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Carmel / Paris Theatre

8163 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90046
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The Carmel, here in its Paris Theatre days, is behind the Southern Pacific freight as we look west on Santa Monica Blvd. The 1970 photo by Boris Yaro on Calisphere is from the UCLA L.A. Times Photographic Archive.

Opened: 1924 by West Coast Theatres as the Carmel Theatre. It was later known as the Fox Carmel. The location was just west of Crescent Heights Blvd.

Architect: Lewis A. Smith

Seating: 1,098

A 1935 lobby photo from contributor Dallas Movie Theaters on the Cinema Treasures page about the theatre.

A June 20, 1943 ad listing the Carmel. Thanks to Scott Santoro for the research.  

Still alive in September 1952, the Carmel was running the Martin & Lewis film "Jumping Jacks." Thanks, Scott! 

After it had been dropped by Fox West Coast, the Carmel as an independent tried a new policy as the Carmel Museum Theatre running one current film double billed with a classic. That new name shows up in the 1956 city directory.

An article in the October 30, 1955 L.A. Times outlined the new policy. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for the research.

A c.1957 ad unearthed by Scott Santoro. He comments: "Thanks Mom and Dad! A Soviet Santa cartoon!! Neat-O! Well, maybe the 'Mysterians' won't be too bad..."

The Carmel then had a fling as a legit house in 1957 with Richard Gray's New Vic Theatre Company in residence.  Here several of the company members are working on the boxoffice. It's a Herald Examiner photo, one in a set of ten in the collection of the USC Digital Library.

A 1957 view of the New Vic team working on the doors. It's part of the USC / Herald Examiner set.

Checking out the Carmel's 1924 vintage rigging.

Another 1957 Herald Examiner backstage view giving us a look over toward the dimmer board.

The Carmel in the Movies:

We get a bit of time in the abandoned theatre in "High School Hellcats" (American International, 1958). The girls that belong to the "Hellcats" meet in the theatre, located "on the other side of town."

A happy reunion at the end of the film with our good girl Joyce and her boyfriend Mike after a bit of a fight in the balcony -- and bad girl Dolly falling over the edge. See the Theatres in Movies post for several more shots from the film. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for spotting this one.

An L.A. Times article from March 9, 1959 announcing the theatre's new art film policy. Thanks to Scott Santoro for the find. 

Status: By the early 60s the theatre had gone to a porno policy and was renamed the Paris Theatre -- the "newly beautiful Paris."  It ran until 1976 when it was destroyed by fire.

A February 28, 1964 ad for the Paris. Thanks to Scott Santoro for finding it in the L.A.Times. 

An impressionistic image of the neon at the Paris. It was a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles by Ken McIntyre.

The Paris in 1969. Thanks again to Ken McIntyre for the photo, a post on Photos of Los Angeles.

We get a bit of the theatre in this shot of the club next door. Thanks to Alison Martino for the photo. It appears with her Martino's Time Machine post "P.J.'s Nightclub." P.J.'s later became Starwood.

P.J.'s next to the Paris was more of a club than a theatre. But here, as we see in a 1964 ad that Scott Santoro found, they're almost going legit -- and actually calling themselves a theatre. Scott comments: "Next door, at PJ's, the World's Fair sensation, Sid and Marty Kroftt's 'Les Poupees des Paris.' It played at both the Seattle and New York World's Fairs." 

A 1975 view of the Paris from across the street. It was a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles by Richard J. Frost.
More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Carmel.

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