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Monica Film Center

1332 2nd St. Santa Monica, CA 90401
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The revamp: It reopened as the Monica Film Center in January 2016. The location is between Santa Monica Blvd. and Arizona Ave. There are six screens on two floors. The two second floor theatres each seat 25. The main floor's four screens range in size from 46 to 138 seats. Total seating is 376. The photo is courtesy of Laemmle Theatres and appeared with a February 2016 L.A. Weekly article "Laemmle Returns..."

Food service was was upgraded to include salads, alcoholic drinks, sandwiches and pizza. A restaurant spreading over the first and second floors (and with outside seating) seats 181. A second restaurant is a 3,000 square foot open air space on the roof with seating for 165 and an ocean view.

"The cinema environment is about to get more competitive in Santa Monica" said Laemmle CEO Greg Laemmle at the time the plans were publicized. He was referring to the new ArcLight complex then underway at the nearby Santa Monica Place mall. Santa Monica Daily Press had a story about the Laemmle construction project in October 2014. L.A.Magazine also had a story about the theatre's reconstruction.

Phone: 310-478-3836    Website:

Original opening: February 18, 1970 as a twin theatre, the Monica I and II. The larger theatre (737 seats) was then split into 3 small theatres resulting in Laemmle's Monica 4. For years the complex was Santa Monica's premiere showcase for foreign and specialized releases. The theatre closed in May 2014 for renovations.

Architect: Stanley Borbals did the building in 1970.

Seating: 1,076 (152, 217, 235, 472) when it was a 4-plex. 376 total for 6 screens after the renovations.

The Monica in the Movies: James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss go to the Monica 4 for a film in Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight, 2013). She's upset because he can't seem to whisper during the film.

Looking into the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

The main floor lobby with auditorium #1 on the left and #2, 3 and 4 as well as restrooms down the hall. Screens #5 and 6 are upstairs. It's a photo from Jenny L. on Yelp.

Looking down toward the entrances for #2, 3 and 4. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018 

A view back toward the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

An upstairs lobby view from Jean L. on Yelp

Looking toward the street in the second floor lobby area. It's a photo from Jenny L. on Yelp.

The second floor lobby at night. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

The back of the second floor lobby with entrances to screens #5 and 6. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

A construction view of one of the auditoria from a November 2015 post on the Laemmle blog

A view of one of the completed auditoria from Laemmle Theatres that appeared with a February 2016 L.A. Weekly article "Laemmle Returns..."

Auditorium #1, the large downstairs house. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018 

The rear of auditorium #1. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

A shot of upstairs auditorium #6 from Megan D. on Yelp

Pre renovation views:

The large auditorium in the 4-plex days. It's a photo that had appeared on the Laemmle website.

Thanks to Scott Neff on Cinema Tour for this 2004 lobby photo.

The view toward the entrance. Photo: Scott Neff - Cinema Tour - 2004

More exterior views: 

The theatre in its days as the Monica I and II. Thanks to Sean Ault for the photo from his collection. 

The theatre in 2007. Photo: Bill Counter 

The view down from the parking garage across the street. Thanks to Don Solosan of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation for his c.2009 photo. 

Thanks to Don Solosan for this great c.2009 shot of the theatre's neon. 

A c.2010 view of the Monica boxoffice on Wikipedia, from their article on Santa Monica.

A rendering of the new facade of the Monica Film Centre that had appeared with a 2014 Santa Monica Daily Press article by David Mark Simpson.

A 2016 look from across the street from Doug Simmons on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. Thanks, Doug!

A closer facade view. Thanks to Doug Simmons for the 2016 photo on Photos of Los Angeles.

A shot from across the street. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

The theatre at night from the garage. It's a photo by Angela R. on Yelp

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Monica for lots of links to additional exterior photos.

The Cinema Tour page has a number of 2004 photos from the Scott Neff collection, including lobby views.

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