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X Theatre

5959 Hollywood Blvd.   Los Angeles, CA 90028  
| map |

This was a building that was converted into a twin theatre by Carlos Tobalina, who also ran the "Fabulous Mayan" downtown. Usually the shows were porn but frequently Tobalina ran regular Hollywood double features in one auditorium. Initially (in the 70s) the two sides were called the Adam and Eve Theatres.
 

A fine 1979 shot looking east on Hollywood Blvd. Thanks to Michel Bouchet for posting it on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.



The building was initially the Holly Food Mart, opening c.1937. In the 50s it was the headquarters for Peterson Publishing, putting out such titles as Motor Trend and Hot Rod. Rhis c.1938 Herman Schultheis photo is in the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library

Thanks to Linda Hammonds for information about the building's past in a post on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.



A night view of the market. Note the view of the Marcal Theatre, later renamed the World, on the left. It's another Herman Schultheis photo from the Los Angeles Public Library



A fine 1971 look east on Hollywood Blvd. at the World Theatre -- and the X Theatre beyond, here with the two halves of the X called the Adam and Eve. The photo is from the amazing Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection.



A 1977 view looking west  at the X Theatre and onward down Hollywood Blvd.toward the World Theatre.  Thanks to Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar DelValle for the photo. His theatre adventures can be found on his Theatre Talks blog as well as on Facebook.

The photo also has made an appearance on the Facebook pages Photos of Los Angeles and Mid Century Modern.



A 1986 telephoto view west on Hollywood Blvd. with the X Theatre over on the right.  It's a Tony Barnard photo for the L.A. Times appearing on Calisphere. It's also on the UCLA Library site. There's also a second take of the same vista.  The UCLA site has a zoom feature so you can go in and pan around.

The vertical for the Music Box (at this time called the Henry Fonda) is on the left. The Egyptian is down there somewhere. Way down is the El Capitan (with its vertical saying Paramount). On the right beyond the X are the World Theatre hiding behind it (with a blank marquee), the Pantages and the Warner (with Pacific on its vertical).



Again thanks to the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection. This time we get a view west in 1987.  Hard to miss that sign, isn't it?



 The forlorn X Theatre in 2007. Photo: Bill Counter



End of the line for the building in 2016. It's a Scott Michaels photo. He has it on Facebook with several other demo views he took. Thanks to Scott for catching the event and also to Kathleen Campbell for spotting his photos and sharing them on the LAHTF Facebook page.

The X Theatre in the Movies:


The X, and many other abandoned theatres, are seen in Paul Schrader's "The Canyons" (IFC Films, 2013). This wide-angle shot of the X is in the opening credits for the film, which begins and ends with desaturated views of abandoned movie theatres. The film, written by Bret Easton Ellis, is a thriller about some sad people on the fringes of the film business. See the Theatres In Movies post for more photos.

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