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Opened: Around 1928. In its later years it was an independent neighborhood sub-run house with many loyal customers. Motor Ave. is three blocks east of Overland Ave. The theatre was a half a block north of Venice Blvd. Nearby were the Culver Theatre and the Meralta.
It's uncertain what the ghost images are all about in the photo above but the underlying view of the Palms shows the theatre running "Love" with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, a version of "Anna Karenina" released by MGM in 1928. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
The Palms in the Movies: Veteran projectionist Mike Schleigel advises that we get to see the Palms Theatre in "All Hands On Deck" (20th Century Fox, 1961). He should know: it was one of his favorite theatres to work in for years. The film, directed by Norman Taurog, is a musical starring Pat Boone, Buddy Hackett, Barbara Eden and Dennis O'Keefe.
Status: Demolished in the late 80s -- there's now a post office on the site.
A 1928 photo, without the added collage of the LAPL version. It appears on page 98 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker. There's a preview to browse on Google Books. The image has also appeared as a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.
A 1938 look at the Palms facade that's featured on page 99 of "Theatres in Los Angeles." The photo can also be seen on the Classic Hollywood and Photos of Los Angeles Facebook pages.
The Palms Theatre in 1954. Thanks to Mark Smith for the photo from his collection. Note the fancy new Skouras-style boxoffice.
The theatre in 1960 running "Psycho." The photo from "Theatres in Los Angeles" has also appeared on the Classic Hollywood and Photos of Los Angeles Facebook pages. There's also a cropped version (and a re-post) on Photos of Los Angeles.
A 1985 shot of manager Don Nakagiri at the Palms. It's a Herald Examiner photo by Chris Gulker that's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
More information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Palms Theatre for lots of stories by patrons who miss the place.
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