Opened: December 22, 1921 as the Granada. This 1923 photo of the theatre appeared
on page 161 the first volume of "American Theatres of Today" by R.W.
Sexton and B. F.
Betts. The film "The Ghost Patrol" was a January 1923 release.
Architects: Meyer & Holler designed the theatre in a fanciful Spanish style befitting its original name, the Granada. Meyer and Holler were better known for their work on Hollywood Blvd. for Sid Grauman at the Egyptian and the Chinese. They also did the amazingly gaudy West Coast Theatre in Long Beach.
A May 30, 1936 ad from the Hollywood Citizen-News. Thanks to William David French, Jr. for locating it. He went on a search of this particular double bill the theatre was running at the time of a 1936 photo that's seen lower on the page.
Closing: The theatre closed in January 1985.
Status: It's been remodeled into retail space as part of the Guitar Center complex.
A c.1923 view from page 161 in the first volume of "American Theatres of Today" by R.W. Sexton and B. F. Betts. The two volumes of the book were published in 1927 and 1930 by the Architectural Book Publishing Co, New York. It was reprinted in one volume in 1977 by the Vestal Press, New York.
A view of the Oriental's stage, now inside the Guitar Center complex, from "The Guitar Center Turns 100," Brian Donnelly's 4 minute video on YouTube.
More exterior views:
1936 - A detail from the previous photo. Thanks, Ron!
1954 - A Red Car view looking east on Sunset toward the Oriental, on the far right. It's an Alan Weeks photo. Thanks to eminent L.A. transit historian Sean Ault for finding it.
1960 - Looking west on Sunset with a bit of the Oriental on the far right. Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the photo from his collection.
1982 - Eddie Van Halen on the sidewalk. The theatre would later be gutted and become part of the Guitar Center. Provenance of the shot is unknown. Thanks to Sean Ault for locating it. It's gathered lots of comments when it has popped up as posts from the Los Angeles Guy for the Lost Angeles Facebook group and Terrence Butcher for the Images and Memories of Los Angeles group. "Conan the Barbarian" was out in May 1982.
2008 - A Google aerial view with the Oriental portion of the Guitar center complex directly behind the red awning where the "A" marker is. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for the image. It and other Oriental Theatre items appear on his Noirish post #8348.
The Oriental in the Movies:
A view a moment later from the 1952 Rick Prelinger footage. Thanks to Esotouric's Secret Los Angeles for spotting the Prelinger post and putting the screenshots on the LAHTF Facebook page. Mary Mallory also shared a link to the footage on the Hollywood Heritage Facebook page.
In the great 1958 Allied Artists epic "Unwed Mother" we get Robert Vaughn crossing the street to the Oriental for a holdup.
Looking east after the deed. We see the cashier hitting the button on the floor of the boxoffice to summon the police. It doesn't go well. The car won't start and he gets caught.
The Oriental on TV:
More information: See the Oriental page on Cinema Treasures for a nice history. Also check out Ethereal Reality's Noirish Los Angeles post #8348 on the Oriental.
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