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Unique Theatre

456 S. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90013 | map |

Opened: 1901 or earlier. The Unique was running vaudeville and occasional films during at least 1901 and early 1902. It was under the management of Flora E. Hentz and John U. Zallee. The location was on the east side of the street just north of 5th.

It's possible they had other earlier locations before this Spring St. venue. 456 S. Spring was listed as a bicycle shop in the 1901 city directory and as the Unique in the 1902 edition.

A December 23, 1901 L.A. Times article about a little mishap with a reel of nitrate film.  

A May 16, 1902 item about the Unique that appeared in the Times. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the articles.

Hentz and Zallee moved from Spring St. to a more elaborate Unique Theatre on Broadway sometime in 1902 or 1903. The 1903 city directory lists the Unique as being at 629 S. Broadway. See the page on the Broadway location for more about the team, including photos and a program from that location.

They moved again in 1909 when the Broadway house was scheduled for demolition, this time to the former Empire Theatre, 138 E. 3rd St.

Status: The building the Unique Theatre was in has been demolished. The Rowan Building currently at 450-452-460 S. Spring dates from 1912. It was originally called the Title Insurance Building.

The Unique at 456 would have been about where that first bay of the Rowan Building now is. The later Herman Theatre was closer to the corner. The Rowan is using a 460 address for the entire building. That's 5th St. off to the right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019

A view showing a bit of the garden north of the Rowan Building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019

More Information: We also had an unrelated (and much later) Unique Theatre in East L.A. at 3645 E. 1st St. 

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