Welcome to the Westside Theatre Tour!
"I used to like this town. A long time ago, there were trees along Wilshire Boulevard. Beverly Hills was a country town. Westwood was bare hills and lots offered at eleven hundred dollars and no takers."
-- Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe, looking back from 1949
Prior to the 20s, the theatre business, other than small neighborhood theatres was all about downtown. In the mid 20s that changed with the blossoming of Hollywood as both a film and legitimate theatre destination.
But the big push west was Wilshire Boulevard. It was carved out in Los Angeles' amazing rush to suburbanize westward. By the time the twenties arrived, L.A. was the fastest growing city in the world. From a population of about 300,000 in 1910, Los Angeles mushroomed to 576,000 in 1920 and 1,250,000 by 1930.
As fashionable suburbs blossomed on the Westside, Wilshire Boulevard was the way to get there. From downtown to the beach in Santa Monica, the 16 mile drive along Wilshire became an architectural wonderland. Great department stores, churches, retail establishments, apartments and, of course, theatres.
Wilshire was named for newspaper publisher, socialist and land developer Henry Gaylord Wilshire (1861-1927) from Cincinnati who started the boulevard by clearing a roadway through his barley fields. In 1895 he subdivided his land around what later became MacArthur Park, originally Westlake Park. And, of course, neighborhoods started filling in both north and south of Wilshire.
By 1920 elegant residences and apartment houses were appearing. They first clustered around Lafayette and MacArthur Parks but then started spreading up and down the boulevard. The linear city that Wilshire would become gathered momentum in the late 20s with Bullocks Wilshire and other upscale merchants opening branches of their downtown stores for the affluent clientele in the area.
By the 50s and 60s it was no longer just branches of downtown stores but merchants who were leaving downtown and recognized the new suburban shopping patterns that were developing. As downtown deteriorated, Wilshire eventually became a magnet for new office towers as well.
Miracle Mile, between La Brea and Fairfax, was promoted in the 1930s as the toniest shopping district anywhere. Developer A.W. Ross saw the future of the area as an upscale shopping district with stores that would rival the best of those downtown. The difference was that the shoppers here would be attracted by the ease of car access and abundant parking rather than coming on foot.
Along with the stores, Miracle Mile eventually offered professional offices, theatres and restaurants to feed the hungry shoppers. Ross was a pioneer in adapting building design, signage and traffic control for the new age of the automobile. Everything had to look wonderful and inviting at 40 mph.
Downtown was still important to exhibition even into the 50s. But if you look at where the distributors wanted to play their films to reach a discriminating, affluent audience, it was all about the Westside. Whether it was a big roadshow or an artie film for a small audience, that was the place to be.
Note that there are separate sections broken out to survey the theatres in Hollywood, Westwood and Brentwood and Theatres Along the Coast. But even with all those listings pulled out, it's still a long list to scroll through. So at the top of the list are some links arranged by streets and neighborhoods.
Also see the list of Westside theatres: by street address and the Westside theatres: alphabetical list, which includes alternate names. You'll find some links to items relating to Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica history on the Theatre History Resources page.
| Beverly Center Cinemas | Fairfax Theatre | Laurel Theatre | New Beverly Cinema | Pan Pacific Auditorium | Pan Pacific Theatre |
| Beverly Theatre | Beverly Canon Theatre | Carthay Circle Theatre | Fine Arts Theatre | Samuel Goldwyn Theatre | Music Hall | Saban/Fox Wilshire Theatre | Warner Beverly Hills | Writers Guild Theater |
| Brentwood Theatre | Brentwood Twin | Brentwood Theatre - VA Campus | Wadsworth Theatre |
| Century Plaza Theatres | Shubert Theatre |
| Pacific 12/ArcLight/Amazon's Culver Theater | City Hall Theatre | Kirk Douglas/Culver Theatre | Culver City Theatre c.1917-23 | Meralta Theatre | Palms Theatre |
| Apollo/Star Theatre | Campus Theatre | Cinema Theatre | Clinton Theatre | Hunley's / Century Theatre | Loma/Paramount Theatre | Ravenna Theatre | Studio Theatre | Vista Theatre | Sunset Theatre |
Echo Park / Silverlake
| Holly Theatre | Jensen's Melrose/Ukranian Cultural Center | Palms/Belmont Theatre | Ramona/Studio Theatre | Rampart Theatre |
| Esquire Theatre | Fairfax Theatre | Geffen & Mann Theatres/Academy Museum | Gilmore Drive-In | Laurel Theatre | New Beverly Cinema | Pan Pacific Auditorium | Pan Pacific Theatre | Silent Movie/Fairfax Cinema/Brain Dead Studios |
See the separate Hollywood section.
La Brea Avenue
| La Brea Theatre | Gordon/Showcase Theatre |
La Cienega Boulevard
| Beverly Center Cinemas | Century/Civic/Warner/Ciné-Cienega | Coronet Theatre | Turnabout / Court Theatre
| Larchmont Theatre |
| Los Feliz Theatre | Studio Theatre | Vista Theatre |
MacArthur Park area
| Alvarado/Park Theatre | Beaux Arts Theatre | Georgia Theatre | Hayworth/Vagabond Theatre | Lake Theatre | Teragram / Playhouse Theatre | Theatre De Luxe | Westlake - 1914 | Westlake Theatre |
|Academy Theatre | Melvan/Continental Theatre | Marquis/Academy Award Theatre | Melrose Theatre - c.1916 | Jensen's Melrose/Ukranian Cultural Center | Theatre Mart |
| Ambassador Theatre | Belmont Theatre | CGV Cinemas | Embassy Theatre | MPark 4 Theatres | Parisian Theatre | Uptown Theatre | Wilshire Theatre - 1915 | Wilshire Ebell Theatre | Wiltern Theatre |
| Bing Theatre/LACMA | El Rey Theatre | Four Star Theatre | Geffen Theatre/Academy Museum | La Brea Theatre | Ted Mann Theatre/Academy Museum | Ritz Theatre |
| Bay Theatre |
| Bundy Theatre | Cinematour | Del Mar Theatre | Empire / Fiesta Theatre | Fedora Theatre | Forum Theatre | Fox Stadium | Keystone Theatre | The Landmark | Lido Theatre | Midway Theatre | Picfair Theatre | Pico Theatre | Pico Drive In | Picwood Theatre | Sunbeam Theatre | Theatre Theatre | Victoria Theatre | Westland Twins | Westside Pavilion Cinemas |
| Rampart Theatre | Ravenna Theatre |
| Aero Theatre | ArcLight Cinemas | Arena Cinelounge | Brentwood Twin | Bundy Theatre | Broadway 4/Elmiro | Criterion Theatre | Hitching Post | La Petite/Dreamland/Lyric | Mayfair Theatre | Monica Film Center | North Beach Auditorium | Wilshire / NuWilshire | Orpheum Theatre | Pussycat Theatre | Santa Monica 7 | Santa Monica Civic Auditorium | Steere's/Santa Monica Opera House | Also see the Ocean Park listings.
Santa Monica Boulevard
| Bee Bee Theatre | Carmel/Paris Theatre | Cinematheque Club | Coast Playhouse | Crown Theatre | Loma/Paramount Theatre | Mayfair Theatre | Monica/Pussycat Theatre | Nuart Theatre | Royal Theatre | Tiki Theatre |
| Bee Bee Theatre | Crown Theatre | National Theatre | Nuart Theatre | Olympic Drive-In | Royal Theatre | Wadsworth Theatre |
| ArcLight Cinemas | Arena Cinelounge Sunset | Bay Theatre | Cinematheque 16/Sun Art/Orpheum | Cinerama Dome | Earl Carroll Theatre | DGA Theater Complex | Granada Theatre | Holly Theatre | Landmark Sunset 5 | Oriental Theatre | Palladium | Ramona/Studio Theatre | Tiffany Theatre | Vista Theatre |
| Palms/Belmont Theatre | Rampart Theatre |
| California/Venice Theatre - Ocean Front Walk | Electric Theatre | Fox Venice | Neptune Theatre | Unique Theatre | Venice Auditorium | Venice Theatre - on the pier | Venice Theatre/Pacific Resident Theatre | Also see the Ocean Park listings.
| Belmont Theatre | Campus Theatre | Los Feliz Theatre | Parisian Theatre | Ravenna Theatre | Studio Theatre | Theatre Mart |
| Carmel/Paris Theatre | Century/Civic/Warner/Ciné-Cienega | Cinematheque 16/Sun Art/Orpheum | Cinematheque Club | Coast Playhouse | Granada Theatre | Landmark Sunset 5 | Marquis/Academy Award Theatre | Monica/Pussycat Theatre | Sherman Theatre | Tiffany Theatre | Turnabout Theatre |
West edge of downtown
| Georgia Theatre | Pico Theatre |
| Cinema Theatre | Clinton Theatre | Embassy Theatre | Film Festival | Flick | CGV Cinemas | Sunset Theatre | Uptown Theatre | Wilshire Theatre | Wiltern Theatre | Windsor Theatre |
| iPic/Avco Cinemas | Bruin Theatre | Crest Theatre | Festival Theatre | Geffen Playhouse | National Theatre | Plaza Theatre | Regent Theatre | Royce Hall | Village Theatre/Fox Westwood Village | Mann Westwood 4 | UA Westwood Theatres | UCLA Nimoy Theatre | Billy Wilder Theatre |
| Ambassador Theatre | Bing Theatre/LACMA | Brentwood Theatre | Brentwood Twin | Brentwood Theatre - VA Campus | El Rey Theatre | Fine Arts Theatre | Four Star Theatre | Geffen Theatre/Academy Museum | Samuel Goldwyn Theatre | Hayworth/Vagabond Theatre | iPic/Avco Cinemas | Ted Mann Theatre/Academy Museum | Music Hall Theatre | Ritz Theatre | Saban/Fox Wilshire Theatre | Wadsworth Theatre | Warner Beverly Hills | Wilshire / NuWilshire | Wilshire Ebell Theatre | Wiltern Theatre |
Note: There are many westside theatres not covered below. See the separate sections for Hollywood and Westwood and Brentwood. The Theatres Along the Coast survey page includes Santa Monica, Ocean Park and Venice as well as communities farther south.
4667 Melrose Ave.
Myron Hunt designed both the hotel and this 542 seat theatre within it. Opening was 1921. While the theatre never became widely known the hotel's nightclub,
the Cocoanut Grove, became world famous as a celebrity hangout. The building was mostly demolished in 2006. A small portion was saved to become part of a new high school. For more information see the page on the Ambassador Theatre.
This design by S. Charles Lee opened in 1949 with 1,100 seats. Esther Williams was there selling tickets opening night. It got twinned in 1972 and closed in 1978. The building is now a hardware store. For more information see the page on the Bay Theatre. The page also has information on the new 5-plex Bay Theatre, located a bit west of the original theatre in the Palisades Village shopping center.
This cute 559 seat legit house opened in 1927, a design of Stanton, Reed & Hibbard, who also did the Hotel Figueroa. This building erected by Charles Forve was billed as the "Carnegie Hall
of the West." In addition to the theatre, there were 220 soundproof
music studios. It's now senior housing. The
theatre has been repurposed as a dining area and social center for the
residents. For more information see the page on the Beaux Arts Theatre.
The project for a 900 seat house by Bourke and Baylis, operators of the nearby Nuart and Tivoli/Royal theatres, was announced in the May 4, 1939 issue of the Santa Monica Evening Outlook. Cotner Ave. is just east of where the 405 now is. Somehow it never happened. For more information see the page on the Bee Bee Theatre.
opened in 1926 as a West Coast Theatres operation and by 1929 was
called the Fox Belmont. The 1,680 seat house located five blocks north
of Wilshire was a design of Lewis A. Smith. It got a major remodel in
by Fox West Coast Theatres resulting in a Skouras-style interior. It
closed in 1973 after a fire and was demolished the same year. For more
information see the page for the Belmont Theatre.
The Beverly opened in 1925, a Lewis A. Smith design feeling like an elaborate Chinese temple. The 1,270 seat theatre was operated by West Coast Theatres and its successor companies until the 50s then a whole series of other circuits. It was equipped for 70mm
and was running roadshows in the 60's. It closed in 1977 with General Cinema the last operator. Much of the decor was still visible
when it was converted to retail. A later banking tenant gutted it. It was demolished in 2005 for hotel construction. For more information see the page on the Beverly Theatre.
It opened in 1946 as the Hitching Post Theatre. The opening was attended by Roy
Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger among other celebrities. As the Beverly Canon the 500 seat theatre long operated as an art venue after interest in
the westerns petered out in the late 40s. Starting in the mid 70s it was
used as a legit playhouse, the Solari Theatre. It was demolished in
2005 for the same hotel project that took out the Beverly. For more information see the page on the Beverly Canon Theatre.
Cineplex Odeon opened it as a 14 plex in 1982. Later it went down to 13 screens with three smaller ones closed and two larger houses added on the upper level. When Cineplex went down in 2006, Mann took over the 1,747 seat complex until 2009. After a brief run by Rave Entertainment, it closed for good in 2010. The space is now used for retail. For more information see the page on the Beverly Center Cinemas.
The Leo S. Bing Theatre was a nicely equipped 600 seat venue that showed lots of revivals, foreign films and more. It's been demolished. For more information see the page on the Bing Theatre.
This was a 900 seat S. Charles Lee design that opened in 1941. The theatre's name came from the location just west of Bundy Blvd. In the 40s the theatre was open until 5 am to cater to late workers at the nearby aircraft plants. The Bundy was operated by Fox West Coast and its successor, National General Corporation. It closed in 1963 -- the site is now under the I-10. For more information see the page on the Bundy Theatre.
The theatre, at Vermont and Santa Monica Blvd., opened in 1939 near Los Angeles City College. Originally with 850 seats, it was perhaps 400 at the end. At some point the theatre lost its original moderne facade when the building was shortened. The Campus closed for films in 2006. Later it was a live theatre, Teatro Los Chuperamigos, and a nightclub, the Teatro Casablanca. At last report the owner wanted to remove the seats and level the floor for banquets and other events. For more information see the listing for the Campus Theatre.
This "Showplace of the Golden West" opened in 1926. It was initially under the management of Fred Miller, who had several theatres downtown including the California. Later it was run by West Coast Theatres, the firm that in 1929 became Fox West Coast. Dwight Gibbs was the architect for the 1,518 seat theatre. The
Carthay Circle rivaled the Chinese in terms of the number and
importance of the premieres it held. National General Corporation closed it in
1969. Demolition was in the early 70's so the company could erect office buildings on the site. For more information see the pages on the Carthay Circle Theatre: history + exterior views | interior views | projection and sound |
It opened in 1972 as the ABC City Theatres, a twin cinema that was part of the ABC Entertainment Center. When ABC sold their theatre circuit it became the Plitt Century Plaza Theatres. Later, after a triplexing of the big house, it finished as the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza 4. Initially it had 1,424 seats in the big house and 800 in the small one. It was demolished in 2004 with new office towers on the site of both this complex and the Shubert Theatre across the plaza. For more information see the page on the Century Plaza Theatres.
CGV at Madang was the first American branch of the South Korean multiplex chain, CJ CGV. The 580 seat triplex opened in 2010. They show Korean films and first run Hollywood product with Korean
subtitles. For more information see the page on the CGV Cinemas.
755 N. La Cienega Blvd. West Hollywood
It opened in 1949 as a small legit operation called the Century Theatre. In 1953 it became the Civic Playhouse and in 1964 the Warner Playhouse. In 1970 it was renamed the Ciné-Cienega, running first-run product plus occasional art and experimental films as well as revival bills. Later in the 70s it went to porno and was demolished in 1987. There's now a restaurant/nightclub on the site. For more information see the page about the Ciné-Cienega.
S. Charles Lee did a conversion from what had been retail space into this 800 seat theatre in 1939. The theatre, just north of Santa Monica Blvd., was opened by Louis Berkoff who was also involved in the Coronet, the Esquire and the Midway. Later operators included Louis Federici and the Art Theatre Guild. By 1969 the theatre had gone to porno. It was still running into the mid 80s but is now a church. For more information see the page on the Cinema Theatre.
It opened in the mid 60s as a storefront 16mm operation running underground, experimental and cult films. It was also known as the Cinematheque 16 Moviehouse. By 1970 it had become a porno operation, later renamed the Sun Art. In 1976 it was taken over by Pavel Cerny to become the Orpheum Theatre, a venue for legit theatre as well as concerts, punk and otherwise. It's been demolished. For more information see the page on the Cinematheque 16 / Sun Art / Orpheum.
9055 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood
It opened in spring 1971 as an 82 seat restaurant showing classic films. Seating evidently was more restaurant-style than theatre-style. It was also known as the D'Anton Cinematheque. It didn't last long as a classics venue, by fall of 1972 having morphed into David's Tom Cat Theatre & Lounge. It's now a Busy Body Home Fitness store. For more information see the page for the Cinematheque Club.
W. Pico Blvd. & Georgia
The 750 seat theatre opened in 1938, a design of Raphael Nicolais. The location is 1 1/2 blocks south of Melrose, between Clinton St. and Maplewood Ave. By the 60s it had turned into a foreign film theatre, later becoming a bargain house. Closure was in the late 80s. It's now a design establishment. For more information see the page about the Clinton Theatre.
Beginning in the the 60s it was a legit operation called the Players' Ring Theatre. In the 70s as the Gary Theatre this was a twin screen revival house. Later as a porno operation it was the Gallery and the Quickie. By 1980 it was the Pan Andreas, a 99 seat Equity Waiver operation. Finally it ended up as the Coast Playhouse. It's now owned by the City of West Hollywood. For more information see the page about the Coast Playhouse.
366 N. La Cienega Blvd.
It was opened in 1947 by Freida Berkoff, a member of a famous Russian dancing family. The Coronet has been mostly famous as a legit venue, hosting over 300 productions. Throughout the 50s it was a venue for independent and experimental film programmed by Raymond Rohauer, who later was involved in what is now the New Beverly. In addition to the theatre space, there were acting and dance studios upstairs. Since 2008 it's been the home of Largo at the Coronet, featuring comedy and music performances. For more information see the page about the Coronet Theatre.
11342 Santa Monica Blvd. Sawtelle
The Crown operated from about 1915 until 1924. On earlier numbering systems the address was at different times 504 and 342 Santa Monica Blvd. Until 1922, the Sawtelle district was a separate town east of Santa Monica. The theatre was in a building also with retail tenants and rooms for fraternal lodges. It's been demolished. For more information see the page on the Crown Theatre.
It opened in 1947 as the Culver Theatre, a design of Albert R. Walker and Carl G. Moeller. The 1,091 seat house had the rear section in a stadium style configuration.The Culver was operated by Fox West Coast and its successor companies National General Corporation and Mann Theatres. It was later an independent operation after being dropped by Mann. The auditorium got triplexed in the early 80s. It closed in 1989 and was gutted in 1994. Interior remodeling began in 2002 for a 317 seat legit house operated by the Center Theatre Group. The venue reopened in 2004 as the Kirk Douglas Theatre. For more information see the page on the Culver/Kirk Douglas Theatre.
This first theatre in Culver City opened in 1915. Office space upstairs was used as the city's first City Hall beginning in 1917. The building was demolished when Harry Culver decided to construct the Culver Hotel on the site in 1924. The two ladies running the theatre at the time constructed the Meralta Theatre nearby as a replacement. For more information see the page about the Culver City Theatre.
This 600 seat house opened in 1939. It closed in the 80s. After a spell as a church, the building sat vacant for years. Later the floor was leveled and it got turned into a studio specializing in post production audio work. The building was demolished in 2018. For more information see the page on the Del Mar Theatre.
It started as the Wilshire Theatre in 1921, operated by West Coast Theatres. Later
it was renamed the Embassy and was also known as the Fox Embassy. It got a
remodel in the 60s by National General Corp. Into the 80s it ran third run
films, Indian movies, and Filipino movies. Lewis A. Smith designed the 900 seat theatre. The building is still there but rebuilt as retail space. For more information see the page on the Embassy Theatre.
It opened in 1914 or 1915. In the 60s the 650 seat theatre became the Empire Art and then the West Side Theatre. Later as the Fiesta Theatre it was running films and occasional live performances
into the mid 80s. The venue later got religion with a church as the
building survives and is currently in use as a church with retail in
the spaces on either side of the lobby. For more information see the page on the Empire Theatre.
Clifford A. Balch did a remodel of an existing building. The 500 seat theatre opened in 1937 as an independent owned by Betty Berkoff. It was later an art house operated by Herb Rosener, who also had the Laurel, Sunset and Studio theatres. It's been Canter's Deli since 1953. The projection booth, second floor restrooms and a photo on the wall are the only remains from its theatre days. For more information see the page about the Esquire Theatre.
Woodbury C. Pennell designed this 1,504 seat theatre that opened in 1930. After beginning as an independent, the Fairfax was operated for decades by Fox West Coast, National General and Mann Theatres.
Mann got out in 1981 and the house was soon triplexed by independent operators. Cineplex Odeon took over in 1985. Laemmle got it in 2001. Regency Theatres was the final operator. It closed closed in 2010 after the owner, Alex Gorby, refused to make repairs on a damaged roof. In 2013, after a lengthy preservation battle, Gorby got approval to turn the site into retail and condos while saving the facade. Work has yet to begin. For more information see the page on the Fairfax Theatre.
The theatre opened in 1913 or earlier as the Pico Heights Theatre. In the early 20s it was the Fedora, named for the cross street where it was located. It's also been called the Family Theatre, the New Family, the Star and the New Star. Closing date is unknown -- perhaps the late 20s. The building, dating from 1905, still exists and has been converted to retail use. For more information see page about the Fedora Theatre.
It opened as the Wilshire Regina Theatre in 1937, a design of B. Marcus Pritica. Originally with about 800 seats, now down to 433. It became the
Fine Arts in 1948 after a renovation by Fox West Coast. It continued to be operated by Fox and its successor companies National General and Mann. Laemmle had
bought the building in 1984 and ran it after Mann's lease was up in 1986. Later it was operated by Landmark Theatres and has had several more owners. Laemmle was operating it (again) from 2014 until 2019 under a new owner as the Arhya Fine Arts. It's now a private screening room and available for rentals. For more information see the page on the Fine Arts Theatre.
It opened in 1924 as an independent operation but soon became the Warner Bros. Forum Theatre. The building is a design of Edward J. Borgmeyer and sat 1,766 all on one level. It closed prior to 1955 but was later used as offices and a test house for Cinerama into the late 70s. It's now a Korean church. The original auditorium ceiling is obscured with a dropped ceiling and the murals have either been painted over or covered. For more information see the page on the Forum Theatre.
It opened in the
early 30's as a project of United Artists Theatre Circuit but was operated by Fox West Coast for them. Originally named the United Artists it was soon renamed the Four Star. The UA circuit eventually
operated the house following consent decree provisions and hosted many major runs
including a first run engagement of "The Graduate" in 1967 and some
70mm runs. Walker & Eisen along with Clifford A. Balch designed the 900 seat theatre. It became a church in 2001 and was later sold to a developer and demolished in 2014. For more information see the page for the Four Star Theatre.
1002 W. 9th St.
This plush 1,012 seat theatre is in the headquarters building of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy regularly offers screenings of classics and other special events. The theatre is exceptionally well equipped for every standard film format. For more information see the page on the Goldwyn Theatre.
The 379 seat theatre opened in 1967 with "King of Hearts." It was a little art house operated by the Walter Reade circuit, who also had the Music Hall and Beverly Canon in Beverly Hills. It was located in an office building across the street from the Roxy nightclub. John Weidman did the interior which featured
some Spanish architectural details purchased from the Hearst Estate at
San Simeon. The building is still there but the theatre space is now a Wells Fargo branch. Closing was in the mid 70s. For more information see the page on the Granada Theatre.
It opened in 1926 as the Masque Theatre, a legitimate playhouse. Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls & Clements was the architect. Dwight Gibbs (designer of the Carthay Circle Theatre) did the conversion into the Vagabond in 1950. The 190 seat theatre found a niche running British films and other
artie releases and became a celebrated venue for revivals in the 70s. Closing was in 1993. After a spell as a church, it found new life as a legit playhouse (again). Currently the building houses 3
small auditoria (99 seats, 42 seats and 49 seats) as well as a 1500 s.f.
ballroom, formerly used as a dance studio. For more information see the page on the Hayworth/Vagabond Theatre.
It opened in 1912 as the Globe #3, built for the short-lived Globe Amusement Co. by Henry Jensen, who later ended up running it. It was later known as Jensen's Theatorium, the Hollyway and the Holly. It's just a half block east from the 1924 vintage Jensen's Recreation Center. Jensen's holdings eventually included the Palace Grand in Glendale, the nearby Melrose Theatre and the Raymond in Pasadena. Seating capcity was 732 more or less. As a theatre it made it until 1951. It was converted into a branch bank, then a market. No trace of its theatrical past remains. For more information see the page on the Holly Theatre.
Evidently the Keystone opened around 1915. It's not in that year's city directory but appears in the 1916 and 1917 editions. Perhaps by 1923 it was gone -- it's not in that city directory. Closing date as a theatre is unknown. It's been remodeled into retail space. For more information see the page on the Keystone Theatre.
Richard D. King designed the 1926 vintage building for West Coast Theatres. The 1,200 seat house was later known as the Fox La Brea. After a 1959 remodel it had a rebirth as a 640 seat art house called the Art La Brea. Later it was running Japanese product as the Toho La Brea. It closed around 1974 and is now a Korean church. For more information see the page for the La Brea Theatre.
The 640 seat Lake opened in the early 20s. The
building dates from 1923. The location is just a block south of
Wilshire in the MacArthur Park area. It was running as late as the mid 60s. The building is still there with the theatre space used for retail. For more information see the page on the Lake Theatre.
This 12 screen complex at Pico and Westwood opened in 2007. It was a first run venue operated by Landmark Theatres. This 2,000 seat theatre replaced the Westside Pavilion Cinemas, an earlier four-plex in the other side of the mall. Landmark and the owner couldn't agree on terms for a new lease so May 22, 2022 was the last day of operation. For more information see the page on The Landmark.
149 N. Larchmont Blvd.
It opened in 1922 between Beverly and 1st in the Larchmont shopping district. The 835 seat theatre was built for investor J.J. La Bonte and was operated by silent film star Alice Calhoun. The Larchmont was later operated by Fox West Coast. It closed around 1952 and has been demolished. There's now a retail development on the site. For more information see the page about the Larchmont Theatre.
It opened in 1941 at Beverly and Laurel, four blocks west of Fairfax. The 850 seat Laurel was part of a small, local chain operated by Herb Rosener who also had the Vagabond, Esquire, Studio, and Sunset theatres. In the 50s it was run by the Edwards circuit. Closing date is unknown. It's been a synagogue for decades. For more information see the page on the Laurel Theatre.
8507 W. Pico Blvd.
Clifford Balch designed this 800 seat theatre just west of La Cienega Blvd. that opened in 1937. For years it was operated by Fox West Coast, National General and, later, Mann Theatres. It had a good run as an art venue, a revival house and, at the end, was a bargain theatre. It was demolished in 1979. It's now a parking lot for Bank of America. For more information see the page on the Lido Theatre.
5528 Santa Monica Blvd.
It opened in 1921 as the Paramount Theatre. Frank Rasche was the architect for the 900 seat house located at Santa Monica and Western. The initial operator was Turner, Dahnken & Langley, a firm that later became part of West Coast Theatres. Sometime in the early 40s it got renamed the Loma. Turned into retail space in the 50s, it was demolished after a fire in the 80s. For more information see the listing on the Loma Theatre.
1822 N. Vermont Ave.
The 1935 vintage theatre is a design of Clifford Balch. It was a second run family oriented single screen theatre for decades. Later it was an art house under Laemmle management and at that time one of the premiere foreign film venues in Los Angeles. It was triplexed in the early 1990s after the Laemmle circuit lost their lease. As a single screen house it had 780 seats. The theatre continues to do well as a triplex offering first run releases. It's operated by Vintage Cinemas, who used to also have the Vista Theatre prior to its sale to Quentin Tarantino. For more information see the page on the Los Feliz Theatre.
It opened in 1925 and was operated for decades by Fox West Coast. The 950 seat theatre was a design of Frank Rache. The building was sold to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 1946 and was renamed the Academy Award Theatre. Several years after the Academy opened their Beverly Hills building this property was sold and demolished. It's now the site of an office building and parking. For more information see the page on the Marquis Theatre.
All that is known is that this one was running in 1916 -- it's in that year's city directory. The building on the site dates from 1914 and is now a mini-mart. The location is just a block or so west of Jensen's Melrose. There's a listing started for this Melrose Theatre but there's not really any additional information at the moment.
4315 Melrose Ave.
It was opened in 1924 by Henry C. Jensen as Jensen's Melrose. He was a brick maker turned theatre operator who was also involved in other properties nearby as well as in Pasadena and Glendale. Elimar E.B. Meinardus designed the 880 seat house located two blocks west of Vermont Ave. It was later operated by Fox West Coast and closed in 1959. Since 1961 it's been the Ukranian Culture Center. Most of the interior detailing remains with an opulent new paint job. The main floor has been leveled and the upstairs is now a separate space. For more information see the page on the Melrose Theatre.
The Meralta was opened in 1924 by two sisters, Pearl Merrill and Laura Peralta. They also had theatres in East LA and Downey. This was a replacement for an earlier theatre (and city hall) on Main St. on the site of the Culver Hotel. By the early 30s, the theatre was being operated by Fox West Coast. Originally 1,000 seats, it was perhaps 700 at the end. It closed in 1983. The site was redeveloped into "Meralta Plaza." For more information see the page on the Meralta Theatre.
It opened in 1939 as an independent house built by Louis Berkoff, owner of the La Tosca and other theatres. This stretch of Pico is part of the area known as Harvard Heights. The building for the 609 seat theatre is a block west of Western. It closed in 1965 and was then used as a warehouse. The marquee was removed but the inside was essentially unchanged for years. It was gutted in 2000 for retail space. For more information see the listing on the Midway Theatre.
Monica / Pussycat Theatre
7734 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood
This 638 seat theatre four blocks east of Fairfax opened in 1940 as the Monica Theatre running Hollywood product and then foreign films. As a porno house in the 60s it was the Left Bank Theatre and then became the Pussycat. Later as a gay porno venue it got rebranded as the Tomkat, Studs Theatre and then Studs at the Pussycat. It's still running, converted into a four screen operation in 2011. For more information see the page on the Monica/Pussycat Theatre.
The theatres opened in 2006 upstairs in a shopping mall, the Wilshire Galleria, catering largely to Koreans. The MPark ran first run American movies with Korean subtitles and Korean movies with English subtitles. It closed sometime around 2011. For more information see the page on the MPark 4 Theatres.
It was called the Elite Theatre when it opened in 1936. It's a Wilfred P. Verity design that originally sat 824 as a single. It's now down to 499 as a triplex (142 + 98 + 259). Walter Reade operated it in the 60s and early 70s. The Laemmle circuit got the lease in 1974 and operated it until November 2019. Late that month it was reopened by a several Laemmle veterans as the Lumiere Music Hall. For more information see the page on the Music Hall Theatre.
This movie house was running in 1913 and 1914 a block and a half north of Santa Monica Blvd. with what was then a 208 N. 4th St. address. Foster Jackson was the manager. Upstairs was Thayer's Hall, for lodge meetings and events. Evidently the theatre only ran a couple of years but the building survives as the West End Hotel. Thanks to Samuel de la Torre Dórame for the photo. For more information see the page about the National Theatre.
The building was constructed in 1929 as retail space. Later it was an outlet for a winery and then long succession of restaurants and clubs including a stint as Slapsie Maxie's. As a theatre it's also been known as the Dahl Theatre, the New Globe, the Capri/Riviera (a twin), New Yorker Theatre, the Europa, the Eros and the Beverly Cinema. They run a mix of cult favorites, classics and indie releases. In 2007 Quentin Tarantino purchased the building to preserve it as a repertory cinema. For more information see the page on the New Beverly Cinema.
Palms / Belmont Theatre
1703 Temple St.
All we know is that there was Palms Theatre at 1703 Temple St. listed in the 1914 city directory. The block, bordered by Union and Belmont Avenues on the east and Burlington Ave. on the west,
is now the site of the Silverlake Medical Center. In the 1913 directory there was a Belmont Theatre listed as Temple near Belmont. It's unknown if this was the same theatre or not. Neither name shows up in the 1912 or 1915 directories. There's a page started for the Palms/Belmont Theatre but there's not really any more information.
It opened around 1928. In its later years it was an independent neighborhood sub-run house with many loyal customers. Nearby were the Culver Theatre and the Meralta. The 599 seat theatre was demolished in the late 50s. There's now a post office on the site. For more information see the page on the Palms Theatre.
The 6,000 person capacity building opened in 1935 with its initial attraction a model home show. Walter C. Wurdeman and Welton Becket designed the wood frame streamline moderne structure that was intended to be temporary. Initially a private enterprise, it ended up owned by the City of Los Angeles. It was closed in 1972 and was allowed to decay. The end was a fire in 1989. For more information see the page on the Pan Pacific Auditorium.
The theatre opened in 1942, a design of William L. Periera. The building it was in fronted on Beverly Blvd. and also housed a cafe, ice rink and bowling alley. It was a structure separate from the Pan Pacific Auditorium, which was behind the theatre building. The 850 seat theatre closed in 1984 was soon demolished. For more information see the page on the Pan Pacific Theatre.
This one opened in 1922 as the Roosevelt Theatre, a design of Walker & Eisen. After a deco remodel the 800 seat theatre was rebranded as Chotiner's Parisian. Later
it was operated by Fox West Coast as the Fox Parisian. It closed around 1958 and was later demolished. For more information see the page for the Parisian Theatre.
The 750 seat theatre opened in 1941 as an an independent house. Statewide Theatres, Century, Loew's and General Cinema later operated the theatre in the 60s and 70s. In the early 80s it was running Indian films. By 1985 it had closed to become an appliance store. It got torched in the 1992 riots and was finally demolished in 1995. For more information see the page for the Picfair Theatre.
This 525 seat theatre opened around 1912. The location was just west of Figueroa on the south side of the street. It's listed in the city directories as the Navarro Theatre from 1914 through 1918. By 1922 it had become the Pico Theatre. In 1925 it was listed as the New West Pico Theatre. In 1926 it's the New Pico Theatre. Then it was back to being the Pico Theatre. It had a rebirth in the 40s with a mix of exploitation films and imports, largely Russian. It closed in 1951 and has been demolished. The site is now part of the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information see the listing for the Pico Theatre.
It opened in 1934 at Pico and Westwood and was California's first drive-in. In the 40s the operation moved to Olympic Blvd. and was renamed the Olympic Drive-In. It's long gone -- the Westside Pavilions shopping mall is on the site. For more information see the listing for the Pico Drive-In.
It was a 1948 design of S. Charles Lee that opened as an independent house. The Picwood had 1,100 seats originally, later reseated for 950. It was run until 1985 by Pacific Theatres, often with exclusive engagements. It was demolished in 1985 to make way for the Westside Pavilions Mall. For more information see the page for the Picwood Theatre.
This 500 seat theatre was built in 1914, a design by Alfred Grayson. In 1915 it was called the Creation Theatre. Later it was Mitchell's Theatre, the Garden Theatre and the Ramona Theatre. It became the Studio 1 in 1966 with the intent of showing German films -- "Die Fledermaus" was the opener. In the early 70s it was the HK Studio Theatre. By the 80s it had become Estudio 1 with Spanish language product. It was later gutted for retail use and now houses a restaurant. For more information see the listing about the Ramona Theatre.
2625 W. Temple St.
It opened in 1924 with Constance Talmadge in “Her Night of Romance." The 900 seat theatre is located a block west of Rampart Blvd. The owners boasted of "the only completely square auditorium in the West" as well as an advanced bowl shape for the rake
of the floor. Lewellyn J. Smith was architect, builder and a partner in owning the building. Decoration was by the Robert E. Power Studios. The building is still there -- it's now used as a church. In the 60s it had been used as a movie studio for making commercials. Closing date as a theatre is not known. For more information see the page about the Rampart Theatre.
The Ritz opened in 1926, a design by Lewis A. Smith that originally had 1,660 seats. It was operated for years by Fox West Coast Theatres. Later it was briefly known
as the Lindy Opera House, a venue for legit dramas, musicals and revues.
In 1976 it was renamed the American Theatre with grand plans for a
bi-centennial revue that had only a short run. It was demolished in 1977 for a parking lot. For more information see the page for the Ritz Theatre.
It opened in 1924 as the Tivoli Theatre. Long operated by Laemmle Theatres, the Royal remains one of the premiere venues for foreign films in Los Angeles. Seating was 600 when it was a single screen operation. With a 2012 triplexing, the total seat count is down to 300. For more information see the page about the Royal Theatre.
The opening of S. Charles Lee's deco masterpiece was in 1930 as the Fox Wilshire. Originally with 2,295 seats, it's now down to about 1,900. The
Fox Wilshire was always a premier first run venue for Fox West Coast
Theatres. Later it was operated by Mann Theatres after they took over the
remnants of the Fox circuit. It closed as a film venue
around 1977. There was a renovation in 1981 and it reopened as a legit house under Nederlander management as the Wilshire
Theatre. The building was sold in 2006 and then known as the
Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills and later renamed the Saban. Upgrading and restoration work is ongoing. It's open for legit theatre,
concerts and various rentals. For more information see the pages on the Fox Wilshire/SabanTheatre: history + exterior views | lobby areas | recent auditorium views | vintage auditorium views | stage | booth |
8938 Keith Ave. / 812 N. Robertson
This 360 seat neighborhood house was running in 1924 as the Polly-K Theatre. In 1926 it was briefly the home of the Photoplay League, an attempt to exhibit films with high artistic standards that had lacked mass appeal or run into censorship issues. The closing date is unknown. The building survives, now the home of Annapurna Pictures. For more information see the page about the Sherman Theatre.
This 750 seat deco gem opened in 1938 as the Gordon, a design of Clifford A. Balch. It was later the Cineplex Odeon Showcase, then the Regent Showcase.
It closed as a regular film venue in 2008 and is now used as a church with occasional rentals for special
events. For more information see the page on the Showcase Theatre.
The 1,172 seat deco style theatre is a Boller Bros. design that opened in 1931. Built for and operated by Fox West Coast Theatres, it was usually advertised as the Fox Stadium. The rear of the auditorium was with stadium-style seating, a rarity at the time. It's been a synagogue since 1964. For more information see the page on the Stadium Theatre.
The 423 seat theatre opened in 1912 or 1913 as the Pico Grand. The location is two blocks west of the 110. By 1915 it had become the Sunbeam Theatre. By 1927 that had been shortened to become the Sun Theatre. It closed in the early 50s. The building, which dates from 1912, still exists but has been remodeled. It's now used as a church. For more information see the listing for the Sunbeam Theatre.
8000 Sunset Blvd.
Opened: 1992 as a 5-plex running mainstream and arty product. It was the Laemmle Sunset 5 through 2011. It was taken over by Sundance Cinemas and became the Sundance Sunset in 2012. In 2017 it became part of the AMC circuit. Landmark Theatres got the lease in June 2023. The drive-by photo of the complex is from 2011. More Information: See the page about the Sunset 5.
the theatre opened as early as 1913. In the 30s it was McKinney's
Playhouse. The 490 seat theatre is known to have been operating as
late as 1939, listed usually as just The Playhouse. It had a long spell
as a violin store (among other things) in front with a church in the
auditorium. The venue was back in business in 2015 as the Teragram
Ballroom, the west coast outpost of people previously involved with New
York's famed Bowery Ballroom. For more information see the page on the Teragram Ballroom/Playhouse Theatre.
Theatre De Luxe
656 S. Alvarado St.
It's listed in the 1914 and 1915 city directories as the Theatre De Luxe. The theatre appears in a 1923 Paramount ad as the Deluxe Theatre. In 1927 it was called the Romola Theatre when it was rented to run films promoting a real estate scheme. The location is now retail space. For more information see the page on the Theatre De Luxe.
605 N. Juanita Ave. / 600 N. Vermont Ave.
The building's beginning as a theatre was in 1928 under the auspices of noted theatre patron Alice Pike Barney. The location is a block east of Vermont and a block south of Melrose. In 1933 it reopened as a 340 seat dinner theatre with a view toward doing a season of classics. The opening attraction, "The Drunkard," sold too well to continue with the rest of the series. It ran 36 years. After it closing as a theatre it became the Los Angeles Press Club and was later a vocal studio and restaurant. It's now for sale. For more information see the page on the Theatre Mart.
This is a small legit venue two and a half blocks west of La Brea in a building that used to be a grocery store. For more information see the listing for Theatre Theatre.
The 400 seat theatre just west of La Cienega was opened in 1966 by producer/exhibitor Robert Lippert and veteran exhibitor Harold Goldman. It soon gained fame as a repertory cinema. It was remodeled in the mid 1980s into two 99 seat legit houses. They closed in 2004 and the building sat vacant for years awaiting redevelopment plans. It was demolished in 2013. For more information see the listing on the Tiffany Theatre.
Norma Talmadge's "Graustark" was the opening
feature here in 1925. The stage show featured Charlie Nelson and his Playboys. The Uptown was initially operated by West Coast Theatres, who called it the Fox Uptown after they became Fox West Coast in 1929. Lewis A. Smith, who did lots of work for the chain, was the designer. Seating estimates vary from 1,600 to 1,715. It was last operated by National General Corporation, the successor to Fox West Coast. The Uptown was demolished in the early 60s. For more information see the page for the Uptown.
It opened in 1923 as Bard's Hollywood
Theatre. Lou Bard also operated theatres downtown and in Glendale and Pasadena. It's a cute neighborhood house with an Egyptian
flavored interior. Lewis A. Smith designed the 638 seat theatre. It's now owned by Quentin Tarantino and hasn't been open since March 2020. He's renovating the place, so stay tuned. For more information see the page on the
It opened in 1931, a design of B. Marcus Priteca who also did the theatres for Warner Bros. in San Pedro and Huntington Park. After the consent decrees of the 50s, the theatre was operated by the Stanley Warner Corporation as the Stanley Warner Beverly Hills and, starting in 1968, by Pacific Theatres as Pacific's Warner. The 1,500 seat theatre had a glorious career as a deluxe venue for prestige films. It had one of the few horizontal VistaVision installations in the country and was later equipped for 70mm presentations. It finished its movie days in the late 80s as a 99 cent house and concert venue. Sadly, it was demolished in 1988 for a parking lot. For more information see the pages on the Warner Bros. Beverly Hills: history + exterior views | interior views
It opened in 1926 as an operation of West Coast Theatres. The 1,949 seat theatre is a design theatre architect of Richard M. Bates, Jr. After the theatre days were over it became a flat-floored swap meet which left most of the decor intact. That closed in 2011. The City of Los Angeles sold the building in 2018 to Dr. David Lee of Jamison Services. After sitting for several years with no tenant or purchaser in sight it was reopened as a swap meet in early 2022. For more information see the page on the Westlake Theatre: history and exterior views | interior views
680 Alvarado St.
This twin opened in the mid-70s, a conversion from what had been a restaurant. The decor was drapes all around. The location was two blocks east of Westwood Blvd. Originally a second run operation, it later evolved into an art house after Laemmle Theatres took it over in 1976. Thanks to Laemmle for this c.1979 photo, one hanging in the lobby of their Royal Theatre. The Westland closed around 1984 and was demolished for the construction of the Westside Pavilions mall. For more information see the page about the Westland Twins.
Westside Pavilion Cinemas
10800 W. Pico Blvd.
This was a four screen complex operated by Landmark Theatres that opened in 1985 as the Samuel Goldwyn Cinemas. It was gutted after the 2007 opening of its replacement, The Landmark, a 12-screen complex in a new section the mall. That one closed in 2022. See the page about the Westside Pavilion Cinemas.
The 1,270 seat theatre opened in 1927 with a production of Sigmund Romberg's "Desert Song." Sumner P. Hunt designed the building for the Ebell of Los Angeles Women's Club. It's also been called the Windsor Square Theatre. The club is still thriving and the theatre as well as other ballrooms and meeting spaces are rented out for a variety of events. For more information see the page on the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
143 S. Western Ave.
This theatre five and a half blocks north of Wilshire was listed in the 1915 and 1916 city directories. Evidently it didn't last long. It's been demolished. For more information see the page on the Wilshire Theatre.
It opened in 1931 as the Warner Bros. Western Theatre with 2,344 seats. G. Albert Lansburgh designed the theatre with Morgan, Walls & Clements doing the retail spaces and office tower. Warners soon bailed on their lease and it ran as an independent for a few years called the Wil-Tern (later turned into one word, Wiltern) before the circuit took it over again. It was later operated by Stanley Warner and Pacific Theatres. After closing in 1979 it was stripped and scheduled for demolition by Franklin Life, the owner at the time. It was rescued and restored by developer Wayne Ratkovitch and his partners for a 1985 reopening. It's now a music venue operated by Live Nation. Main floor seating was removed in a 2002 remodel. For more information see the pages on the Wiltern Theatre: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | backstage | house basement areas | booth and attic |
221 S. Western Ave.
It was listed in the 1918 through 1922 city directories. There's a page started for the Windsor Theatre, but nothing more is known at this time.
135 S. Doheny Dr. Beverly Hills
It was the Doheny Plaza Theatre when it opened in 1970, a single screen theatre operated by Metropolitan Theatres. It's on the ground floor of a parking garage for the Doheny Plaza office complex. George T. Nowark designed the 541 seat theatre. It's now operated by the WGA as a members-only venue with lots of film screenings. For more information see the page on the Writers Guild Theater.
Art Deco treasures along Wilshire: Saban / Fox Wilshire Theatre | Wiltern Theatre | runner up: El Rey Theatre -- nice facade but nothing of interest left inside |
Historic theatres running movies: Aero Theatre | Bruin Theatre | Fine Arts Theatre | Los Feliz Theatre | Music Hall | New Beverly Cinema | Nuart Theatre | Royal Theatre | Fox Westwood/Village Theatre | Vista Theatre |
Tragic Westside losses: Beverly Theatre | Carthay Circle Theatre | Warner Beverly Hills |
Hopes for future restoration: Westlake Theatre
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