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.  

| back to top | Downtown theatres | Westside | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | [more] Los Angeles Movie Palaces | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on Facebook | theatre list by architect | theatre tours and events |

Amazon Culver City 12

 9500 Culver Blvd. Culver City CA 90232 | map

The news: Amazon is taking it over. It's unknown what it'll be like after their construction project. No opening date has been announced.  
 

Opened: May 16, 2003 as the Pacific Culver Stadium 12.
 
Architects: It was designed by the San Diego firm of Benson & Bohl. Thanks to Joe Vogel for the research. The image comes from their website's Screenland page. Evidently that was a working name for the project.
 
Seating: During the ArcLight era it was 1,658 in 12 auditoria. 
 

An opening day ad. Thanks to Mike Rivest for locating it. Visit his site: Movie-Theatre.org 

It closed in March 2015 for an upgrade and reopened May 1 as the ArcLight Culver City

The theatre closed in March 2020 due to Covid restrictions. In April 2021 Pacific Theatres parent Decurion Corporation noted that they would not be reopening any of their ArcLight or Pacific locations. 

"Arclight gets an eviction notice..." was an April 10, 2021 story by Tom Brueggeman on IndieWire. See the Cinerama Dome page for additional stories about the closures and fates of the different ArcLight locations. 

Status: Amazon signed a lease on the building in late 2021. Costar had the news in their February 9, 2022 story "Amazon Leases Shuttered Movie Theater" although at the time it was unknown what they planned to do with it. They already had a big investment almost next door as the tenant of the former Selznik Studios. Their intentions regarding keeping it a theatre were revealed in "Amazon Studios Plans First-Run Movie Theater in Culver City, California," a July 18, 2022 CoStar story by Jack Witthaus and Mark Heschmeyer. They noted: 
 
"Construction underway, liquor license sought by owner of Wolfgang Puck brand... Amazon Studios plans to open a movie theater in a shuttered cinema in Culver City, California, in what may be a first for one of the biggest players in streaming..."
 
Thanks to Steven Sharp for including the latter story in the Urbanize L.A. July 23 Weekly Headlines post.
 
 
Interior views during the ArcLight era:
 

Inside the front doors. It's a 2015 photo by Grand S. on Yelp. See their page for 200 photos of the complex. 
 
 

A look toward the bar. Photo: Robert R. - Yelp - 2015
 
 

Another angle on the bar area. Photo: Doreen M. - Yelp - 2015
 
 

The bar is straight ahead, snackbar and ticketing on the right. Photo: Wayne Y. - Yelp - 2015
 
 

Ticketing kiosks and the shop, over on the right.  Photo: Robert R. - Yelp - 2015



A chat under the iconic ArcLight clock before a film. Photo: Jennifer N. - Yelp - 2018 
 
 
 
A closer look at the clock and attraction board. Photo: Shannon E. - Yelp - 2015
 
 

Another snackbar shot. Photo: Grand S. - Yelp - 2015

 

An inner lobby view. Photo: Nik D. on Yelp - 2016 
 


Another inner lobby view. Photo: Janeth D. on Yelp - 2019
 
 

Thanks to Nik G. on Yelp for this 2016 look into the men's room. 
 
 

A 2019 shot in one of the auditoria. Photo: Caitlin G. on Yelp
 
 

One of the smaller auditoria in the complex in 2019. Photo: Billy K. on Yelp
 
 
More exterior views: 
 

2006 - Happy times in Culver City. Thanks to Mark Smith for locating the photo.
 
 
 
c.2010 - A corner view by Chris Grossman. 
 
 
 
2011 - Thanks to David Simpson for sharing this photo on Cinema Treasures
 
 

2012 - A look up the tower by an unknown photographer.  
 
 

2015 - A look in to the clock after the rebranding as an ArcLight location. Photo: Sharon G. on Yelp
 
 

2016 - An entrance view from Lily W. on Yelp. 
 
 

2016 - Thanks to Chris Utley for sharing this photo of his as a post on Cinema Treasures
 
 

2016 - The ArcLight vertical. Thanks to Chris Utley for the photo, another post on Cinema Treasures.
 
 

2017 - A look at the ArcLight during the L.A. Film Festival in June. It's an image by an uncredited photographer that appears on Wikimedia Commons.  
 
 

2017 - A fine facade shot from Daryl K. on Yelp.  
 
 

2019 - A nice corner view from Peter H. on Yelp. 
 
 

2019 - A look west along the facade. Photo: Richard L. on Yelp
 
 

c.2020 - A photo from CoStar that appeared with several of their stories including "Amazon Studios Plans First-Run Movie Theater..." in July 2022. 

 

2021 - The ArcLight in April after Decurion announced their intention of not reopening. Photo: Bill Counter

More information: Cinema Treasures has a page about the ArcLight Culver City. The Cinema Tour page has some 2004 exterior views by Ron Pierce. The Yelp page on the ArcLight has over 200 photos and lots of discussion.
 
More Culver City theatres: City Hall Theatre 1943-1947 | Culver City Theatre | Meralta Theatre | Culver / Kirk Douglas Theatre. The page on the Culver City Theatre has a few Culver City history resources listed. 

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

Palm Garden Picture Theatre

18th & Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90015  | map |

Opened: Well, it was running in 1907. It could have been nearby but the assumption is that it was on the ground floor of the building on the southwest corner of 18th and Main that had the Palm Garden Dance Hall on the 2nd floor. 
 
Seating: 825

An August 1907 ad in the Times placed by the manager of the Palm Garden Picture Theatre who was selling "original Naples," whatever those were. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for adding it as a comment on a thread on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page about venues at 18th & Main. 

Another interesting August 1907 ad advising us that he had a Lubin (not "Luben") projector for sale. Ken comments: "Don't forget the coffee urn -- it costs more than the projector!" 
 

As seen in these two December 1907 ads that Ken located the manager of the Palm Garden was interested in selling the whole enterprise: lease, seats, piano, projector. And a fountain! 

Closing: The date of the theatre's closing is unknown. Maybe late 1907 was the end of it. While the Palm Garden Dance Hall makes a number of city directory appearances from 1907 until at least 1910, the theatre didn't get any listings. 

The dance hall was evidently built in 1906 or 1907 on the southwest corner of 18th and Main. The site is identified as the Palace Stables in the 1906 city directory and on image 110 of Volume 1 of the 1906 Sanborn Map on the Library of Congress website. There's not much to look at but the east side of Main between 17th and Washington is seen on image 11 from Volume 2 of the 1906 Sanborn Map

The 1907 city directory lists the Angelus Palm Garden with Frederick Limouse as manager at 1801 S. Main. In 1908 the Angelus was dropped and the listing is just for the Palm Garden under "Business Buildings & Halls, etc."  It's listed as both the Palm Garden and the Palm Garden Pavilion in 1909 with Arthur W. Rutherford as proprietor.


 
Well there's no theatre in sight but we see a dance hall indicated on the 2nd floor of the building on the southwest corner of 18th and Main, seen here as the large building in pink. The Palm Garden could have been in one of the ground floor spaces. It's a detail from plate 010 of the 1910 Baist Real Estate Map from Historic Map Works.
 
By the time the 1910 city directory was compiled it had become the Palm Garden Skating Rink operated by Jesse L. Walton, Samuel L. Loeb and George J. Ahnemiller. 
 
 

The building is seen as a garage in this detail from plate 010 of the 1914 Baist Map from Historic Map Works

That's the Victor Theatre identified as "Theatre" on the east side of the street at 1718 S. Main. It had opened in 1912 as the Globe and was later called the Royal. They sometimes advertised that they were at 17th and Main, at other times saying that they were at 18th and Main.

Status: The Palm Garden Building is no more. The site is now a parking lot. The location is now just south of the 10 freeway. 

More information: Sorry, there isn't any.

| back to top | 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

| South, South Central and Southeast theatres | 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 |

City Hall Theatre

9770 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232 | map

The Culver City pages: Culver City Theatre 1915-1923 | Meralta Theatre 1924-1943, 1945-1983 | City Hall Theatre 1943-1947 | Culver / Kirk Douglas Theatre 1947 - present | 
 

Opened: Culver City's first purpose-built City Hall opened in 1928 at the corner of Culver Blvd. and Duquesne Ave. This construction view is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.  

Architect: Orville L. Clark, who also designed the Washington Building, opposite the City Hall site on the north side of Culver Blvd.

The second-floor auditorium was used as a commercial movie theatre beginning in 1943 following an August fire that year which destroyed the town's only theatre, the Meralta. Mike Rosenberg's firm Principal Theatres, Inc. had been the lessee at the Meralta when it burned. He had been running it in conjunction with Fox West Coast.

The area needed entertainment for military personnel and defense plant workers during the war so a lease deal was struck with the City. After installing a projection booth, the venue opened as the Meralta Theatre, carrying over the name from the pre-fire location.

It wasn't the first time in Culver City history that the City Hall and a movie theatre shared a building. The Culver City Theatre, opened in 1915, was on the ground floor of a building on that had the City offices on the upper floor. The Culver Hotel is now on the site of that building. 

Mike Rosenberg decided to rename the new location the City Hall Theatre when it became evident that the Meralta was going to get a rebuild --and keep its name. It's unlikely anyone had it all figured out after reading this January 1945 article from the Culver City Evening Star-News:  
 

Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the article. Read it carefully. Ken notes that there will be a quiz. Note that Rosenberg was promising a new theatre "as soon as priorities are available," whatever that meant. The new theatre, the Culver, would open in August 1947.


A February 15, 1945 ad for the City Hall Theatre from the Culver City Evening Star-News. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating it.

The Meralta Theatre got its rebuild and reopened later in 1945. But neither Principal Theatres nor Fox West Coast were then involved in the operation. It was run by Pearl Merrill and Laura Peralta, the team that had built the first Meralta on that site in 1923. Earlier they had run the first theatre in town, located on Main St.  
 

They were calling it the Culver City Theatre at the time of this 1947 ad in the Evening Star-News for Roberto Rossellini's "Open City." The film was available in rthe U.S. Beginning in February 1946. 

 

A 1947 ad for the venue as the Fox Culver Theatre. It was a week of revivals. "Magnificent Obsession" was a 1935 release. "100 Men and a Girl" was from 1937. Thanks to Ken McIntyre locating this for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.  
 
 

A March 1947 ad located by Ken McIntyre in the Culver City Evening Star-News. 
 
Closing: Presumably they ran the City Hall location until August 1947 when the new Culver Theatre opened, a block away on Washington Blvd. 

Status: The 1928 building was demolished in 1995 and replaced with a new City Hall building. The booth that had been installed in the auditorium in 1943 remained until the demolition.  
 
 

A 1930s view from "Getting Ready to Mark History," a 2019 article by Julie Lugo Cerra on the Culver City Historical Society website. 
 
 

Parking a horse. Thanks to Sandi Hemmerlein for locating this photo, one she included as a comment to her Facebook post about the City Hall replica facade. 
 
 

Laurel and Hardy evidently did a shoot in front. Thanks to Mike Hume for the photo.
 
 
 
This 1950s photo appears on "Historic Site #1: 1928 City Hall," a page about the building from the Culver City Historical Society. 



All that's left of the 1928 City Hall at Culver & Duquesne. It's a 3/4 size reconstruction with the Heritage Park behind it occupying the demolished building's footprint. The new City Hall is beyond. If you were to turn around 180 degrees, you'd be looking at the back of the Culver Theatre. Photo: Bill Counter - 2011
 
The replica facade is stop #16 on walking tour #1 outlined in an Art in Public Places PDF from City's website CulverCity.org.

More information: See the other pages about Culver City theatres: Culver City Theatre | Meralta Theatre | Culver / Kirk Douglas Theatre. The page on the Culver City Theatre has a few Culver City history resources listed. 

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