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Opened: November 22, 1946 as the Hitching Post Theatre. The opening was attended by Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger (among other celebrities). A crowd of 2,000 turned out. It was on the west side of Canon Dr, just a block north of Wilshire.
This is evidently the only surviving look at the theatre with its original Hitching Post signage. It was taken at the 1946 grand opening, when Roy Rogers rode up to the theatre on Trigger.
The December 7, 1946 issue of Boxoffice magazine had an article on the opening where they noted that this venue was the fifth under the Hitching Post name for the local ABC Circuit, no relation to the later nationwide ABC Paramount circuit. The article included several photos, but none showed the building itself. Sorry, the article is no longer on the magazine's website. All their vintage issues were removed during a site makeover.
There were other Hitching Post theatres in Hollywood and Santa Monica. And supposedly in Pasadena and Long Beach as well but city directories for those cities have not turned up any theatres operating under the Hitching Post name.
By early 1947 the theatre was on a split week basis with westerns on the weekends and newsreels mid-week. In April 1947 the newsreels were gone and ABC was calling the theatre the Beverly Canon. The programs were then single features and shorts with western matinees on the weekends. The feature that reopened the house was "Blue Skies" with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
By 1949 the Beverly Canon was on an art house policy. During the 60s the theatre was operated by the Walter Reade circuit of New York as one of L.A.'s premiere art houses. Reade also operated the Granada on Sunset and the Music Hall Theatre on Wilshire.
The theatre also had a revival policy for a while and later was operated as a soft core porno venue by Select Theatres.
From 1976 to 2004 it was used as a legitimate playhouse by the Solari Theatre Ensemble and known as the Solari Theatre.
Status: Demolished in 2005 for construction of the Montage Beverly Hills. The hotel project also claimed the Beverly Theatre a block west on Beverly Dr.
A 1950 view of the Beverly Canon from Kimberly Reiss on the LAHTF Facebook page. The theatre is running "Trio," a film based on three stories by W. Somerset Maugham. Check out the Beverly Hills Heritage Facebook page that Kimberly curates.
A photo from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The caption: "Carrier boys from the Herald-Express posed in front of the Beverly Canon Theater after they saw a special showing of the motion picture, 'Kon-Tiki,' as guests of producer Sol Lesser and the manager of the theater, July 20, 1958."
A Larry Underhill photo of the doomed theatre. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for including it in his Noirish post #41006.
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Beverly Canon for some nice stories about the theatre. Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel unearthed the article about the opening in Boxoffice as well as lots of other data.
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