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Broadway 4

1441 3rd St. Promenade Santa Monica, CA, CA 90401
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Opened: 1934 As the Elmiro Theatre. Admission was 20 cents. The building is on the east side of the street between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. The Mott Studios photo is from the California State Library, one of eleven photos in their set #001387147. The opening attractions, seen here on the marquee, were "Cat and the Fiddle" and "Six of a Kind."

Phone: 888-AMC-4FUN,  310-458-3924  Website: www.amctheatres.com

Architect: Norman W. Alpaugh

Seating: 900 originally. The replacement 4 plex seats 1,200.

This theatre has been operated by a number of circuits including Century, Statewide, Loew's, General Cinema and Metropolitan. It has also had spells as an independent operation.

It was Loew's Elmiro when that circuit had it. They gave it a makeover in the 70s. During the General Cinema tenure in the mid 70s it was known as the Cinema on the Mall. While operated by Metropolitan as a Spanish language house, it was the Cine Latino.

In 1987 the building behind the facade was demolished. Cineplex Odeon became the operator of the 4 plex in the new mixed use building. Following that reincarnation it's been called the Cineplex Odeon Broadway 4, the Loews Cineplex Broadway Cinemas 4 and the AMC Loews Broadway 4.

Back in 2009 it looked like its days were numbered. AMC was in negotiations with the city to build a new complex and the city wanted the Broadway 4 closed as a condition as they were strangely concerned about the town being over-screened. The landlord, however, wanted the space to remain a cinema.

And he got his wish. AMC, after several years of talks, decided in 2012 to abandon plans to put a big new complex on the site of a city parking garage. Said the numbers didn't pencil out right. So this one remains open. In 2013 AMC closed the nearby Criterion 6 which is now retail space.  With new screens at the ArcLight and the Laemmle Monica Film Center, there are more screens than ever.

Status: Only the facade of the original building remains. It's now operated by AMC. They're currently calling it the AMC Broadway 4.

The Elmiro Theatre on TV: Silent film detective John Bengtson has turned his sights to "Leave it To Beaver" where he found this 6th season shot of Ward (Hugh Beaumont) and Wally (Tony Dow) driving in Mayfield where it looks just like 3rd St. in Santa Monica. The episode aired in January, 1963. See John's entertaining post "Leave it to Santa Monica."



Driving south on 3rd in "Leave it to Beaver." The theatre, still in its Elmiro days, is on the right. Thanks to John Bengtson for the screenshot.


Interior views of the original theatre:


In the lobby. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1934 



A look toward the screen. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1934 



The rear of the stadium-style auditorium. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1934



A detail of the upper seating section. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1934


More exterior views:


The new theatre at twilight. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library - 1934



Thanks to intrepid theatre researcher Ken McIntyre for this 1936 marquee view he has on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. It also appears with the April 2007 LookOut News article "Strolling Through Downtown's Past." With a bit of anamorphic spread it's on a page about the theatre from the Santa Monica Conservancy.



A 1963 L.A. Times photo looking up 3rd Street. It's on Calisphere from the UCLA Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives. 



A 1965 view of the Elmiro from the roof of the then-new Santa Monica Mall. It's on Calisphere from the UCLA Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives.



A 1970 look north from Broadway in the Santa Monica Public Library collection. At the time it was a Loew's house. The photo by Leslie Storrs was donated to the Library by the City of Santa Monica. Thanks to Matt Spero for work on the color.



A 1972 view of the theatre still with Loews signage. They exited the southern California market later that year. It was a find by Ken McIntyre for the Photos of Los Angeles page on Facebook.


A terrific 80s shot from an upper level of the mall. We're looking north along the Promenade with the theatre on the right, here in its "Cine" days running Spanish language product and operated by Metropolitan Theatres. Thanks to Bill Gabel for the photo, a post on Photos of Los Angeles



A 1983 view of the Elmiro in its Cine Latino days from the Santa Monica Public Library collection. It was taken as part of a City of Santa Monica historic resources survey.  



A 1990 photo by Cynni Murphy of the facade fronting the new 4 plex. It's in the Santa Monica Public Library collection.



A view of the promenade with Cineplex Odeon signage for the new 4 plex. Note the new condo building behind. The photo appears on a Water and Power Associates Museum page "Early Views of Santa Monica."  



The Broadway 4 in 2007. Photo: Bill Counter



Thanks to M.V. Jantzen for this photo on Flickr, part of his 2007 Los Angeles set.



Another view of the Broadway 4 and the new building behind the original facade. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



A facade detail. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



A night view of the Broadway 4. Note the Cineplex Odeon signage still atop the tower. Photo: Bill Counter - 2013



A 2017 facade view. Thanks to Shawn Dudley for the photo.



A look up. It's another Shawn Dudley photo. Both of these appeared on the on the LAHTF Facebook page. Thanks, Shawn!

More Information:  See the Cinema Treasures page on the Elmiro Theatre. They also have a page on its replacement, the AMC Broadway 4, with lots of links to recent exterior photos. The Cinema Tour page has several exterior photos by Scott Neff.

Nathan Masters did a fine 2016 KCET story with many photos about the evolution of the 3rd St. Promenade: "How Santa Monica's Third Street Became a Promenade."

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