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Warner Hollywood: booth and attic

The original booth at the top of the balcony has been used in several ways over the years. When the theatre was equipped for Cinerama in 1953, three new booths were constructed on the main floor. For the first Cinerama film, "This is Cinerama," a projector in the upstairs booth ran the small-format prologue before the curtains opened wide. And there was always the famous 30 minute "breakdown" reel (largely of Lowell Thomas talking about various things) ready to play in case of a film break or sync problems with the three downstairs machines.

When Cinerama got pulled out in 1961, the upstairs booth got a new installation of  35/70mm Norelco AAIIs, Ashcraft Super Cinex lamps, and an Ampex 6-4-1 sound system.  Later new booths were built for a second Cinerama installation with the center booth at the rear of the house and the two side booths up on stilts.  The center booth survived and later got equipped for 70mm with Century JJ2 machines.

When the theatre was triplexed in 1978 the upstairs booth was used once again -- this time for the two balcony theatres.  

The Warner booth in 1928 or early 1929. It's a photo from the Motion Picture News issue of February 2, 1929. Theatre historian Kurt Wahlner notes that we have Standard Simplex projectors with Ashcraft model 600 lamps.

While we have soundheads for both sound-on-film as well as turntables for Vitaphone disc reproduction, they didn't use the earlier model Western Electric Univeral Base for this installation. The 1929 photo was part of an article, available on Internet Archive: "Do We Need Standards of Projection Booth Design? Well Rather!"

A lovely late 20s or early 30s view of the Warner's booth showing off their Western Electric amps and other gear. Thanks to John Conning at the website Moviemice for the photo.

And thanks to Kurt Wahlner for finding these two vintage views.  While he has an avid interest in all worthy Los Angeles movie palaces, most of his energies are devoted to research on the Chinese. Visit his monumental

In the upper balcony level lobby: the stairs up to the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

The back wall of the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A view along the front wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A front wall detail. The blue enclosures are Xetron house light dimmers added for the upstairs theatres. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Behind the booth: motor for the lobby elevator. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Behind the booth: ballast resistors. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

From the booth one can get out on the roof. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

On the roof looking southeast. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

The view down from the top of the vertical sign. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the photo. Visit the Photos of Los Angeles page on Facebook that he curates.

From the upper balcony lobby house left we have access to the passageway toward the main ceiling cove. We're looking toward the proscenium. The cove wraps around the front and two sides of the auditorium.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

We're following the main ceiling cove along house left. The wireway has receptacles for the 500W clear floods (here missing). It's a 4 color lighting scheme. White floods plus 100 W bulbs in the strip with red, blue, amber glass rondels. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Main ceiling cove: out in space along house left. We're looking toward the proscenium. At the left we see the ornamental plaster once visible from balcony seats. On the right a wall added when the balcony was twinned. The screen and speaker area for the west theatre are behind the added wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Main ceiling cove: a striplight detail as we turn to head along above the proscenium. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Main ceiling cove: above the proscenium -- looking toward house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Main ceiling cove: the house right side of the proscenium. A slight change in elevation to continue around along the house right side of the auditorium. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Main ceiling cove: the access corridor house right. Nothing serious -- just a few hollow tile blocks knocked loose by the 1994 earthquake. The debris is from the wall that separates the side of the  auditorium (at the rear) from the corridor forward to the ceiling lighting cove.On this side, access is via a door at the last row of seats house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012.

Attic house right rear of the auditorium. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 

Another house right rear attic view. The wood ladder is in the corridor to the lighting cove. Beyond are rooms off the mid balcony level lobby house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

About the Warner Hollywood:
| an overview | street views 1927 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | main lobby | basement lounge | upper lobby areas | recent auditorium views | vintage auditorium views | stage | stage basement | other basement areas | back to top - booth and attic | all warner hollywood posts |

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