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Tower Theatre: recent exterior views

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

The Tower Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | lobby areas | lounges + basement support areas | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | organ chambers | booth level | attic | roof | tower |


The Apple era begins: 


November 2017 - Plans are afoot. A gathering of construction guys outside the theatre. Thanks to Nick Leathers for his photo on the Facebook page DTLA Development.



January 2018 - The bronze "Tower Theatre" plaque has gone missing from the front of the boxoffice. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2018



July 2018 - Empty storefronts. The tenants all got their notice to vacate by the end of June. Photo: Bill Counter  



July 2018 - The view west along 8th St. after the storefronts were cleared out. Photo: Bill Counter



August 9, 2018 - Scaffolding starts going up on the 8th St. side of the building. Photo: Bill Counter



August 9, 2018 - A detail of the corner of the canopy. Note the sockets still in place. Once upon a time there were changeable milk glass letters all the way to Broadway. Later a white plastic background was installed with black aluminum letters used. Photo: Bill Counter



August 12, 2018 - Looking toward Broadway. Photo: Hunter Kerhart



August 14, 2018 - A plaster panel between two of the 8th St. storefronts. The whole side of the building will to opened up to provide a wide entrance directly into the auditorium. Any historic materials will be removed from the area and put in storage. Photo: Bill Counter



August 14, 2018 - A cast iron column on 8th St. near the alley. This is the last one on the building. Some of these little terracotta arches will be restored. Photo: Bill Counter



August 16, 2018 - Scaffolding heading into the building. Thanks to Steve Gerdes for his drive-by photo.



August 20, 2018 - Scaffolding up on the Broadway facade. Note the new plywood securing the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter



August 20, 2018 - The meeting was to discuss what to do as far as the marquee restoration. Photo: Bill Counter



August 20, 2018 - A soffit detail. Note the different styles of rosettes around the light sockets. Photo: Bill Counter  



August 20, 2018 - Part of the board-up process included removal of the 1965 vintage boxoffice. Photo: Bill Counter



August 29, 2018 - A little bit of a fire problem in a fan room on the SW corner of the roof. Thanks to Pavel Kipan for his photo, added as a comment to a post on the Esotouric's Secret Los Angeles Facebook page.



August 29, 2018 - A view from the Chapman Building taken by Stephanie Chan. Thanks to Doug Dunn for sending along to Kim Cooper for another post about the incident on the Esotouric's Secret Los Angeles Facebook page.



August 30, 2018 - Demolition continues in the basement with many loads of concrete and hollow time coming out for disposal. Photo: Bill Counter


Earlier views along Broadway: 


The last show at the Tower in October 2017. Thanks to Mike Hume for his photo. Visit the Tower Theatre page on his Historic Theatre Photography website for many great views of the theatre.



The Globe, Tower, Rialto (a bit) and Orpheum theatres after the January 31, 2015 "Night on Broadway." Thanks to Glenn Primm for his photo, one that originally appeared on the Bringing Back Broadway Facebook page.



The vista north from the Orpheum toward the Rialto and the Tower. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A wide angle view of 8th & Broadway. South of the Tower are the Southern California Music Co. Building (1922, Meyer & Holler), the Rialto Theatre (1917), and the Wurlitzer Building (1924, Walker & Eisen). Thanks to Hunter Kerhart for his 2012 photo. Keep up with his most recent explorations: on Facebook | HunterKerhart.com | on Flickr



Looking south on Broadway at the Garland Building/Globe Theatre, the Tower Theatre, the Rialto and the Orpheum. We're on the 6th floor of the Bullock's Building at 7th & Broadway. The upper floors are now parking. That's bit of the State Theatre building on the right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



South on Broadway at street level. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A night view in 2009. Thanks to Mark Peacock for his photo. See his Vintage Theatres photo set on Flickr for lots more great work. Also visit his website, MarkPeacockPhotography.com.



The upper part of the west facade. Thanks to Steve Shriver for his 2011 photo on Flickr. It's part of his delightful "Belasco Theatre & Downtown Walkabout" set.



A closer look at the urn on the facade. It's a 2011 Steve Shriver photo on Flickr.



The clock tower from the south. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A closer look at the clock from Broadway. Photo: Steve Shriver on Flickr - 2011. Thanks, Steve!



A terracotta urn on the southwest corner of the clock tower. Photo: Escott O. Norton - 2012. See his full Tower Theatre Tour! set on Facebook. Escott is the executive director of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation. 

The LAHTF is active in promoting awareness of the historic theatres of Los Angeles and works toward their preservation. They frequently offer tours and sponsor other events related to historic preservation. www.lahtf.org | on Facebook



A detail of the fine terracotta work near one of the windows up on the south side of the tower. Photo: Escott O. Norton - LAHTF - 2012



 Another terracotta detail on the south side of the tower. Photo: Escott O. Norton - LAHTF - 2012



A crowd waiting for an early show. The show in question was Ed Kelsey's presentation on the Tower's history, part of the LAHTF October 2012 "all-about" tour of the building. Photo: Escott O. Norton



The line down the block for the LAHTF "all-about" tour. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012



The window above the entrance. Thanks to Gary Leonard and the Broadway Theatre Group for the photo. It made an appearance in 2015 on a Tower Facebook page. See BTG's Tower Theatre website for more about the theatre.



The marquee soffit. The metal cladding from the 1965 remodel had been removed revealing earlier fixtures and stencil work.  Photo: Bill Counter - 2012




No mistaking what theatre you were at with this brass plate below the boxoffice window. The plaque was below the original boxoffice at the center of the entrance and got moved over to the new boxoffice south of the entrance doors as part of the 1965 remodeling. Photo: Nick Bradshaw - 2007. See his Dead Cinemas, Downtown set on Flickr for 50 great views of various downtown movie palaces.


Along 8th Street: 


The elaborate side of the building in October 2017. Thanks to Mike Hume for his photo. Visit his Historic Theatre Photography site for tech info and hundreds of great photos of the theatres he's explored. And don't miss his page on the Tower Theatre.



The 8th St. side of the corner. Photo: Escott O. Norton - 2012



A look down the 8th St. facade. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



Another look along 8th St. Photo: Escott O. Norton - LAHTF - 2012



One of the faux windows in the center of the facade on 8th. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



Ads for the Tower as a Newsreel Theatre in the 40's are still visible on the side of the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



A closer view of a "Newsreel Theatre" sign. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007



Several of the faux windows on the west end of the 8th St. facade. Thanks to Gary Leonard and the Broadway Theatre Group for the photo. It was a post in 2015 on the Tower Facebook page. See BTG's Tower Theatre website for more about the theatre.



A happy couple in repose above one of the 8th St. faux windows. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - 2009



A side view of one of the 8th St. couples. It's a 2015 Gary Leonard photo for Broadway Theatre Group that appeared on a Facebook page for the theatre. They commented: "On top of each window are two nude figures reclining, a discreetly draped masculine director with a camera and a megaphone and a scantily clad starlet with beads and a mirror."



The north (8th St.) side of the tower. Photo: Escott O. Norton - 2012



The clock face on the north side of the tower. Photo: Don Solosan - LAHTF - 2009



The dizzying vista up north side of the vertical sign. Photo: Escott O. Norton - 2012



A detail of the decorative work on the edge of the 8th St. canopy. This canopy all along the 8th St. facade was originally used as a readerboard with a single row of milk glass letters. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The west corner of the canopy. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The 8th St. facade from the east. In 2010 building had been pressure washed and work had also been done to upgrade the look of the storefronts. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



Storefronts back in use in 2014. The photo appeared with "Tiny Retail Shops Fill Historic Tower...," a DTLA Rising story by Brigham Yen story about these long vacant retail spaces along the 8th St. side of the building.



A night view of the storefronts. This upscale revival didn't last long. Soon it was back to tenants offering discount jewelry, cell phone repairs, a locksmith, and so on. Photo: Brigham Yen - December 2014

 

A Gary Leonard photo looking up toward the east face of the clock that appeared on a Tower Facebook page in 2014.

 

The south and east sides of the clock. Photo: Escott O. Norton - LAHTF - 2012



Thanks to the Anthony Caldwell Studio for this lovely view along the 8th St. facade. It appeared in 2016 on the Night on Broadway Facebook page.



The facade from Spring St. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012


Around the back: 


Looking down the alley. S. Charles Lee's extraordinary skill made the Broadway facade look as expansive as possible. When we get to the alley, we get a better sense of how narrow (50') the lot actually is. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

The door at center way up in the air was to load in the organ pipes and associated gear. It goes to a passageway above the stage that connects to the organ chambers above the side boxes.



A closer look at the back wall. The patched area to the right of the sign is where a protruding enclosure covered the back end of the original Vitaphone horn -- there wasn't enough room behind the screen. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



The sign on the rear corner of the building. No longer open all night. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007


The theatre from above:


A look down onto the top of the tower. It used to extend upward a bit more prior to some removal following earthquake damage. Thanks to Ernie Pearl for posting the photo on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page in 2013.

The building to the left of the Tower is the Hulett C. Merritt Building on the NW corner of 8th and Broadway. It's a 1915 design by the San Francisco based firm Reid Brothers. Reid Brothers, along with Weeks and Day (another San Francisco firm), also worked on the State Theatre. In this photo we see the brick-red south side of that building on the right side of the photo.  



A drone's-eye look down at the Tower from Ian Wood's "Downtown Los Angeles," his four and a half minute adventure on Vimeo. He spent several months in 2014 shooting downtown theatres and other historic buildings from a drone that resembled "a mutant chicken." Don't miss it! 

The footage also appears with stories by Brigham Yen and LA Observed's Kevin Roderick. The building over on the right is the Hamburger Department Store / May Co. building, later known as the Broadway Trade Center.

The Tower Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | back to top - recent exterior views | lobby areas | lounges + basement support areas | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | organ chambers | booth level | attic | roof | tower |

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