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Opened: 1921 as the Paramount Theatre. The location was just a bit west of Western Ave. In this Los Angeles Public Library photo we're looking east. The theatre, on the south side of the street, is over on the right. They were showing "The Humming Bird," a Paramount release with Gloria Swanson from 1924.
A detail from the 1924 photo.
The theatre was built for James C. Allen and Edward Helt with the original operator Turner, Dahnken & Langley, a firm that later became part of West Coast Theatres. It's listed in the 1923 and 1929 city directories as the Paramount.
In this 1934 ad it's listed under "Hollywood" and still named the Paramount. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. It's still listed as the Paramount in the 1942 city directory.
Bill Gabel notes that at some point Cabart Theatres Corp. was involved as an operator but then subleased to Fox West Coast, the successor company to West Coast Theatres. Fox was operating when it was renamed the Loma Theatre sometime in the early 40s.
Architect: Frank Rasche
The Paramount/Loma in the Movies:
The Paramount Theatre (as it was then known) appears in this shot from Buster Keaton's "Sherlock Jr." (Metro Pictures, 1924). We're looking west across the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Western Ave. That's the theatre over toward the left. The sign on the side of the building says "Paramount Theatre."
Thanks to John Bengtson, "the great detective of silent film locations," for identifying the theatre in the film. See his Silent Locations blog for several great posts about "Sherlock Jr." He also discusses additional locations on the Blu-Ray edition of the film.
Status: Demolished. After closing as a theatre in the 50s, it became a furniture store and then a thrift store. It burned in the 80s and there's now a strip mall on the site.
Thanks to Matt Spero for this photo he took after the thrift store fire. Lettering at the top of the facade still said "Paramount Theatre." Thanks, Matt.
More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Loma Theatre for research by Joe Vogel and others.
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