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Pantages: street views 1929 to 1954


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.



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



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



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 - 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 night view from the California State Library collection nicely showing off the signage. It's in the Library's photo 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.

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 section 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 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."

Also from 1930: "The Big Pond" - Bruce Torrence collection | boxoffice view - L.A. Public Library |



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.



1932 - A busy traffic day during Christmas season. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



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. 

Also from 1936:  "These Three" - looking west - USC Digital Library 



1937 - A postcard view of the Pantages. The banner at the theatre is advertising "23 1/2 Hours Leave," a 1937 film starring Arthur Lake and James Ellison. The card apears in several collections This paricularly 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." 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.



1937 - 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.

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



c.1938 - A Los Angeles Public Library collection look at the Christmas decor on Hollywood Blvd. and the Pantages down the street.

1938 - "Vivacious Lady" - looking west - USC Digital Library collection



1939 - A sweet view of the premiere for "When Tomorrow Comes" from Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles. Note those great Hobo font changeable neon letters. The photo also makes an appearance 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.



1944 - The Italian Kitchen is on the corner in this photo from the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photographs collection. The Pantages is running "The Princess and the Pirate" with Bob Hope. Also in the collection is another 1944 corner shot. 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 Hollywood Photographs collection.



1945 - The Bruce Torrence 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. The Torrence Collection also has more Hollywood VJ Day shots.



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.

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 in November 1949.



1950 - The amazing Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photographs collection includes this shot of the the 22nd Academy Awards at the Pantages. The collection has over 9,000 photos. Here are 246 theatre photos to get you started on your browsing.



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.



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.



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 - 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 - 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 - A photo by Loomis Dean of Life at the premiere of "A Star is Born." It's on the site of Getty Images.



1954 - Another Loomis Dean/Getty Images view of the "A Star is Born" premiere. Note the added yellow neon on the vertical. Thanks to Richard Wojcik for finding the two Loomis Dean photos -- he had them as a post on Vintage Los Angeles.

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:
| 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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