133 S. Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 | map |
Opened: Mott's Hall was opened in 1886 by Thomas D. Mott on the west side of the street between 1st and 2nd. The address used before street renumbering was 31 S. Main. It was located over Mott's Market and there were reports of customers complaining of smells drifting up from below.
This postcard view looks south from 1st with the Natick House hotel on the corner on the right. Mott's is the building with the three arched windows just behind the front of the streetcar. The Grand Opera House is the building on the left of the card flying the flag. Thanks to Brent Dickerson for including the card in the Main St. Part 1 chapter of his epic "A Visit to Old Los Angeles."
Seating: About 500. It was a flat-floored hall with a stage at
one end that could be used for exhibitions and other events as well as
theatrical presentations. A shallow balcony wrapped around three sides
of the hall.
A detail from an 1888 Sanborn map in the Los Angeles Public Library collection showing the second floor space as Armory Hall with the building using 27-29-31 S. Main addresses.
The 1889 Agricultural Fair at Mott's Hall. Note the proscenium on the left of the image and the wrap-around balcony. It's a photo taken by Dewey, 147 S. Main St. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for spotting the photo on eBay and including it with his Noirish post #46893. In the post he also discusses an earlier Horticultural Hall. For more about the Horticultural Hall see Flying Wedge's Noirish post #46807.
An 1894 Sanborn map detail showing the hall's stage and wrap-around balcony. Note the use of the newer addresses 129-131-133. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Flying Wedge for including the maps in Noirish post #46903.
The building in the movies in 1923: The Mott Building is at the top of the frame in this shot from a chase across the roof near the end of Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last!" (Hal Roach Studios / Pathé). Thanks to John Bengtson for the screenshot. His detective work figuring out the location is chronicled in the Silent Locations post "The nearly last - Safety Last - joke."
A detail from a 1928 photo in Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives collection. Center left note the little stagehouse of Mott Hall sticking up at the back of the building. Thanks to John Bengtson for including the image in his Silent Locations post "The nearly last - Safety Last - joke."
The three arches of the Mott building are in the center of this detail from a c.1935 California Historical Society photo that appears on the USC Digital Library website. We're looking north toward 1st St. That's part of City Hall we see down in the next block. Thanks to John Bengtson for finding the photo in the USC collection.
Looking north c.1956. The Mott Building is gone and the buildings this side of where the Mott was are getting dismantled. It's a Palmer Connor photo in the Huntington Library collection. Thanks to John Bengtson for finding the photo.
The west side of the 100 block of S. Main where Mott's Hall once was is now occupied by the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters building. On the left that's the Higgins Building at 2nd and Main. Photo: Bill Counter - 2019
More Information: James Miller Guinn's "A History of California..."(1915) has data on early performances at Mott's Hall on page 318. Also see page 360 of "Los Angeles From The Mountains To The Sea" (1921) by John Steven McGroarty.
See also a mention of vaudeville in Mott's in 1895 on p. 215 of "The Businessman in the Amusement World" by Robert Grau. "Sixty Years in Southern California" by Harris Newmark also mentions Mott's. All these titles are on Google Books.
| back to top | Downtown: theatre district overview | Hill St. and farther west | Broadway theatres | Spring St. theatres | Main St. and farther east | downtown theatres by address | downtown theatres alphabetical list |
| Westside | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | [more] Los Angeles movie palaces | the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on facebook | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide |