorations up as well during the run of "Noah's Ark." The film, a silent with added soundtrack, starred Delores Costello and George O'Brien. Thanks to Kurt Wahlner for sharing the snapshot from his collection. See his GraumansChinese.org website for a sumptuous history of the theatre.
 
 

 
c.1929 - Deco was the style for the Christmas trees that year. We're looking west with the Hollywood Theatre on the right side of the "trunk" of the tree without a vertical, which would come along sometime before mid-1933. The El Capitan is in the distance. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. 
 

 
c.1929 - An uncredited Christmas season photo looking east toward the Warner in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Here we have nice chevron patterned trees. Candles would replace the regular streetlamp glass for the next two seasons. 
 
 
 
1930 - The year of the candles. The regular glass on the streetlights was removed with these tubular constructions replacing it. Note the same paint job as the year before. This view toward the Pantages is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.  
 
 
 
1930 - A busy traffic day during Christmas season. Henry's restaurant would later be remodeled into the Admiral Theatre, later known as the Vine. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo. 
 

 
1930 - A superb view looking west along Hollywood Blvd. Note the Christmas "trees" with deco chevron patterns. The banner at the Warner is advertising Lew Ayres in "The Doorway to Hell," a film that opened November 28. Thanks to David Urov for spotting the photo for a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. It appears on page 247 of "The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History" by Gregory Paul Williams, available on Amazon. There's a preview of the book to browse on Google Books.

 
 
1930 - The "candles" on either side of the trees replaced the regular streetlight globes. Thanks to Glen Norman for locating this L.A. Times photo. He added it as a comment to a post about the Hollywood Christmas decorations on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.
 
 

1931 - The Warner running "Safe in Hell" in a shot Ken McIntyre found for his Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. The William Wellman film was a December release that starred Dorothy Mackaill and Donald Cook. Note the new paint job on the Christmas trees -- no more chevron pattern but they're still using the candles.
 


1932 - The year of the portraits. We're looking north on Vine St. with Claudette Colbert inspecting Christmas decorations. Behind her we see the stagehouse of what was then called the Mirror Theatre, now the Montalban. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
 
 

1932 - A wider view of Claudette admiring the decorations on Vine St. The photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. It makes an appearance with "26 Vintage Photographs of Hollywood Boulevard...," a 2018 post on the site Vintage Everyday. Also on the Library's site see two additional shots from the same shoot.
 
 
 
1932 - A view of the south side of Hollywood Blvd. as we look west from Vine St. Thanks to Glen Norman for locating the photo from the California Historical Society that appears on the USC Digital Library website. The CoCo Cafe was about to open on the corner, an event that confirms the year of the photo. The image also appears with "When Hollywood Boulevard Became Santa Claus Lane," a 2012 article by Nathan Masters for the KCET website. 
 
 

1932 - Looking east toward the El Capitan. It's a photo from the California Historical Society appearing on the USC Digital Library website. The truck with the open back doors  just beyond the streetlight is from a sign company. One of the doors says "Neon Displays." Also on the site is a view from the same year looking toward the Roosevelt Hotel.
 
 
 
1932 - A closer look at the El Capitan from the previous photo. Across Highland one can read the banner hanging below the marquee of the Hollywood Theatre advertising "Faithless," an October 1932 release with Tallulah Bankhead and Robert Montgomery.



1930s - A lovely noirish look west toward the Pantages. The photo is included in the Angel City Press book "Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles 1925-1965" by Tom Zimmerman with J. Eric Lynxwiler. Chris Nichols discussed the book and included this photo and other Hollywood views with his August 2016 Los Angeles magazine article "These Photos Will Transport You to a Neon-Soaked 1930s Hollywood."
 
 

1934 - A view west with the Egyptian on the left and illuminated letters across the street advertising MGM's "The Merry Widow" at the Chinese. It ran for a week from November 29 through December 5. It's a card from Sawyer Scenic Photos in the California Historical Society collection that appears on the USC Digital Library website.  Note the double stars near the top of the Christmas trees for this season.
 
 

 
c.1935 - A noirish look east on a wet night during Christmas season. It's in the USC Digital Library collection. Again it's the regular glass on the streetlights replaced with stars. 
 
 
 
c.1935 - A different paint job on the trees and two stars on the top of each. In this lovely Christmas season photo on Calisphere we're looking west toward the El Capitan. It's a Frasher Foto Card from the Pomona Public Library collection. Note the two stars near the top of each tree for this season. 
 
That empty roof sign frame on the right soon had a J.C. Penney sign on it. Evidently it went up sometime in 1936 or 1937. There's a photo looking in the other direction with the frame still empty while the Hollywood Theatre was running "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town," an April 1936 release.  
 

 
1936 - The Equitable Building at Hollywood & Vine. Beyond, there's a banner visible beyond at the Pantages advertising "Winterset," a December release with Burgess Meredith and Margo. Their co-feature was "Flying Hostess" with William Gargan, Judith Barrett and Andy Devine. The Examiner photo is in the USC Digital Library collection.


   
1937 - The crowd is there for the Christmas parade in this postcard view west on Hollywood Blvd. from the California State Library collection. There's a copy of the image from the negative of the Bob Plunkett photo in the Huntington Library collection. On their site you can enlarge it and look at details.
 
Note the vertical and banner at the Egyptian on the left. They were running "Ali Baba Goes To Town" with Eddie Cantor, a film that had played the Chinese for a week beginning November 3. The illuminated letters across the street in the distance are advertising "Navy Blue and Gold" with Robert Young and Jimmy Stewart. It played the Chinese for a week beginning November 24, 1937. The Vogue, on the right, is running "Jungle Princess" with Dorothy Lamour and Ray Milland, released in November 1936.
 


 
1937 - A Christmas season photo from the Los Angeles Public Library Blackstock Negatives Collection.  The Warner has a banner out for "It's Love I'm After," a November 1937 Warner release with Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. The Library has it as November 1930 but note the billboard advertising whiskey -- prohibition didn't end until 1933. 
 
 
 
1937 - A view from the west with "It's Love I'm After" at the Warner. It's a postcard using a Bob Plunkett photo that's in the Huntington Library collection. 
 

 
1937 - A detail from the Plunkett photo. On the left, the Vogue has a banner out for "Two Men and a Girl" with Deanna Durbin and Adolphe Menjou. The banner at the Warner advises that "Alcatraz Island" has been held over as a co-feature. On the right we have a banner at the Iris for "Wee Willie Winkie.'



c.1937 - A Christmas time view that looks like the work of Herman Schultheis. It once appeared on a Facebook page that no longer exists. Note the airborne Santa atop each tree. The El Capitan is on the right. 
 


c.1937 - A Herman Schultheis view across toward where the Admiral/Vine Theatre would later be. It's still a restaurant at this point. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo. More views of Santas atop the  trees. Note the cross-hatch paint job on the trees with this design variation. 
 


c.1937 - A view looking west from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. It's a Herman Schultheis photo. Note the flying Santas atop the Christmas trees. 
 
 

c.1937 - A rainy Christmas season day in Hollywood captured by Herman Schultheis in a Los Angeles Public Library photo. We're looking west on Hollywood Blvd. toward the Warner.
 
 

1938 - Beginning this year it was illuminated stars at the top of the trees instead of Santas. The Hollywood Theatre was playing "The Great Waltz," a November release with Luise Rainer and Fernand Gravet. It's a Dick Whittington Studio photo in the USC Digital Library collection.   



1938 - It's the night of the Christmas Parade. That's the Hollywood over on the right, again with "The Great Waltz" on the marquee. It's another Dick Whittington Studio photo in the USC Digital Library collection.
 


1938 - A change of program. Here the Hollywood Theatre was running "The Cowboy and the Lady," a November release with Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon. Photo: Herman Schultheis, Los Angeles Public Library



1938 - Another Christmas angle shot with the Hollywood running "The Cowboy and the Lady." Photo: Herman Schultheis, Los Angeles Public Library
 


1938 - A USC Digital Library view by Dick Whittington looking east along Hollywood Blvd. during the run of "The Dawn Patrol" with Errol Flynn.



1938 - A look from across the street during the run of "The Dawn Patrol." It's another Dick Whittington Studio photo in the USC Digital Library collection.

 

1939 - A view during the November 26 Christmas Parade. The El Capitan has a banner out for "Folies Bergere of 1940". Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.
 
Earlier in 1939 Clifford C. Fischer had brought a version of the "Folies" that had been playing the World's Fair in San Francisco to the Chinese. It opened May 12 for a four week run and then moved to the Texas State Fair. A second "more daring" production took over the San Francisco run. Clifford later brought that second company, dubbed "Folies Bergere of 1940," to the El Capitan, opening November 1, 1939. The show was discussed in an October 17 article in the Times.
 

1939 - Another view during the Christmas Parade. The bill that week at Grauman's Chinese was "Another Thin Man" and "Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence." On the right there's another look at the El Capitan's banner for "Folies Bergere of 1940." It's a photo from Bettman Archives/Getty that appeared on a post of the blog Old Guv Legends. They had spotted it on an Atlantic "Pictures of Christmas Past" post.

 

1939 - Garlands were added for this season, something they didn't have up in 1938. We're looking east across Highland Ave. Ken McIntyre found the photo for his Photos of Los Angeles collection on Facebook.



1939 - Looking east across McCadden Place. The Vogue is on the left and the Egyptian is on the right. Thanks to Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles for the photo.



1940 - It's the year of the polka dots. This Christmastime look east on the Boulevard is by Herman Schultheis. The Hollywood was playing "The Howards of Virginia" with Cary Grant. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
 

 
1940 - A view during the November 24 Christmas Parade. The El Capitan had a banner out for "Folies Bergere of 1941," a show that had opened October 21. A Times article on November 28 noted that it would be closing its six week run on December 1. At the Chinese that week it was "Tin Pan Alley" and "The Gay Caballero." Thanks to Kurt Wahlner for locating the photo. After closing at the El Capitan, Producer Clifford C. Fischer then booked a tab version of the show into the Paramount downtown for a week beginning December 3, where it played with the film "Dancing on a Dime.
 
 

1942 - Santa at the Admiral. This revival double bill played one week beginning November 26. "You Can't Get Away With Murder" with Humphrey Bogart and "Three Musketeers" with Don Ameche and the Ritz Brothers were both 1939 releases. The theatre had opened in May 1940 and was later known as the Vine.
 
Thanks to Johnny Wareham on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles for this photo from an album belonging to his mother, who noted "The little arrow [upper right] is pointing to where I worked during Xmas. Just up the street a little ways from the Taft building, still on Hollywood Blvd., is the 'Hitching Post.' Straight up from the theater, about 3 doors is 'Melody Lane' a quite well known restaurant."
 


1942 - Time for the scary giant Santa Clauses. The Vogue is running "Secret Enemies," a September release. It's a photo from the Ronald W. Mahan collection. Thanks, Ron!  
 


1943 - Thanks to Martin Pal for the post of this snapshot on his Noirish Los Angeles post #41291. He notes that the film at the Paramount is "True to Life," a December 1943 release with Mary Martin, Dick Powell, Franchot Tone and Victor Moore. Glen Norman notes that the non-illuminated Santas were used during the war years. The trees would be back, with a new look, for Christmas 1945. 
 


1945 - Dancers from the Earl Carroll Theatre are helping decorate Hollywood Blvd. That's the Chinese across the street. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the Getty Images photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.  
 


1945 - The Los Angeles Public Library collection includes this Hollywood Christmas parade photo.



1945 - The view east toward the Warner in December. The photo was added to the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles by Richard Wojcik and is credited to Electrospark on Flickr.
 
 
 
c.1945 - Looking east on Hollywood Blvd. The Hollywood is hiding over on the right side. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library.
 
 
 
1946 - A view east toward Cherokee by Bob Plunkett. On the right the News-View/Ritz Theatre marquee can be seen (barely) through the trees. They were running footage from some wedding and from a USC vs. UCLA game. The negative for this postcard is in the Huntington Library collection. 



1946 - Looking west toward the Paramount during the Christmas season in an uncredited Los Angeles Public Library photo. Note the sign in the upper left for "Blue Skies," a 1946 Paramount release with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Joan Caulfield.   
 
 

1946 - A cool Christmas season view looking east with the Hollywood Theatre at the right. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library
 


1946 - A Christmas view looking west at one of the most photographed corners in the city, Hollywood and Vine. The Admiral marquee is glowing brightly in the middle of the image. The uncredited photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The photo also appears as part of the lovely Noirish Los Angeles post #2330 by GS Jansen featuring several other Hollywood Blvd. Christmas shots by the same photographer.



1946 - A wonderful uncredited Los Angeles Public Library view looking west with the Pantages playing "The Jolson Story." Note the Hitching Post Theatre on the left.
 


1946 - A photo looking west on Hollywood Blvd. during Christmas season added to the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page by Alison Martino. We miss the Egyptian (it would be just off to the left) but get a glimpse of the Hollywood Theatre vertical farther down the street on the left.  And farther down there's the tower atop the El Capitan. 
 


1940s - An Arnold Hylen photo looking west with a sliver of the Egyptian on the left. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for posting it on Photos of Los Angeles. Visit the Arnold Hylen Facebook page curated by his grand-niece Greta Gustafsson.
 


1947 - Thanks to Alison Martino for this noirish Christmas view. It was a post on her Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
 
 

1947 - A Christmas view west toward Vine St. with the Hitching Post running "Thunder Mountain," a June release, along with "Death Valley," out in August 1946. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for spotting the negative for sale on eBay. He shared the image on Noirish post #56171



1948 - A December view looking east toward the Warner by Arnold Hylen on the Facebook page Arnold Hylen-Photographer-Los Angeles Images of an Era. The Iris Theatre is running a preview of "You Gotta Stay Happy" with Joan Fontaine and James Stewart. Or maybe they're running that feature plus a preview. Thanks to Greta Gustafsson for making the photo available. Note the new style streetlights. 



1948 - Raoul Walsh's "Fighter Squadron" at the Warner in a shot from the collection of Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr. Thanks to Eric for the photo -- and to Arnold Darrow for spotting it.



c.1948 - A Los Angeles Public Library Christmas season look east toward the Warner.  
 


1948 - Another Christmas season photo by Arnold Hylen. Thanks to Mr. Hylen's grand niece, Greta Gustaffson, for making it available.



1948 - The view east toward the Vogue Theatre in a Christmas season photo by Arnold Hylen. The photo comes to us courtesy of his grand- niece Greta Gustafsson. Thanks, Greta! Visit the Arnold Hylen Facebook page she curates: Arnold Hylen - Los Angeles Images of an Era 1850-1950.

The photo also appears on Noirish Los Angeles post #10750 where contributor kznyc2k has a number other Christmas views, all credited to the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
 


1948 - Looking west through Hollywood and Vine in a December photo by Arnold Hylen. The photo comes to us courtesy of his grand niece Greta Gustafsson. Pay a visit to the Facebook page Greta curates: Arnold Hylen - Los Angeles Images of an Era 1850 - 1950.



c.1948 - Thanks to Maurice Ideses for this noirish Christmas shot looking east toward the Vogue. The Egyptian of course is hiding just beyond the Pig & Whistle. It was a post on Vintage Los Angeles.
 

 
c. 1948 - A view east at Christmas time toward the Chinese and the El Capitan. It's from the collection of Gianpiero F. Leone. The photo appeared as a post he did on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page. He also added it to the Vintage Los Angeles page. A cropped version appeared on Photos of Los Angeles from Bill Gabel.
 
 
 
c.1948 - A postcard derived from the previous photo. The card's retoucher eliminated the woman in the photo who was walking in the crosswalk. And a few other things were tweaked to make it a night view. Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for sharing the card from his collection on a Vintage Los Angeles post. The card also appears in Elizabeth Fuller's Old Los Angeles Postcards set on Flickr.
 
 

1948 - A look east with the Chinese running "Unfaithfully Yours" starring Rex Harrison and Linda Darnell along with "Trouble Makers" with Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall. It's a program that ran from December 14 through December 24. It's a photo appearing in Gregory Paul Williams book "The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History," available on Amazon. This photo is on page 263. There's a preview of the book to browse on Google Books.
 


1949 - L.A. Mayor Fletcher Bowron and his wife are cruising Hollywood Blvd. during the Hollywood Christmas Parade in this Los Angeles Public Library photo. "All The King's Men" at the Pantages had its Los Angeles premiere on November 16.
 

 
1949 - At the Pantages it's "Bride For Sale," a film that opened December 22 starring Claudette Colbert, George Brent and Robert Young. The Hitching Post, over on the left, has given up on westerns and is running "The Facts of Love." Thanks to Martin Pal for including the photo with many other interesting Hollywood views in his Noirish Los Angeles post #50025. It's a photo from the collection of Eric Lynxwiler that he's shared on Flickr. Thanks, Eric!  



1950 - The view west toward the towers of the Warner during the Christmas parade. Thanks to Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles for the find.



1950 - Thanks to Mike Martini Baker for this Christmas view. The Hollywood is running "Mister 880" with Burt Lancaster along with "Three Secrets."  It was a post on the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern. The photo has also appeared on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.
 


c.1950 - A Christmas view from Ken McIntyre's collection. Another version of the card is also on Photos of Los Angeles as a post of Bill Gabel. Note that we no longer have a readerboard in the lot east of the Chinese. Kurt Wahlner, curator of the site GraumansChinese.org notes that that the signage was removed sometime between July 1948 and January 1951.
 
 

1951 - "Welcome Santa - Merry Xmas To All" says the marquee in this Christmas parade view of the News-View behind the Marymount College float. It's a Los Angeles Daily News photo in the collection of the UCLA Library.  That's the News-View / Ritz Theatre across the street. 
 


1951 - A Christmas parade view from the California State Library collection. There's also another version of the shot appearing as a post from Bill Gabel on Photos of Los Angeles.
 


1952 - A look east on busy Hollywood Blvd. on
November 28. In this great view located by Ken McIntyre for Photos of Los Angeles, you can see the Ritz readerboard (then saying "Newsreels" atop it) just above the second car on the right. The towers in the distance are the Warner. The theatre marquee on the extreme left is the Vogue.

The photo also appears on Vintage Los Angeles, SoCal Historic Architecture and  Noirish L.A. post #10750. James J. Chun also did a repost on Photos of LA.
 
 
 
c.1952 - A lovely vista west along Hollywood Blvd. past the marquee of the Academy on the right, a theate later known as the Holly. The marquee says it's "available." Thanks to Bill Gable for finding the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. There's also a slightly cropped version from Richard Garcia on Vintage Los Angeles.
 


c.1952 - A wonderful view looking east toward Highland. Don Sherman added this one to the Photos of Los Angeles page on Facebook. Note above the entrance of the Paramount that they're running something in 3-D. Perhaps "Bwana Devil." The photo is also in Richard Wojcik's collection and appears on Vintage Los Angeles.
 


1952/1953 - At the Pantages it's "Blackbeard the Pirate" with Robert Newton, Linda Darnell and William Bendix. It had its premiere at the Pantages December 24, 1952 and opened in New York the following day. On the left the Paris is advertising the "First L.A. Showing" of something called "Venus of Paris" along with "Indiscretion." Many thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the photo from his collection.  
 


 early 1950s- A Christmas image on Vintage Los Angeles from the Richard Wojcik collection. Another version of the photo appears from Bill Gabel on Photos of Los Angeles.


early 1950s- A rainy Christmas season view looking east toward Vine St. The Admiral Theatre marquee is peeking out on the left. Thanks to Sean Ault, a noted historian of transit in the Los Angeles area, for the photo.
 
 

early 1950s - Thanks to Bill Gabel for this Christmas season view, a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 
 


1953 - A November look at a slice of the Admiral. It's part of Beaudry's fine Noirish Los Angeles post #28689 featuring photos from the book "LAPD '53" (Abrams) by James Ellroy and L.A. Police Museum executive director Glynn Martin. Also see the Los Angeles magazine article about the book: "James Ellroy and Glynn Martin Revisit the LAPD's Grim Archives..."



1953 - A December view from the Metro Library and Archive looking west on Hollywood Blvd. toward the Warner. The caption notes that it would be the last Christmas for the Red Line cars.


  
early 50s - Thanks to Sean Ault for this Christmas season view looking east toward the theatre. It's one he found on eBay.



early 1950s - Looking west. Thanks to Hector Acuna for finding this shot for a post for the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern.



early 1950s - A shot taken moments before or after the image above is this one on Vintage Los Angeles from the Richard Wojcik collection. Thanks, Richard!



1953 - A December photo from the Richard Wojcik collection on Vintage Los Angeles. Richard credits the photo to OERM/Walter Abennseth. In addition to Richard's 2012 post, the shot also had a 2014 re-post, another later in 2014 and another in 2015.



1953 - A photo from Richard Wojcik on Vintage Los Angeles. On a re-post Richard notes that Red Car service on Hollywood Blvd. would end in 1954. He credits the photo to Roger Bogenberger / Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society.



1954 - Thanks to Hillary Hess on Facebook for this great "No Business Like Show Business" photo on Facebook. Woody Wise spotted it for a share on his All Movie Theatres page.
 

1954 - A sweet December view of the theatre's marquee in the center of the image as we look west. The Warner is down the street. Thanks to Richard Wojcik for the postcard from his collection, appearing on Vintage Los AngelesThe Admiral was running "The Wild One," a February release with Brando along with "My Forbidden Past," a 1951 release with Robert Mitchum and Ava Gardner.

The card has also been seen in various versions on the So Cal Historic Architecture Facebook page, on Gaylord Wilshire's Noirish Los Angeles post #9302, on Photos of Los Angeles and in Elizabeth Fuller's Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr.

Elizabeth gives us what is on the back of the one she has, mailed in January 1958: "Famous intersection in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world. Motion Picture Studios, Broadcasting Studios, Famous hotels and restaurants are nearby. Here, a visitor to the southland may by chance catch a glimpse of his favorite celebrity." "Greetings: We are having a wonderful time out here. It is sunny and warm - 79 degrees today. Fine places to see and go to - we are starting back this week. We'll see you soon I hope. Lillian Art"
 

 
1954 - Another view of the Admiral  running "The Wild One" and "My Forbidden Past." The banner says "New Wide Screen." Thanks to Richard Wojcik for sharing the photo from his collection.  



1954 - A terrific Christmas view of the Pantages from the Richard Wojcik collection on the Facebook page for the non-public group Mid Century Modern Los Angeles
 
 

1957 - A delightful view of the Chinese running "Kiss Them For Me" with Cary Grant and Jayne Mansfield which premiered November 15. It's a post from Richard Wojcik on the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern Los Angeles. The photo also appears in the Classic Los Angeles Photos section of the Kingsley Collection, a terrific group of photos from the estate of Barbara Harlen. Note that exciting new construction in the center of the photo rising on the Hollywood Hotel site.



1957/58 - On the right the Vogue has "Peyton Place," a run that began December 13, 1957 at the Vogue and the Loyola after the world premiere the night before at the Beverly. "April Love" and "Three Faces of Eve" are playing at the New-View. It's a photo by Frank J. Thomas in the Frank J. Thomas Archives. It's on Flickr from the Manitoba Museum of Finds Art. Thanks to Martin Pal for finding the photo to include with other Hollywood Christmas views in his Noirish Los Angeles post #50025
 


1959 - A street view during a Christmas parade that appeared on Ed Fuentes' blog [view] from a loft. The photo is from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
 


1959 - Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for this "Beloved Infidel" shot he found on eBay and shared on his Noirish post # 52066. The film, starring Gregory Peck and Deborah Kerr, opened November 20 for a four week run, closing December 17. That's the manager's 1956 Cadillac in front.
 


1959 - Thanks to Sean Ault for finding this "Beloved Infidel" shot. Also see a version posted by Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality that he found on eBay and shared on his Noirish post # 52066.
 


1960/61 - "World's Greatest Attraction" Thanks to Alison Martino for posting this colorful view from the Richard Wojcik collection on the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern. The Warner was doing a revival run of "This Is Cinerama" which ran for 22 weeks beginning November 2, 1960.
 
 
 
1961 - A Christmas season view west toward the Warner. Thanks Ken McIntyre for posting the shot on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. The theatre had a remodel and the Cinerama installation was removed. Here the letters above the readerboards once again say "Warner." Cinerama would be back in October 1962.
 


1963 - Thanks to Richard Wojcik on Vintage Los Angeles for this holiday shot looking east. It was taken right after Christmas following the opening of "The Cardinal" at the Egyptian



1963 - Thanks to Richard Wojcik for this fine December photo of the Iris Theatre, to be renamed the Fox in 1968. It was a post on Vintage Los Angeles.
 


1963 - A fine look at the Cinerama neon up on the vertical at the Warner in a December photo. It's on Vintage Los Angeles from the Richard Wojcik collection. Thanks, Richard!
 


1963 - A December "Cleopatra" shot on Vintage Los Angeles from the collection of Richard Wojcik. Note the added neon on the vertical. Thanks, Richard! 



1960s - Thanks to Martin Pal for this shot from Vicky Valentine's collection looking east from Highland Ave. Martin shared it on his Noirish Los Angeles post #33734. Thanks also to Hoss C for his post #33735 where he had done some color correction for us.
 


1966 - Looking west past the Egyptian toward the Hollywood Theatre and Highland Ave. In the distance there's the tower of the El Capitan building. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the photo on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.



1966 - Another vista looking west toward Hollywood and Highland found by Ken McIntyre for the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. Note the black hulk of the El Capitan beyond.
 


1969 - Thanks to Glen Norman for this photo he took during the Santa Claus Parade on November 26. Loew's is now back to it's original name, the El Capitan
 


1973 - Loew's had left town and what was Loew's Holly got renamed the Holly Cinema in this view looking west. It's another find of Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles.
 
 

1975 - The vista east on Hollywood Blvd. from Highland. In this photo discovered by Ken McIntyre for the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page the Hollywood Theatre is at the lower right with the Egyptian up the street.
 


c.1978 - A shot from the 5th year of the "Deep Throat" run at the Pussycat. Thanks to Sean Ault for finding the photo. 
 


1982 -  Thanks to American Classic Images for this December photo. The Warner had been renamed the Hollywood Pacific in 1968.


 
2015 - Christmas decorations going up. It's a photo from a "Holiday Trees" post on the Pantages Blog.



2016 - Thanks to Shawn Dudley for this December look down from the W Hotel. It was a post on  Photos of Los Angeles. In the background we get the lights atop Capitol Records.



2017 - All wonderfully decorated again. Who else puts Christmas trees on their marquee? "Hamilton" was running until December 30. Photo: Bill Counter



2018 - A Wicked Christmas at the Pantages. Photo: Bill Counter

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