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The Sunset Theatre in 1972. It's a photo from the Richard Wojcik collection on Vintage Los Angeles.
Opened: 1929 or earlier -- it's in the 1929 city directory. The name comes from the theatre's location at Sunset and Western. As part of the Rosener circuit in the 40s and 50s (and up at least to 1960) it ran foreign films and revivals. Then the porno wave hit and it started running adult product under new management. It became a Pussycat Theatre in 1966.
The Sunset in the Movies:
We get a look at the theatre's earlier deco marquee in a shot from "Mondo Bizarro" (Olympic International, 1966). See the Theatres in Movies post on the film for a lobby shot featuring the owner's collection of nude paintings.
The Sunset's marquee after renovations appears in the documentary "Inside Deep Throat" (Universal, 2005). The film also visits the Optic, the Art Theatre and the Monica. See the Theatres in Movies post for shots from those scenes.
Status: The Sunset closed in 2003 and was soon demolished for housing and a Walgreen's parking lot.
A look at the Sunset's boxoffice. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the post of the photo on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.
A 1979 look north across Sunset Blvd. toward the theatre. It's a Roy Hankey photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
A scenic view through the palm trees from a bit west on Sunset. It's another 1979 Roy Hankey photo from the Los Angeles Public Library. The Library also has another similar shot without the palm trees.
A 1983 photo of the Sunset from Jay Allen Sanford's 2010 San Diego Reader article "Pussycat Theaters - a comprehensive history of a California dynasty." The version of Sanford's article now online at SDR has lost all of its photos. A better bet might be on Blogspot: "Pussycat Theater History 1" and "Pussycat Theater History 2."
The photo also appears in the collection of American Classic Images and on Photos of Los Angeles.
Thanks to Corey Miller on Flickr for this 2002 marquee detail.
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Sunset. The Cinema Tour page has 16 exterior photos from 2002 and 2003.
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