Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections: Downtown | North of Downtown + East L.A. | San Fernando Valley | Glendale | Pasadena | San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier | South, South Central and Southeast | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Long Beach | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces |
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Theatres in Movies site and the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.

Coast Playhouse

8325 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069  | map | 

Dates: The building dates from 1925 but it was not built as a theatre. It opened in October 1961 as the Players Ring Gallery, a theatre-in-the-round. The company had earlier operated a theatre caled the Gallery at 8111 Santa Monica Blvd. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for his 2019 photo on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 

Phone: 310-953-8999 

Architect: Lorand West designed the 1960 theatre conversion.  Perkins & Will got the contract in 2022 to design a replacement building.

Seating: 200 originally, later down to 99.

An article in the September 13, 1961 L.A. Times announcing the new venue. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Gaylord Wilshire for finding the article for his Noirish post #48526

By 1967 it was called the Players' Ring Theatre after the company's earlier operation by that name at 8351 Santa Monica Blvd. closed. Joe Vogel on Cinema Treasures says: "Players' Ring was one of several professional theater companies that flourished in Los Angeles during the postwar period. I recall seeing the theater’s ads in the L.A. Times into the 1960s. James Arness, Marlo Thomas, Roger Corman, Michael Landon, and Jack Nicholson are among the alumni of the Players' Ring."

It was running as the Gallery Theatre, still a legit playhouse, in 1971. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this Times listing. 

In 1971 or 1972 the Gallery became a revival house. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this 1972 ad.

A Gallery listing in the L.A. Times in 1972. Again thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating it.

After the revival business waned it became a porno operation called the Quickie. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this June 1972 ad.

By 1976 it was twinned and running both art and revival films as the Gary I and Gary II. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding this October ad. 

Kurt Wahlner comments: "I used to see a LOT of old films at 'The Gary’s I & II.' God, that was a weird set-up. They had 35mm, but mostly it was 16mm. Their 16 ’Scope was so bizarre, I should draw it up sometime. I think I saw 'The Devils' and 'The Music Lovers' there. They ran a lot of old Warners' films too." Don't miss Kurt's wonderful site detailing the history of Grauman's Chinese.

By 1980 it had become a 99 seat Equity Waiver legit operation called the Pan Andreas, finally ending up as the Coast Playhouse. After being closed and on the market for a year or so it was purchased in 2016 by the City of West Hollywood for $2.5 million. According to "WeHo's Aquisition of Coast Playhouse," an April 2016 story on the site WeHoville, the city was planning to give the theatre a bit of a remodel to assure that it met ADA requirements and its various systems were functional. It was later open again as a rental venue for small legit shows.

Status: In 2022 it was announced that Perkins & Will have the contract to design a replacement building. The 5,000 s.f. structure will be two stories and incorporate a 99 seat theatre, a rehearsal space and a pocket park. Thanks to David Saffer for spotting the November 1 story by Steven Sharp on Urbanize Los Angeles

A rendering from Perkins & Will appearing with the 2022 Urbanize article.

More exterior views:

A 1980 look at the theatre, then called the Pan Andreas, from the Herald Examiner collection at the Los Angeles Public Library. Evidently the photo was taken due to a swastika graffiti issue.

Thanks to the now-vanished American Classic Images website for this early 80s view. 

A night view from the American Classic Images collection.

Thanks to Ken Roe for this 2005 photo of the building as the Coast Playhouse on Flickr.

The theatre during its "for sale" period in a view looking west on Santa Monica Blvd. Photo: Google Maps - November 2015

More Information: Head to the Cinema Treasures page for the Coast Playhouse. The site also has a page for the Quickie Theatre, which they have listed with an address of 8253 Santa Monica Blvd.

The Player's Ring operation goes back to 1948. It had started not at this address but up the street a bit at 8111 Santa Monica Blvd. and later moved to 8351 Santa Monica Blvd. The USC Digital Library has several photos taken at the 8351 address. Also see two Los Angeles Public Library views of the theatre at 8351 Santa Monica: 1959 night view | 1959 day view |

A 1960 L.A. Times ad for the Gallery at 8111 Santa Monica Blvd. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for spotting it. At the time the Players Ring was also doing shows at the Civic, a venue later known as the Cine Cienega.

| back to top Westside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Downtown theatres | Along the Coast | [more] Los Angeles movie palaces | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide |

No comments:

Post a Comment