3138 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019
| map |
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:
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."
Architect: Marcus P. Miller
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
More information: See The Cinema Treasures page on the Midway. Thanks to Joe Vogel for some nice research.
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