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State Theatre: basement cafeteria

707 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014  | map |

The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection booth | backstage | basement cafeteria |


Once upon a time there was a Moorish themed cafeteria in the basement spaces under Loew's State Theatre at 7th & Broadway. The entrance was in the bay just south of the office building entrance.

This detail from a 1926 Los Angeles Public Library photo shows the separate marquees for the Cafeteria and the office building entrance. "Men of Steel" is playing at Loew's State.



The closing date for the cafeteria is not known. Judging by the newer deco terrazzo at the entrance, it got a substantial remodel in the 30s. We see the Cafeteria still operating in this 1937 Herman Schultheis photo looking north on Broadway. It's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



Looking down the stairs from the Broadway entrance. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2012 



Looking up the stairs to the Broadway entrance. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2012 



Another view at the bottom of the stairs. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013 



A wider view up the stairs to the Broadway entrance. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013  



A terrazzo detail. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013  



A look at some murals on the landing. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2012 



A tilework detail. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013



The church that has been leasing the theatre has painted out large areas of original detail work and built a number of temporary partitions. Here's some ornate detail that has not been subjected to the church-white color scheme. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013



A detail from Stephen's photo above. 



Arches in what had been part of the dining area. Note the mural visible in the left arch. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013



Cafeteria arches and recent temporary construction done by the church. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013



A meeting room that had been created in the basement. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013



A look at corner treatment in one of the rooms. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013 



A molding detail from Stephen's photo above. 



Murals along the 7th St. side of the basement -- evidently there was a lightwell for illumination at one time. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2012 



A detail of the work at the arches in Michelle's photo above. 



Temporary partitions installed in the former dining area. Photo: Stephen Russo - 2013 



A detail of the plasterwork from Stephen's photo above. 



Another look at plaster moldings and stencil work. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2012

In addition to the original Broadway entrance south of the office building lobby, these spaces can now be accessed from the theatre itself. Down the marble stairs at the west end of the lobby there used to be a ladies lounge. That has been largely demolished except for the marble flooring.

From this former lounge area, a wood set of stairs was constructed to lead down to the somewhat lower level that used to be the cafeteria. This, and the painting and partitioning, was a project of the church group leasing the theatre until October 2017.

Thanks to Michelle Gerdes and Stephen Russo for all the great photos!

The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection booth | backstage | back to top - basement cafeteria |

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