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Ravenna Theatre

233 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90004
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Opened: In 1925 as Chotiner's Ravenna. The location was just south of Beverly Blvd.

It was also advertised as Chotiner's Hollywood Ravenna. The Max Chotiner circuit also included the Parisian Theatre. It's also been listed as at 241 N. Vermont. Closing date as a theatre is unknown -- evidently running into the 60s. It was later just the Ravenna Theatre.

The facade view above appears with "Striking a Chord: Babe Egan and Her Hollywood Redheads, 1925," a Homestead Museum blog post about the leader of the all-female band advertised on the front and side of the marquee. The photo is in their collection. The feature film was "Baree, Son of Kazan," an April 1925 release.

A version of the photo also appears on page 46 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker. Presumably the photo in the book is from Mr. Wanamaker's extensive Bison Archives

Architect: Richard D. King, who also designed the Fox La Brea and Hermosa theatres.

Seating: 798 

Another photo from the Homestead Museum. Their caption: "This 1925 photo from the Homestead collection shows 'all-girl' band Babe Egan and her [Hollywood] Red Heads aboard a trailer pulled by a tractor during a Los Angeles parade. The banner noted the band was the house act for Max Chotiner's Ravenna Theatre."  Also see the Jeannie on Jazz post about "Babe Egan and the Ravenna Theatre."

The Homestead post has this to say about Mr. Chotiner: 

"Ravenna Theater owner Max Chotiner (1887-1969) was a native of Austria, who migrated to the United States in 1899 and lived in Pittsburgh.  He joined his father’s cigar manufacturing business and remained with it until just before 1920, when he migrated to Los Angeles and operated a shoe store with his brother.  He then got into the theater and real estate businesses and married actress and movie theater owner Alice Calhoun (1900-1966) in 1926, just after the photos were taken.

"The Marcal on Hollywood Boulevard was owned with Mark Hansen, who possessed several theaters. The couple owned a home on Benedict Canyon Road in Beverly Hills and their neighbor in the 1930 census was famed film comedian Harold Lloyd (though the Chotiners lived in an impressive $55,000 house, Lloyd’s was listed as valued at $2.5 million!).  But, Calhoun’s career did not survive the move into sound films and her marriage to Chotiner came to an end in 1938 amid claims he left her at home and went out on the town.

"In 1940, Chotiner, recorded in the census as a divorcee, was listed as a real estate investments manager with an office at the Fox Parisian building on 8th Street. In 1948, he and Calhoun were reconciled and remained together until her death.  They were buried together in a highly elaborate monument at Forest Lawn Cemetery.  Calhoun, for whom a wing was endowed by her husband at the City of Hope after her death from cancer, also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame." 

Status: The Ravenna Theatre was demolished around 1985. There's a parking lot there now.

This auditorium view appears in "Theatre Decoration and Stage Equipment," an article the Motion Picture News issue of February 18, 1928 that's available on Internet Archive. It's part of a story about theatres decorated by Robert E. Powers Studios. They call this one Moorish-Spanish.

The photo is also included in Charmaine Zoe's wonderful Theatres: Stage and Movie set on Flickr that has over 700 photos from (mostly) various issues of Motion Picture News.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Ravenna Theatre.

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