Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections:
Downtown | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood/Brentwood | Santa Monica | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces |
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Theatres in Movies site and the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.
The United Artists Long Beach
The c.1931 United Artists in Long Beach, at 217 E. Ocean Ave. was part of an early 30s expansion project by the chain as a result of a war with Fox West Coast. They evidently didn't think UA product was getting the dates or the returns it warranted in the Fox houses. Thus a big push to get their own theatres in prime locations. Many if not all of these were quite similar theatres designed by Walker and Eisen with Clifford A. Balch on a budget of $150,000 to $200,000. The W&E firm had earlier done the office building (but not the theatre itself) for the flagship UA house downtown.
The UA Long Beach, now demolished, was similar to the theatres for the chain in East Los Angeles, on Wilshire (later called the Four Star), Pasadena and Inglewood. This one has the distinction of being the only one for which vintage interior photos survive. This view is in the collection of the California State Library. More can be seen on our page for the United Artists Long Beach.
And that war with Fox West Coast? Fox ended up running these houses for UA. Until the 50s that is, when consent decree settlements got UA in the business of actually running its own theatres.