Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections: Downtown | North of Downtown + East L.A. | San Fernando Valley | Glendale | Pasadena | San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier | South, South Central and Southeast | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Long Beach | [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.

Music Box / Fonda Theatre: interior views

6126 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028  | map |

Also see: Music Box/Fonda: history + exterior views


The outer lobby:


Looking in from the street toward the inner lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Along the house right (west) wall to the restrooms. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A detail of the colonnade above. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A ceiling detail. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



One of the columns. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A peek in the ladies room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Looking back along the house right wall toward Hollywood Blvd. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The colonnade above the exit doors. The AC ducts are coming through the space that used to be the upper part of the ticket lobby outside. Since the 40s there's been a much lower Skouras-style ceiling in that space. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The view along the house left (east) wall toward the inner lobby. The doors at the left open into the Blue Palms Brewpub. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Another south wall view. On the right it's the inner lobby and auditorium. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Looking up from the outer lobby to the upstairs lobby area. Thanks to Albert Domasin for the photo on Flickr. Take a look at all 32 views in his 2012 Music Box Theatre set taken at the LAHTF "all-about" tour that year.



Looking back toward the entrance doors as they were in 2011. The photo is from a version of the Music Box website that was up at the time.


The inner lobby:  


The lobby across the rear of the main floor. Here in 1926 it's an open standee area, as it is once again -- now with a bar added. For a number of decades this was walled off to make it a separate space. The Mott Studios photo is one of eight views in the California State Library photo set #001384374.



A view in towards the inner lobby from the website that was up for the theatre in 2009. We're seeing the doors to Hollywood Blvd. in the mirrors. This wall was opened up again after the photo was taken.



The inner lobby with a bar added and the wall opened up. It's a 2010 photo by Albert Domassin on Flickr.



A 2011 look at the lobby bar. At the left a peek into the auditorium, off to the right are the house right stairs to the balcony. It's a photo that once appeared on the Fonda Facebook page.



The view toward house left in 2011. It's a photo from the Music Box website that was up at the time. Take a left through the big arch and you're out toward Hollywood Blvd.



The look across in 2019. Photo: Bill Counter 



A closer look to house left. The door to the manager's office is on the left on the stair landing. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019 



The view to house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Closer to the house right stairs. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Looking back out toward the outer lobby. Thanks to Mike Hume for this 2019 photo and the many others that appear on this page. Visit his Historic Theatre Photography site for tech data and thousands of great photos of the theatres he's explored. Don't miss his page about the Fonda Theatre.


The upstairs lobby:


A 1926 view in the California State Library photo set #001384374. We're looking toward house right. To get to the seating it's up the stairs at either end of the lobby where you end up at the top of the fairly shallow balcony.

Through the openings one could look down on the main floor outer lobby. They were originally open, now glassed in. At either end of the colonnade there are short flights of stairs up and out to the rooftop patio. The painted detail on the ceiling beams we see here is now hidden by an illuminated dropped ceiling.



A 1926 Mott Studios view of the south wall of the upstairs lobby. It's a photo in the California State Library photo set #001384374.



The upstairs lobby from house left in 2019. The recesses that used to be on the left (south) wall have been filled in. The ladies room is out of the frame to the left. Photo: Bill Counter



Looking into the ladies room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The ladies room view back out toward the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



One of the two sets of stairs up to the patio. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019. There are lots of photos of the patio down at the bottom of the exterior views page.



The space from house right. The men's room is off to the right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A peek into the men's room, house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019

   
Vintage auditorium views:


A 1926 main floor photo from the Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, #T-023-22. Thanks to Martin Pal for finding this one in the Torrence collection and including it (with many more Music Box views) in his Noirish Los Angeles post #28606.



A Mott Studios photo of the proscenium niche house left from the Los Angeles Public Library. It's also in the California State Library photo set #001384374.



This Mott Studios rear auditorium shot is in the California State Library collection. They also have another take of it as their item #001384375. A cropped version appeared in the January 1928 issue of Architect and Engineer, available on Internet Archive. It's also in the October 1927 issue of Architect and Engineer as part of an ad for Calacoustic sound absorbing plaster.



A Mott Studios photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. It's also in the California State Library photo set #001384374.



A Mott Studios look at the proscenium from up in the balcony. It's a photo in the California State Library collection, their item #01384371. The photo also appears in the collection of the USC Digital Library.

 

The "Tribute to Henry Fonda" on the Movie Pal website includes this photo of the theatre during its 80s legit period as the Henry Fonda. Note that the niches either side of the proscenium have been filled in. 



Also on the "Tribute to Henry Fonda" page is this nice 80s view looking toward the back of the house. It's perhaps the last photo available showing the theatre when it still had seats on the main floor. Note the walled in lobby area at the back of the main floor. It's now been opened up again to its 1926 configuration -- except with bars added in both the auditorium space and in the inner lobby.. 


Main floor views as a music venue: 


A look in from the lobby with the main floor set up in couch format for a c.2009 event. The floor got leveled when the theatre was converted from legit use. The photo is one that once appeared on the Music Box website. Note the earlier paint job. 



A peek in from the lobby in 2019. Photo: Bill Counter



The rear of the main floor. Thanks to Cinema Treasures contributor Hollywood 90038 for this photo. It was once on the site's Fonda Theatre page but has vanished.



A balcony soffit fixture detail. A 40s fixture with some 1926 plaster showing above it. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Another look across the bar. Thanks to Albert Domassin for his photo on Flickr.



A view across the house mix position in front of the bar. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



One of the proscenium niches with the earlier paint job. It's a c.2006 photo by Fariah! on Flickr.



A c.2010 detail of the lounge area near the house right proscenium niche. It's a photo that was once up on the Music Box website of an earlier management team.



The top of one of the proscenium niches. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A c.2012 photo that once appeared on the Fonda Facebook page. The wall decor was inspired by the work of Hieronymus Bosch.



The view across the house on a busy night in 2016. Thanks to Steve Raymond for his set of seven Music Box photos appearing on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.



Another view to house right. Note the height of the built-up stage. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The proscenium as seen from the middle of the main floor. Thanks to Goldenvoice for the 2015 photo, one appearing on the Fonda Facebook page.



A closer proscenium view. Note the sound absorbent material added to the once ornately painted ceiling. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A proscenium plaster detail. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



House left near the proscenium. Note the height of the floor at what used to be an exit door. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The rear of the auditorium viewed from the stage. Note the front of the booth opened up as a private box. It's a Don Solosan photo that appeared on the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation Facebook page, taken during a 2010 "all-about" tour.  Thanks, Don!



A 2016 view back toward the balcony. Thanks to Steve Raymond for his 2016 photo. This is one in his set of seven Music Box views he posted on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.



The rear of the auditorium in 2019. The original painted detail on the ceiling got covered at some point with sprayed-on grayish sound absorbent material. Photo: Bill Counter


Up in the balcony: 


A balcony view of the theatre's earlier paint job. It's a photo that was on a 2009 version of the theatre's website when the venue was under different management.



  A c.2009 photo that once appeared on the Music Box Facebook page.
 


Thanks to Don Solosan for this 2010 balcony photo.



A view that appeared on the Music Box website c.2012.



A look across in 2019. Photo: Bill Counter



A closer view of the house right proscenium niche. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Along the rail to house left. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A look to the backwall. The Music Box upholstery is from the earlier management, before it got rebranded as the Fonda. Thanks to Cat Lukaszewski for her photo, one of nineteen in her Fonda album taken at a Friends Of The Fonda open house in August 2019.



Across the balcony from house right. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The house right stairs down to the upstairs lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019


 
The view down from back row. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A look across the back from house left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019 



The back wall. That little part in the drapes hides a door up to the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A look into the booth and bar. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The bar under the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019


In the booth:


A panoramic vista. Thanks to Don Solosan for his 2010 photo.



A look down in 2019. Photo: Bill Counter



Leslie Blumberg, the owner of the building, talking with friends in her private box. The door behind her goes to a toilet room. A door to the right gets you out the back of the booth to a fire escape down to the patio. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The house left end. The booth was used with film equipment for decades. The whole front wall has been opened up. The doorway at the end leads to stairs down to the back of the balcony. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


Backstage:  


A peek backstage from house right. The auditorium floor is now at original stage level. That's a temporary platform on the stage. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019

Proscenium: 36' 6" wide x approximately 30' high

Stage depth: 27' 9" from smoke pocket to back wall

Wall to wall: 61'

Wingspace: 7' 9" stageleft, 17' 9"stage right.

Grid height: 60'. It's a steel grid. 

Rigging: It's a hemp house with 20 or so 45' long battens on 12" centers. 

Flyfloor: Off right, 35' above the stage

Orchestra pit: covered long ago. The access doors are still visible in the basement. 

Dressing rooms: 11 of varying size, all in the basement.

Road power: 1 800A 3 phase DSR, 1 400 A 3 phase DSR 

Projection throw: 100'

Most of the stage data comes from the 1999 edition of "Stage Specs, A Technical Guide to Theatres" published by the League of American Theatres and Producers. Thanks to Mike Hume for providing a copy.



Offstage left. The purchase line to the left of the "No Smoking" sign is for the theatre's fire curtain. The spiral staircase (not original) goes up to a 2nd floor VIP box (also not original, now used as the office for the theatre's booker) and a 3rd floor area that could be used as a flyfloor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The arbor off left for the fire curtain. Thanks to Ron Mahan for the flashlight. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The view up toward the grid stage left. The windows are at the 2nd floor office level. Above is a storage area, formerly used as a flyfloor. Note the ladder in the corner. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Another view offstage left. Note a bit of the back of the fire curtain above the turquoise drapes. Thanks to Wendell Benedetti for his 2019 photo.



Looking toward upstage left. The rollup door we see is the theatre's loading door, going out to the alley behind the building. That's a Genie lift in the foreground. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The vista across toward stage right. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Downstage in the left wing. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The landing upstage left. To the left it's the exit passage along the west side of the building. All the dressing rooms are in the basement. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



At the stage door looking along the west side toward Hollywood Blvd. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Outside the loading door. It's Escott O. Norton of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation chatting with Sandi Hemmerlein and others about the building during an August 2019 Friends of the Fonda open house. Photo: Bill Counter



Looking out into the house from upstage. Photographer Wendell Benedetti is having a moment onstage. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The view from up right. The turquoise Austrian drape is motorized. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The upstage right corner. Note the ladder to a 2nd floor storage area and the flyfloor above. Off to the left are an exit door and basement stairs. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The stage right stairs to the basement. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Outside the door up right. We're on the east side of the building looking toward Hollywood Blvd. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Upstage right. It's storage on the 2nd level and the flyfloor above. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A wider look off right. Note the ladder at the right for flyfloor access. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A closer view of the pinrail. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019 



Downstage right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A closer look into the prompt area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The view across to stage left. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Leslie Blumberg, the owner of the building, onstage during an August 2019 Friends of the Fonda open house. Photo: Bill Counter



The view from the front of the stage. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


The stage basement:


In the front part of the trap room looking across from downstage left. One set of stairs up to stage level is behind us. At the left in the foreground is one of two entrances to what used to be the orchestra pit. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Another trap room view from stage left. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



One of the entrances to the pit. Even short musicians had to duck. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



Still stage left but pivoting 90 degrees and looking upstage. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



A peek into the first dressing room doorway seen on the far right in the previous photo. There are eleven dressing rooms, all in the basement. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



This is the next dressing room upstage along the short stage left corridor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



The upstage corridor, looking toward stage right. At the end, one can take a left and again be in the front part of the trap room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019



In the front part of the trap room again, this time looking toward stage left. The entrances to the orchestra pit are out of the frame to the right. Thanks to Cat Lukaszewski for the 2019 photo in her Fonda album on Facebook.



A view along the downstage wall of the space as theatre explorers try to check out the orchestra pit during the Friends Of The Fonda open house. Photo: Cat Lukaszewski - 2019. Thanks, Cat!

The fire door does slide open. Then there's another beyond it. But the access now just goes to a crawl space below the raised auditorium floor. It's a small basement and doesn't extend under the auditorium.



Looking off to the stage right stairs. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Downstage right, looking back up toward stage level. Thanks to Mike Hume for his 2019 photo. Visit his terrific Historic Theatre Photography site about the Fonda Theatre.

The Music Box/Fonda pages: | back to top - interior views | history + exterior views |

Hollywood Theatres: overview and alphabetical lists | Hollywood Theatres: list by address | Downtown theatres | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | [more] Los Angeles movie palaces | L.A. Theatres: main alphabetical listL.A. Theatres: list by address | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on facebook | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide

No comments:

Post a Comment