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Eagle Theatre

4884 Eagle Rock Blvd. Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), CA 90041 | map |

The news: The church is gone and the theatre is for lease. See more details lower on the page.

On Facebook: Friends of the Eagle Theatre


Opened: May 10, 1929 as the Yosemite Theatre with two days of vaudeville shows. One of the acts was the Scottish singer George Vallance, who lived in Eagle Rock. On May 12 the owners of the independent operation, J.T. Young and H.E. Allen, started running talkies. The building is on the east side of the street at Yosemite Dr.

The pre-opening photo is from the Eagle Rock Advertiser. Note no marquee letters up yet. It's from the Occidental College Archives and appears on the site Historypin. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for finding this photo and several others for his Noirish Los Angeles post #23876.



The May 10, 1929 ad in the Eagle Rock Advertiser. It's on Historypin from the collection of the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society

Architect: Kenneth A. Gordon (of the firm J.H. Woodworth and Son) designed the Mediterranean style building. The seating area was said to appear as if you were in a patio surrounded by gardens. It had a blue ceiling resembling a sky and murals depicting the California countryside behind grilles along the side walls. In addition to the theatre, the 9,472 s.f. building has 2,900 s.f. of retail space. Most recently 1,500 of that has been used as a ballroom dance studio.

Seating:
900 originally, later down to 800. The seating as a church was only 315. A platform had been added in front of the proscenium.



A first floor plan from Westmac Commercial Brokerage.

In 1930 the operation was acquired by John Sugar's Vox Theatres. In 1937, after a remodeling (and a change of ownership to Venicoff Theatres) it was called the New Eagle Theatre. By 1940 it was just the Eagle Theatre. The Sierra Theatre, once nearby at 5058 Eagle Rock Blvd., at one point was also called the Eagle. Don Hughes took over the theatre around 1950 and offered a focus on family shows.

From 1976 until 1979 it was run by Walnut Properties, operators of the Pussycat chain. It got a Pussycat style marquee and interior upgrade but, according to Eric Warren of the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society, it never actually ran porno due to community opposition. Walnut ran it as a neighborhood house with bookings of conventional Hollywood product. Around 1980 it got another remodel and re-emerged as an independent film house with another operator.

Closing: The Eagle closed as a film theatre in 2000 or 2001. It had occasional art and live performance events afterward. From around 2003 until early 2019 it was used as a church. During its later film years the auditorium was draped. When used as a church much of the interior was painted white and beige. There's still decorative plaster at the proscenium and organ grille areas but other decor has vanished. 

Status: Vacant and available for lease. See the listing on Loopnet. The broker is Michael Rojas of Westmac Commercial Brokerage. He can be reached at 310-478-7700 or rojas@westmac.com


The lobby: 


Church group members doing a fix up. Photo: Universal Church - 2014



Looking toward the front doors. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019

Mike's photos appearing here were taken for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation. The organization is actively involved in the study and preservation of the vintage theatres in the L.A. area. The group frequently supports events and offers tours of various historic theatres. www.lahtf.org | LAHTF on Facebook

Check out other theatres Mike has explored in the L.A. area and elsewhere on his Historic Theatre Photography site. 



A peek into the boxoffice plus a shortcut into the north retail space. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A look across to house left.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Looking down the house right aisle.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


The auditorium: 


The auditorium as a church. Photo: Universal Church - 2013



A view after removal of the wall. Photo: Westmac Commercial Brokerage - 2019



A look in from the back of the house. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A closer view of the stage. When the house went to CinemaScope, the screen was out in front of the proscenium. Some of the platform we see was added when the house was used for live performances following its closure as a film house. The forward part was added by a church group. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The organ grille area house right.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Looking across to stage right. Nope. Not much stage depth. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The entrance to the stage left organ chamber.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Offstage right.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The view across to stage left.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



The curtain and masking motors used when the screen was in front of the proscenium. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A view to the rear of the auditorium.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A back wall detail. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


 
One of the ceiling grilles. This one with plywood on top for contrast. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


Upstairs: 


At the top of the stairs with the booth at the left. The cry room is down at the end of the corridor. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A look out the window of the cry room.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



Looking forward in the attic from the access door that's in the cry room. Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


 
The stripped-out booth.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019



A closer look at the electrical gear.  Photo: Mike Hume - 2019


The retail spaces:


The dance studio in the south retail space. Photo: Westmac Commercial Brokerage - 2019


More exterior views: 


1930 - An Eagle Rock Sentinel photo in the collection of the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society. It appears on Historypin. "Footlights and Fools" was a November 1929 Vitaphone release.



1937 - An item from the Eagle Rock Sentinel that's in the collection of the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society. It appears on Historypin.



1940 - A photo from the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society appearing on Historypin.



c.1948 - A lovely view north on Eagle Rock Blvd. from Yosemite Dr. Our theatre? Well, just a bit of the marquee on the far right. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality who found the photo on eBay and included it on his Noirish post #25397.



1972 - The Eagle running "The Hot Rock" and "Butch Cassidy." The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1976 - A photo from the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society appearing on Historypin.



c.1980 - A photo from the Occidental College Archives appearing on Historypin.



1983 - Thanks to American Classic Images for this November photo.



c.1989 - A shot by filmmaker and cinematographer Gary Graver. More of his theatre shots can be seen on You Tube in "Second Run - part 1"and "Second Run - part 2." Thanks to Sean Graver for the use of the photo.


 
2002 - A photo of the then-closed theatre by Betty Sword from Cezar Del Valle's collection. Keep up with Cezar's latest theatre explorations via his Theatre Talks website.



2007 - Thanks to Luke Gattuso for this shot. 



c.2010 - A view of the Eagle Theatre taken by Don Solosan, part of a survey of surviving vintage theatre buildings he participated in with the now-dormant Historic Theatre Committee of the L.A. Conservancy.



c.2010 - A marquee detail by Don Solosan. Note the oval on the side panel from the Pussycat era.  Thanks, Don!



2015 - Thanks to James Staub for this photo of the theatre.



2019 - The signage is still up but the church has moved out. Photo: Bill Counter



2019 - The north side of the building. Photo: Bill Counter



2019 - Looking along the screen end of the building. Note the seismic retrofit work. Photo: Bill Counter



2019 - Along the back, looking toward Eagle Rock Blvd. Photo: Mike Hume. Thanks, Mike! See more of his fine work on his Historic Theatre Photography site. 

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Eagle for lots of fine research by Ken Roe and other contributors.

The Eastsider's May 2019 story, "Film fans seek a second act...," discussed possibilities for a rebirth of the theatre. 

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