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Wiltern Theatre: lobby areas

3790 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90005  | map |

Pages about the Wiltern: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | backstage | house basement areas | booth and attic |

The entrance vestibule:


A peek out toward Wilshire and Western from the entrance vestibule. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - 2014. Her Avoiding Regret photo essays "Wiltern Theatre, Public Areas" and "Wiltern, Off Limits Areas" have lovely photos of the theatre taken during the August 2014 LAHTF tour. Thanks, Sandi!



The entrance vestibule. Those are the front doors at the left. It's a 2014 Hunter Kerhart photo. Keep up with his many explorations on HunterKerhart.com and on the Facebook page for Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography. Thanks, Hunter!



A view of the dazzling ceiling of a side aisle in the entrance vestibule. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



The decorative work in the south side aisle of the entrance vestibule. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014. Head to the Historic Theatre Photography section of Mike's website for his full Wiltern Theatre set as well as hundreds of other theatre photos. The Wiltern set is also on Flickr. You can also pay him a visit on the Historic Theatre Photography Facebook page.



The entrance vestibule ceiling. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



An entrance vestibule view looking north. The street is out the doors to the left, the rotunda of the main lobby through the doors to the right.  Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014

The rotunda:


A look from the rotunda back toward the entrance vestibule. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The rotunda. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Across the lobby toward the auditorium. Two auditorium entrances are seen at center and right. Farther off to the right is the inner lobby at the rear of the main floor. The theatre's main entrance is off to the left. The stairs on the right edge of the photo head to the balcony. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Plaster trim on a rotunda pilaster.  Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



The rotunda from the balcony stairs. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The on-your-back view of the rotunda. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014



Painted detail in the rotunda. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



Looking up at the ceiling after restoration. All light fixtures had been stripped from the building as the owners at the time, Franklin Life, intended to demolish it. Some of the light fixtures now in the building are originals that were repurchased, others are copies made from those. Photo: Ray Shepardson - 1985



The rotunda ready for the 1985 reopening. We're looking toward the entrance to the house left aisle. Photo: Ray Shepardson



A lovely post restoration view of the rotunda by an unknown photographer. The photo is from the Los Angeles Conservancy archives. Among many other places, it has popped up on the L.A. Conservancy Facebook page.



Happy visitors admiring the theatre after the restoration. It's a 1985 photo by James Ruebsamen in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



A 1984 Mike Mullen photo of restoration happening in the rotunda. Note the missing chandelier in the center. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



The lobby stripped as the building awaits demolition. It's a 1983 Herald Examiner photo from the Los Angeles Public Library. Fortunately there was a rescue by Wayne Ratkovich and his partners.



A 1979 snack bar view. Thanks to Matt Spero for sharing the photo he took.



A 1965 lobby view. We're in the rotunda looking toward the entrance. Thanks to Bob Alder for the use of the photo. It appears on a Wiltern page on his website which also has information on the 4/37 Kimball organ that used to be in the theatre. wilterntheatrepipeorgan.bobalder.com



An October 1931 lobby photo from the Security Pacific National Bank collection at the Los Angeles Public Library.

The inner lobby at the rear of the main floor:


The inner lobby as viewed from the rotunda. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A look up at the inner lobby ceiling. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The inner lobby with some added uplights. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014



An inner lobby wall panel. We're looking at a segment of the south wall -- on the north side it would be an entrance to the auditorium. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The decorative panel above an auditorium entrance in the inner lobby. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014



At the south end of the inner lobby -- the view back toward the rotunda. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A lovely c.1985 post-restoration view of the inner lobby from the Los Angeles Conservancy archives.



Another inner lobby view taken after  the 1985 restoration. The auditorium is on the right. That's the rotunda in the dark at the end of the lobby. Behind the camera are exits to the south. This luscious Randall Michelson photo was included with "The Wiltern Opened 80 Years Ago," an article by Lianna Fader celebrating the theatre's 80th birthday -- October 7, 2011.

Downstairs lounge area:


Down the stairs from the rotunda -- with a peek into the auditorium at the left. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The basement lounge -- below the rotunda. Straight ahead used to be the manager's office -- it's now a bar. Off to the right in the lit archway is a storage area in an elevator shaft that was never used. There's also a doorway in toward the plenum and on to backstage. The ladies restroom is off to the right out of the frame. Behind us are the men's restroom and the stairs up to the main floor. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A downstairs lounge view appearing in the November 21, 1931 issue of Motion Picture Herald.  It's on Internet Archive.



The bar area in the basement lounge. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

Basement restrooms:


The basement lounge ladies room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The basement lounge ladies room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The basement lounge ladies room.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The basement lounge men's room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The basement lounge men's room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

Heading upstairs:


On the southwest side of the rotunda -- up to the balcony or down to the basement lounge. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A nice angle view of a wall surface on the landing showing the relief enhancing the design. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



Another stair vista. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Deco ladies on the stairs to the balcony. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



The rotunda from balcony level. We're looking south -- note the balcony stairs on the right. The inner lobby is straight ahead on the main floor with the balcony lobby directly above it. The auditorium is off to the left. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



The rotunda chandelier. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

Balcony level restrooms:


The balcony ladies room. The restrooms at balcony level are on the northwest corner of the building -- above the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The balcony ladies room.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The balcony ladies room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014 



The balcony men's room.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The balcony men's room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The balcony men's room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

Balcony level inner lobby:


A look south across the rotunda into the balcony lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The balcony lobby.  Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



A balcony lobby trim detail. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



The balcony lobby drinking fountain. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014



Another ceiling trim detail. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



A balcony lobby ceiling panel.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Another balcony lobby ceiling panel. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



From house right -- looking west back to the rotunda. The stairs at the left go up to the upper balcony lobby, actually more of a corridor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

The upper balcony lobby:


The upper balcony corridor. The doors here get you to the top of the aisles at the back of the balcony. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014



One of the doors to the booth in the upper balcony corridor. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014. Thanks for all the fine photos, Sandi!



The view down to the stage from the upper balcony corridor. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014. Thanks, Hunter!



Heading back down the back (house right) stairs. The rotunda is down at the far end of this inner lobby that runs across the back of the main floor. The auditorium is off to our right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

Pages about the Wiltern: history + exterior views | back to top - lobby areas | auditorium | backstage | house basement areas | booth and attic |

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