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Earl Carroll Theatre: the lobby areas

6230 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 | map |

The Earl Carroll Theatre pages: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | stage | stage basement | sceneshop |


A boxoffice view by Maynard Parker. It's a photo in the Huntington Digital Library collection where on its page you'll also find thumbnail views of the 21 other photos of the theatre they have by Mr. Parker. It's also on Calisphere along with many more Earl Carroll Theatre views.



An amazing lobby photo by Maynard Parker from the collection of the Huntington Digital Library. It's also on Calisphere. The description (on a now-vanished Huntington Library page) noted that "the statue by Martin Deutsch still graces the lobby, though her ribbon of neon is gone."



Another look at the Goddess of Neon. It's an August 1939 photo by Maynard Parker in the collection of the Huntington Digital Library. It's on Calisphere.



Thanks to the superb Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection for this 1939 view of the lobby. Yes, those vertical tubes at the top of the photo are neon. It's just one of many amazing views that the collection has. Head to the Torrence website to browse more Earl Carroll Theatre photos



The lobby stairs up to the lounges. It's a 1939 photo on Calisphere by Maynard Parker in the Huntington Digital Library collection.



The top of the stairs. It's a view from the Los Angeles Public Library. Their great collection includes about a hundred photos of the theatre with many concerning specific productions and performers.



Across the landing at the top of the stairs to the lounges. It's a 1939 Maynard Parker photo on Calisphere. The statues are by Wally Pogany.



A look at a lounge seating alcove. It's a Maynard Parker photo that can be seen on Calisphere from the Huntington Library. Also see another Parker view of the same area via the mirror seen at the far right in this photo.



The ladies cosmetics room. It's a Maynard Parker photo on Calisphere



Another ladies cosmetics room photo by Maynard Parker on Calisphere from the Huntington Digital Library collection. Note the stools on the far right -- the mirrors are just out of the frame.



Yet another angle on the ladies cosmetics area from the Huntington Digital Library collection. It's a 1939 Maynard Parker photo on Calisphere.



The house right lobby bar. The 1939 photo is by Maynard Parker in the Huntington Digital Library collection. It's on Calisphere. The glass columns are internally lit with neon.

Mike Hume comments: "Something we noticed: one of the lobby's neon pillars is missing! In the photo above there’s a pillar directly to the left of the telephone kiosk, at the left side of the photo. Looking at modern photos, including the Chuck Weiss 2011 photo, it is gone! No-one we spoke to knows the story behind this."



Originally the lobby area wasn't walled off from the auditorium. You'd walk up the stairs and there would be the bars off to the left and the tables and chairs off to the right. This Maynard Parker photo from the Huntington Library collection appears on Calisphere. Note that we've got tables set up almost back to the bars.



There have been many remodel jobs in the theatre. Thanks to the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection for this Moulin Rouge era photo they date as 1955. The neon is gone from the Goddess of Neon and we've got a lovely dropped ceiling and added columns on the left to support it. This area, now a separate lobby, was open to the auditorium like this as late as 1965. It didn't get a solid dividing wall until perhaps 1968 with the run of "Hair."

Additional photos of the lobby area in the Bruce Torrence collection include: house left lobby bar | lobby stairs to lounges | statue and entrance - 1949. Exterior views in the collection include: 1939 - at night | 1940 night view | along the sidewalk | 1979 - "Oliver" | another 1979 "Oliver" view | 1979 - "Ain't Misbehavin" | 1987 - as the Aquarius - "For Sale or Lease" | And you can browse many more Earl Carroll Theatre photos on the Hollywood Photographs website.


Recent lobby views: 


The lower bar at street level with a peek up into the lobby. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017. Thanks to Mike for all his photos on these pages. Visit his Historic Theatre Photography site for tech information and hundreds of fine photos of the many theatres he's explored in Los Angeles and elsewhere.



The reservation kiosk. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017 



A closer look at the kiosk. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



The south wall. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018



A view back to the entrance doors. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018
 


Looking up the stairs to the main lobby area. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017 



A closer look up at the Goddess of Neon. Sadly, she's lost her ribbon of neon tubing. It was gone with the early 50s Moulin Rouge remodel. Photo: Mike Hume - 2017 



The Goddess from above. Photo: Brian Donnelly - 2018 



 Looking into the lobby over her shoulder. Photo: Brian Donnelly - 2018. Thanks, Brian!



The main lobby area. The stairs to the lounges upstairs are down there on the left, the auditorium is off to the right. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017 



A set of doors into the auditorium. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



 A view deeper into the lobby from the house right bar. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017


 
Behind the uplights below the bar. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017
 


A lobby ceiling view. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - October 2017

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation is actively involved in the study and preservation of the many vintage theatres in the L.A. area. The group frequently supports events and offers tours.
www.lahtf.org | group Facebook page | official Facebook page |

In preservation negotiations with Essex Property Trust, the building owners, the LAHTF was an integral part of a coalition also involving Hollywood Heritage, the L.A. Conservancy, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and councilman Mitch O'Farrell. Escott O. Norton, executive director of the LAHTF, comments:

"Our coalition spent two years working directly with the developer to find ways to preserve and protect the Earl Carroll Theatre. Because of our efforts, the developer filed the application and the Earl Carroll Theatre is now a LA City Historic Cultural Monument. The developer has also pledged to restore the original neon on the exterior, and will be working with LAHTF as we try to find the right tenant to reactivate this space as a performance venue once again. This is a preservation success story, one that came about because of the willingness of this developer to work with our preservation organizations."



The left side of the lobby in 2011. Around the corner at this end of the bar nearest us there's a phone booth. Photo: Chuck Weiss. Thanks, Chuck!

In 2011 the theatre was home to "Victorious," "iCarly" and other Nickelodeon shows. Chuck, who was working in the building on "iCarly," reported at the time that the owners were keeping the lobby in near mint condition. His Earl Carroll photos originally appeared on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles where you can see the many comments they garnered.  



Several of the columns. These are made of glass rods with vertical strips of neon in the center of the structure to backlight it. At one point these had all been painted. Marc Wanamaker tells stories about cleaning the rods with Brillo pads when he was working with Gary Essert to reopen the theatre as the Kaleidoscope in 1967. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018 



From the stairs looking along the house right bar toward the phone booth. Photo: Brian Donnelly - 2018



The lobby phone booth at the house right end of the bar. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



The display case on the south side of the lobby. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017  



A peek at the stairs up to the restrooms and lounge areas.  Photo: Chuck Weiss - 2011 



The restroom stairs. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



Another look up the stairs to the lounge areas. Sorry, it's not the original glass there on the landing. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - October 2017



The landing on the staircase. Photo: Chuck Weiss - 2011



Part way up the stairs. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



On the landing, looking back down to the lobby. The ladies room is on the right, gents on the left. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - October 2017



Coming in to the ladies room from the stairs. That's a phone booth below the signage, not the entrance to the toilet area. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



Around the curve a bit farther, looking unto the toilet and sink area. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018



Peering around a bit deeper and we're in the ladies cosmetics area. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018



In the cosmetics room looking back toward the entrance. The stairs are around that column-like structure on the right. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018



Heading back down to the main lobby from the ladies lounge side of the staircase. From the lounge areas there's no place else to go -- no access to the office areas or the spot booth. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017  



Looking into the men's room from the stairs. The toilet area is out of the frame to the left. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018



The men's toilet area. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018



Looking back out to the sink area. The stair landing is out through the black doorway. Photo: Bill Counter - February 2018 



The vista back down to the lobby on the gents side. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017
 


A lobby view from house left. Visualize it without that added wall on the left. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



Looking back down toward the exit from the lobby level. The auditorium is off to the left. Photo: Chuck Weiss - 2011. He notes: "The original statuette is in excellent condition, and still greeting those who enter the doors of this amazing place." See the comments to his post of the photo on Vintage Los Angeles. Thanks, Chuck! 



Another look at the lady at the top of the stairs. Note the office door over on the right. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - October 2017


Office areas above the lobby:


The office door that leads to all sorts of interesting places. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017

Mike comments: "Through the door is a landing, stairs down to right descend one level to the basement,  We then turn right and get into the open plan area of the basement. If we instead turn left from the lobby level landing to ascend the stairs we go up one level and pass a 'Movie Star Homes' mural on our left which is located on the reverse side of the curved lobby wall above/behind the Goddess of Neon. 

"There are a couple of offices to the right here, and further down this corridor we can either ascend a stair, or turn left to get into a small viewing room (seen just above the small red ladder in this photo). It's evidently not original. From the old pics I don’t see a space in the drapes to gain a view out the window. Ascending the stairs takes us to more offices and the corridor leading into the monitor rooms (two of them) and finally into the spot booth. Sadly the spot booth windows are entirely boarded-up." 

Some views in the spot booth and monitor rooms as well as in the basement are included on the page about the auditorium.



The view west from an office above the theatre's entrance area. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017 


 
A mural on the curved wall in behind the Goddess of Neon sculpture. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017



On the way out, a last look at the Goddess of Neon, minus her tubing. Photo: Mike Hume - October 2017. Visit Mike's Historic Theatre Photography site for tech information and hundreds of fine photos of the many theatres he's explored in Los Angeles and elsewhere. 

The Earl Carroll Theatre pages: history + exterior views | back to top - lobby areasauditorium | stage | stage basement | sceneshop |

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