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Los Angeles Theatre: vintage exterior views

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

The Los Angeles Theatre pages:  history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | entrance | grand lobby | main floor inner lobby | lobby - 1st balcony level | basement - intermediate lounge | basement - main lounge | ladies room and nursery | men's room | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | stage | boothretail and support spaces |


January 30, 1931 - A lovely view of the theatre's opening. Chaplin's "City Lights" was the initial attraction. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library set # 001387263

The State Library has over 125 photos of the theatre taken in 1931 by Mott Studios. You'll find many of them spread around on the various pages about the theatre's interior. The full list of their photo sets can be seen at the bottom of the history page.



January 30, 1931 - A closer view of the facade. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library set # 001387263



1931 - "Now Playing Here." It's another look at the facade during the "City Lights" run. The vertical was neon but the only neon on the marquee was the "L.A." above the readerboard on the end panels and the "Los Angeles" in script at the center. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library set # 001387263 



1931 - A wider Mott Studios view taken during the "City Lights" run. Thanks to Woody Wise for this version of the photo. It can also be seen as photo #1 in the California State Library set # 001387265. There's also a version in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1931 - The mob for the opening of Zukor's in the theatre's north storefront. It's a Dick Whittington Studio photo in the USC Digital Library collection. They also have another shot of the store.



1931 - A Mott Studios "City Lights" photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. We get to look a bit south this time. Check out the use of the second floor window by Zukor's.


 
1931- The theatre running "Aloha" with Raquel Torres, advertised as "A Romance of the Tropics." Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library set # 001387263.
 

1931 - A detail from the Mott photo above. The film played a week beginning March 6. A billboard advertising the run at the Los Angeles can be seen in several Dick Whittington Studio photos that appear on the Belmont Theatre page.
 
 

1931 - Another "Aloha" shot. The film was from indie outfit Tiffany Productions. Photo: Mott Studios - California State Library set # 001387263



1931 - The Los Angeles running "The Lady Who Dared" with Billie Dove, Sidney Blackmer and Conway Tearle. It was a May 1931 release from First National. Onstage: Leon Errol in "Tid-Bits." Thanks to the Historic Core Facebook page for the photo. The photo also appears on the Facebook
page of Bringing Back Broadway.



1932 - A view looking north from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. We've gone from a world premiere at the opening to an "Any Seat - 15 cents - Any Time" policy with a moveover run of "Frankenstein," a November 1931 release. It had earlier played the Orpheum. Note the vertical down in the next block for the Paramount, the former Metropolitan Theatre. The sign was still up but they had stopped using the Broadway entrance several years earlier.



1933 - A dazzling view of the theatre's original marquee. The 15 cents neon is gone -- it's now 15 and 25. "Night of Terror" with Bela Lugosi was an April release. The photo is from the Tyler St. Mark collection on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. Also see a closeup of the boxoffice from Mr. St. Mark.



c. 1937 - A view by Herman Schultheis that's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. We're looking south on Broadway toward the soon to be replaced marquee.



c.1937 - A shot by Herman Schultheis looking north on Broadway toward the Los Angeles. It looks like we needed a flashier paint job on that vertical sign. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1937 - Our first look at the new angled marquee. They're running "Lady Behave!" from Republic and "Port of Missing Girls," a Monogram release. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.



1938 - A view toward the Los Angeles running "Blondie" with Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake. Or, as the marquee says: "A Great Cast." The co-feature was "Girl's School" with Anne Shirley, Nan Grey and Ralph Bellamy. It's a photo from the Metro Transportation Library and Archive on Flickr.



1939 - The theatre had the "first showing" of "Street of Missing Men," an April release with Charles Bickford and Harry Carey. The second feature was "The Last Warning," a January release with Preston Foster. It's a Dick Whittington Studio photo in the USC Digital Library collection.


 
1939 - A detail of the theatre's facade from the previous photo.
 

1940 - In this January shot they were running "Day-Time Wife" with Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell along with "Rulers of the Sea" starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. It's a photo from the Dick Whittington Studios in the USC Digital Library collection. Also see another take the same day looking south from the 500 block. Thanks to Scott Collette for including these in his great post on the Forgotten Los Angeles Facebook page of 17 downtown Whittington views from 1940. Part of the set is also on Instagram
 
 

1940 - A shot of the vacant north storefront after Zukor's moved next door. Note that it still has the original terracotta on the second floor. The photo is one in a 31 photo set in the USC Digital Library  collection that includes interior views of the space.


 
1942 - North on Broadway in a Los Angeles Public Library photo from their Blackstock Negative Collection. The theatre is running "All Through The Night" with Humphrey Bogart. There was evidently a big event at Bullock's, 7th & Broadway.
 

1944 - The Palace was running as a newsreel house and down the block the Los Angeles had "The White Cliffs of Dover," a June release from MGM. Thanks to Kurt Wahlner for sharing the photo from his collection. It's one that was in a group of snapshots he acquired. Visit Kurt's meticulously researched site about the Chinese: GraumansChinese.org.


1944 - A closer look during the run of "The White Cliffs of Dover." Note the display work under the marquee executed by Paul G. Fuentes, who did lots of art work for the studio. The photo appears courtesy of Joseph F. Munroe and is from the collection of Paul and Marlene Fuentes.



1940s - North from 7th st. Thanks to Kathy Riley for finding the photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.



1940s? - An undated facade detail in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.



1940s - A postcard view looking south on Broadway from 6th with the Los Angeles Theatre on the right and slivers of the Palace verticals outlined in red on the left. In the distance beyond Bullock's two verticals for Loew's State can be seen in white. Thanks to Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle for sharing the card from his Theatre Talks collection.

There's also a copy of the card with more subdued coloring on the site Card Cow. The back of the card: "Broadway at night, in downtown Los Angeles, is aglow with brilliant lights. the many attractive shops, theatres and cafes afford great interest to visitors of the Southland."



1940s - Another card almost from the same vantage point but with a moon and quite different traffic. Note the curiously shaped windows on the theatre's north storefront. And no Bullock's sign. Thanks to Elizabeth Fuller for this one, which has a 1944 postmark. It's in her wonderful Old Los Angeles Postcards album on Flickr. At last look she had 686 cards. Eric Lynxwiler also has a copy of the card in his delightful Paper Ephemera collection on Flickr.



1940s - A later card with Mode O'Day moved into the theatre's north storefront. It's from the collection of Michelle Gerdes on Flickr. This one has a 1947 postmark. 



1948 - A Dick Whittington Studio photo in the USC Digital Library collection.


 
1951 - A lovely look at some hydrant trouble at the alley on 6th just north of the theatre. It's a
Herald Examiner photo, part of a set of nine in the USC Digital Library collection. The set also includes views turning around 180 degrees where we're then looking at the Paramount Theatre on 6th St.



1953 - They were running "Just For You," a September release with Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman and Ethel Barrymore. The bottom of the bill was probably "Tropic Zone," a January 1953 release with Ronald Reagan, Rhonda Fleming and Estelita Rodriguez. It's a photo from the California Historical Society appearing on the USC Digital Library website.  



early 1950s -  A postcard view looking south from 6th toward the Palace and Los Angeles theatres. The photo was taken in 1955 or earlier as down at 7th and Broadway the vertical still says "Loew's State" and not just "The State." The card was a post on the Facebook page Classic Hollywood / Los Angeles / SFV. Eric Lynxwiler also has a copy in his great collection on Flickr.



1955 - The Los Angeles during the run of "Viva Zapata" with Marlon Brando. Note the "Open All Nite" signage that has replaced the clock on top of the center readerboard. The photo is in the
Los Angeles Public Library collection. They also have a shot on the sidewalk and a closer marquee view.



1956 - A telephoto view looking north toward the Los Angeles. That's a bit of the Globe marquee on the right. The Ohrbach's signage we see is for their building on the southwest corner of 5th & Broadway. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.



1950s - A terrific vintage card from Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr. It's in his lovely Paper Ephemera collection. For a real treat, browse through his Los Angeles Theatres album on Flickr for over 400 great photos. And check out his Downtown Los Angeles album as well. Thanks, Eric!



1957 - Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for this snapshot she picked up at an estate sale. The Los Angeles is running "Desk Set" with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.


 
1958 - The April welcome parade for the Dodgers. It's a Herald Examiner photo, one in a set of 24 in the USC Digital Library collection.



1958 - A look south on Broadway with the theatre running "The Fly," a July release with Vincent Price and Patricia Owens. The second exciting feature is "Space Master X-7." The photo comes from the Sean Ault collection. Thanks, Sean! 



1959 - A wonderful postcard view of the bright lights of Broadway. The Palace is halfway down on the left with the Los Angeles Theatre across the street. The card is one that appeared on the now-vanished website Yesterday LA.
 
 

1959 - A view south toward the Los Angeles that Sean Ault spotted on eBay. On the left that's a bit of the marquee of the Arcade Theatre.

 

1960 - A Los Angeles Railway car heading north. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the shot for a post on the private Facebook group Photos of Los Angeles.


1961 - "Go Naked In The World." It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo of the theatre during the run of "Madame" with Sophia Loren. And you got to play Ten-O-Win!


 
1963 - A February 10 photo by Alan Weeks in the collection of the Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society.
 
 

1963 - "Summer Magic" with Hayley Mills along with "Drums of Africa" starring Frankie Avalon and Mariette Hartley. Plus a plug in the center for the Ann Leaf concert on August 23rd. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for spotting the snapshot on Worthpoint and sharing it on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. Bruce Kimmel notes that this program opened Wednesday the 14th. 
 

1963 - Evidently this August 23 concert by Ann Leaf was the last time the theatre's pipe organ was played publicly. Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing this photo from his collection. See the history page for another photo from that day and tales of the organ's later disappearance. 
 

1969 - "Mackenna's Gold" with Gregory Peck and Omar Sharif was playing at the time of this shot. The co-feature was "Seven Golden Men." Thanks to transit historian Sean Ault for spotting this when it was for sale online. Bruce Kimmel comments: "This double bill opened on Wednesday August 13th."


1972 - An uncredited Los Angeles Public Library photo of the facade of the Los Angeles during the run of "Hit Man."



 
 1972 - Another "Hit Man" shot from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
 
 

c.1973 - Bruce Lee in "The China Connection" and "Fists of Fury." Thanks to Errol Thomas for sharing the image on the LAHTF Facebook page.
 

1974 - A triple bill of "The Spook Who Sat By The Door," a September 1973 release, along with "The Arena," out in January 1974, and "Triple Irons." Thanks to Sean Ault for spotting the photo when it was on eBay.


1974 - The Los Angeles Theatre playing that great epic "Chinese Hercules." Thanks to Sean Ault for the photo from his collection.



1975 - The theatre running Spanish language versions of "A Trip With The Teacher" and "The Babysitter." The photo is from the Sean Ault collection.  



 
1977 - A photo by Tom Sitton that's in the LA County Natural History Museum collection. Thanks to Mike Hume/Historic Theatre Photography for finding it on the National Park Service website. It appears with a 42 page photo gallery that accompanied the 1978 application to get the Broadway Theatre and Commercial District listed on the National Register.  
 

1977 - "Audrey Rose" was an April release. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating this photo for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.


1978 - "Saturday Night Fever" at the Los Angeles. Thanks to John Ford for posting the photo on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.



1981 - Thanks to Richard Wojcik for this "Alligator" shot from his collection.



1981 - "2 x 1." A fine facade view taken when the theatre was running "Scanners" and "The Exterminator." Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the shot for a Facebook post on Ken's Movie Page



1981 - "Enter the Ninja" and "New Year's Evil." Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the photo for a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. Note that Kress, formerly just south of the theatre, is now gone.


 
1982 - "First Blood" and "Death Wish II" bringing in the crowds. Thanks to the now-vanished American Classic Images website for once posting the photo.  
 

1983 - "Twilight Zone: The Movie" playing with "Blade Runner." It's a photo by William Reagh that's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.


1983 - A look at the facade by William Reagh. The photo is in the California State Library collection.



1987 - A fine view of the theatre's signage from Ken McIntyre on Photos of Los Angeles.



1987 - Thanks to Mike Tuggle for this great shot. It appeared as a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 


 
1988 - A facade detail by Betty Sword from Cezar Del Valle's Theatre Talks collection. For other interesting material see his Theatre Talks website and visit him on Facebook.



1988 - A marquee view by Betty Sword from the Cezar Del Valle collection.



1989 - A look at the marquee by cinematographer Gary Graver (1938-2006). He took many photos of theatres in Los Angeles and Portland. Many of his shots can be seen on YouTube in the compilations "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2." Thanks to Sean Graver for the photo.


 
1989 - Michael Douglas in "Black Rain." Thanks to Paul Kanemitsu for his photo, a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles
 

1990 - Thanks to Jens Jørn Gjedsted, a tourist from Copenhagen, for getting this shot during a Spring visit. It's a photo he shared in a post for the Lost Angeles Facebook group.


1990 - A Los Angeles Conservancy screening of "Double Indemnity" in June for the 4th season of their "Last Remaining Seats" series. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the photo on Photos of Los Angeles. The theatre closed as a regular film house in 1994. Metropolitan Theatres had been the operator for several decades.

The Los Angeles Theatre pages:  history | back to top - vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | entrance | grand lobby | main floor inner lobby | lobby - 1st balcony level | basement - intermediate lounge | basement - main lounge | ladies room and nursery | men's room | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | stage | boothretail and support spaces |

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