The 2021 News: Sometime soon it's going to be the Vogue Multicultural Museum, headed by Diego Gonzalez. The initial exhibition is to be "The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains." Thanks to Stephen Russo for sharing the data.
An early version of the floorplan. Source: UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection
Seating: 800 originally, 500 at the end. There is no balcony. Upstairs is just the booth, offices and restrooms.
In the 40s the theatre was operated by Popkin & Ringer. This listing in the 1947 Film Daily Yearbook shows the extent of Harry Popkin's theatre holdings. His company at one time was also called Circle Theatres. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for spotting the listing. By 1946 Fox West Coast had the house and they gave it a bit of a Skouras-style remodel.
In 1959 there was a more complete remodel designed by J. Arthur Drielsma for Fox West Coast / National Theatres that included a revamp of the facade, a new marquee that extended across the width of the building's storefronts and a remodeled lobby and restrooms. It was mentioned in a page 7 story in the August 8, 1959 issue of the Times.
The 1959 remodel was featured in a three page story beginning on page 10 of the Modern Theatre section of the October 19, 1959 issue of Boxoffice. It's on the site Yumpu. The article noted that the screen was replaced with a new larger one measuring 24' x 57'. The booth got Simplex 35/70 projectors, new Strong Excelite lamps, and an Ampex 6-4-1 sound system.
While it was operated by Fox West Coast and, later, Mann Theatres, the Vogue had lots of good runs including 70mm reserved seat engagements of "The Big Fisherman" (1959, reopening the house after the remodel) and "Can-Can" (1960, a moveover from the Carthay Circle). Later (through 1992) Mann frequently used the Vogue as a moveover house from the Chinese.
One 1967 booking for the Vogue was Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" (Warner Bros.). Thanks to Ken McIntyre for posting the ad on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.
Closing: Vogue closed as a regularly operating movie theatre in 2001.
The building reopened as a nightclub called Supperclub in the fall of 2010. Supperclub was an Amsterdam based company that was operating the venue as a music club, restaurant and performance space. The firm did a significant amount of remodel work including removal of the original floor to install terracing and a dance floor, gutting the proscenium area, and installing a kitchen at the screen end of the theatre. Projection capability included a roll down screen in front of the kitchen. Manager Jerry Garcia noted at the time of the 2010 opening that their new mostly white interior decor gave the performers a blank canvas for their events. The club closed in October 2015.
Status: Sometime in 2021 it's scheduled to become the Vogue Multicultural Museum.
We see lots of the Vogue in a dream/nightmare that film director Donald Sutherland is having in Paul Mazursky's "Alex in Wonderland" (MGM, 1970). The carnage on Hollywood Blvd. is part of Sutherland's ruminations about his next film project. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for twenty more shots from the film including views of the New-View/Ritz, Loew's/El Capitan and the Los Angeles Theatre.
We see a lot of Hollywood Blvd. in Robert Vincent O'Neill's "Angel" (New World, 1984). Fifteen year old Molly is a high school student by day, a hooker by night. Here we're looking across at the Vogue with Molly's friend Dick Shawn on the right. The film also stars Donna Wilkes, Cliff Gorman, and Rory Calhoun. John Diehl is the killer preying on teenage hookers. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for a dozen shots from the film.
We get a look at the Vogue as Mel Gibson goes after the bad guys on Hollywood Blvd. in Richard Donner's "Lethal Weapon" (Warner Bros., 1987). See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more shots from the film including views of the Pussycat and the Wiltern.
We get a nice bit of vintage footage showing the Vogue in "The Dirt" (Netflix, 2019), a biopic about the band Mötley Crüe. Thanks to Donavan S. Moye for the screenshot.
The Vogue was returned to a 1969 look for Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood" (Sony, 2019). The film stars Leo DiCaprio and his friend Brad Pitt as an actor and stuntman trying to find work in a changing Hollywood. See the Historic L.A.Theatres in Movies pages about the film for several hundred photos related to filming on the block as well as shots of the Pantages, Vine, Cinerama Dome, Grauman's Chinese, Bruin and Fox Westwood Village theatres.
Cinematour's Vogue Theatre page has this early lobby view from the publication "Theatre Catalog." The page also features a some exterior photos from 2003-2008.
The lobby in 2018 after the Screenbid renovations. Photo: Bill Counter
The house right side of the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
The booth in February 2010. It's all wood frame construction upstairs and there had been a lot of water and pigeon problems. Plaster on the walls had been removed in 2010 as part of the Supperclub renovation. Under the tarp it's a Simplex XL, Simplex soundhead and LP Associates Xenon lamp. The 70mm gear had been removed some years ago. photo: Bill Counter
The California State Library Mott-Merge collection includes this c.1935 view of the Vogue's auditorium. It's a Mott Studios photo in their set #001387308.
A look toward the screen after the Skouras renovation. It's a photo from the Ronald W. Mahan collection. It was taken December 5, 1946 by Western Photo Service and was in the Mann Theatres collection.
Michael Moran comments: "Most of what you see in the picture had been ripped out by the time the Vogue stopped showing films. It was basically a box with a rake with no decoration. With that in mind, the Vogue could be returned to film exhibition. I loved the Vogue, and worked there as Assistant Manager for a couple of years. It was a nice, medium size house with good sight lines, a killer sound system and rats who were attracted to the trash from Musso Frank and stayed for the movie.
"By the way. The theatre is NOT haunted. There is no ghost of a former projectionist who died in the booth. I knew Gus and he died long after he retired from the Vogue. There were no ghosts of children who died in a fire on that site because there was never a school there. That story came up when it was the base of operations for a Ghost Hunters tour or some sort of nonsense."
The sidewall with the new ornament. The theatre would get another remodel in 1959. Thanks to Ronald W. Mahan for the photo from his collection, also taken December 5, 1946.
The front of the auditorium in 1959 after installation of a new 24' x 57' screen for 70mm. Yes, that's a bit of a waterfall curtain we're seeing at the top. The image is from a story about the remodel beginning on page 10 of the Modern Theatre section of the October 19, 1959 issue of Boxoffice. It's on the site Yumpu.
An auditorium view in February 2010 from the rear of the house toward house right. The doorway at extreme right leads into a storage room at one time used as the "Backroom" dining area by Musso and Frank's. Here we see that the floor slab has been removed at the rear and risers are being constructed. The wall finish appears to be acoustic plaster with remnants of decoration perhaps from the 1959 remodel. Later the walls had Soundfold drapes over the plaster. Photo: Bill Counter
The auditorium of the Vogue shortly after remodeling and reopening as Supperclub Los Angeles. The photo appeared with a BizBash story "Supperclub Los Angeles: Restaurant - Club - Theater with
Entertainment Options" from November 2010.
A 2010 BizBash shot looking down from the booth. Note that the original ceiling cove still remains.
A new wall installed by Screenbid that splits the auditorium in half. The front half is warehouse space. Yes, that's part of S. Charles Lee's 1935 ceiling. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
The view toward house right and a new doorway cut into the space once used as the Musso & Frank Backroom. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
The Back Room space, now a retail area. We're looking toward Hollywood Blvd. A doorway connecting this space to the theatre lobby is on the right at the end of the space just before the wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
More exterior views:
1935 - A pre-opening look at the theatre from page 65 of the 2008 Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker. Most of the photos in the book come from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives. There's a Google Books preview you can browse.
The theatre's opening bill is on the marquee: "The Lodger" (aka "The Phantom Fiend") and "Ladies Crave Excitement."
1937 - The Vogue is running "Jungle Princess" with Dorothy Lamour and Ray Milland, released in November 1936. The crowd is there for the Christmas parade in this postcard view west on Hollywood Blvd. from the California State Library collection. There's a copy of the image from the negative of the Bob Plunkett photo in the Huntington Library collection. On their site you can enlarge it and look at details.
1939 - Looking east in December with the street all decorated for the holidays. The Vogue is on the left and the Egyptian is on the right. Thanks to Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles for the photo.
1942 - Time for the scary giant Santa Clauses. The Vogue is running "Secret Enemies," a September release. It's a photo from the Ronald W. Mahan collection. Thanks, Ron!
1947 - A March view of the Vogue during the run of "Duel in the Sun." Thanks to Vicky Valentine for the photo, once posted on the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page but now vanished from that site. The film had its premiere on December 31, 1946 at the Egyptian Theatre.
1947 - The end of the "Duel" marquee - plus a couple of fingers. Vicky Valentine spotted these two on eBay. The film had been running nineteen weeks at the Vogue when a Times story announced it was going wide on May 7 to 25 theatres, "the greatest number of movie houses set to show a single film in Southern California history.."
The article also noted that "there will be a new show beginning every 15 minutes somewhere in the Los Angeles area from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Over 200,000 seats to the film...will be available every day. No residential district will be more than 10 minutes away from a theater showing 'Duel in the Sun.'"
1948 - The view east toward the Vogue Theatre in a Christmas season photo by Arnold Hylen. The photo comes to us courtesy of his grand- niece Greta Gustafsson. Thanks, Greta! Visit the Arnold Hylen Facebook page she curates: Arnold Hylen - Los Angeles Images of an Era 1850-1950.
The photo also appears on Noirish Los Angeles post #10750 where contributor kznyc2k has a number other Christmas views, all credited to the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
c.1948 - Thanks to Maurice Ideses for this noirish Christmas shot looking east toward the Vogue. The Egyptian of course is hiding just beyond the Pig & Whistle. It was a post on Vintage Los Angeles.
1950 - A Life photo looking east gives us the Vogue on the left with the towers of the Warner beyond. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tourmaline for spotting the shot above in the Life collection -- it's in the Noirish post #35733 along with other Hollywood views.
1951 - A terrific Life magazine view west on Hollywood Blvd. We get a glimpse of the Vogue signage on the right and the Hollywood Theatre vertical and the green Egyptian neon on the left. The Hotel Drake you see here was earlier the Hotel Christie. Later it was the Hollywood Inn. The building is now part of the Scientology's many holdings in Hollywood.
Thanks to Ken McIntyre for spotting the above in the Life collection and posting it on Photos of Los Angeles. On the same Facebook page Bill Gabel also has added another version. You can also find it on Tourmaline's Noirish Los Angeles post #35733.
1953 - A classic Hollywood postcard from the Steven Otto collection posted on Photos of Los Angeles. Steven notes: "Hollywood Blvd. in 1953, judging from the double feature at the Hollywood Theater (‘Salome’ and ‘The Girl Next Door’). The radio towers atop Warner Bros. Theatre spell CINERAMA in yellow neon." A different version of the card appears in Eric Lynxwiler's Paper Ephemera set on Flickr.
1953 - A colorful postcard using a larger version of one of the images seen on the previous card. Note the Vogue in the center of the image and, on the right, the signage for the Hollywood Theatre with the green neon of the Egyptian down the block. The copy on the back reads: "Hollywood Boulevard At Night. Film capital of the world in all of its glamour." The card is one that appeared as part of the collection of the now vanished website Yesterday LA.
1957 - It's February and the Vogue has "Anastasia" with Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brenner and Helen Hayes. It was a moveover from the Chinese where it had an eight week run from December 25 until February 19. Over on the right at the New-View it's "The Bad Seed," a September 1956 release with Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack and Henry Jones.
It's a screenshot from Getty Images footage that's included in Rick Prelinger's "Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles - 2016," an hour and twenty minutes of wonderful images from various sources that was originally presented in a program at the Los Angeles Public Library. Also see "Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles - 2019." This second installment was presented at the Library by the organization Photo Friends as part of the series L.A. in Focus. Both compilations are on Vimeo.
1957 - The Vogue is running "Omar Khayyam," An August release. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on Photos of Los Angeles.
1957/58 - On the right the Vogue has "Peyton Place," a run that began December 13, 1957 at the Vogue and the Loyola after the world premiere the night before at the Beverly. "April Love" and "Three Faces of Eve" are playing at the New-View. It's a photo by Frank J. Thomas in the Frank J. Thomas Archives. It's on Flickr from the Manitoba Museum of Finds Art. Thanks to Martin Pal for finding the photo to include with other Hollywood Christmas views in his Noirish Los Angeles post #50025.
1965 - The Vogue during the run of "What's New, Pussycat?" It's on Photos of Los Angeles as a post from Ken McIntyre. There's also a re-post from Bruce Kimmel -- it's a photo from his collection. Take a look at that marquee that extends over the adjacent storefronts.
1965 - A closer view during the "Pussycat" run. It's another post of Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles. Thanks, Ken!
1966 - Looking west with a bit of the News-View marquee hiding in the shadows at the left. It's a photo that appeared on the Vintage LA Facebook page. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for spotting it for a post on Photos of Los Angeles.
1968 - A lovely drive by with the Vogue running "The Thomas Crown Affair," a June release with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. The footage, also with views of the Academy Theatre and the Warner (running "2001"), appeared in Episode 4 of Leslie Chilcott's 2020 Epix series "Helter Skelter: An American Myth." Thanks to Donavan S. Moye for spotting the theatres in the footage and getting the screenshot.
1968 - A photo of the Vogue added by Andrew Sandoval to the page for the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern Facebook. The theatre is swamped with fans for the run of "Head" with the Monkees. The film was a November release.
1968 - Another marquee view during the "Head" engagement. Again thanks to Andrew Sandoval for the post on the Mid Century Modern page.
1972 - Thanks to the superb Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection for this facade view taken while the Vogue was running "Rainbow Bridge."
1973 and 2002 - Ed Ruscha, perhaps better known for "Twentysix Gasoline Stations" and "Every Building on the Sunset Strip," also had a fling with Hollywood Blvd. Here we get a look at the Vogue, in 1973 (top) and 2002 (bottom). The video, part of the Getty 2013 initiative "Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.," has been posted by The Getty on YouTube as a five minute video, up one side of the street and then down the other.
Many of his works reside at The Getty. This one, from the "Streets of Los Angeles" archive at the Getty Research Institute, was part of their exhibition "Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future 1940-1990." Mr. Ruscha lives and works in Culver City.
1983 - Thanks to the American Classic Images collection for this facade view. There's also a 1982 daytime photo on the site, also taken during the run of "Gandhi."
2007 - Looking west along Hollywood Blvd. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the photo, on that originally appeared on his Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. It looks like the theatre got an occasional rental during this period.
2009 - A panoramic view west on Hollywood Blvd. It's a shot from Google Maps. Head to Google for a current interactive version.
c.2009 - Thanks to Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles for this sad look at the theatre boarded up and awaiting its next act.
c.2010 - A photo of the Vogue early in its Supperclub incarnation added by Doug Boethin to the Vintage Los Angeles collection. Thanks, Doug!
2017 - Marquee work underway in March. Thanks to Chris Willman for his photo, added as a comment to a post by Michael Moran on the LAHTF Facebook page.
2020 - Vacant and available to lease. Photo: Bill Counter
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page for lots of discussion about the history of the Vogue Theatre. There's still a Supperclub Facebook page up that gets on occasional post from someone.
The 1959 remodel was featured in a three page story beginning on page 10 of the Modern Theatre section of the October 19, 1959 issue of Boxoffice. It's on the site Yumpu.