Opening: This little theatre on the north side of the street between Flower and Figueroa opened prior to 1914. In the 1914 city directory L.C. Myer is listed as the proprietor. It was first operated as the Bear Theatre then by 1916 became the Rose. It's listed as the Rose in the 1917, 1918 and 1919 city directories.
By 1928 it was known as the Rex and had a bit of a career running westerns. By 1939 it was known as the Lux. Robert Rotstan and his wife bought the theatre in 1945. Luis Torres was running it in November 1946. It then had a brief fling as the Anita in 1947 before going back to the Lux name.
It was operated in the 50s by Harold Wenzler, who also ran the Granada on Temple St. and the Oaks Theatre in Pasadena. The c.1965 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
That's 3rd St. running from left to right on this Baist 1914 Real Estate Survey Map from Historic Map Works. The second street in from the left is Figueroa. The Lux is there on the north side of the street, the second lot in. The Tunnel Theatre is on the south side of the street a block to the east, opposite Cinnabar St.
Architects: Robert Farquhar Train & Robert Edmund Williams of the firm Train and Williams.
The Lux Theatre in the Movies:
Sterling Hayden stops at a pawn shop west of the closed Lux Theatre (on the right) in Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" (United Artists, 1956). The posters we see for Lenny Bruce with a burlesque show aren't for the Lux -- they're for the Gayety Club in Hollywood. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for shots showing a bit of the former Tunnel Theatre, the Warner Hollywood and the Iris/Fox theatres.
Closing: The date is unknown but it was sometime prior to 1956.
Status: The Lux was demolished as part of the Bunker Hill redevelopment project. It was still around perhaps as late as 1967. The Bunker Hill Towers apartment complex now occupies the site.
A c.1957 look at the Lux by Leonard Nadel that's in the collection of the Getty Research Institute. The Getty has an extensive collection of Mr. Nadel's photos from 1916 to 1990, with emphasis on those relating to land use and redevelopment projects such as in the Bunker Hill area.
This photo is in a group of photos of CRA projects 1948-98. Also see more Leonard Nadel photos in the Getty's collection. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor HossC for unearthing the photo and including it in his Noirish post #28729.
A sad photo of the Lux in 1964 from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
The Lux and the hotel to its east can be seen in this 1964 photo from Dick Whittington Studio that's in the USC Digital Library collection.
A detail from the 1964 Dick Whittington photo.
A June 1965 vista looking northeast across the waste of the Bunker Hill leveling project with everything smoothed out except the Lux and the adjoining building. The image is from a Kodachrome slide by Palmer Connor that's in the Huntington Digital Library collection.
In the background that's the Department of Water and Power Building (1965) at the center of the photo, the Stanley Apartment Hotel at 210 S. Flower St. and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (1964).
A detail from the Palmer Connor slide.
A September 1965 Palmer Connor photo looking west along 3rd. The Lux still sports its marquee. His caption: "Last buildings to be wrecked on 3rd St." It's in the Huntington Digital Library collection.
The side of the hotel building east of the Lux in 1965. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.
A 1965 marquee detail. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
A lonely 1965 view looking west by William Reagh. The Lux is gone but the hotel building that was to its east remains. The Lux is a parking lot. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.
The site of the Lux. We're looking at the north side of 3rd St. with Figueroa off to the left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
Looking east from the Lux site toward the 3rd St. Tunnel. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018
More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Lux Theatre for some more history. Tovangar2's Noirish Los Angeles post #10900 has more photos of the area.
See the page on the Tunnel Theatre for a few more photos of the area. It was a block east of the Lux at 712 W. 3rd St., near the west portal of the 3rd St. tunnel.
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