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Music Hall Theatre

9036 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills 90211
| map |  

Opened: 1936 as the Elite Theatre. It's between Doheny Dr. and Wetherly Dr. on the south side of the street. The Writers Guild Theatre is around the corner on Doheny and the AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theatre is just two blocks east on Wilshire. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

Phone: 310-478-3836   Website: | Laemmle on Facebook |

Architect: Wilfred P. Verity

Seating: 824 as a single. As a triplex It's now down to 499 (142 + 98 + 259).

Status: It's running first run foreign, independent and other specialized product under the enlightened Laemmle circuit management. There was discussion of closing in 2011 as the landlord wanted to explore other options for the building. The Laemmles succeeded in getting a lease extension.

In the 40s it was renamed the Music Hall and operated as one of four "Music Hall Theatres" which frequently ran the same bookings. In Hollywood the group had the Holly Theatre and the Hawaii Theatre, which they called the Hawaii Music Hall. Their downtown theatre was also called the Music Hall, now back to its original name of the Tower Theatre.

Between 1950 and 1956 it was a TV studio operated by KLAC-TV. Some seats were removed and a lighting grid and control room installed. The theatre was the home to "Life With Elizabeth" with Betty White in the early 50s and "The Liberace Show" on NBC from 1953 to 1955. 

In 1956 it again was a movie house. During the 60s and into the 70s it was operated by the Walter Reade circuit of New York as one of L.A.'s premiere art houses. Reade also operated the Beverly Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills and the Granada Theatre in West Hollywood.

A 1970 ad for the Walter Reade circuit located by Ken McIntyre. It was a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. Walter Reade ran into troubles and end up in bankruptcy.

In the early 70s it became part of the Laemmle circuit. They triplexed it in the 90s.

A lobby view from Shawn S. on Yelp.

An auditorium photo that once appeared on the Laemmle website

More exterior views:

Thanks to William David French, Jr. for this 1952 photo from his collection. He's got it on Cinema Treasures.

A 1962 look at the Music Hall in the Hollywood Historic Photos collection.  Also you might check out the site's 47 other Beverly Hills photos.

A great 1984 view from the American Classic Images collection. Also on the site see a 1982 daytime photo.

A view of the theatre looking east. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010  

Checking out the ornament on the east corner of the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010

A look at the Music Hall and farther west along Wilshire by Martin on the great site You Are Here. Head to his Los Angeles Movie Theatre page for a directory of all the theatres he's photographed.

A detail of the ornament in the center of the facade. Thanks to Steve Milner for his 2017 photo on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page.

To see the rest of the hidden facade you have to go high. It's a 2017 Steve Milner photo on the SoCal Historic Architecture Facebook page. Thanks, Steve!

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Music Hall for links to more exterior photos some additional historical detail.

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