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Warner Hollywood: an overview

6433 Hollywood Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA 90028 | map |

Pages about the Warner Hollywood: an overview | street views 1926 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | main lobby | basement lounge | upper lobby areas | recent auditorium views | vintage auditorium views | stage | stage basement | other basement areas | booth and attic |

The facade of the now-dormant theatre, a 1928 G. Albert Lansburgh design. The last regular film exhibition was in 1994. At the time of the 2012 photo the main floor was being used for church services. Photo: Bill Counter 

This theatre has been advertised using all sorts of variants of the Warner name: Warner Bros. Hollywood, Warner's, the Warner, Warner Cinerama and the Warner Hollywood Cinerama. Pacific Theatres acquired the house in 1968 and renamed it the Hollywood Pacific. After a 1978 triplexing, it was known as the Pacific 1-2-3.

News: It's been boarded up and vacant since the church that was using the theatre had their rental agreement terminated in June 2013. There's no word as to what is next for the building. Pacific Theatres/Robertson Properties says at this point they're just exploring various options. Various preservation groups have been in talks with the owners.

"Nothing good happens in an empty theatre."

The Park La Brea News / Beverly Press had an August 2017 story "Meetings will determine historic theater's future" that discussed city councilman Mitch O'Farrell's plan to meet with the owners to get discussions moving again. There had been a three year effort by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, Hollywood Heritage and other groups to get a feasibility study done concerning restoration possibilities. Hillsman Wright of the LAHTF notes that the first meeting at O'Farrell's office had been back in 2014 with the owners agreeing to fund the study 3 or 4 months later. Then the process stalled.

An August 2017 story by Bianca Barragan, "Checking in on the Warner Hollywood..." featured recent interior photos by Matt Lambros. Ms. Barragan previously wrote a July 2014 Curbed story titled "Development Headed for 1928 Warner Hollywood Theatre?" Hollywood Heritage has an article with many photos of the Warner on their Preservation Issues page. There's also a Friends of Hollywood's Pacific Theatre Facebook page.

The boarded up look for the Warner. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

Opened: April 26, 1928 as the Warner Brothers Hollywood with a Warner / Vitaphone release "Glorious Betsy" starring Conrad Nagel and Dolores Costello. On the great stage between screenings of the feature was the Ceballos Revue with Daphne Pollard, Harry Kelly and the girls. Al Jolson was the master of ceremonies.

An ad for opening night, advertised as "The Premiere of Premieres" at "Hollywood's only regular price first run theatre." The Egyptian and the Chinese were on a two-a-day reserved seat policy and charging legit theatre prices. The other houses in Hollywood were second-run venues. Thanks to Mike Rivest for the find, a contribution of his to the theatre's page on Cinema Treasures.

An interesting advertising medium for the Warner were these signs that were posted along Pacific Red Car routes. Thanks to Steve Opperman for the photo of this one he found that was once 20 minutes away from the theatre. He reports that they were owned by the Chamber of Commerce and that he's seen another saying 25 minutes to the Warner as well as similar ones for hotels and restaurants, sometimes with different color schemes. It's unknown how many were used or during what time period.

Seating: 2,756 originally, Hollywood's largest. When it was triplexed in 1978, the two balcony auditoria ended up with 550 seats each. The main floor theatre has a capacity of 1,200. 

Stage: Proscenium width is 50' with the stage backed into the northeast corner of the building. See the stage page for lots of details.  

Pipe organ: It was a 4/28 Marr & Colton that had been previously installed at the Picadilly Theatre in New York.

Screening Room: There was one in the basement. The December 1928 issue of Architect and Engineer noted: "Adjoining the lounge is a large preview room for the inspection of pictures by the management and friends." This was confirmed by a former projectionist at the house, Chris Carpenter.

Architect: G. Albert Lansburgh. In Los Angeles, he's best known as the architect of the Wiltern Theatre and the El Capitan Theatre (but in both cases not the office buildings they're in), the Shrine Auditorium (again just the theatre interior, not the building), the 1911 Palace Theatre (originally the Orpheum, designed with Robert Brown Young) and the 1926 Orpheum Theatre. He was San Francisco based. There two of his major theatres survive, the Golden Gate and the Warfield, both from 1922.

This preliminary drawing for the Warner Hollywood appeared in the August 22, 1925 issue of Moving Picture World, available on Internet Archive. Somehow that lovely tower or the two upper floors didn't make it to the final design. The October 1925 issue of Architect and Engineer had a small notice advising that Lansburgh was working on the plans for the building and that they expected it to seat 3,000 and cost $2,000,000. Thanks to Mike Hume for finding the A&E item on Internet Archive.

The initial scheme had been even wilder, at least according to the article below that appeared in the August 27, 1925 issue of the British publication The Cinema. It's on Internet Archive. In the version they describe, the tower was to be 150' tall, with an observation area on top and cinema museums on three of the landings as you went up. A ballroom was to be on the building's second floor and the stage was to have a huge tank for water spectacles. The basement levels were to have an ice skating rink and free valet parking for 400 cars.

Thanks to Mike Hume for locating the article. Visit his Historic Theatre Photography site for tech data and hundreds of terrific photos of the theatres he's explored. And don't miss his page on the Hollywood Warner Theatre.

The building as it was actually constructed is less grand in concept but still impressive. In addition to the theatre, it encompasses retail space on the ground floor and three floors of offices above fronting on both Hollywood Blvd. and Wilcox Ave. Warner Bros. Theatres had their offices in the building.

Transmitter towers for the Warner Bros. radio station KFWB were added to the building after opening. The studios and transmitter were originally located at the Warner studios on Sunset Blvd. The first use of the towers was the March 4, 1929 broadcasts. Later the studios were also moved to the building, remaining until a 1937 relocation to Burbank.

A view from above showing how Lansburgh arranged an oval theatre auditorium diagonally on the site. The protrusion sticking up on top of the stagehouse roof (upper center) is the cooling tower, which is parallel to the proscenium. Look behind it and you'll see that the stagehouse ends in a point at the north east corner of the building. It's an image from Bing Maps view -- head to their site for the interactive version.

Another Bing view -- this time from the west. That's Wilcox Ave at the bottom of the photo. At the  left end of the building are doors going into a corridor for stage loading. Midway along the building is the theatre's second entrance, with its own boxoffice.

The entrance -- it received makeovers in 1961 and 1978. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

An entrance ceiling view. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

A look upward across the Warner's marquee. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for his 2013 photo. 

 A tower view. Note the "Warners" letters visible inside. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007 

 A conquistador guards the office building entrance. Photo: Ken McIntyre - 2013

Warner's 20s building boom: Warner Bros was riding high in the late 1920s as a result of their Vitaphone sound-on-disc process. They got their studios converted before any of their competitors, their theatres wired for sound, and a long string of hit sound films into theatres around the country. Although they had in 1927 acquired the Stanley Corp., a string of about 120 theatres (mostly in the midwest and east coast markets), they had trouble getting the bookings they wanted in some cities. 

The Warner Hollywood has been referred to as the "theatre that saved Warner Bros." as it provided a high profile venue for their product in the film capital -- and a big seating capacity to boot. The ongoing prosperity of Warner Bros. resulted in more building and acquisitions. In the L.A. area in 1929 they got the downtown Pantages (renamed Warner Downtown) and built new Warner theatres designed by B. Marcus Priteca in 1930 and 1931 in Beverly Hills, San Pedro and Huntington Park.

At Wilshire & Western they opened the Warner Bros. Western, a G. Albert Lansburgh design now known as the Wiltern. The Forum Theatre on Pico was also added to the circuit. The depression took longer to catch up to Warner Bros than it did to the other majors but by 1932, all these theatres were in trouble and the company as a whole was losing money.

Vitaphone at the Warner: The process certainly wasn't new when the Warner opened as many theatres had been screening the hundreds of shorts that the Warner Vitaphone unit had produced since the mid 20s.

But the process had certainly hit the big time with the successes of "Don Juan" (August 1926) and "The Jazz Singer" (October 1927).  "Don Juan" played its first run engagement in Los Angeles at the Egyptian, initially as a silent with the house orchestra, then with the Vitaphone version. "The Jazz Singer" opened downtown at the Criterion and later moved over to the Tower.

The process used records for the sound, with the turntable mechanically synched to the projector. The turntables, bases, amplifiers and speakers were all designed and manufactured by the Western Electric unit of Bell Telephone. The logo is from the Wikipedia article on the Vitaphone process.

This October 1929 trade magazine ad to exhibitors was touting Vitaphone as their connection to Broadway. Thanks to the fun blog Vitaphone Varieties for reproducing it.

The projectors in the booth for the opening of the Warner were Simplex Standards (the Super hadn't come out yet). As far as sound was concerned, the Western Electric installation included optical soundheads as well as the Vitaphone turntables so films using the Fox Movietone system and other processes could be played.

Warner Bros. continued distributing soundtracks on records as late as 1935 even though they had converted to a sound on film process by 1930. See the Vitaphone Project, Vitaphone Varieties, and the Vitaphone page from the Belknap Collection for more information.

Looking down the length of the Warner Hollywood booth in the late 20s or early 30s in a view appearing thanks to John Conning at the site Moviemice. Note the turntables behind the 3 projectors for playing Vitaphone discs.

Early Widescreen at the Warner: There was a flurry of interest at several studios in wide gauge filming and projection in the late 20s and early 30s. An optimistic item in the November 1, 1930 issue of Exhibitors Herald-World boasted that Warner Bros. was intending to put wide film in all its theatres. The deepening economic gloom put an end to it until new challenges in the 50s prompted digging up some of the old experiments.

Warner Bros. used the name "Vitascope" for their process which is interesting because the same trade name had been used by Edison for an early projector in the 1890s. Wikipedia has an article on it. Vitascope didn't have sound on the film (unlike the 70mm "Fox Grandeur" process) and used Vitaphone records synched with the projector.

An article on Vitascope on notes that the process used 5 perforations per frame and 65mm film stock. It had an aspect ratio of 2.05 to 1. The cameras and projectors were developed by the Warner Bros. technical department. Brunswick Corp. was making the dual gauge 35/65mm projectors for the circuit. It's unknown how many actually got completed or installed. See Wikipedia for a nice list of film formats that includes these widescreen experiments of the 30s.

A 65mm Vitascope frame, actual size. Engagements with widescreen Vitascope projection at the Warner included "The Lash," which opened December 26, 1930 (for two weeks) and "Kismet, " which opened February 13, 1931 for a one week run.

An ad for "The Lash" at the Warner Downtown (in 35mm) or at the Warner Hollywood (in 65mm Vitascope -- "uncanny in its realism").  Thanks to the terrific site for the ad. It's from their article "Magnified Gandeur" by David Coles.

An ad for "Kismet" at the Warner Bros Hollywood. But it's the wrong Warner Hollywood  -- this one's in New York City. And perhaps New York never got the 65mm projectors for the run. Again it's from "Magnified Grandeur" the great In70mm article on early widescreen by David Coles.

See the Film Technology listings on this site for more on early widescreen. If the Warner Downtown was ever equipped for the Vitascope process, it's unknown what films they ran. "The Lash" wasn't one of them. For dates of early wide-gauge runs in Los Angeles at other theatres see the From Script To DVD page "70mm and Wide Gauge: The Early Years" by Michael Coate and William Kallay.

RKO-SW: After the consent decree divestitures of the 50s, the Warner Bros. theatres ended up as part of a corporation called Stanley Warner Theatres. The Stanley Corp. of America was a theatre operator Warner Bros. had purchased in the late 20s. In 1967 Stanley Warner merged with the company running the theatres formerly run by RKO, thus forming the company called RKO-Stanley Warner. In the L.A. area the combined company's operations included the Pantages, the Hillstreet, the Topanga and the former Warner theatres left in the circuit: the Wiltern, the Warner Beverly Hills, Warner Huntington Park and Warner Downtown.

3 Strip Cinerama at the Warner: In 1953 the theatre was renovated for 3-strip Cinerama with a deeply curved screen with its center within the proscenium and sides extending out into the auditorium. The special Cinerama screen was a louvered construction, composed of several thousand vertical strips, a construction intended to eliminate cross reflections from the sides of the screen. Three small projection booths were added on the main floor. Seating was reduced to approximately 1,500 by draping off the upper balcony. The Cinerama films ran as reserved seat engagements with Cinerama, Inc. operating the theatre.

An ad for the 1953 invitational premiere of "This is Cinerama" at the Warner. Thanks to Roland Lataille for finding the ad. It's on his the In Cinerama site's Warner Theatre page.

A view of the louvered Cinerama screen -- designed to prevent light on the sides of the screen from washing out the picture on the other side. It's from Greg Kimble's great article "This is Cinerama" on the widescreen site

"This is Cinerama" opened April 29, 1953 and ran 133 weeks.

"Cinerama Holiday" opened November 14, 1955 and ran 81 weeks.

"Seven Wonders of the World" opened June 5, 1957 and ran 69 weeks.

"South Seas Adventure" opened October 1, 1958 and ran 71 weeks.

"Search For Paradise" opened February 11, 1960 and ran 38 weeks.

"This is Cinerama" return engagement opened November 2, 1960 and ran 22 weeks.

"Cinerama Holiday" return engagement opened April 4, 1961 and ran 7 weeks.

"Seven Wonders of the World" return engagement opened May 23, 1961 and ran through October 9, 1961 -- 16 weeks.

A page 82 story in the September 18, 1961 issue of Boxoffice told of the millions grossed by Cinerama and noted that the theatre was reverting to Stanley-Warner. 

The 1961 renovations: The Warner was was equipped for 70mm in 1961 as part of a remodeling project. A new booth was built downstairs and equipped with Norelco 35/70mm projectors, Super Cinex lamps and a new 6 channel Ampex sound system. The Cinerama screen was removed.

A September 15, 1961 article about the renovations. Thanks to Roland Lataille, curator of the site, for locating the article for his page about the Warner Hollywood. The reopening they were planning for October 19 didn't happen until the 26th. 

Page one of a March 14, 1962 Motion Picture Herald article discussing the 1961 renovations. Note the "new look" of the draped proscenium. Thanks again to Roland Lataille for the find -- he has the article on his In Cinerama Warner Theatre page

Page two of the Motion Picture Herald article -- with an ad for Norelco projectors touting the long runs they were getting from prints at the Pantages.  

The new flat screen at the Warner in 1961 was installed on the stage and much of the auditorium was draped in the makeover Note in the photo in the article that the front of the stage was still intact with steps down to the auditorium to conceal the orchestra pit. The screen was within the original proscenium and the footlights were being used to illuminate the curtain. The theatre reopened with the premiere of "Back Street" with Susan Hayward (in 35mm) on October 26, 1961. More 35mm non-roadshow engagements filled the schedule until mid-1962.

The 2nd Cinerama installation: Soon the new proscenium treatment was removed for another Cinerama screen installation. The 28' x 76' screen encompassed 146 degrees of arc. This time there was substantial demolition and lowering of the front of the stage for a rounded bubble treatment as a transition from the auditorium floor to the bottom of the screen. Other work included two additional main floor projection booths, a dropped ceiling and draping of main floor sides and rear areas where seating was not desirable.  

As with the 1953 version of Cinerama in the house, the rear of the balcony was not used and had drapes part way up to hide the rear of the auditorium. The theatre started showing 3 Strip Cinerama again in August 1962. Longtime Pacific Theatres projection supervisor John Sittig notes that by the time of the "How the West Was Won" engagement the 146 degree screen configuration had been flattened out to a 126 degree curve similar to the one later installed at the Cinerama Dome.

"The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" (Cinerama/MGM) opened August 7, 1962 and ran 28 weeks.

"How The West Was Won" (American premiere engagement, Cinerama/MGM) opened February 20, 1963 and ran 93 weeks.

Thanks to Martin Hart for this great illustration of a Cinerama shot from the opening sequence of "How The West Was Won." It's on the first page of the Cinerama section of his wonderful American Widescreen Museum site.

At top we have the full-coat mag film with 7 channels of sound and the 3 35mm 6 perforation high images. The three projectors and the sound dubber were interlocked with Selsyn motors. Originally Cinerama ran at 26 fps but it was slowed down to the standard 24 fps for later productions to allow a bit longer running time. It was all on a big reel with a reel change at intermission.

An illustration from Wikipedia showing a typical three booth layout for Cinerama.

70MM Cinerama at the Warner: "How The West Was Won" was the last of the 3 Strip films to play the Warner. Cinerama had embraced 70mm single film projection and thereafter a number of 70mm engagements on the deeply curved Cinerama screen were advertised as being "in Cinerama" including:

"Circus World" -- premiered December 17, 1964 and ran 16 weeks. It was advertised with the tagline "Cinerama surrounds you with the greatest thrill-packed story ever filmed."

"Mediterranean Holiday" -- opened April 9, 1965 and ran for 11 weeks. The come-on: "Cinerama Has Thrilled You With 'This Is Cinerama,' 'Seven Wonders Of The World,' 'Cinerama Holiday,' 'Seven Seas Adventure' And Now Thrill To The New Cinerama: 'Mediterranean Holiday'"

"The Hallelujah Trail" (world premiere engagement, United Artists) opened June 23, 1965 and ran for 26 weeks. "Presented in Cinerama. Filmed in Ultra Panavision."

"Cinerama's Russian Adventure" opened May 3, 1966 and ran 13 weeks.

Regular 35mm films on the Cinerama screen followed "Russian Adventure" including including a 13 week run of "Is Paris Burning?" later in 1966.

A ticket to an April 2, 1968 preview of "2001: A Space Odyssey" (MGM). Thanks to Bruce Kimmel for sharing the item from his collection. Also see a photo of the premiere he located. 

"2001" played the Warner for 80 weeks as a reserved seat engagement starting April 4, 1968. The 70mm prints for Cinerama houses had the Cinerama logo as part of the credits -- it didn't appear on 35mm prints. The feature was filmed in Super Panavision 70. The main floor side sections, some of the rear areas and the back of the balcony were still concealed with drapes during the run of "2001" resulting in a seating capacity of 1,256.

A trade magazine ad touting the capacity business the theatre was doing for "2001." Thanks to Bruce Kimmel for finding it. "2001" later moved over to the Warner Beverly Hills -- still in 70mm and with reserved seats but not on a Cinerama screen. See "Still the Ultimate Trip: Remembering 2001...," Michael Coate's article on the site Digital Bits about the film's initial engagements.

Much of the information about the 70mm and Cinerama runs at the Warner comes from Michael Coate and William Kallay's fine site From Script To DVD. They have a list of 70mm Theatres and a Photo Gallery featuring pages about many of the Hollywood theatres as well as 70mm engagements listed year by year. Also check out their Warner Hollywood and This Is Cinerama in Los Angeles pages.

Pacific Theatres takes over: Pacific took over the Warner from RKO-Stanley Warner during the 1968-69 run of "2001" and changed the name to the Hollywood Pacific.

The deeply curved screen was still in place (and "Cinerama" atop the marquee) for many films after "2001" closed out the theatre's Cinerama era, including for the 29 week run of "Airport" in 1970 and the run of "Clockwork Orange" in 1971. John Sittig, then chief projectionist for Pacific Theatres, noted on Cinema Treasures that the Cinerama screen was finally removed for good sometime in the early 70s. 70mm engagements included a roadshow run of Universal's "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 1976.

The 1978 Renovation: The balcony was enclosed for 2 additional screens in 1978. The main floor ended up with a 60' wide screen with only a shallow curvature. A THX type infinite baffle made of steel studs and drywall (with openings for the speakers) is fitted into the proscenium arch. The asbestos curtain is still in place but not currently operable.

A May 26, 1978 ad for the reopening as a triplex. Here they're calling it the Hollywood Pacific Triplex. It was also known as the Pacific 1-2-3. Thanks to Mike Rivest for locating the ad. Visit his site:
70mm runs in the downstairs house included "Streets of Fire" (Universal, 1984) and "Cotton Club" (Orion, 1984).
Closing: The two upstairs auditoria weren't used after the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake due to damage to their T-bar dropped ceilings and other minor issues including a toppled section of a hollow tile wall at the back of the balcony house right. After several days closure to assess the damage, the main floor theatre reopened. Pacific closed it for good on August 15, 1994.

The listing for the theatre in the Pacific Theatres L.A. Times ad on August 15, 1994 -- the last day of regular operation. Not even a "Last Times Today" mention. At the time, the only other Hollywood houses appearing in Pacific's ads were the Cinerama Dome and the El Capitan.

The building evidently sustained some damage during the construction of the Red Line subway in the mid-1990s including basement flooding. Whatever issues there were got solved and no evidence of problems was revealed in later inspections. It's not known how much seismic retrofitting has been done to the building or even if any is needed.

Later uses: After Pacific Theatres ceased regular operations there was still occasionally a public film screening downstairs such as for the AFI Fest in 2001 or an L.A. Conservancy screening in 2005. From 2001 until 2006 the main floor theatre was used as USC's Entertainment Technology Center, hosting trade screenings of various films to demonstrate digital projection technology.

For several years a church group, Ecclesia Church in Hollywood, was using the main floor auditorium for their Sunday services. The unrepaired upstairs theatres remained off limits. The church was told to vacate at the end of June 2013.

Status: The Warner is currently dormant and waiting for the next great idea. See recent news items at the top of the page. The building is still owned by Robertson Properties / Pacific Theatres, its longtime operator. Pacific and its associated companies also own almost the whole block surrounding the theatre. Wendell Benedetti has a map on the LAHTF Facebook page.

The entrance after the boarding up. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

The Wilcox side. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

A detail of the arches on Wilcox. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014 

The rear of the building. The stage backs into this SE corner. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The Warner in the Movies: 

We get some nice views of the Warner near the end of Mervyn LeRoy's "Show Girl in Hollywood" (Warner Bros., 1930). Thanks to Jack Tillmany for sending along the tip. He notes: "Alice White's film-in-the-film, 'The Rainbow Girl,' recorded on Vitaphone, is supposedly having its premiere. Only downer is that this entire sequence was originally filmed in 2-color Technicolor, but only survives in black and white." The film also stars Jack Mulhall, Blanche Sweet and Ford Sterling. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more shots from the film.

This view west on Hollywood Blvd. with a banner across the street advertising Joe E. Brown in "Local Boy Makes Good," a November 1931 release, is seen in the documentary short "Hollywood: City of Celluloid" (1932). The film was produced and photographed by Sten Nordensklold. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for another Warner shot and a view of the Hollywood Theatre from the film. 

We get a fuzzy view of the Warner marquee in Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" (United Artists, 1956) as Sterling Hayden comes out of a store just east of the theatre. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post on the film for shots showing the Iris/Fox and Lux theatres.

A look west from Hollywood and Vine in Joseph Newman's "The George Raft Story" (Allied Artists, 1961) starring Ray Danton, Jayne Mansfield and Julie London. In the distance note the anachronism of the towers of the Warner with the neon saying "Cinerama." The Vine Theatre (here still called the Admiral) is on the lower right. Thanks to Kliph Nesteroff for the screenshot, posted on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.


Godfrey Cambridge, a white man turned black, takes the bus in from Toluca Lake to Hollywood and Wilcox in Melvin Van Peebles' "Watermelon Man" (Columbia, 1970). After breakfast at the corner diner in the Warner Building, he goes upstairs to his office. On the marquee: "2001."

Our serial killer is wandering Hollywood. near the end of Tom Hanson's unappetizing film "The Zodiac Killer" (Audubon Films, 1971). In the background the Pacific Cinerama is running "Little Big Man" with Dustin Hoffman. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for shots of the New-View/Ritz and the Hollywood Theatre.

We get a look west toward the Pacific vertical at the end of a big musical number on the street in "The First Nudie Musical" (Paramount, 1976). The book, music, and lyrics for the movie are by Bruce Kimmel. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for sixteen more shots from the film including many views of Hollywood theatre signage and a look at the lobby of the Fox Venice. 

We get a look at the east side of the Warner a bit in a scene in "Night of the Comet" (Atlantic Releasing, 1984) where we're in the alley behind the KFWB building (now demolished). We're pretending to be near the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more from the film.

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 she's in front of the Warner on the rampage trying to shoot a killer who has been preying on teenage girls. The film stars Donna Wilkes, Cliff Gorman, Dick Shawn, Rory Calhoun and John Diehl. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for a dozen shots from the film.  

Farm boy Anthony Michael Hall spends a summer in Los Angeles and gets mixed up with drug dealers in Richard Tuggle's "Out of Bounds" (Columbia, 1986).  The film also features Jenny Wright and Jeff Kober. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for this screenshot looking west from Cahuenga Blvd. toward the theatre, at this point called the Hollywood Pacific.

We get a fine view of the theatre in "Jack's Back." (Palisades Entertainment Group, 1988). James Spader, Cynthia Gibb and Jim Haynie star in this tale of a serial killer in Hollywood paying homage to Jack the Ripper. Rowdy Herrington directed. The cinematography is by Shelly Johnson. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for a shot of the Cave Theatre from the film. Thanks to Eric Schaefer for spotting the theatres in the film and getting the screenshots.

We get a shot of the top of the vertical sign during the opening credits of Stephen Frears' "The Grifters" (Cineplex Odeon Films/Miramax, 1991). The credit sequence also offers several views of the Million Dollar. The film is based on a Jim Thompson novel and stars John Cusak, Annette Bening and Anjelica Huston. A dark and bloody adventure.

Johnny Depp and Martin Landau are in front of one of the arches on the Wilcox side of the Warner Hollywood in this shot from Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" (Touchstone Pictures, 1994). The film also visits the Pantages, the Orpheum, and the Stadium Theatre in Torrance. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for shots of those theatres from the film.

The Pacific neon on one of the towers is lit as we look east on Hollywood Blvd. in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (Miramax, 1994). Uma Thurman has just overdosed and John Travolta is frantically driving her to Eric Stoltz' house for a shot of adrenaline. With a big syringe. Right in the heart. Also starring in the film are Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames and Bruce Willis. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the shot. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for a shot of the Raymond Theatre in Pasadena that's also seen in the film.

The Warner is running "How the West Was Won" in this early 60s stock footage used in "The Kid Stays in the Picture," the documentary by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen about Robert Evans (USA Pictures, 2002). It's based on his 1994 autobiography of the same title. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for a couple of 1970 vintage Fox Westwood shots from the film. 

A fine look east on Hollywood Blvd. in "The Nice Guys" (Warner Bros., 2016) with the theatre on the left. Shane Black's film stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as two not very competent private detectives. "The Nice Guys" is set in 1977 but it's obviously not a vintage shot looking at both the faded paint on the theatre's vertical as well as the size of the trees.

The Wilcox side of the Warner appears as kidnapped star George Clooney is hauled away in a panel truck in the Coen Brothers film "Hail, Caesar!" (Universal, 2016). We also get shots inside the Los Angeles Theatre and the Palladium plus Music Box exteriors. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for those.

More 3 Strip Cinerama process information: See Roland Lataille's In Cinerama web site for lots more data and Cinerama memorabilia. His Warner Hollywood page has ads and other items relating to the Warner in its Cinerama days. The site has lots of Cinerama information. See their Cinerama page and the article on Cinerama pictures on digital. For the latest Cinerama filming in Los Angeles there's the article "Cinerama 2012." 

And don't miss the six page Cinerama section on Widescreen Museum. The Cinerama Dome held a 3 strip festival in September 2012 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the process. On YouTube see several shorts by Michael Cahill about film historian Dave Stromaier shooting a new 3 strip Cinerama film in Los Angeles: "Cinerama 2012"  Part 1  | Part 2

Other 3 strip projection venues in Los Angeles included the Forum Theatre, 5050 W. Pico, as a test house for the process and Crest Labs, who processed Cinerama footage. The Century Drive-In put in a 180' wide screen and ran several three-strip films.

The Cinerama Dome was designed with a wraparound projection booth for 3 strip projection but Cinerama had abandoned the process and gone to 70mm by the time of the theatre's opening. Equipment was later installed for revival screenings. The Dome and the Cinerama in Seattle are the only two theatres in the country currently capable of showing the original Cinerama format.

In 1958 Grauman's Chinese was equipped for a rival 3 projector process, Cinemiracle, for showing "Windjammer."  See Kurt Wahlner's Cinemiracle section in his monumental epic Projection and Sound Systems at the Chinese for more on the process. It ran 37 weeks and then moved over to the Music Box (then called the Fox) for a 15 week run there, although evidently not in the 3 projector format. That was the only film in the process as the company was then purchased by Cinerama and shut down. Cinemiracle, unlike Cinerama, used only one booth and mirrors to get the beams from the side projectors to the screen. Several later Cinerama installations incorporated this single booth idea. Cinerama, Inc. was later acquired by Pacific Theatres.

More Warner Hollywood information: Visit the Pacific 1-2-3 page on Cinema Treasures for engrossing discussions of the Hollywood Pacific Theatre's history as well as over 130 photos. Some nice photos (including lots of interiors by Bob Meza) are on the Cinema Tour page for the Hollywood Pacific.

Check out the Warner Hollywood page on From Script To DVD for photos and other items. The page is part of the 70mm in Los Angeles section of their site. Hollywood Heritage has an article with many photos of the Warner on their "endangered" page.

See a 2014 facade view by Stephen Russo on the LAHTF Facebook page for a long thread of very interesting comments about the dormant building. Ken Roe has a set of Warner Hollywood photos on Flickr that he took in 2005. And, of course, there's an article on the Warner on Wikipedia.

One of G. Albert Lansburgh's gargoyles atop a Wilcox Ave. arch. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

Pages about the Warner Hollywood:
| an overview - back to top | street views 1926 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | main lobby | basement lounge | upper lobby areas | recent auditorium views | vintage auditorium views | stage | stage basement | other basement areas | booth and attic |

Hollywood Theatres: overview and alphabetical lists | Hollywood Theatres: list by address | Hollywood Christmas | 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 

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