Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections:
Downtown | Hollywood | Westside | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces | Theatres In Movies
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.

Picwood Theatre

10872 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90403
| map |


Opened: 1948 with Gene Kelly in "The Three Musketeers" along with "Rusty Leads the Way." The theatre was on the south side of the street just west of Westwood Blvd. This photo by Michael Greene with the opening attractions on the marquee is on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.

Architect: S.Charles Lee



A section of the building from S. Charles Lee's office. It's on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



A floorplan. It's on Calisphere. There's a simpler version of the floorplan on the Picwood Cinema Tour page that had appeared in the publication Theatre Catalog. Also in the UCLA collection: boxoffice sketch | exterior sketch | 

Seating: 1,100 originally, later reseated for 950.

It was an independent operation at first. The L.A. Times noted on November 7, 1948: "Opening soon of the new Picwood theater at Pico and Westwood Blvd. has been announced. The new structure has 1,500 seating capacity, 1,000 on the first floor. The theater is owned by Earl Collins and will be managed by Phil Isley, of Dallas."

It got a remodel in 1966 that obliterated most of the original tropical themed decor. Pacific Theatres draped the whole thing -- including a curtain across the front of the booth to hide those unsightly portholes during intermission.

The Picwood was run until 1985 by Pacific Theatres, often with exclusive runs. The theatre was equipped for 70mm presentation. 70mm runs included "Apocalypse Now" (1979-80 - 26 weeks), "Raiders of the Lost Arc" (1981), "E.T." (1982), "Amadeus" (1985) and many more.

Status: Demolished in 1985 to make way for the Westside Pavilions Mall.



A look at the lobby of the Picwood. It's a 1948 Julius Schulman photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



The view toward the exit doors. It's a Julius Schulman photo on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



A later photo of the Picwood snack bar that appeared in the Motion Picture Herald. It appears on the Picwood Theatre page in the 70mm in Los Angeles section of the site From Script To DVD.



A look down from the top. The 1948 photo is on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection. No photographer is credited.



An uncredited photo of the rear of the house. It's on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.



A chance to check out that tropical sidewall decor. The 1948 photo is on Calisphere from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers collection.The photographer is not credited.



A view of the draped auditorium of the Picwood in its later years. The photo is credited to the L.A. Times / Lucasfilm / Pacific Theatres. It appears on the Picwood Theatre page in the "70mm in Los Angeles" section of the site From Script To DVD.



Thanks to Bill Gabel for this view to the rear in the theatre's later "draped" days. Note the booth is obscured by its own motorized curtain that would be closed during intermissions. Bill has the photo on the Cinema Treasures page about the Picwood.



A 1949 view of the theatre by Julius Shulman in the Getty Research Institute collection. Our main feature the week of the photo was "Angel on the Amazon," a November 1948 release. The Getty indexes this as Shulman job #474: Picwood Theatre.

A 1949 daytime exterior view with "Home of the Brave" on the marquee is in the UCLA collection. Ignore the 1946 date they give it.



An entrance detail from the Shulman photo above. 



The Cinema Tour page on the Picwood includes this colorful exterior shot from Jay Emmanuel Publishing's 1949-1950 "Theatre Catalog." They're running "Portrait of Jennie," an April 1949 release with Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotton.



A 1965 aerial view by Howard D. Kelly from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



Another 1965 photo by Mr. Kelly from the Los Angeles Public Library. 



A 1969 view of the Picwood during the exclusive engagement of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" Thanks to Michael Snider for the photo on the non-public Facebook group Mid Century Modern Los Angeles.



 A 1979 photo of the Picwood for the premiere of "Boulevard Nights"-- and a protest. It's a Dean Musgrove photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Also in the collection: another "Boulevard" view | yet another "Boulevard" shot  -- "the barrio is real - not glamorous" 



A 1981 shot posted on the non-public Mid Century Modern Los Angeles Facebook page by Richard Wojcik. The photo comes from the site American Classic Images.



A view of the boarded up facade of the Picwood by Mark Van Slyke. It's in his Mid-Century Modern set on Flickr. 



Thanks to Mark Van Slyke on Flickr for this facade detail from his Mid-Century Modern set.



"We Killed a Theatre AND a Bowling Alley," Ken Levine's's 2008 blog post, included this photo of the theatre's last engagement, "Volunteers," in 1985. 



"Cleveland Wrecking Co. Brings Down the House." A look at the Picwood with its fate left in the hands of the demolition company. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.

More information: See the Cinema Treasures page for lots of discussion about the Picwood's history. Michael Coate posted a list of the Picwood's 70mm runs in 2008.

Also see the Cinema Tour page on the Picwood for a few more photos. The theatre was pictured on the cover of the May 7, 1949 issue of Boxoffice. The Picwood Theatre page in the "70mm in Los Angeles" section of the site From Script To DVD has a number of photos.
 
More S. Charles Lee theatre photos in the UCLA collection can be located via the S. Charles Lee Papers home page on Calisphere or the UCLA Library page for the collection.  There's also a Finding Aid for the S. Charles Lee Papers on the Online Archive of California site.


| back to top Westside theatres | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Santa Monica and Venice | Westside theatres: alphabetical list | Westside theatres: by street address | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resourceswelcome and site navigation guide |

No comments:

Post a Comment