Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections: Downtown | North of Downtown + East L.A. | San Fernando Valley | Glendale | Pasadena | San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier | South, South Central and Southeast | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Long Beach | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces |
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Theatres in Movies site and the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.

Theatres Along the Coast


Welcome to the beach town theatre tour!

Here you'll find a survey of theatres on Catalina, in downtown Santa Monica, and south down the coast in areas including San Pedro, Wilmington, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach.

There's also a new Along the Coast: theatre list by address page to browse.

If you're looking for something that doesn't appear here but is in the Santa Monica / Venice vicinity you could check the Westside Theatres section. There were name changes for many of these theatres. All the known alternate names are listed on the Westside theatres: alphabetical list page.

For searches in a wider geographical area consult the the Main L.A. alphabetical list, which also includes alternate names for the venues. There is also a main L.A. theatre list by address.

Brentwood
| Brentwood Theatre | Brentwood - VA campus | Brentwood Twin | Wadsworth - VA campus |

Catalina Island 
| Avalon Theatre | El Encanto Playhouse | New Strand/Riviera Theatre | Strand Theatre |

El Segundo
| Old Town Music Hall |

Hermosa Beach
| Hermosa / Cove / Bijou Theatre

Lakewood

Long Beach
| AMC Marina Pacifica | AMC Pine Square | American | Art - 4th St. | Art - Pike | Atlantic | Bentley | Bijou | Brayton | Byde-A-Wyle | Cabart | California | Cinemark at the Pike Outlets | Circle Drive-In | Coughran Opera House | Crest | Dale | Ebell | Edison | Egyptian | Fairyland | Fox Belmont | Fox Long Beach | Front Door | Gaiety | Hart | Home | Imperial | Joyland | Kid Mexico's Miracle Block | La Petite | La Shell | Lakewood Drive-In | Lakewood Theatre | Laughlin | Long Beach Drive-In | Long Beach Theatre | Los Altos Drive-In | The Lyceum | The Movie | Municipal Auditorium - 1905 | Municipal Auditorium - 1932 | Palace | Paradise | Pastime | Plaza | Queen Mary | Redondo | Regal Edwards Long Beach 26 | Regal UA Long Beach | Rialto | Ritz | Rivoli | Roxy | Santa Fe | State | Strand | Tabernacle | Tarrytown / Palace of Pictures | Terrace | Towne | Tracy | United Artists | UA Long Beach | Wigwam / Victor | West Coast |

Manhattan Beach
| La Mar Theatre |

Ocean Park
| Bob's Theatre | Brooks Theatre | Crescent Vaudeville Theatre | Dome Theatre - 1916-1924 | Dome Theatre 1924-1969 | Empress Theatre | Family Theatre | Grand Theatre | La Grande Theatre | La Petite Theatre | Ocean Park Auditorium | Ocean Park Casino | Ocean Park Municipal Auditorium | Rosemary - c.1910-1912 | Rosemary - 1912-1913 | Rosemary - 1913-c.1919 | Rosemary - c.1919-1924 | Rosemary - 1924-1969 | Seaside Theatre | Shell Theatre | Star Theatre | Starland Theatre | Wonderland Theatre | Also see the Venice listings.

Pacific Palisades
Bay Theatre |

Redondo Beach
| Art Theatre | Capitol Theatre | Fox Redondo | Redondo Pavilion/Auditorium/Pavilion Theatre | Strand/Surf/Marina 1-2-3 |

San Pedro 
| Alhambra Theatre | Auditorium Theatre | Barton Theatre | Fox Cabrillo | Electric/San Pedro Opera House | Empire Theatre | Fisher's Theatre | Globe Theatre | Lyric Theatre | Majestic Theatre | New Theatre | Royal Playhouse | San Pedro Drive-In | Star Theatre | Strand Theatre | Victoria Theatre | Warner Grand Theatre

Santa Monica
| Aero Theatre | AMC Santa Monica 7 | Arclight |Arena Cinelounge | Elmiro/Broadway 4 | Bundy Theatre | Criterion Theatre | Hitching Post | La Petite Theatre | Mayfair Theatre | Monica Film Center | North Beach Auditorium | NuWilshire Theatre | Orpheum Theatre | Pussycat Theatre | Santa Monica Civic Auditorium | Steere Opera House

Torrance
| Grand/Torrance Community Theatre | Rolling Hills Theatre | Stadium/Pussycat Theatre | Torrance Theatre | 

Venice
| California/Venice Theatre - Ocean Front Walk | Fox Venice Theatre | Neptune Theatre | Unique Theatre | Venice Auditorium | Venice Theatre - on the Pier | Also see the Ocean Park listings.

Wilmington
| Avalon Theatre | Granada Theatre | Capitola Theatre |

Note: Theatres in Long Beach aren't listed below. Visit the separate Long Beach Theatres survey page. 
 
 
 
1328 Montana Ave. Santa Monica

The 425 seat house opened in January 1940, a design of  P.M. Woolpert. After a $1 million rehab the theatre is now run by American Cinematheque and offers almost daily changes of program including lots of classics. New projection and sound equipment includes 70mm capability. For more information see the page on the Aero Theatre.

 
515 S. Beacon St. San Pedro

This film house was running by 1912 and maybe made it to the early 1920s. The image is a detail from a pre-opening photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The building survived for another 50 years after the theatre vacated and only got demolished as part of the Beacon St. redevelopment project in the 1970s. For more information see the page on the Alhambra Theatre

395 Santa Monica Place #300 Santa Monica

The 1,500 seat complex with 12 screens opened in 2015. It's a new structure perched atop the previously existing Bloomingdales store that fronts on 4th St. Amenities include a bar and restaurant. For more information see the page on the Arclight.
 
 
1526 14th St. Santa Monica
 
This 30 seat venue for independent films was operated by Christian Meoli is the former Santa Monica Screening Room. The location is in a small office building between Colorado Ave. and Broadway. It closed in 2017. For more information see the page on the Arena Cinelounge.
 
 
 
103 W. Diamond St. Redondo Beach

This 600 seat design by the firm of Hunt and Burns opened in 1912 right on the beach. The 1920 photo is from the California Historical Society. The Art was taken over by West Coast Theatres in 1920 and ran until 1928 when it was demolished for construction of the Fox Redondo. For more information see the page about the Art Theatre.

 
264 W. 5th St. San Pedro

This legit venue offering comedies and musical theatre was running by 1908 and presumably survived until the mid 1920s. The image is a detail from a card in Joe McKinzie's collection from his Arcadia book "San Pedro." For more information see the page about the Auditorium Theatre

 
1 Casino Way, Avalon, Catalina

This 1,184 seat atmospheric house was a 1929 design by Sumner M. Spaulding and Walter I. Webber. The theatre is on the ground floor with the Casino building's ballroom above. The theatre is still a first run house, open nightly throughout the year. For more information see the page on the Avalon Theatre.

 
722 N. Avalon Blvd. Wilmington
 
This 450 seater opened in 1923 as the Empress. By 1932 it had been renamed the Avalon and ended up with Fox West Coast. The 1948 photo comes from the Taschen book  "Los Angeles: Portrait of a City" by Kevin Starr, David L. Ulin and Jim Heimann. The theatre closed in the mid 1950s and has been demolished. There's a parking lot on the site. For more information see the page about the Avalon Theatre.  
 
 
 
221 N. Pacific Ave. San Pedro
 
This 500 seat neighborhood house opened in 1924 with films and vaudeville. The 1924 photo from the News Pilot comes from the collection of the San Pedro Bay Historical Society. Also known as the Barton Hill Theatre, it ran until 1951 then got churched. In 1975 it was put back into theatrical use as a porno venue called the Mermaid. Later it was a legit house as the Showcase Theatre, soon after that a faith-based movie house called the Star. And, finally, as a church again before the 1988 demolition. For more information see the page about the Barton Theatre.
 
 
15140 W. Sunset Blvd.  Pacific Palisades
 
This design by S. Charles Lee opened in 1949 with 1,100 seats. The opening night photo is from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection. It got twinned in 1972 and closed in 1978. The building was converted to retail use and was occupied by a hardware store for decades. For more information see the page on the Bay Theatre.
 
 
1229 Hermosa Ave. Hermosa Beach

This 1,200 seat theatre designed by Richard D. King opened in 1923 as the Metropolitan. The early postcard is from the Ron Felsing collection.  Later it was renamed the Hermosa Theatre. In the 70s it was twinned and operated as the Cove Cinemas and the Bijou Cinemas. It closed for good in 1996 with the space later used as an art gallery. It's now a branch bank and office space. For more information see the page about the Bijou Cinema.

Bob's Theatre
2734 Main St. Ocean Park

Bob's was a film house run by R.H. Irwin that didn't stick around very long. It made it into the 1913 Santa Monica city directory but the address was vacant when they compiled the 1915-1916 directory. The building on the site is possibly the one that housed the theatre. For a bit more information see the page about Bob's Theatre.  

 
1441 3rd. St. Promenade Santa Monica

It opened in 1934 as the Elmiro Theatre, a design of Norman W. Alpaugh. Only the facade of the original 900 seat theatre remains. Cineplex Odeon put a 1,200 seat 4 plex in a new mixed use building constructed in the 80s. It's now operated by AMC.  It's also been known as the Loew's Elmiro, Cine Latino, Cinema on the Mall and variations on the Broadway 4 name used by Cineplex Odeon, Loew's, and AMC. For more information see the page on the Broadway 4.

Brooks Theatre
Ocean Front Promenade near Ashland St. Ocean Park

This one was running in 1912 and 1913. Everything in the area of the theatre has been demolished. See the page about the Brooks Theatre for a bit more information.  
 
 
 
127 S. El Paseo Redondo Beach

The building, attributed to John Parkinson, opened in 1907 as the Casino. It got remodeled into a 710 seat film and vaudeville house in 1912. The image is a detail from a postcard. It was the town's leading venue for movies until 1929 when the Fox Redondo opened. The Capitol was running at least until the mid 1940s. For more information see the page about the Capitol Theatre.

Capitola Theatre
336 N. Avalon Blvd. Wilmington

It opened around 1914 as the Crystal Theatre. By 1923 it had been renamed the Capitola. It was perhaps finished by 1926. For a bit more information see the page about the Capitola Theatre.  
 
 
 
1313 3rd. St. Promenade Santa Monica
 
The 1,200 seat theatre opened in 1924 and was run for decades by the West Coast, Fox West Coast and, later, Mann Theatres. Mann left in 1977 and the theatre, except for its distinctive facade, was demolished in 1983 for construction of a new 1,600 seat 6 plex. Mann was back as operator in 1990 and AMC got it in 2010. It closed in March 2013 and the space was converted to retail. For more information see the page on the Criterion Theatre.
 
 
 
3034 Ocean Front Promenade, 3014 Ocean Front Promenade
 
There were two locations. The first, just south of the Santa Monica city limits at the head of what was later called Lick Pier, was a 100' diameter concrete dome constructed in 1916 to be a dance hall. It was converted into a theatre in 1922 and burned in the big 1924 pier fire. The second location just to the north of that was hastily constructed in 1924 and in 1957 was gutted to become the Magic Carpet ride at Pacific Ocean Park. The 40s image is a postcard that popped up on eBay. For more information see the pages about the two Dome locations: Dome Theatre #1 - 1916-1924 | Dome Theatre #2 - 1924 - 1969. 
 
 
 
163 Crescent Ave. Avalon, Catalina
 
This building opened in 1933 with shops, restaurants and strolling performers and was offering puppet shows as early as 1939. By the 50s the Catalina Players were doing melodramas and other live shows. At one point it was known as the Bandbox Theatre. The 50s photo is from the Richard Wojcik collection. The building is now a spa. For more information see the page on the El Encanto Playhouse.

Empire Theatre
124 W. 5th St. San Pedro

This one, just west of Beacon St., opened around 1917 and ran until perhaps 1928. For more information see the page about the Empire Theatre.

Empress Theatre
118 Ashland Ave. Ocean Park

This one opened in 1913 as the Herald Theatre, located between Speedway and Trolleyway. By 1915 was renamed the Empress. It evidently closed in 1916 or early 1917 as it's not in the 1917 city directory. For a bit more information see the page on the Empress Theatre

Fisher's Theatre
Corner of 4th and Beacon San Pedro

This one was evidently running at least in 1910 and 1911 first as Fisher's and then as the Idle Hour. For more information see the page about Fisher's Theatre.  
 
 
 
115 W. 7th St. San Pedro
 
This 1,500 seat house, a design by Meyer & Holler, opened in 1923. It was a project of West Coast Theatres, the firm that later became Fox West Coast. The 1937 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Fox ran the house until 1957 and demolition was in 1961 and 1962. It's a parking lot for City Hall. For more information see the page on the Fox Cabrillo.   
 
 
 
103 W. Diamond St. Redondo Beach
 
A 1,324 seat house designed by John Paxton Perrine, this venue for Fox West Coast opened on the beach in February 1929. The 1939 image is a detail from a photo in UCLA's collection. The theatre was run by Fox and its successor company National General until it was sold to the Redondo Redevelopment Agency in 1972. Demolition was in 1973. For more information see the page about the Fox Redondo.   
 
 
 
680 Lincoln Blvd. Venice (Los Angeles)
 
The 1,003 seat theatre was opened in 1951 by Fox West Coast Theatres. In 1973 it became a revival house and in 1979 was acquired by Landmark Theatres. Later it ran a variety of foreign films under other management before closing in 1988. The building, still fairly intact, is now being used for a number of small retailers. Trader Joe's wants to save the facade but demolish the rest for a new store. For more information see the page on the Fox Venice.
 
 
 
204 W. 6th St. San Pedro
 
This 622 seat house, a design by A. Lawrence Valk, opened with film and vaudeville in early 1913. It once had a fine dome on top, as did several other theatres operated by Globe Amusement, a short-lived circuit. Thanks to Elmorovivo for finding the early photos. Under other operators the theatre ran until 1962. It was bulldozed in 1971 as part of the ill-conceived Beacon St. redevelopment program. For more information see the page about the Globe Theatre
 
 
 
632 N. Avalon Blvd. Wilmington

This 944 seat house opened in 1926, a project of C.L. Post of the Post Cereals family. West Coast Theatres was the operator, later Fox West Coast. After it closed in the 50s, Metropolitan Theatres rescued it as a Spanish language house, the Teatro Granada. The 1983 photo is from the American Classic Images collection. It closed in 1992 and was a church until 2013. It now has a new owner but plans for it are unknown. For more information see the page about the Granada Theatre.

Grand Theatre
Ocean Front Promenade, north of Pier Ave. Ocean Park

This theatre was running in 1912 but the opening date is unknown. It was lost in the September 3, 1912 fire that destroyed the pier as well as most of the Ocean Park business districr. For a bit more information see the page about the Grand Theatre

Hitching Post Theatre
1448 4th St. Santa Monica

It was opened in the mid 40s by ABC Theatres, one of 5 theatres eventually opened under the Hitching Post name. The venues typically offered double features of westerns. "Check your Guns at the Box Office." The ABC circuit later abandoned the westerns and in the early 50s turned the theatre into an art house, the Riviera Theatre. The 600 seat theatre was running as late as 1952.  Closing date is unknown. It's been demolished. For more information see the page on the Hitching Post.

La Grande Theatre
Marine St. Ocean Park

It was running in 1912. The opening date is unknown. In its reporting about the fire that consumed the Ocean Park business district on September 3, 1912 the Santa Monica Outlook the next day described the location of the theatre as being on the north side of Marine St. in the "Holmes Block occupied by La Grande Theatre." The theatre was destroyed by the fire. There's a page started for the La Grande Theatre but no more information is currently available.  
 
 
 
228 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Manhattan Beach
 
This 750 seat house designed by Clifford A. Balch opened in 1938. The 1940 photo is from the Denver Public Library. By 1943 Fox West Coast had it. In the early 70s it became and independent operation and in the late 70s was triplexed. Demolition was in 1981. There's now a mixed-use building on the site. For more information see the page about the La Mar Theatre.
 
 
 
Ocean Park Auditorium, later at 3015 Ocean Front Promenade

The La Petite, originally operated by Billy Clune and C.M. Bockoven's Southwest Amusement, opened in the Ocean Park Auditorium Building at the foot of Pier Ave. in 1906. In 1909, under new owners, they moved across the Promenade to a theatre designed by Alfred Rosenheim, seen here in a detail from a postcard from the collection of the late Chrys Atwood. When that one burned in the big fire of 1912, they built another on the site that ran until 1923. For more information on the buildings see the page about Ocean Park's La Petite Theatre

La Petite Theatre
1434 3rd St. Santa Monica

The La Petite Theatres migrated through several locations both in downtown Santa Monica and in Ocean Park from 1907 through 1923. In 1909 this downtown location became the Dreamland Theatre. It was later known as the Lyric Theatre. The building was converted to retail by 1919. For more information see the page on the La Petite Theatre.

Lyric Theatre
S. Beacon St. between 5th and 6th San Pedro

This film and vaudeville venue was evidently running in 1908. Not much else is known at the moment but there's a page started for the Lyric Theatre

Majestic Theatre
407 S. Beacon St. San Pedro

This film house opened in 1914 or a bit earlier and ran until perhaps 1923. For more information see the page about the Majestic Theatre.  
 
 
 
320 S. Catalina Ave. Redondo Beach
 
It opened in 1938 as the Strand Theatre with 844 seats. The photo from that year is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. In 1968 it was operated by Lippert Theatres who moved the screen forward to create a second theatre, the Surf, in back. Later the front was twinned and renamed the Marina 1 & 2. The theatre closed in 1987 and was replaced by condos. For more information see the page about the Marina 1-2-3.   
 
 
 
214 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica
 
It opened as the Santa Monica Opera House in 1911, a design of Henry C. Hollwedel. It soon became known as the Majestic Theatre. The 602 seat house (including a balcony) became the Mayfair in 1967. It suffered damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and closed. In 2010 the building was demolished with only the 1928 vintage facade remaining. The new building has retail on the ground floor and apartments above. For more information see the page on the Mayfair Theatre.
 
 
 
1332 2nd St. Santa Monica
 
It opened in 1970 as the Monica I and II. The larger theatre was then split into three small theatres resulting in Laemmle's Monica 4. Renovations in 2014-15 resulted in 6 smaller auditoria and two restaurant spaces. It was built by and is still operated by the Laemmle circuit, thriving as Santa Monica's premiere showcase for foreign and specialized releases. Stanley Borbals designed the original building. As a 4-plex it sat 1,076. It only has 376 total after the 6-plex renovations. For more information see the page on the Monica Film Center.
 
 
 
1417 Ocean Front Walk Venice

This house opened with films and vaudeville in 1911 as Hyman's Theatre, run by a gentlemen who also had a couple in downtown L.A. Thanks to Paul Tanck for the early photo. Hyman was out by the end of 1911 and left town after declaring bankruptcy. It next became the Neptune and survived until 1928. The building, or at least parts of it were around until the early 1990s. For more information see the page about the Neptune Theatre

New Theatre
W. 5th St. and Palos Verdes St. San Pedro

This film house opened c.1919. According to one source it was built by the Mann Brothers, no relation to Ted Mann. The closing date is unknown. Whatever building it was in is long gone as the whole area has been redeveloped. There's a page started for the New Theatre but so far there really isn't much more information.  
 
 
North Beach -- just north of the present pier, Santa Monica
 
The venue opened in 1901 as part of the complex that included the bathhouse that had opened in 1894. Closing date is unknown.  For more information see the page on the North Beach Auditorium.
 
 
1314 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica
 
The theatre was opened in 1931 by Fox West Coast as the Wilshire, a design of John Montgomery Cooper with 1,189 seats. It was twinned in the 1970's (down the middle) by Mann Theatres. The last operator of the 624 seat twin was Landmark Theatres. It closed in November 2007 and was converted to retail space. For more information see the page on the NuWilshire Theatre.
 
 
Pier Ave. at Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park
 
This grand building opened on the south side of the pier in 1906, a project of Alexander Fraser. It contained the Crescent Vaudeville Theatre, a film house called the La Petite, a 6,000 capacity dance hall, and numerous restaurants and other concessionaires. The image is a detail from a card with a 1909 postmark from the site Card Cow. The building burned in the September 1912 pier fire. For more information see the page about the Ocean Park Auditorium.
 
 
 
2850 Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park
 
This multipurpose venue opened in 1921, just north of the main amusement area. In addition to the inside space, it was designed with a "band plaza" in front. The postcard is from the site Card Cow. The building was repurposed in 1957 for Pacific Ocean Park's Enchanted Forest attraction. POP closed in 1967 and the vacant building was destroyed by fire in 1974. For more information see the page on the Ocean Park Municipal Auditorium.  
 
 
 
Pier Ave. at Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park
 
This building on the north side of the pier opened in 1903. In addition to various assembly spaces, restaurants, and other businesses, it was home to the Family Theatre. The image is a detail from a c.1904 card on the site Card Cow. For more information see the page on the Ocean Park Casino
 
 
 
140 Richmond St. El Segundo

It opened as the El Segundo Theatre in 1921, evidently a replacement for an earlier theatre in town. It's also been known as the State Theatre. It reopened as the Old Town Music Hall in 1969 after installation of the organ from the West Coast in Long Beach. The house is open on weekends featuring silents and early talkies. For more information see the page on the old Town Music Hall

Orpheum Theatre
1511 3rd St. Santa Monica

The Orpheum Theatre in Santa Monica was open from at least 1909 through 1912. For more information see the page on the Orpheum Theatre.
 
 
1442 2nd St. Santa Monica
 
The Pussycat Theatre was a former garage converted to a theatre in the early 70s. It ran porno under the management of Vincent Miranda's Walnut Properties. It had a brief spell in 1995 under a short sub-lease as the Asia, an art house. Then the porno returned. It closed in 1998 after the building was purchased by a local developer. The building has been gutted and was used as a restaurant, Buca Di Beppo. In 2016 they were gone and the building got a remodel again. For more information see the page on the Pussycat.
 
 
 
S. El Paseo at Emerald St. Redondo Beach
 
This grand building opened in 1907, an attraction to stimulate business for Henry Huntington's Red Cars. On the ground floor it had numerous shops and restaurants and a film house, the Pavilion Theatre. On the second floor was a 4,000 capacity ballroom, later known as the Mandarin Ballroom and the Redondo Barn. The building was demolished in 1960. For more information see the page on the Redondo Pavilion.  
 
 
 
601 Crescent Ave. Avalon, Catalina
 
It opened as the New Strand in 1925, a replacement for an earlier Strand Theatre. The image is a detail from a c.1938 photo by Herman Schultheis in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. When it closed in 1961 it had 535 seats. It became a bowling alley and later was a bar and restaurant. It's now a clothing and souvenir shop. For more information see the page about the Riviera Theatre.
 
 
 
5 different Ocean Park Locations over 60 years

First located on Ocean Front Promenade north of Pier Ave., the Rosemary got burned out in the 1912 fire that consumed the pier and business district. It took up a temporary home on Trolleyway but by the summer of 1913 was in a new building out on the rebuilt pier. Sometime around 1919 it moved to a new home on the Promenade at the north side of the pier entrance. This one was burned out in 1924. Location #5 reused the entrance to the Dome Theatre south of Pier Ave. but was a new building behind that. The image is a detail from a postcard showing that last home. The theatre closed in the 50s and was later used as a test house for the D-150 process. Demolition was in 1969. For more information see the pages about the five Rosemary locations: Rosemary #1 - c.1910-1912 | Rosemary #2 - 1912-1913 | Rosemary #3 - 1913-c.1919 | Rosemary #4 - c.1919-1924 | Rosemary #5 - 1924-1969.

Royal Playhouse
1016 W. 7th St. San Pedro

This legit venue opened c.1924 near the corner of 7th and Alma. It evidently was used for both stock companies as well as amateur groups. The closing date is unknown. There's a page started for the Royal Playhouse but not much else is known about the venue.  
 
 
 
1575 N. Gaffey St. San Pedro

This Pacific Theatres operation opened in 1949, a design by William Glenn Balch. The theatre closed c.1990. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the post-closing look at the screen tower. The site has been redeveloped. For more information see the page about the San Pedro Drive-In

San Pedro Opera House
205 W. 6th St. San Pedro

It evidently opened c.1900 as the Wetherby Opera House. By 1906 it was the San Pedro Opera House. Sometime around 1909 films were added to the programming and it was known as the Electric Theatre. The word is that it was later known as the Olympic and the Union. The demolition date is unknown but it's definitely gone -- the Crowne Plaza hotel is on the site. For more information see the page about the San Pedro Opera House.   
 
 
 
1310 3rd. St. Promenade Santa Monica

It opened in 1990 and seats 2,100 on 3 levels. 2 theatres are in the basement, 2 on the main floor and 3 smaller auditoria are upstairs.  It currently runs first-run films on its 7 screens. For more information see the page on the AMC Santa Monica 7.

 
1855 Main St. Santa Monica
 
It's a Welton Becket design that opened in 1958. The floor is adjustable from flat to sloped. It seats 3,000 when in concert format. The City of Santa Monica closed it in 2013 and initially wanted to tear it down instead of giving it an expensive upgrade. Now they're looking for a developer to renovate and operate the building. For more information see the page on the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
 

134 Pier Ave. Ocean Park
 
This 1,000 seat legit house opened in October 1905 operated by John A. Mason and H. C. Wyatt, both of the Mason Opera House in downtown Los Angeles. The tallest building on the right is the one that housed the theatre. In this postcard from the colection of the late Chrys Atwood we're looking east on Pier from the Ocean Front Promenade. It's unknown how long the theatre ran. The building was destroyed in the pier fire of 1912 that also spread to most of the Ocean Park business district. For more information see the page about the Seaside Theatre.  

Shell Theatre
3011 Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park

There's not much known about this one. The location shows as a curio shop on a 1909 Sanborn Map. By 1911 it's a theatre, listed in the 1911 Santa Monica city directory as being at 836 Ocean Front. They later did a bit of renumbering. It was across from the Ocean Park Auditorium and just up the block from the La Petite after they moved to the east side of the Promenade. For more information see the page about the Shell Theatre.

 
151 Ocean Park Pier Ocean Park

It was running in the 40s and early 1950s. We get a fuzzy glimpse of the Star out on the pier behind Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe in Norman Foster's "Woman on the Run" (Universal-International, 1950). It's set in San Francisco and we're pretending it's Playland at the Beach but we're really in Ocean Park. For a bit more information see the page on the Star Theatre

Star Theatre
Beacon St. at 5th St. San Pedro

Presumably it opened in 1907, allegedly San Pedro's first film house. Once source says it ran until 1922. Whatever building it was in is gone. The whole neighborhood was demolished for the Beacon St. redevelopment project. For a bit more information see the page about the Star Theatre.
 
 
 
on the Fraser Pier Ocean Park

This 1,000 seat film and vaudeville house opened in June 1911, initially an operation of  Billy Clune. It was designed by Alfred Rosenheim, who also did the Cameo and the Morosco/Globe. It ended up with Globe Amusement, who took it over shortly before it burned in a spectacular pier fire in September 1912. The image is a detail from a postcard in the USC collection. For more information see the page on the Starland Theatre

Steere Opera House
N.E. corner 3rd. St. & Broadway Santa Monica

It opened in 1887 and was also known as the Santa Monica Opera House. At the time, Broadway was called Utah St. This hall was on the second floor of a two story brick building. Seating capacity was 500. It was still in use as late as 1909. The closing date is unknown. It's been demolished. For more information see the page on the Steere Opera House.
 
 
 
Sumner Ave. Avalon, Catalina
 
This 600 seat house opened in 1912 and was taken over by United Theatres of Los Angeles in 1922. The 1923 photo of a tourist in front is from the Catalina Island Museum. It closed in 1925 upon the opening of the New Strand, a theatre later called the Riviera. For more information see the page about the Strand Theatre.
 
 
 
1035 S. Pacific Ave. San Pedro
 
This 844 seat house opened in 1921 as the California. Soon it was the Mark Strand and then just the Strand. Initially an independent operation, it was later run by Fox as the Fox Strand. The 1938 photo is from the AMPAS Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection. Pacific Theatres later had it and then, at the end in 1976, it was once again an independent house. The site is now a parking lot. For more information see the page on the Strand Theatre.
 
 
 
Windward Ave. Venice
 
This one was running in 1907 and perhaps was just a one-season wonder. The opening show featured vaudeville along with "moving pictures by the Uniqueograph." Later in the season they advertised Orpheum Circuit vaudeville acts -- "A Dollar Show for Ten Cents." The photo by G. Haven Bishop is in the Huntington Library collection. For more information see the page about the Unique Theatre.  
 
 
 
at the end of the Abbott Kinney Pier Venice
 
This 3,000 seat wonder was constructed in about five weeks in 1905 after storms destroyed the nearly-completed first attempt. The flat-floored venue, with a balcony and boxes, was used for stage shows, films and meetings of all sorts. In the off-season it was set up with tables and chairs for food and music as the Venetian Gardens. The image is a postcard from the site Penny Postcards from California. The venue was destroyed by fire in 1920. For more information see the page about the Venice Auditorium.
 
103 Abbott Kinney Pier Venice
 
This film house was on the south side of the pier just about a half block west of the Ocean Front Walk. It was running from about 1908 until about 1915. After that the space was remodeled for other uses, including as a shooting gallery. The building burned in 1920 along with the rest of the pier. The fire stared in the nearby Dancing Pavilion. For more information see the page about the Venice Theatre
 
 
 
1508 Ocean Front Walk Venice

This 1,000 seat house opened as the California Theatre in 1920 on the beach side of the walk just north of Windward Ave. Thanks to David Doherty for the 1937 photo. Later renamed the Venice, it ran until 1952.  It was later demolished, along with all the other structures on the beach side of the Walk. For more information see the page on the Venice Theatre

Victoria Theatre
115 W. 6th St. San Pedro

This 920 seat house opened in 1919, perhaps the first in San Pedro to get a theatre organ and, for several years, was the finest film house in town. It was a new four story mixed-use building on Palos Verdes St. with an entrance cut through an existing building on 6th St. It ran until mid-1927 and was then used for boxing matches, as a bar, and for retail. For more information see the page on the Victoria Theatre
 
 
 
478 W. 6th St. San Pedro 

This deco gem opened January 20, 1931 as the Warner Bros. San Pedro with "Goin' Wild" with Joe E. Brown. In the 80's it was renamed the Warner Grand. It's also been known as the Warner and the Teatro Juarez. Like the sister theatres in Beverly Hills and Huntington Park, it was designed by B. Marcus Priteca. The 1,523 seat theatre has been owned since 1996 by the City of Los Angeles. The Warner hosts live events and occasional film screenings. The theatre is being gradually refurbished. For more  information see the Warner Grand pages: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | stage + basement | booth |

Wonderland Theatre
2939 Ocean Front Promenade Ocean Park

This one was running in 1913 as the Princess Theatre. By 1915 it had become the Wonderland. It was on the east side of the promenade just north of Pier Ave. The closing date isn't known. The two-story building that had housed the theatre is seen in the center of this 1922 Los Angeles Public Library photo. For more information see the page about the Wonderland Theatre.


Beach town history resources: Sam Gnerre's Daily Breeze article "South Bay Movie Theatres of the Past" offers a survey of some of the historic theatres along the coast. Realtors Maureen and Bruce Megowan have some great material in the South Bay History section of their website.

Hermosa Beach: Penny Postcards From California has oodles of cards to browse through including a section on Hermosa Beach.

Manhattan Beach: The Manhattan Beach Haunts Facebook group has some fine photos. The Manhattan Beach Historical Society has a website with history and photos.

Ocean Park: Early Ocean Park views can be found in the Arcadia Publishing's Postcard History Series has titles "Santa Monica in Vintage Postcards" and "Early Los Angeles County Attractions." Ocean Park postcards can be found on the sites Card Cow and Penny Postcards from California. Visit the blog "Ocean Park History." On Facebook, head for the Venice, Ocean Park and Santa Monica page for many vintage photos and lots of discussion.

For a detailed history of the Ocean Park piers see Jeffrey Stanton's articles "Fraser's Million Dollar Pier," "Fraser / Pickering / Lick Piers (1913-1924)," "Amusement Pier Fires" and "Ocean Park Pier (1926-1956)." Also see his great maps of the Fraser Million Dollar Pier - 1912 and the Pickering and Lick Piers - 1923. See the L.A. Fire Department's Historical Archive for an article on the Million Dollar Pier Fire of 1912. Note that some of the photos are of the 1924 fire.

Scott Charles has done a lovely job of overlaying 1940 vintage aerial photos of the Santa Monica, Ocean Park and Venice piers on top of a current map of the area. He discusses his project on Noirish Los Angeles post # 46596. Also see his full image: https://i.imgur.com/0ZApE6Z.gif

Pacific Ocean Park: On Facebook, head for the Venice, Ocean Park and Santa Monica page for many vintage photos and lots of discussion. See Jeffrey Stanton's memorial site devoted to "Pacific Ocean Park (1958-1967)." Also head to the home page of his Venice History Site.

See "The Underground Site of P.O.P." for lots of interesting photos. Wikipedia has an article about POP. On YouTube there's the 2+ minute tour "Pacific Ocean Park 1960" and also three minutes of footage titled "Pacific Ocean Park." We get a fine chase and shootout in the pier's ruins with Jean-Louis Trintignant and Roy Scheider in Jacques Deray's "The Outside Man" (United Artists, 1973). 

Pacific Ocean Park opened July 28, 1958 and closed October 6, 1967. Some demolition happened in 1969, a series of arson fires in the ruins occurred between 1969 and 1974 and final demolition was in the winter of 1974-75.

Redondo Beach: The Redondo Beach Historical Society has a number of interesting vintage photos of that city. Check out the Arcadia Publishing book "Redondo Beach Pier" by Jennifer Krintz. There's a preview on Google Books. There's a history page about the city on the website of the City of Redondo Beach. The site Penny Postcards form California has an arrar of Redondo Beach postcards.

San Pedro: The Arcadia Publishing book "San Pedro" by Joe McKinzie has a preview online via Google Books. The site Card Cow has over 200 San Pedro postcards. Penny Postcards from California also has a nice selection. The David Rumsay Map Collection has a fine 1938 Thomas Brothers San Pedro and Wilmington map online. The site SanPedro.com has a postcard gallery. There's also a page 2.

The San Pedro Bay Historical Society has a fine collection of photos and clippings but very few online. Also see the SPBHS Facebook page. The USC Digital Library has hundreds of San Pedro photos online. The Water and Power Associates Museum pages have a terrific selection of early San Pedro photos.

Santa Monica: The Water and Power Associates DWP museum pages have a fine series of photos of Santa Monica. See "Early Views of Santa Monica page 1" and Early Views of Santa Monica page 2."

The Library of Congress website has several maps of interest: 1902 Sanborn Map - including Ocean Park | 1909 Sanborn Map -- including Ocean Park and Venice | 1918 Sanborn Map | 1963 Sanborn Map | They also have some maps from the 1880s and 1890s.

Venice: Arcadia Publishing's "Venice" and "Early Los Angeles County Attractions" from their Postcard History Series, have fine early view of the pier and other amusement attractions. Venice postcards can be found on the sites Card Cow and Penny Postcards from California. Brent Dickerson has some great historic views of Venice on his "Hollywood and Venice" tour. On Facebook, head for the Venice, Ocean Park and Santa Monica page for many vintage photos and lots of discussion. The Huntington Library has a nice c.1910 Venice of America map.

Consult Jeffrey Stanton's epic book "Venice California - Coney Island of the Pacific."Also see his terrific Venice History Site hosted on Westland.net. There's a Venice Timeline on the site as well. Articles include Abbott Kinney Pier, Venice Amusement Pier and Movie Making in Venice and Ocean Park. Maps on the site include Abbott Kinney Pier - 1920, Venice - 1925, and the Venice Pier - 1925. Also see site's separate Venice History section that was compiled by others.

Wilmington: The Water and Power Associates Museum pages have a terrific selection of early Wilmington views. Arcadia Publishing's "Wilmington" is available for preview on Google Books.

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