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Pantages: street views 1929 to 1954

6233 Hollywood Blvd.  Los Angeles 90028  | map |

Pages about the Pantages Theatre: Pantages overview | street views 1929 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | ticket lobby | entrance vestibule | main lobby | main lounges | main floor inner lobby | balcony lobby and lounge areas | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | backstage | booth | support areas |


1929 - A May 1st Mott Studios photo from the California State Library showing the deco construction fence up and work beginning. It's the Library's item # 001433414.



1929 - Here we get an October 1 Mott Studios look at the steel framing rising for the Pantages from the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection, part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection.



1929 - A USC Digital Library construction photo taken in December.



1930 - A Los Angeles Public Library look at the exterior during construction. Neon sign veteran Brian M. Currie notes that one of the sign contractors was QRS Sign Co. Also see an ad for the manufacturers of the vertical, Metlox Corporation of Manhattan Beach.



1930 - A nice shot of the crowd gathering for the June 4 opening with "The Floradora Girl" on the screen. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.  The Library's collection also includes a boxoffice view.



1930 - A look at the marquee with the theatre running "The Texan" with Gary Cooper and Fay Wray. It was a May release. The Mott Studios photo is in the California State Library's set # 001407754. Note how different the changeable neon marquee letters look in the daytime with the appearance of a dark letter against a lighter background.



1930 - A detail of the changeable neon letters from the Mott Studios "The Texan" photo. 



1930 - A fine Los Angeles Public Library photo of the Pantages signage during the run of "True To The Navy" with Clara Bow and Fredric March. It was a May release. Note the spidery neon design on the vertical between the letters. The letters themselves are in a font called Hobo.



1930 - Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert in "The Big Pond," a May release. The Mott Studios photo is in the California State Library's set # 001407754. There's a cropped version in the Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, their #T-041-15. Bob Foreman notes that the photo also makes an appearance in Volume 2 (1930) of "American Theatres of Today" by R.W. Seton and B.F. Betts. The two volume work was reissued in 2009 as a single volume by the Theatre Historical Society. It's available on Amazon.



1930 - A detail of the original treatment of the top of the vertical from the Mott Studios "The Big Pond" photo. Note that it's incandescent bulbs, not neon, inside the letters.



1930 - Looking at the east side of the marquee in a photo discovered by Ken McIntyre for Photos of Los Angeles. Joan Crawford is in "Our Blushing Brides," a July 1930 release.



1930 - A Mott Studios view from the California State Library collection nicely showing off the signage. It's in the Library's set # 001453758. Look at the changeable neon letters on the marquee: "The Exquisite Star -- The Smartest Picture - Norma Shearer 'Let Us Be Gay.'"  It was an August release.



1930 - A detail of the animated top of the sign from the Mott Studios "Let Us Be Gay" photo. Note that cute star they've added on the top of the tower behind. The top would be replaced with a much simpler version around 1936 and an "RKO" after that circuit got the house in 1949. Later it would say "Pacific's" after their acquisition in 1968.

More 1930 Mott Studios photos: The California State Library has about 200, although organized randomly and with many duplicates. Scroll down to the bottom of the vintage auditorium views page for a list of their sets that have Pantages photos.



1930 - In this Los Angeles Public Library photo the theatre is playing "Tom Sawyer" with Jackie Coogan, a December release. It's also in the Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection.


 
1930 - Another shot taken during the run of "Tom Sawyer" from the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection, part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collection. In addition to "Tom Sawyer" you got Slim Martin and the Greater Pantages Orchestra and the Fanchon & Marco idea "Topical Tunes."
 
 
 
1930 - Deco was the style for the Christmas trees that year. This view toward the Pantages is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.  
 
 
 
1930 - A busy traffic day during Christmas season. Henry's restaurant would later be remodeled into the Admiral Theatre, later known as the Vine. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.
 
 

1931 - A terrific view from the Los Angeles Public Library showing off the Pantages' changeable neon during the run of "Tarnished Lady" with Tallulah Bankhead.



1930s - A lovely noirish look west toward the Pantages. The photo is included in the Angel City Press book "Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles 1925-1965" by Tom Zimmerman with J. Eric Lynxwiler.

Chris Nichols discussed the book and included this photo and other Hollywood views with his August 2016 Los Angeles magazine article "These Photos Will Transport You to a Neon-Soaked 1930s Hollywood."
 


1930s - A classy undated Los Angeles Public Library shot looking east along Hollywood Blvd. That Henry's restaurant building near us would be turned into the Admiral Theatre in 1940. Later it would be renamed the Vine.



1936 - The May opening of James Whale's film of "Show Boat" before the marquee has been turned on.  It's a Life Magazine photo on Google/Life Images where you can browse the Life Photo Archive. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor BifRayRock for finding this image and the two below for his Noirish post #40314.



1936 - The marquee lit for the "Show Boat" opening. It's a Life Magazine photo on Google Images.



1936 -  A Life Magazine view from the sidelines at the "Show Boat" premiere.  It's on Google/Life Images where you can browse the Life Photo Archive. Thanks to BifRayRock!


  
1936 - A Los Angeles Public Library view looking west. It looks like neon tubing may have been added along the sides of the vertical. The end panel gives us no titles -- just advice that they're running two features with matinee and evening screenings.  

Also from 1936:  "These Three," a March release - looking west - USC Digital Library -- neon has been removed from the top of the vertical. 



c.1936 - More work done on revamping the top of the vertical sign. It's a USC Digital Library view appearing on Photos of Los Angeles looking west at the Pantages and the Taft and Equitable buildings at Hollywood and Vine. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the find.



1937 - A postcard view of the Pantages. Note the revised version of the top of the vertical. The banner at the theatre is advertising "23 1/2 Hours Leave," a March release starring Arthur Lake and James Ellison. The card appears in several collections This particularly nice version is from Brian Michael McCray's Hollywood Postcards collection, until recently on Picasa -- Google has now pulled the plug on that platform. Thanks, Brian!

 

1937 - A look west along Hollywood Blvd. in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. That's Argyle Ave. this side of the theatre.



1937 - A Herman Schultheis photo of the end of the marquee showing off the changeable neon letters in the font called Hobo. The movie is "100 Men and a Girl," a September release. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.


 
1937 - A Los Angeles Public Library collection photo by Herman Schultheis. The premiere at the Pantages is for "100 Men and a Girl."  The Library also has another similar view by Mr. Schultheis.

Also from 1937: looking west - daytime view - Los Angeles Public Library | at the boxoffice - c.1937 - Herman Schultheis - LAPL

1938 - "Vivacious Lady" - looking west - USC Digital Library collection. The "Pantages" letters on the vertical were still incandescent at the time of the photo.



1939 - A sweet view of the premiere for "When Tomorrow Comes." Note those great Hobo font changeable neon letters. Thanks to the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation for sharing the photo, one acquired from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives. A version of it has also been seen on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page as a post by Ken McIntyre. It's also in the AMPAS Tom B'hend - Preston Kaufmann Collection.



1939 - A  shot looking down on the Pantages during a premiere that was discovered by Ken McIntyre. He has it on Photos of Los Angeles.

c.1939 - east toward Vine - USC Digital Library collection



1940s - A postcard view looking east toward the the Pantages from Hollywood & Vine. It's from Brian Michael McCray's amazing Hollywood Postcards collection. Thanks, Brian!



1943 - A Maynard Parker view from the Huntington Digital Library. Note the new font of milk glass letters. They're again in the Hobo font but this is a set of white letters with a black background. The show is Deanna Durbin in "The Amazing Mrs. Holliday." Head to the larger view on the Huntington site and then you can zoom in for details. The photo also appears on Calisphere.



1943 - A detail of the signage from the Maynard Parker photo.



1943 - A closer look at the interesting pattern on the metal background between the letters. 



1943 - The Pantages running "White Savage" with Maria Montez. It's a photo from the collection of Hollywood Heritage, one of many items on display at the organization's DeLongpre Annex, 6411 Hollywood Blvd.



1944 - A view with the theatre running Abbott & Costello film "In Society," an August release. It's a photo in the collection of Hollywood Heritage. Richard Adkins, president of the organization, notes that the photo was previously in the collection of ABC, once headquartered on Vine St. It was one of a number of items they were going to put in the trash that he rescued when he worked there. On the left note the Hitching Post with the banner proclaiming it an "All Western Theatre."



1944 - A closer look at the Italian Kitchen on the corner. The photo is from the Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, their #RN-079-2. The theatre is running "The Princess and the Pirate," a November release with Bob Hope. The link will also take you to another 1944 corner shot, #RN-079-1. Thanks to Martin Pal for including the photos on his Noirish Los Angeles post #21142.



1945 - Looking east from Hollywood & Vine on a Martin Turnbull blog post photo. We're celebrating VJ Day, August 14. The photo also appears in the Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection as #VJ-001. It's one of nineteen taken of the celebrations that day from the collection.



1945 - The Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection includes this August 14 look east toward the Pantages as celebrations are underway for VJ Day. The photo also appears on Photos of Los Angeles.



1946 - A nice postcard view added to the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page by Jon Haimowitz. Note the Hitching Post Theatre on the south side of the street.



1946 - A wonderful uncredited Los Angeles Public Library view looking west with the Pantages playing "The Jolson Story." Note the Hitching Post Theatre on the left.



1947 - A view east toward the Pantages from the Blackstock Negative Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library. The theatre is running Disney's "Song of the South."



1947 - The California State Library collection includes this postcard looking east from Vine St. It's their item # 001438684.

Also from 1947: "It's a Wonderful Life" - Christmas time - USC Digital Library collection



c.1948 - From Ken McIntyre's Photos of Los Angeles comes this shot looking west toward Vine.



1948 - A September view east toward the theatre from the Los Angeles Public Library Blackstock Negative Collection. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Godzilla for posting several 40s Blackstock photos on his Noirish Los Angeles post #23861.

Also from 1948: Academy Awards - Los Angeles Public Library



1949 - L.A. Mayor Fletcher Bowron and his wife are cruising Hollywood Blvd. during the Hollywood Christmas Parade in this Los Angeles Public Library photo. "All The King's Men" at the Pantages had its Los Angeles premiere on November 16.


 
1949 - At the Pantages it's "Bride For Sale," a film that opened December 22 starring Claudette Colbert, George Brent and Robert Young. The Hitching Post, over on the left, has given up on westerns and is running "The Facts of Love." Thanks to Martin Pal for including the photo with many other interesting Hollywood views in his Noirish Los Angeles post #50025. It's a photo from the collection of Eric Lynxwiler that he's shared on Flickr. Thanks, Eric! 


 
1950 - The amazing Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection includes this shot of the the 22nd Academy Awards at the Pantages. It's their #PRM-005-6, one of 33 views they have of the Pantages.  
 
 

1950 - Thanks to Bill Gabel on Photos of Los Angeles for this 22nd Academy Awards view. The show was held March 23 that year.



1950 - A June 6 Life Magazine shot by Loomis Dean looking east toward the Pantages with Korean War news in the headlines. It appears in Google's Life photo collection.



 1950s - A postcard view looking east. It's a card that was in the collection of the now vanished website Yesterday LA.



1952 - The Academy Awards, a Herald Examiner photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The caption: "This was the scene of excitement outside Hollywood's Pantages Theater for the 24th annual Academy Awards presentation on March 22, 1952, as cars brought the film stars to the entrance. The sidewalks, special bleachers and entry were bulging with fans, including the usual battalion of autograph hunters." Thanks to Eitan Alexander for spotting the photo in the LAPL collection.



1952 - A streetcar shot looking east discovered by Ken McIntyre. It's on Photos of Los Angeles.

 

1952 - A view on Vintage Los Angeles from the Bobby Cole collection. Thanks, Bobby! The photo also appears on the Facebook group Photos of Los Angeles. The end panel says "Willie and Joe," the two main characters in "Back To the Front" starring Tom Ewell, Harvey Lembeck and Mari Blanchard. The film opened at the Pantages, Hillstreet and El Rey on October 15.


 
1952/1953 - At the Pantages it's "Blackbeard the Pirate" with Robert Newton, Linda Darnell and William Bendix. It had its premiere at the Pantages December 24, 1952 and opened in New York the following day. On the left the Paris is advertising the "First L.A. Showing" of something called "Venus of Paris" along with "Indiscretion." Many thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the photo from his collection.   

1953 - The Academy Awards plus a plug for their regular attraction, Disney's "Peter Pan" on the end panel of the marquee. Note a bit of the Paris Theatre, the former Hitching Post, across the street. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.  
 


1953 - A shot of model Vikki Dougan at Hollywood and Vine. It was part of a shoot by Ralph Crane for Life magazine. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Martin Pal for the find. He has this and others from the shoot on his Noirish post #39847.   Martin calls our attention to the star motif they were using on the crosswalks at the time.



1953 - Another photo from the Ralph Crane / Life shoot. Ms. Dougan was big on backless dresses. Martin Pal comments that many suggest she was perhaps the inspiration for Jessica Rabbit in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
 


1953 - A great view of the RKO Pantages running "It Came From Outer Space" in 3-D on the new "wide vision" screen. Also on the bill is a Nat King Cole short in 3-D. The photo has popped up on several different blogs as well as on the now defunct 3D Expo Facebook page. Jack Theakson notes that the photo was taken opening day, May 27.



1954 - The 26th Academy Awards at the Pantages. It's an L.A. Times photo in the UCLA Los Angeles Times Photograph Collection. The photo also appears with a Wikipedia article.


 
1954 - "Hollywood History, On Hollywood's Biggest Night," a February 2016 Pantages Blog post by Alyssa Appleton includes this 26th Academy Awards view by George Silk /Getty Images shot for Life magazine. That phalanyx of security guys looks ready for action. The show was March 24.
 

1954 - Up in the air covering the Academy Awards. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating this shot to add as a comment to a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 
 
 

1954 - Ted Hering posted this shot on Vintage Los Angeles. It's Spike Jones in front of the Pantages. The woman at his right is presumably his wife.  Ted notes: "Probably the world premiere.... Spike's nieces and nephews?"  Also see a view of Spike at the boxoffice.  Thanks, Ted! 



1954 - Adding final touches to the signage for the "A Star is Born" premiere. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the photo added as a comment on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.



1954 - The September 29 premiere of "A Star is Born" with Judy Garland and James Mason. The photo on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles is from Eitan Alexander.


 
1954 - The "A Star is Born" premiere. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for posting the photo on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.  
 

1954 - A photo by Loomis Dean of Life at the premiere of "A Star is Born." It's on the site of Getty Images. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating this version of the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.



1954 - Another Loomis Dean/Getty Images view of the "A Star is Born" premiere. Note the added yellow neon on the vertical. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating this for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.

See the Theatres In Movies post about "A Star Is Born" for shots of the Chinese and Shrine Auditorium from the film.  Also see the post for the 2015 film "Life," about a Life magazine photographer. The 1954 "A Star Is Born" premiere at the Pantages was re-created for the film.



1954 - A terrific Christmas view of the Pantages from the Richard Wojcik collection on the Facebook page for the non-public group Mid Century Modern Los Angeles.

Pages about the Pantages Theatre:
| Pantages overview | back to top - street views 1929 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | ticket lobby | entrance vestibule | main lobby | main lounges | main floor inner lobby | balcony lobby and lounge areas | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | backstage | booth | support areas |

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