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

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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La Petite Theatre: 3 Ocean Park locations

There were three sequential locations in Ocean Park:
-- In the Ocean Park Auditorium Building, from about 1906 until sometime in 1909.
-- Across the street at 3015 Ocean Front Promenade, until the September 1912 pier fire.
-- In a new building that replaced the one lost in the fire, running until 1923.

Location #1
Auditorium Building, Ocean Front Promenade  between Pier Ave. and Marine St.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA 90405 | map - approximate |


The La Petite Theatre, a film house with limited vaudeville, moved into one of the storefronts on the south end of the Ocean Park Auditorium Building sometime in 1906, the year of the building's opening. Here we're looking north along the building with the theatre's signage seen above a south storefront. It's a card that was located by the late Chrys Atwood. There's a copy of the card on the site Card Cow that has an October 1908 postmark.

It may have been the first of many small theatres that Southwest Amusement Co, used the name for. It's listed as the La Petite Theatre No. 1 in the 1907-1908 Henry's Official Western Theatrical Guide. It's on Google Books. Henry's gives an address of just "Ocean Front." Mark Hanna is listed as manager. The capacity is listed as 150 and they were running 10 shows a day. The same information appears in the listings in the trade magazine The Billboard for 1906, 1907 and 1908.

The Santa Monica Outlook of June 11, 1908 refers to the theatre as the "La Petite in Ocean Park." In an ad in the October 30, 1908 Outlook Bert Atwood is listed as manager. They're offering "Refined Vaudeville & Motion Pictures." The program was changing 3 times a week and included four reels of motion pictures, two illustrated songs and one act of vaudeville. Admission was 10 cents with nightly shows at 7:15 and 8:15.

There was also a La Petite in downtown Santa Monica as well as several in Los Angeles. Southwest Amusement was a firm operated by Billy Clune and C.M. Bockoven. For a time Southwest was also operating the Family Theatre in the Casino Building, just north of the pier. By 1908 the company was being dissolved and the various theatres were unloaded on other operators. Clune was also involved in the the Starland Theatre, opening out on the pier in 1911. Head to the bottom of the page on downtown L.A.'s Cameo Theatre for more about Southwest Amusement.

The Outlook for January 15, 1909 mentions the "La Petite Theatre, Horseshoe Pier Auditorium Building on Ocean Front." In a January 20 listing it's just called the "Horseshoe Pier Bldg." They didn't stay much longer.

Closing: Sometime in 1909. The space was evidently repurposed for retail use. Early in 1909 the La Petite management, then under the direction of B. A. Wheelock, was already constructing a new building across the street at 3015 Ocean Front Promenade.



c.1906 - Looking north along the Auditorium Building when the La Petite was a tenant. On the far right it's a bit of the Casino, a building that had opened in 1903. It's a card from the collection of Chrys Atwood.



c.1907 - A view south with the "La Petite 10¢ Theatre" signage on the building. That's the Venice Auditorium in the distance, out on the end of the Abbott Kinney Pier. Southern California Realty Co. was on the south corner with the La Petite in the next two bays. That space just to the left of the bandstand has signage saying "Home of the Post Card."  It's a card in the USC Digital Library collection.



c.1908 - A view south from the site Card Cow.  This copy has a September 1909 postmark. White sign in the lower right is for a shooting gallery that has moved into one of the storefronts.



c.1908 - Another view south from the site Card Cow. Note that the Examiner has taken over the storefront to the right of the bandstand.


Location #2:
3015 Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA 90405 | map - approximate | 


Opened: Sometime in mid-1909. The very theatrical building on the right, at the corner of Marine St. was the second location of the La Petite Theatre, across the Promenade from the original location in the Auditorium Building. It's hard to see in this view but look at the corner of the building and you can see the edges of the letters hung on the corner saying "La Petite."

They were certainly open before December. The December 24, 1909 Santa Monica Outlook ran an ad for the Pacific Souvenir Co. in the Auditorium Building, "opposite La Petite Theatre." That's the Auditorium on the left, with the Crescent Vaudeville Theatre located inside. We're looking north toward Pier Ave. This c.1910 card was a find on eBay by Chrys Atwood for a post on the Venice, Ocean Park & Santa Monica Facebook page. There's also a version of it on the site Card Cow.

Architect: Evidently it was Alfred Rosenheim. Thanks to Joe Vogel for locating a January 25, 1909 article in the Santa Monica Outlook detailing the plans of B.A. Wheelock of the La Petit Theatre [sic] to engage Rosenheim to design a theatre in Ocean Park. Joe adds that the February 16, 1909 Outlook announced that a contract for the building had been let. 

The April 26, 1910 Santa Monica Outlook had an article about the attorney for La Petite's Wheelock (and partner J.M. Boland) protesting against a frame theatre building being constructed on the Marine St. Pier "within the fire limits" and "being constructed without the necessary building permit." The building they were protesting was the Starland Theatre, a project of Billy Clune's that opened on the pier in 1911 as part of the "Fraser's Million Dollar Pier" expansion project. Rosenheim was also the architect for that project. Boland ended up taking it over from Clune and then unloaded it on Globe Amusement. The timing was unfortunate. The theatre burned after only 15 months of operation, within a  month or less of Globe's takeover.

The La Petite is in the 1911 city directory at "Ocean Front Promenade ne cor Marine." In February, 1912 the operation of Wheelock and Boland was sold to Messrs. Kramer and Stineman who planned to erect a larger theatre on the site. Joe Vogel located a February 12, 1912 Venice Vanguard article announcing the purchase.

The demise: If the new owners had embarked on a building project, the timing was unfortunate. Whatever theatre was there burned in the September 3, 1912 pier fire. The September 4, 1912 Santa Monica Outlook reported that the fire caused a $25,000 loss for the owners of the La Petite.  A new theatre was constructed on the site.



1910 - A trade magazine view. Thanks to Dallas Movie Theaters for finding this one for a post on Cinema Treasures. Note no vertical sign on the corner of the building yet.



c.1910 - The La Petite is on the far right in this look north. Note the vertical sign letters protruding from the building. Here we can also see down the Promenade to where a carousel and the Dragon Gorge Scenic Railroad would soon be. It's a card appearing on the site Card Cow.

A monochrome version appears on page 117 of the 2008 Arcadia Publishing Postcard History Series book "Early Los Angeles County Attractions" by Cory & Sarah Stargel. The page with the photo is included in the preview on Google Books.



c.1912 - Thanks to Rod Nelson for locating this one. In the lower right we see a bit of the letters for the La Petite, at the corner of Marine St. and the Promenade. A copy of this one also appears in the Card Cow collection. Also see a night postcard derived from the same photo.


Location #3:
3015 Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA 90405 | map - approximate |

Opening: 1913. The theatre got a new building after the September 1912 pier fire. It was at the same location as before, on the northeast corner of Ocean Front Promenade and Marine St. Or actually, one storefront north of the corner. The corner space soon became a drug store that survived for decades. The upper floors of the building were the Decatur Hotel, with an entrance around on the side at 107 Marine St.

The 1913 Santa Monica city directory lists the La Petite as being on the Promenade between Pier and Navy in the classified section under "theatres" and between Pier and Marine in the alphabetical section. At the time, E.D. Hostetter was president of the La Petite Theatre Co. with S.B. Kramer as secretary-treasurer, F.L. Stineman as vice-president and manager.  One listing noted they were "opposite Ocean Park Pier."

The 3015 Ocean Front Promenade address is listed in the 1915-16 city directory. Stineman evidently staged a coup. He's become president with H.W. Levengood as vice-president and D.H. Wagar as secretary-treasurer.

The theatre was the subject of a discrimination lawsuit in 1916 for refusing to seat a black patron on the main floor. It's recounted on page 204 of the book "The Negro Trail Blazers." It's on Google Books. In the 1919-1920 directory the address is 3017 Ocean Front Promenade.

The 1919-20 city directory lists the same officers as in 1916. The news was that with a lot of filming on the beach, the La Petite folks also got into the movie props business with their props department listing an address of 3017 Ocean Front Promenade for that. It's still in the 1921-1922 city directory as well as being in the Film Daily Yearbook for both the 1921 and 1922 editions.

Closing: The La Petite was around until 1923 when it was converted into a store. Joe Vogel found mention in a February 17, 1923 Venice Vanguard article noting the conversion. The 1923-24 city directory lists this address as "Hamberger's Art Shop" and in 1927 as "O M Hamberger - ladies clothes."



c.1915 - That white three story building on the left with the arch is the post-1912 La Petite. There's a sign advertising a Mack Sennett attraction hanging out from the building. Take a left beyond the La Petite building and you're on Marine St. That Moorish looking fantasia in the distance is the Ocean Park Bathhouse. And where's the Dome dance hall, later to become the Dome Theatre? It would come along in 1916.

We're looking south on the Promenade. The building on the far right is the one that would soon be converted to become the Rosemary Theatre location #4. Just beyond, if you take a right, you're heading out onto the pier. This lovely card was a find on eBay by Chrys Atwood for a post on the Venice, Ocean Park & Santa Monica Facebook page.



1916 - Furs and a wagon to attract attention to the run of "God's Country and The Woman." Thanks to Suzanne O'Connell for sharing this photo on the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page. She noted that her grandfather, actor and director George Ansell Holt, was in the film and lived on 5th St. in Santa Monica.

Russell Potter commented: "Many of the extras in the film came from the Eskimo Village then operating at the Ocean Park pier in Santa Monica ... it was an exciting production, as the actors became snowbound and had to subsist upon crackers, prunes, and (according to one article) the boiled strings of one actor's violin!"



c.1921 - A lovely view north toward the La Petite building at Marine St. from the Santa Monica Public Library collection. The entrance toward the right end of the building was for the Decatur Hotel.

On the upper left note the sign for "Dome Dancing." The building, unseen here opened in 1916 and was converted into the Dome Theatre in 1922. The vacant lot on the right is still seen to be vacant in photos of the September 1924 pier fire but they evidently had started work at the time on the Palace dance hall that would rise there.



c.1921 - A closer look at the La Petite, on the right. It's a Santa Monica Public Library photo. They credit it both of these views to the Ansco Company, Binghampton, N.Y. Presumably they just did the processing or they were printed on their paper.



c.1921 - An entrance detail from the Library's photo.



c.1921 - The La Petite is in the upper center. The Dome is over on the right and seaward of it on the new Lick Pier they're building the Zip roller coaster, which opened April 15, 1922. The Ocean Front Promenade is running horizontally across the top of the image with Pier Ave. down the left side. In the upper left, the building with the circular structure on the roof was the Rosemary location #4. Here it looks like there's scaffolding up to add a stagehouse.

In the upper center the first building this side of the Promenade is a billiards hall and bowling alley. Below it is the Breakers Cafe. And the next building out closer to us on the pier is the Rosemary location #3, by the time of the photo renamed the Rialto Theatre. It's a detail from a photo from the Ernest Marquez collection appearing on the Huntington Library website.



1926 - No, the La Petite building didn't perish in the big 1924 fire. It's there, although at this point no longer a theatre, across Marine St., beyond the new Palace dance hall. Unlike the 1912 fire, which destroyed nearly the whole Ocean Park business district, the 1924 event only wiped out buildings on the ocean side of the Promenade. Thanks to Ken Roe for locating the photo. A smaller version of the image appears with Jeffrey Stanton's fine article "Ocean Park Pier 1926-1956."

Here the old Dome Theatre entrance is seen as repurposed for the new Rosemary Theatre. The big Dome in the distance is over the new entrance to the Ocean Park Pier. The new Dome Theatre location is actually this side of it.



2019 - A view southwest to where the intersection of Ocean Front Promenade and Marine St. once was. Photo: Google Maps.

More Information: The listings at the bottom of the Theatres Along the Coast survey page for some Ocean Park history references.

See Joe Vogel's fine research on the theatre on the Cinema Treasures page about the La Petite. 

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Ocean Park Casino / Family Theatre

NW corner of Pier Ave. and the Ocean Front Promenade
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA 90405 | map - approximate |


Opening: The Ocean Park Casino opened in the spring of 1903 at a cost of $35,000, a project of Alexander Fraser. The first version of the Ocean Park Pier had opened in 1898. The c.1904 image is from a postcard on the site Card Cow. A black and white version of the photo appears on another card on the site that they note has a March 1906 postmark. 

The building had numerous spaces for restaurants and various other concessionaires. The location of the bandstand, and farther off to the left, would in 1906 become the site of the Auditorium Building, a structure that would incorporate a bandstand into its facade. See that page for many more photos and postcards that show both buildings.

The Family Theatre at the Casino: The Family Theatre is listed in the 1907-1908 Henry's Official Western Theatrical Guide. Henry's gives an address of Pier Ave. and Ocean Front and tells us that the Southwest Amusement Co. was the lessee with a P. Ruppert as manager. They were doing four shows daily. The same information appears in the listings in the trade magazine The Billboard for 1907 and 1908. The 1908 Billboard list is on Google Books.

A front page story in the Santa Monica Outlook for August 2, 1907 advises us that the theatre, in the Ocean Park Casino Building, is "one of the largest and best ventilated theatres on the Pacific coast, always presenting the very latest of motion pictures and illustrated songs and it can easily be seen that this popular theatre has captured the hearts of the amusement loving public of the Santa Monica Bay district..." An ad in the August 19 issue advised us that "Others Like It, So Will You."

At the time Southwest was also running the La Petite Theatre in the Auditorium Building. It was a firm operated by Billy Clune and C.M. Bockoven. By 1908 the company was being dissolved and the various theatres were unloaded on other operators. Head to the bottom of the page on the Cameo Theatre for more about Southwest Amusement. 

Seating: 300

Closing: It's unknown when the Family Theatre closed.

Alexander Fraser gave the pier a big upgrade for the 1911 season with increased space and many new attractions. During its 15 months of activity it was known as Fraser's Million Dollar Pier. The Starland Theatre, half way out on the pier, was one new attraction. See that page for views of the pier.

The demise: The Casino, as well as everything else nearby, burned in the September 3, 1912 pier fire. The pier, with new attractions, would be rebuilt in time for the 1913 season. 



1903 - A photo from the California Historical Society appearing on the USC Digital Library website.



c.1903 - A view in from the pier, perhaps taken at the building's grand opening. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



c.1903 - A postcard based on the Los Angeles Public Library photo. It's on the site Card Cow and they note that this particular copy had a September 1904 postmark.



c.1904 - An image from a card with a 1907 postmark from the Ernest Marquez collection that's on the Huntington Library website. It's the same event as pictured in the image at the top of the page. Yet another slightly different photo of the same event is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



c.1904 - A look toward the Casino from Pier Avenue. On the far right note the sign on the Casino advertising their attraction: "Southern Nubiles Minstrels." It's a photo in the Santa Monica Public Library collection.



c.1904 - A postcard based on the Santa Monica Public Library photo. It's on the site Card Cow where they note that this copy has a November 1905 postmark.



c.1905 - A view toward shore. The structure at the left in front of the Casino is the back of the bandstand. It's a photo from the Ernest Marquez collection appearing on the Huntington Library website. 



c.1905 - A view west to the Promenade from Pier Ave. and Trolleyway. The photo, from the Los Angeles Public Library collection, was taken before the Auditorium was built.



1905 - A look north as construction is wrapping up on the Ocean Park Bathhouse. It would open July 4, the same weekend as Abbott Kinney's Venice of America. It's a photo from the California Historical Society appearing on the USC Digital Library website.



1905 - A detail from the USC photo. It appears that Ocean Park's first roller coaster is out on the pier.



c.1905 - A postcard view from the new Bathhouse building. The card is on the Card Cow site where they note that their copy had a 1911 postmark.  In the foreground on the left a studio is advertising that you can get your tintype taken in minutes. Another photo studio is across the promenade on the right.



c.1906 - A view east on the Pier toward the Ocean Front Promenade and Pier Ave. beyond. In the foreground on the left it's the Casino Building, here seen with signage for the Casino Cafe. On the right is the new Auditorium Building. The photo from the Connie Cramer Collection / Santa Monica Toastmistress Club appears on the Santa Monica Public Library website. Also see another version of the photo with less vertical cropping.



c.1906 - A postcard based on the uncropped version of the photo above. The card once appeared as a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page but has vanished from that platform. 



c.1907 - A banner on the side of the Casino advertising Continuous Performances for 10 cents, presumably at the Family Theatre. Beyond the Casino is the Auditorium Building. The card was a find on eBay by Chrys Atwood.



c.1911 - The Casino is on the right in this view south on the Promenade toward Pier Ave. The card appears on Card Cow where they note that it has a January 1912 postmark.



c.1911 - Looking north on Ocean Front Promenade. On the left that's the north end of the Casino, followed by the Looff Hippodrome (a carousel) and the Dragon Gorge Scenic Railroad. Thanks to Lorie Vignolle-Moritz for sharing the card from her collection.



c.1911 - Another view toward the Dragon Gorge. It's another from the site Card Cow. If you care to browse on the site: Ocean Park cards | Venice cards | More cards can be seen on the Penny Postcards from California site: Santa Monica and Ocean Park | Venice |



c.1911 - A lovely card from Jeffrey Stanton's collection that offers a view from on top of the Fraser Pier's Grand Canyon Scenic Railroad. We're looking to the shore with the Thompson Company's Dragon Gorge Scenic Railroad taking up most of the image. To its right is the building for the Looff Carousel and, farther right, a bit of the Casino.

The card appears with Mr. Stanton's fine article about Fraser's Million Dollar Pier, part of his terrific Venice History Site hosted on Westland.net. He discusses the 1912 fire in detail. On his map of the Fraser "Million Dollar" Pier - 1912 the Casino appears as #5. He is the author of "Venice California - Coney Island of the Pacific," available direct by check or money order for $59.57, including tax. He's at 12525 Allin St. Los Angeles 90066. His email: jeffreystanton@yahoo.com.



1912 - The pier in flames during the September 3 fire. It was rebuilt for the 1913 season with new buildings on the Casino and Auditorium sites. It's a card that was located by the late Chrys Atwood.



2019 - Looking out to where the Auditorium, Fraser Pier and the Casino once were. Behind us it's all condos. There's no more Ocean Park business district unless you go several blocks east to Pacific Ave. or Main St. Photo: Google Maps

More Information: See the page on the Ocean Park Auditorium, the building just south of the Casino. There you'll find many more views that show both buildings. The listings at the bottom of the Theatres Along the Coast survey page include some Ocean Park history references.

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Ocean Park Auditorium / La Petite Theatre / Crescent Vaudeville Theatre

Ocean Front Promenade between Pier Ave. and Marine St.
Ocean Park (Santa Monica), CA 90405 | map - approximate |


Opened: The monumental Ocean Park Auditorium Building was constructed in 1906 by Alexander Fraser. The building had multiple spaces including a vaudeville theatre, a 6,000 capacity dance hall, a movie theatre, restaurants, and various other stores and concessionaires. This fine view of the new building's south entrance is a postcard from the collection of the late Chrys Atwood.

It was also known as the Horseshoe Pier Auditorium, and sometimes referred to just as the Horseshoe Pier Building, after the name of the pier at the building's location. The space between this building and the earlier Casino Building, just north of Pier Ave., was the pier entrance. Later a second entrance was added south of the Auditorium.

Fraser went for a big expansion, referred to as the "Million Dollar Fraser Pier" which opened partially on May 30, 1911 and officially on June 17. The construction cost of that expansion was reported to be in excess of $100,000, exclusive of the attractions on it. Halfway out on the pier was the Starland Theatre, operated initially by Billy Clune. See that page for views of the pier. The Auditorium Building's dance hall became a roller rink when a new larger dance pavilion was added out at the end of the Fraser Pier.

The Crescent Vaudeville Theatre opened in the building in 1906. In the 1911 city directory there's a listing as the Crescent at "Fraser's Pier - Ocean Park."

The La Petite Theatre, a film house with limited vaudeville, moved into storefront space on the south end of the building sometime in 1906. They were in the building until sometime in 1909 when they moved across the Promenade to a newly constructed theatre. That one burned in the 1912 fire that also consumed the Auditorium and the Casino. They built a new one on the same site at the northeast corner of the Promenade and Marine St. That one ran until 1923. See the separate page about the La Petite Theatre for more information on the first location in the Auditorium Building as well as the two across the Promenade.

The Auditorium Building's demise: The building was destroyed in the September 3, 1912 fire along with the pier and the entire Ocean Park amusement area. It was all rebuilt for the 1913 season. And again in 1924 after another fire. From 1958 until 1967 the area was redone as Pacific Ocean Park.



c.1904 - The bandstand we see here, and the space farther to the left, would soon be replaced by the Auditorium Building that would incorporate a bandstand into its facade. On the right is the Casino, a building opened by Alexander Fraser in 1903. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1906 - This is perhaps the only view showing the amazing difference in size between the Casino, in the center, and the new Auditorium, on the right. That white structure to the left of the Casino is Ocean Park's first roller coaster. It's a card that was a find by Chrys Atwood.



c.1906 - Another pier view, this time giving us a look at the Bathhouse. It's a card on Card Cow where they note that their copy had a 1910 postmark.



c.1906 - A view north along the Ocean Front Promenade toward the new building. It's a card on the site Card Cow. The Bathhouse, on the right, opened on July 4, 1905 --  the same weekend that Abbott Kinney opened his Venice of America resort.



c.1906 - A bit farther north on the Promenade. It's a card from Card Cow. This copy had a 1909 postmark. Note that they didn't have the horseshoe sign up yet.



c.1906 - A view east on the Pier toward the Ocean Front Promenade and Pier Ave. beyond. In the foreground on the left it's the Casino Building, here seen with signage for the Casino Cafe. On the right is the Auditorium Building. The photo from the Connie Cramer Collection / Santa Monica Toastmistress Club appears on the Santa Monica Public Library website. Also see another version of the photo with less vertical cropping.



c.1906 - A postcard based on the uncropped version of the photo above. The card once appeared as a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.



c.1906 - Looking west on Pier Ave. toward the Promenade and the ocean beyond. On the other side of the Promenade it's the Auditorium Building on the left and the Casino on the right. It's a photo by Adelbert Bartlett, or at least was in in his collection of papers. Thanks to James J. Chun for locating it for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. The image also appears in the collection of the Santa Monica Public Library where they credit it to an M. Reider and give it a 1905 date, not quite possible.



c.1906 - A companion view looking across the Promenade and east on Pier Ave. It's on Shorpy where you can see a lovely high resolution version. In the foreground on the left it's an awning at the Casino. The stairs on the right go into the side of the Auditorium Building.



c.1907 - A photo by H.F. Rile in the Santa Monica Public Library collection. They date it as 1900, a few years too early.



c.1907 - A look at the bandstand. It's a card discovered on eBay by Chrys Atwood.



c.1907 - A view south from Card Cow. There's a protruding yellow sign down there on one of the Auditorium's storefronts for the La Petite Theatre. The site has another copy of the same card with an August 1907 postmark. 



c.1907 - A view south with the La Petite 10¢ Theatre in several of the storefronts. That's the Venice Auditorium in the distance, out on the end of the Abbott Kinney Pier. It's a card in the USC Digital Library collection.



c.1908 - A fine evening view from the Card Cow site. That black blob in the water on the left should have been the brightly lit Abbott Kinney Pier in Venice but the card retoucher blacked it out.



c.1908 - Another view south from the site Card Cow. Note that the Examiner has taken over the storefront to the right of the bandstand. 



c.1908 - Looking north from Venice along Ocean Front Walk. The photo appeared as a post on the Venice Historical Society Facebook page. 



c.1908 - Looking north toward the Auditorium. It's a card in the USC Digital Library collection. Also see a 1905 photo in the USC collection taken looking north as construction was finishing up on the bathhouse and the Auditorium hadn't yet been started.



c.1908 - A view looking north with a July 1909 postmark from the site Card Cow.



1909 - A bandstand detail from the Santa Monica Public Library collection.  It looks like we have a penny arcade in the storefront at the left. They identify the candy store as Frank McGarry's. To the right of the candy store it's "The Cosy," a lunch room and then a shooting gallery. On the right it's an office for the Examiner with what looks like signage saying you can get it for 25 cents a month. The 1909 date is the one provided by the Library.



c.1910 - A lovely moonlight view. Note the bandstand and other new construction out on the pier. It's a card on the site Card Cow, where they note that this particular copy had an April 1913 postmark. Everything we see here, except the Bathhouse on the far right, had burned seven months earlier. Mollie, who wrote the card, evidently was not a very critical observer. She reported: "We have been here in the evening and it looks just like this picture."  Card Cow also has another copy with a 1911 postmark.



c.1910 - "Main Entrance to New Pier." The Horseshoe Pier entrance had been on the other side of the Auditorium, between the Auditorium and the Casino, lined up with Pier Ave. Now they've added a second entrance along the south side of the auditorium.  It's a card the late Chrys Atwood found on eBay for a post on the Venice, Ocean Park & Santa Monica Facebook page. There's also a version of it on the site Card Cow.

The entrance for the Crescent Vaudeville Theatre advertised on the banner was presumably around on the west side of the Auditorium Building. The Pier Ave. intersection is a block north with the buildings there seen behind the "Dancing To-Night" banner.  The very theatrical building on the right at the corner of Marine St. was the second location of the La Petite Theatre. Earlier the La Petite had been in a storefront on the south end of the Auditorium Building.



c.1910 - Another look at the banner advertising the Crescent Vaudeville Theatre. Here we can also see down the Promenade to where a carousel and the Dragon Gorge Scenic Railroad would soon be. On the far right those letters dangling vertically are advertising the La Petite. It's a card appearing on the site Card Cow.

A monochrome version appears on page 117 of the 2008 Arcadia Publishing Postcard History Series book "Early Los Angeles County Attractions" by Cory & Sarah Stargel. The page with the photo is included in the preview on Google Books.



c.1911 - Looking south on the Promenade toward Pier Ave. The card appears on Card Cow where they note that it has a January 1912 postmark.



c.1912 - Looking north across the facades of the Auditorium and Casino to the Dragon Gorge Scenic Railroad. It's a card on the site Card Cow.



c.1912 - Thanks to Rod Nelson for locating this one. It's derived from the same photo as the night view above. In the lower right we see a bit of the letters for the La Petite, at the corner of Marine St. and the Promenade. A copy of this one also appears in the Card Cow collection.



c.1912 - That's the south side of the Auditorium Building on the right edge of the image. This view of the pier from the south was from up in the Ocean Park Bathhouse. That's the Starland Theatre half way out on the pier. The card is on the site Card Cow.

The book "Early Los Angeles County Attractions" from Arcadia Publishing has a black and white reproduction of the card on page 117 along with other Ocean Park views. The page is included in the book's preview on Google Books.



1912 - The Starland Theatre is on the left and the Auditorium Building is on the right. It's a detail from a wider view taken by G. Haven Bishop for the Southern California Edison Company that's in the Huntington Library collection.



1912 - A postcard view of the September 3 fire from the south appearing on the site Card Cow. That's the Ocean Park Bathhouse on the right. If you care to browse on the Card Cow site: Ocean Park | Venice | More cards can be found on the Penny Postcards from California site: Santa Monica and Ocean Park | Venice |



2019 - Looking out to where the Auditorium, Fraser Pier and the Casino once were. Behind us it's all condos. There's no more Ocean Park business district unless you go several blocks east to Pacific Ave. or Main St. Photo: Google Maps

More Information: See the listings at the bottom of the Theatres Along the Coast survey page for some Ocean Park history references. See "Venice" in the Arcadia Publishing Postcard History Series for more photos of the Auditorium and Casino buildings.

Jeffrey Stanton has a fine article about Fraser's Million Dollar Pier, part of his terrific Venice History Site hosted on Westland.net. He discusses the 1912 fire in detail. On his map of the Fraser "Million Dollar" Pier - 1912 the Auditorium appears as #6. Also see his article "Founding of Ocean Park."

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