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Midway Theatre

3138 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019
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Opened: 1939. This stretch of Pico is part of the area known as Harvard Heights. The theatre building is a block west of Western. The photo is a 2010 Google Maps view.

This independent house was constructed by Louis Berkoff, owner of the La Tosca, according to a Boxoffice article located by Joe Vogel. The Berkoff family was also involved in the Coronet, the Cinema, the Esquire and other venues. Hadabob on Cinema Treasures has a lovely description of the theatre:

"The Midway Theatre was built in 1938. It was part of a complex that included a Safeway Market and a small cafe. The original seating was 525 if my memory is correct. It was similar in interior design to that of many small “c” theatres of this era in Los Angeles. ( i.e., the Sherman, Nuart, and the neighboring Victoria Theatre.) The interior was very similar to the Sherman in Sherman Oaks as both theatres were very similar in size and both shared simple murals to each side of the proscenium. The Midway’s murals were of two deer – one at each side which appear to jump and two trees on each side at the back of each deer. The background color was beige.

The ceiling was orange with a 20" raised plaster band (grey) that circled the auditorium. The walls were sound absorbing material which were orange in color. Each section was separated by a concrete reinforced column, which was plaster-coated and painted burgundy with a tree in the center, which was painted gold, running from top to bottom. The carpeting was black wool with typical Art Deco bands. The seats were burgundy with gold deco bands on the isles. Originally, the lobby was the same color scheme. The restrooms were upstairs. The booth was in front and a terrazo floor greeted the patrons. Purple glass was under all the lobby posters."

Seating: 609

Architect: Marcus P. Miller

Status: Closed in 1965 and then used as a warehouse. The marquee was removed but the inside was essentially unchanged. It got gutted in 2000 for retail space. 

More information: See The Cinema Treasures page on the Midway.  Thanks to Joe Vogel for some nice research.

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