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 Philharmonic Auditorium
The Auditorium, at 5th & Olive, opened in 1906 and was the center of the city's cultural life until the Music Center was built in the 1960s. As a result it was the subject of many postcards. Thanks to Ken McIntyre on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles for this very early view across what was then known as Central Park and up 5th toward the Auditorium.
Another other shot that popped up on eBay has us looking the other direction, east on 5th.
A better look at the facade appears in this card from the collection of Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle.
Another facade view, this one from in the park, appears in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
Here we get palm trees and a fine look at the red and white striped awnings. It's in the terrific collection of Brian McCray on Picasa. Thanks, Brian! Well, Brian's 400+ cards used to be on Picasa. They vanished when Google decided to "retire" that program.
One more low-level facade view, this time from Elizabeth Fuller's lovely Old Los Angeles Postcards collection on Flickr.
An up-in-the-air view from the Elizabeth Fuller Old Los Angeles Postcards collection. Note that there's no Biltmore Hotel yet on this side of the park.
Another view from above, here looking north with Hill St. on the right side. Sorry, only a sliver of the auditorium appears -- over on the far left. Thanks to Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles for this one.
A last one from above -- this linen card looking north based on a photo taken after the Biltmore opened in the mid 20s. Thanks to Brian McCray for this one, appearing on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
We're not so lucky as far as the number of interior views. But that's typical. Maybe only 2. This look toward the back of the house appears in several collections. Thanks to Cezar Del Valle's Theatre Talks collection for this one.
One last one -- gaudy enough to make you get out the sunglasses. We're looking at the house right boxes. It's from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
For many more photos -- and even a few more postcards -- see our page on the Philharmonic Auditorium.