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Lido Theatre

8507 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035
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A painting of the Lido's facade from the collection of Bruce Kimmel. He comments: "This painting adorns the cover of my first novel, 'Benjamin Kritzer.' It was done by Harvey Schmidt (composer of 'The Fantasticks'). I sent him a photo of the Lido from 1956 and told him what to put on the marquee (a double bill I saw there). He did a magnificent job." Thanks, Bruce! 

Opened: 1937

Construction, according to Joe Vogel on Cinema Treasures, was announced in August, 1936. The $52,000 building included the theatre, a branch of Bank of America and three stores.  The location was on the north side of the street just west of La Cienega Blvd.

In the early 60s Fox West Coast spent $100,000 on a renovation that included new marquee, vertical sign, revamped facade, new snackbar, new seating, and a larger (17' x 33') screen.

For years it was operated by National General and, later, Mann Theatres. It had a good run as an art venue, a revival house and, at the end, was a bargain theatre.

Architect: Clifford A. Balch

Seating: It was 936 after a reseating in the 60s. Later it was down to 880.

Status: Demolished in 1979. It's now a parking lot for the Bank of America branch on the northwest corner of Pico and La Cienega.

A c.1943 lobby photo by Nate Singer from the collection of Bruce Kimmel.

A c.1943 photo of a lounge area. It's a Nate Singer photo from the collection of Bruce Kimmel.

The rear of the auditorium c.1943. It's a photo by Nate Singer. Many thanks to Bruce Kimmel for sharing these photos from his collection.

A view of the refurbished mezzanine lounge from a Boxoffice story about the renovations at the theatre in their October 22, 1962 issue.

A look toward the screen and the new lowered ceiling after the 1962 renovations.

The rear of the house as seen in the 1962 Boxoffice article.

Exterior views of the Lido:

A 1945 view of the Lido with "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" as the attraction. The photo appears in the Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker. The photos in the book are from Mr. Wanamaker's Bison Archives.

Thanks to Ken McIntyre for posting it on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. It also appears on the page Vintage Los Angeles and in an album of Jeff Bridges on Flickr.

A 1951 look west on Pico across La Cienega toward the Lido. It's a Julius Shulman photo in the collection of the Getty Research Institute. He was out photographing various branch offices for Bank of America. The Getty indexes this one as Shulman job #967: Raymond Shaw / Bank of America. Shaw was the architect of the bank building, still there but with an ugly re-do.

The set of 3 photos also includes a shot looking north on La Cienega toward the intersection of Pico. Also see more Shulman photos on the Getty site.

A closer look from the photo above.

Julius Shulman's photo of the vista from a bit farther east on Pico. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Hoss C for finding the Shulman set in the Getty collection. They're part of his Noirish post #31124 that also includes some recent views of the intersection.

A c.1961 view posted on the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern Los Angeles by Michael Snider. The Lido is running "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" and "Make Mine Mink." Bruce Kimmel also added this one to the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page. The photo also appears in the Photobucket album of White Sheik.

The Lido in 1962 running "The Mark" along with "Two Women" starring Sophia Loren. Thanks to Bruce Kimmel for the photo from his collection. It's after the renovations -- note that the island boxoffice is gone.

The Boxoffice magazine issue for October 22, 1962 had a story about the renovations at the theatre that included this photo. Fox West Coast had spent $100,000 for work including a new marquee and boxoffice.

A closer look at the new boxoffice from the October 22, 1962 Boxoffice magazine story. 

The Lido running "Seance on a Wet Afternoon," a 1964 release. It was a post on the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page by Bruce Kimmel. The photo also appears in the Photobucket album of White Sheik.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Lido for lots of history and comments.

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