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Palace of Pictures

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

Opened: The Palace of Pictures opened in 1914 as a conversion from retail space in the Forrester Building, dating from 1907. The building is still on Broadway between 6th and 7th, just south of the Palace Theatre. The building permit #11904, issued June 2, 1914 was to remodel the store space "to meet all the requirements of a motion picture theatre." The lessee was Tally Theatre Co. Not the more famous Thomas Tally. This was E.J. Tally, involved at the time in operating the College and Alhambra theatres on Hill St.

The theatre was later operated by the Palace Amusement Co with Dr. H.B. Breckwedel as secretary and treasurer and C. W. Nouls as president. In the early 20s the firm also operated the Symphony Theatre. Breckwedel was also involved in the Forum Theatre on Pico when it opened in 1924.

An earlier tenant of the space had been something called Magic City. They're listed in the 1909 city directory under "Amusements, places of." 

Architects: Charles F. Whittlessey designed the building. He also was the architect of the Philharmonic Auditorium. G.F. Costerisan and J.F. Kavanaugh designed the theatre conversion. Their offices were at 205 S. Broadway.

Seating: 500 is one estimate.

An October 1915 L.A. Times ad located by Ken McIntyre. 

Closing: The operation moved in February 1916 to a new location at 318 W. 7th St. and this Broadway space was then leased to Innes Shoe Co. The new location for the theatre dropped the "of Pictures" -- it was just the Palace Theatre.

Status: The space is still being used for retail. From 1939 until the early 70s it was occupied by Bond Clothing.

The Forrester Building in 2018 with a bit of the Palace on the left. Photo: Bill Counter

The cornice of the Forrester Building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the Palace of Pictures for the nice research by Joe Vogel and Jeff Bridges (aka Vokoban) that provided answers to some of the mysteries surrounding this short-lived theatre.

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