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Opened: In the mid 40s by ABC Theatres, one of three theatres eventually opened under the Hitching Post name. It was on the west side of the street between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. Their other theatres were in Hollywood (later called the Paris) and Beverly Hills (later called the Beverly Canon).
ABC was a local circuit owned by Buddy Adler, Horace Boos and Gregory Carter. There is no connection between this circuit and the later ABC / Plitt Theatres circuit.
The Hitching Post venues typically offered double features of westerns. "Check your Guns at the Box Office."
The building was evidently retail space prior to conversion to the Hitching Post. In the 1940 city directory 1450 4th is listed as the location of a toy store and 1446 as a restaurant.
It's advertised as the Hitching Post in the L.A. Times in 1946. The city directory for 1947 and 1948 just lists it as the Western Theatre. It's in the 1947 through 1950 phone books as the Hitching Post.
The ABC circuit later abandoned the westerns and in the early 50s turned the venue into an art house, the Riviera Theatre. It's listed as the Riviera in the February 1951 phone book but in the 1952 book it's back to being listed as the Hitching Post, perhaps an error. It's still listed as the Hitching Post in the Film Daily Yearbooks of 1950 and 1952.
We assume the westerns continued for the weekend matinees, as they did at the Beverly Hills Hitching Post.
Seating: 600 according to Cinema Treasures.
Closing: The date of closing is unknown. It's listed as vacant in the 1952/53 Santa Monica city directory and it's not in the 1953 phone book. By 1954 it had become the home of the Santa Monica Colonial Furniture Co.
Status: The building has been demolished. There's now a parking garage on the site.
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Hitching Post. But ignore the Pussycat Theatre comments. The Pussycat was at 1442 2nd. See the Pussycat Theatre page here on this site for more details on that one.
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