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United Artists Theatre: projection

933 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90015 | map |

The pages on the United Artists/Theatre at Ace Hotel: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | outer lobby | inner lobby | lounges | upper lobby areas | earlier auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection | stage and stage basement | other basement areasattic | office building/hotel interiors | roof

The United Artists has three projection booths. The booth at the top of the balcony is the 1927 original. The one on the main floor was added as part of a remodeling for the 1955 70mm TODD-AO run of "Oklahoma." The third one is in the basement -- for the screening room.

The 1927 booth at the top of the balcony: 


Toward the booth across the refurbished seats. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - February 2014. Keep up with Hunter's explorations: on Facebook | hunterkerhart.com | on Flickr



A look up toward the ports of the booth at the top of the balcony. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - 2010. This is a detail from a stunning high resolution image of the whole auditorium. Head to the image on Flickr for the whole adventure. Booth access is from a door at the top of either side aisle.



Looking up the house right stairs toward the booth and attic. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014 



Peeking in at the booth front wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014  



Film cabinets on the back wall of the upstairs booth. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2012 



The front wall of the upstairs booth. The ceiling has been removed. A casualty of leaking sumps for the air washers in the fan room above. At least they weren't over the lobby ceiling as is the case in the Fox St. Louis, also designed by C. Howard Crane. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



An early snapshot of the operators in the booth. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library



Ballast resistors in the electric room at the house left end of the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Looking into the booth from the house left side of the attic. On this end we go through the electric room (with rheostats and other gear) before getting to the booth itself. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014


The 1955 main floor TODD-AO booth: 

When the main floor booth was built in 1955 for the 70mm TODD-AO run of "Oklahoma," it was equipped with 35/70mm  Norelco DP70 projectors. The original versions of these machines had two motors, designed to run at either 24 or 30 frames per second. The United Artists was the second Los Angeles theatre equipped for the process -- following the Egyptian. The Egyptian page has more details about the process.

The first two TODD-AO features ("Oklahoma" and "Around The World In 80 Days") were shot and run at 30fps. The third feature, "South Pacific" (1957), was shot at 24 fps -- as were all subsequent ones. The TODD-AO format, with a 5 perforation high frame, an aspect ratio of 2.21 to 1 and six channel stereophonic sound, became the industry-standard 70mm format.

The initial TODD-AO installations utilized a very large, deeply curved screen. Later most theatres replaced these with screens with less curvature for better focus. The Norelco machines are long gone from this booth. Presumably they were pulled out when United Artists closed the theatre after the year-long run of "Oklahoma."

Digital projection equipment: Barco 4K

Film projection equipment: none



Looking toward the main floor rear with Ace's new darker paint job -- and the ugly 1955 TODD-AO booth. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - February 2014



Across the rear of the main floor. The remains of the missing mezzanine are visible across the back of the house. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014



The main floor booth ready for its closeup. Here the theatre was open for a press preview but work was still continuing in many areas. Note that the ports have been opened up again (the church had them plastered on the inside) and enlarged. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014



An earlier look at the front of the TODD-AO booth. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - 2010. It's a detail from a high resolution image of the whole auditorium on Flickr. Thanks, Wendell!



The new ramp into the booth during construction. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014 



Peeking out through the ports. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014 



An earlier look toward the main floor booth's front wall. The ports had been plastered over. The 35/70mm Norelco machines were long gone. But it looks like someone had threaded up a reel on one of the Simplex XL machines. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



A view along the booth back wall before the Ace construction. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012



Hillsman Wright of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation in the main floor booth before the Ace renovations. Photo: Don Solosan - 2010. The shot is from Mr. Solosan's video adventure on YouTube: "Insiders Peek #9." It was made to promote a 2010 LAHTF tour that was later canceled by the church that then owned the building.

The LAHTF 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


The basement screening room:

The front lobby stairs that get you down to the smoking lounge and men's room also get you to the screening room. It's under the outer lobby. From the basement lounge you can either take a left to go to the men's room, sort of straight ahead to the theatre elevator, or right (toward Broadway) to get to the screening room. 


 
In the vestibule outside the screening room.
To the right is the corridor leading to the theatre's elevator and on to backstage. Straight ahead, you're in the men's smoking lounge.  Photo: Cap Equity Locations - August 2014

Thanks to Rebecca Reynoso for the photo. Cap Equity brokers deals between property owners and those looking for filming locations or other special uses. See their United Artists page for 82 photos.




 Looking toward the screen end of the room. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - August 2014 



A closer look at the screen area. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - February 2014 



The view back toward the booth. Photo: Cap Equity Locations - August 2014 



The screening room during the Ace renovations. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014 



Another look back toward the booth. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014 



An earlier view of the basement screening room. Photo: Don Solosan - Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation - 2010. It's a shot from Mr. Solosan's video adventure on YouTube: "Insiders Peek #9." Thanks, Don!



The screening room booth -- equipment long gone. Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014



Another booth view.  Photo: Bill Counter - January 2014  



LAHTF's Hillsman Wright in the screening room booth. Photo: Don Solosan - Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation - 2010.  It's another shot from "Insiders Peek #9" on YouTube. Thanks, Don! 

The pages on the United Artists/Theatre at Ace Hotel: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | outer lobby | inner lobby | lounges | upper lobby areas | earlier auditorium views | recent auditorium views | back to top - projection | stage and stage basement | other basement areasattic | office building/hotel interiors | roof |

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