Welcome to the South L.A. Theatre Tour!
Can't find what you're looking for? The south and south central areas were dotted with several hundred minor theatres (including many early nickelodeons) that haven't been written up here. If you know what street the theatre was on that you're looking for you might check out the more complete Theatres By Address page.
And if you have a name that doesn't appear here, perhaps the theatre has gone under different names at various times. The main Alphabetical List has all the variants.
W. 24th St.
| Union Theatre / Velaslavasay Panorama |
W. 43rd Pl.
| Leimert / Vision Theatre |
E. 103rd St.
| Largo Theatre | Yeager / Linda Theatre |
W. Adams Blvd.
| Adams Theatre | Bard's West Adams | La Salle Theatre | Luna Theatre | Riviera / Fremont Theatre | Variety Theatre |
| Mesa Theatre |
| Arlington Theatre | Maynard Theatre | Rimpau / Metro / Ebony Showcase |
| Baldwin Theatre |
S. Central Avenue
| Casino Theatre | Central Theatre | Hub Theatre | Florence Mills Theatre | Lincoln Theatre | Rosebud Theatre | Savoy Theatre | Tivoli / Bill Robinson Theatre |
Compton Ave. / Blvd.
| Culver City Theatre | Culver / Kirk Douglas Theatre | Meralta Theatre |
| Culver City Theatre | Meralta Theatre |
Florence - Graham
| Castle Theatre | Florencita Theatre | Fox Florence Theatre | Gentry Theatre | Graham Theatre | Kinema Theatre | Nadeau Theatre | Sunbeam Theatre | World Theatre |
| Gardena Cinema |
| Plaza Theatre |
Hyde Park / Angeles Mesa
| California Theatre | Huntington Theatre | Lyric Theatre | Nadeau Theatre | Park Theatre | Warner Huntington Park |
| 5th Avenue Theatre | Academy Theatre | Arcade Theatre | Balboa Theatre | Fox Inglewood | Granada Theatre | Imperial Theatre | Inglewood Theatre | Ritz / Miracle Theatre | Seville Theatre | United Artists |
La Brea Ave.
| Star Theatre |
La Tijera Blvd.
Long Beach Blvd.
| Arden Theatre | Lynwood Theatre | Tower Theatre | Vogue Theatre | Also see the Long Beach Theatres survey page for listings that are in Long Beach.
| Arden Theatre | Lynwood Theatre |
S. Main St.
| Chutes / Luna Park Theatre | Dreamland Theatre | Princess Theatre | Victor Theatre |
Manchester Ave. / Blvd.
| Egyptian / Maywood Theatre |
| Cameo Theatre | Garmar Theatre | Montebello Theatre | Vogue Theatre |
| Dixie Theatre |
| Norwalk Theatre |
| Fox Fullerton |
Pacific Coast Highway
| Rolling Hills Theatre |
Park Mesa Heights
| Mesa Theatre |
| Bundy Theatre | Cinematour | Del Mar Theatre | Empire Theatre | Fedora Theatre | Forum Theatre | Fox Stadium | Keystone Theatre | The Landmark | Lido Theatre | Midway Theatre | Picfair Theatre | Pico Theatre | Pico Drive In | Picwood Theatre | Sunbeam Theatre | Theatre Theatre | Victoria Theatre | Westland Twins | Westside Pavilion Cinemas |
Pico - Union
| Boulevard Theatre |
| American Theatre | Armory Opera House | Belvedere Theatre | Fox Pomona | Fraternal Aid Opera House | Lyric Theatre | Pomona Opera House | State Theatre | Sunkist Theatre | California / United Artists Theatre |
| Arcade Theatre |
San Pedro St.
| Castle Theatre | Star Theatre |
| Loyola Theatre | Paradise Theatre |
| Egyptian / Maywood Theatre | Mesa Theatre |
South Central L.A.
| Allen Theatre | Vogue Theatre |
| Avalon Theatre |
| Grand / Torrance Community Theatre | Rolling Hills Theatre | Stadium / Pussycat Theatre | Torrance Theatre |
| Allen Theatre |
| Boulevard Theatre | Deluxe Theatre | Fox Figueroa | La Tosca Theatre | Mission Theatre | Shrine Auditorium | Union Theatre / Velaslavasay Panorama | University / Realart / Trojan Theatre | Vermont Theatre |
S. Vermont Ave.
| Balboa Theatre | Boulevard Theatre | Congress Theatre | La Tosca Theatre | Southside Theatre | Temple Theatre | Vermont Theatre |
| Lyric Theatre | Nadeau Theatre |
| Arlington Theatre | Boulevard Theatre | Chutes / Luna Park Theatre | Culver / Kirk Douglas Theatre | Ebony Showcase | Nate Holden Performing Arts Center | Maynard Theatre |
| Largo Theatre | Palace / Sonora Theatre | Yeager / Linda Theatre |
| Adams Theatre | Arlin Theatre | Arlington Theatre | Bard's West Adams | Boulevard Theatre | Deluxe Theatre | LaSalle Theatre | Luna Theatre | Maynard Theatre | Riviera / Fremont Theatre | Variety Theatre |
| La Tijera Theatre | Loyola Theatre | Paradise Theatre |
| Alto Theatre | Carlton Theatre | Rio Theatre | Rivoli Theatre | Western Theatre |
| Berry Grand Theatre | Gale Theatre | Family Theatre | Optic Theatre | Scenic / Roxy Theatre | Strand Theatre | Wardman / Whittier Village Cinemas | Whittier Theatre |
2541 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood
This 986 seat house opened in 1939, a design by Clifford A. Balch for the Fanchon & Marco operated Southside Theatres circuit. Later it was run by Fox West Coast and its successor companies. It closed in the 1980s (after a porno fling) and was vacant for decades. Thanks to Ken Roe for his 2002 photo. It got churched in 2014. For more information see the page on the 5th Avenue Theatre.
8612 S. Broadway
This theatre opened c.1921 as the Encell Theatre just south of Manchester on the street that was then called Moneta Ave. It became the Mecca around 1929 and was also known as the Broadway Mecca and the Pix before getting renamed the AAA in 1948. Thanks to Sean Ault for sharing the 1955 photo from his collection. For most of its life it was a last-run venue. The 480 seat house became a church in the 1960s. For more information see the page about the AAA Theatre.
3141 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood
S. Charles Lee designed this 1,156 seat moderne style house for Fox West Coast that opened in November 1939. It closed in 1976 and is now used as a church. Thanks to Sandi Hemmerlein for her 2014 photo. For more information see the page about the Academy Theatre.
1898 W. Adams Blvd. West Adams
This 496 seat house was a design by famed architect A.C. Martin that opened in 1914 as the La Salle. Around 1919 it was taken over by A.L. Sanborn, whose firm went on to operate many theatres in southern California over the next 10 decades. Later it was renamed the Adams and run by Stanley Steck who finally closed it in 1955. The brick building survives as an antique store near La Salle St. The Google photo shows it in 2015. For more information see the page about the Adams Theatre.
4426 Gage Ave. Bell
The 1,380 seat house opened in 1925, a design by Julian T. Zeller. In the early 30s the marquee was redone to say Fox Alcazar. In 1977 it was triplexed and rebranded as the Liberty 3 Cinemas. The 1981 photo is from the American Classic Images collection. The theatre closed after 1987 earthquake damage and was later demolished. For more information see the page about the Alcazar Theatre.
3809 Tweedy Blvd. South Gate
This one opened as the Garden Theatre in 1924, architect unknown. In the 30s it was renamed the South Gate Theatre and in the 40s the Allen Theatre, after the names of its owners. The 1981 photo comes from a South Gate High class of 1956 page about the theatre. It was running as a bargain house well into the 80s, then went to concerts. It's still there, although stripped of its seats and unused since 2007. For more information see the page about the Allen Theatre.
4065 Gage Ave. Bell
This one started out in 1922 being called the Maybell. It emerged with the Alpha name in 1938 after S. Charles Lee gave it a big moderne makeover for Fox West Coast. The photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. By 1975 it had closed and was being used for parks & rec classes and then went through several owners and names as a banquet hall, the latest being Fiesta Mexicana. For more information see the page about the Alpha Theatre.
8862 S. Western Ave.
This 894 seat house four blocks south of Manchester in the Gramercy Park neighborhood opened in 1939. It was a project of Cabart Theatres. It didn't have a long life. Closure was in 1955 and by October of that year it was being used as a church. The photo is by Ken McIntyre. For more information see the page about the Alto Theatre.
Queen St. Inglewood
Queen St. is a block north of Manchester. The theatre was mid-block on the south side of the street between La Brea (formerly Commercial St.) and Market St. The image is a detail from a c.1921 postcard in the Cal State Dominguez Hills collection. For more information see the page about the Arcade Theatre.
11709 Long Beach Blvd. Lynwood
A 1946 design by S. Charles Lee for the firm South-Lyn Theatres. They also had theatres in Bellflower and South Gate. The 1947 photo is in the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection. The Arden ran until 1974 and burned in 1988. There's now a car lot on the site. For more information see the page about the Arden Theatre.
2117 W. Jefferson Blvd.
This 500 seater opened in 1911 as the Columbia. Frank M. Tyler was the architect, known mostly for classy residential work. Later it was known as the Jefferson, the Palace and the Home Theatre. In 1937 it got new signage as well as the Arlin name. Thank to D. Sedman for locating the marquee image. The theatre ran until about 1951 and a few years later it became a pawnshop. For more information see the page about the Arlin Theatre.
2517 W. Washington Blvd.
This 800 seat house in the Arlington Heights neighborhood opened in 1923, a replacement for the smaller theatre across the street that ended up as the Maynard. The 20s photo comes from the Los Angeles Public Library. The theatre was dark by 1951 and was later converted into a roller rink. The building survived but the facade bears no traces of its theatrical past. For more information see the page about the Arlington Theatre.
5258 Avalon Blvd. South Park
This 600 seat neighborhood house opened around 1913 as the K & K Theatre. In the 20s it was the Sunshine Theatre and became the Avalon around 1930, several years after the name of the street it was on was changed from South Park Ave. to Avalon Blvd. Thanks to Sean Ault for coming up with the only photo of the theatre. For more information see the page about the Avalon Theatre.
11022 Downey Ave. Downey
This 850 seat house opened in 1925 as the Downey Theatre. The 1939 photo is from the Downey Conservancy. In the 40s it got patriotic and was rebranded as the Victory Theatre. It became the Avenue in 1949 and got another major remodel in 1963. It closed in 2003 and is now stripped out for reuse as a pizza parlor. For more information see the page about the Avenue Theatre.
8713 S. Vermont Ave.
It was a 1926 design with 1,250 seats and a full stage by Lewis A. Smith for West Coast Theatres. After its life as a film house was over it was a concert venue, a Nation of Islam mosque and a TV production facility called the Pan Andreas West. The 1983 photo comes from the American Classic Images collection. It's still sitting there on a once busy but now blighted stretch of Vermont just south of Manchester. For more information see the page about the Balboa Theatre.
3741 S. La Brea Ave. Baldwin Hills
A unique structure using arched laminated wood beams, the 1,800 seat house opened in 1949, a design by Lewis Eugene Wilson. Initially apperated by Fanchon and Marco's Southside Theatres, it later went through a full handful of other operators. The Julius Shulman photo is in the Getty Research Institute collection. The house was twinned in 1981, triplexed in 1986 and closed in 1994. The auditorium portion remains, remodeled for other uses. For more information see the page about the Baldwin Theatre.
Bard's West Adams
4409 W. Adams Blvd.
L.A. Smith designed this 1,300 seat house with an Egyptian interior for Lou Bard. It was a big brother to the Vista: more seats and a full stage. In the early 30s it was the Fox Adams and then went back to the Bard's name. The image is from a 1938 trade magazine ad. In the 60s it was the Kabuki, running Japanese films. It was also known as the Adams West. Its last theatrical use was as a concert venue in the early 80s variously known as Bard's Apollo and the Apollo West. It's been churched. For more information see the page about Bard's West Adams.
16610 Bellflower Blvd.
It opened around 1925 when the numbering was different and the street was called Somerset. The operator was Lester Funk, who a few years later would build the theatre across the street that was later renamed the Nubel. This 500 seat house was converted to retail use when the new one opened in 1929. The image is a detail from a California Historical Society photo. For more information see the page about the Bellflower Theatre.
1615 W. Washington Blvd.
This 2,300 seat design by Albert C. Martin opened as the West Coast Boulevard in 1925. The 20s photo is from the California Historical Society. The circuit's offices were also in the building, a convenient location in the heart of film row. Fox sold the house in 1960 and closed it in 1964. It was then used for a few years as the Inner City Cultural Center. Demolition was in the 80s. For more information see the page about the Boulevard Theatre.
6528 Pacific Blvd. Huntington Park
A 1925 design by Arthur G. Lindley and Charles R. Selkirk, this 1,500 seat house was operated for decades by Fox West Coast. It was triplexed in the 1970s and closed in 2006. The two upstairs theatres sit unused while the main floor has been converted to retail. The 1972 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. See the page on the California Theatre for more information.
5409 S. Western Ave.
This was an 1,192 seat house that opened in 1924 with full stage facilities. West Coast Theatres was the initial operator, later Fox West Coast. The location was five blocks north of Slauson Ave. It ran until the 1950s but by 1958 was being used as a church and was later demolished. The 60s photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. For more information see the page about the Carlton Theatre.
4313 S. Central Ave.
This house run by Michael Gore, later a principal in West Coast Theatres, was operating by 1913. It was a half block north of Vernon Ave. The Casino closed sometime around 1926. With street renumbering, the site is now 4361 S. Central. The building now with Pizza Hut as a tenant may be a remodeled version of the theatre. For more information see the page about the Casino Theatre.
8518 S. San Pedro St.
A Mr. Hubbs built this 575 seat Florence-Graham area house in 1924. The image is a detail from a 1926 view taken by George Mann of the comedy dance team Barto & Mann. The Castle was located one lot north of Manchester. It survived until the early 50s then got churched, still its current use. For more information see the page about the Castle Theatre.
6013 S. Broadway
This 900 seat house designed by Lewis A. Smith opened in 1922, originally called the Circle Theatre. West Coast Theatres was the initial lessee. The street was called Moneta Ave. until around 1927. The theatre got the Century name around 1938. The image looking north toward 60th St. is a 2020 view from Google Maps. For more information see the page about the Century Theatre.
Chutes / Luna Park Theatre
S. Main at Washington Blvd.
The park had opened in the 1870s as Washington Gardens but it got a new life in 1900 as Chutes Park with the addition of a 75' tall water ride. The 1,400 seat vaudeville theatre was added in 1901. In 1910 it got renamed Luna Park and closed in 1914. The image is a detail from a c.1905 postcard. For more information see the page about the Chutes / Luna Park Theatre.
7506 S. Vermont Ave.
It's a 1939 streamline design by Clarence Smale with 869 seats. The 1960 photo looking north is one from Sean Ault's collection. Since closing around 1960 the Congress has had an on-and-off career as a church but it's still there three blocks south of Florence Ave. For more information see the page about the Congress Theatre.
3020 Crenshaw Blvd.
A 1941 design of S. Charles Lee, originally with 800 seats. In the 50s the theatre was an early home for Nick and Edna Stewart's Ebony Showcase legit operation. Later in the 50s it was the L.A. Jazz Concert Theatre. In the 70s and 80s it ran Japanese films as the Kokusai Theatre. Since 1985 it's been the West Angeles Performing Arts Theatre, owned by the church across the street. For more information see the page about the Crenshaw/West Angeles Performing Arts Theatre.
1773 W. Jefferson Blvd.
This house opened in 1914 as the St. Andrews, located between Western Ave. and St. Andrews Place. It was a design by Frank Stiff, who did several other theatres in the area. In the early 20s it was the Favorite Theatre, then back to the St. Andrews name before a closing around 1930. It made a comeback c.1936 as the Deluxe. The c.1955 photo looking west from Western is from the Sean Ault collection. For more information see the page about the Deluxe Theatre.
6520 S. Normandie Ave.
This 1920 Greek Revival building was initially a church and got converted to a theatre in 1938. It's at Normandie and 65th Pl. in the Harvard Park area. It was running into the early 50s and then got churched again. Thanks to Peter Chacona Chaconas for his photo. For more information see the page about the Dixie Theatre.
3021 S. Main St.
This theatre designed by J.T. Zeller opened in 1912, originally with 800 seats. Thanks to Cinema Treasures contributor Elmorovivo for locating the early trade magazine photo. Closing date is unknown but it was running at least into the 1940s. The building survives on the corner of Main and 31st St., now some sort of manufacturing facility. For more information see the page about the Dreamland Theatre.
Ebony Showcase / Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
4720 W. Washington Blvd.
The first theatre on the site opened around 1923 as the Rimpau, later renamed the Metro. In 1965 Nick and Edna Stewart took it over as the Ebony Showcase, a live theatre venue for black performers interested in doing more serious work than the stereotypical parts usually offered. The 1983 photo comes from American Classic Images. The CRA grabbed it in 1998 and, while promising to save the theatre, demolished it without notice. Now on the site is the 399 seat Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. For more information see the page on the Ebony Showcase / Holden PAC.
11126 Downey Ave. Downey
This cute design by Harry Haden Whiteley opened in 1920 on what was then called Crawford St. The photo is from the Downey Conservancy. Later it was called the Downey Theatre and presumably closed in 1925 when its operator leased a new Downey Theatre, later known as the Avenue. The building survives as retail space. For more information see the page about the El Teatro.
1830 E. Florence Ave.
This 575 seat Florence area house opened in 1927, about six blocks east of Compton Ave. The 1952 image is a detail from a Julius Shulman photo in the Getty Research Institute collection. The closing date is unknown. There's now a 1981 vintage car wash on the site. For more information see the page about the Florencita Theatre.
136 E. Compton Blvd. Compton
The first Compton Theatre was running in the 20s but closed in 1933 as a result of earthquake damage in Compton's heavily hit downtown. William Allen designed the 1934 replacement. Initally an independent operation, it later became part of the Fox West Coast circuit. The 1955 image is a detail from a postcard. The theatre, along with every other vintage building in downtown Compton, has been demolished. For more information see the page about the Fox Compton.
4011 S. Figueroa St.
Opened in 1925 by independent exhibitor Fred Miller, this 1,800 seat house was later taken over by West Coast Theatres. The designer was William Sterling Hebbard from San Diego. It was on the southwest corner of Figueroa and what is now Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. The 1955 photo comes from a now-vanished site by Tom Wetzel. Demolition was in 1968. For more information see the page about the Fox Figueroa.
1536 E. Florence Ave. Florence-Graham
This lovely 1,707 seat house with a Spanish style courtyard ringed with stores was a 1932 design by S. Charles Lee for Fox West Coast. Included was a full stage and dressing rooms. The Mott Studios photo is in the California State Library collection. It lasted until 1965 and was demolished in 1968. For more information see the page about the Fox Florence.
512 N. Harbor Blvd. Fullerton
It opened in 1925 as Chapman's Alician Court Theatre. The 1,095 seat house was a design by Raymond M. Kennedy of the firm Meyer & Holler. Soon it was going by the name Mission Court Theatre or Mission Theatre. By 1930 Fox West Coast had it and it became the Fox Fullerton. Later it was operated by National General and Mann. It closed in 1987 when the owner decided not to do a seismic retrofit. Since 2005 it's been under restoration by the Fullerton Historic Theatre Foundation. See the pages on the Fox Fullerton for lots of photos: history + exterior views | interior views |
115 N. Market St. Inglewood
This 1,008 seat house opened March 31, 1949 as a replacement for the Granada Theatre which had burned in 1945. It's a design by S. Charles Lee with Carl G. Moeller, the in-house designer for Fox West Coast. Closed since 1984, it's just been sitting as a relatively well preserved time capsule. It got sold recently but no plans have been announced. For more information see the page about the Fox Inglewood.
W. 3rd St. & S. Garey Ave. Pomona
This 1,751 seat deco palace opened April 24, 1931 with a world premiere of "Six Cylinder Love." The design was by Clifford Balch and Floyd Stanbery for Fox West Coast. The City of Pomona ended up with the building, which they sold to new operators in 2007. After a $10+ million renovation it reopened in 2009 as a concert venue and events center. See the pages on the Fox Pomona for more details: history + exterior views | interior views
5002 W. Adams Blvd.
This 801 seat house a block east of La Brea opened in 1925 as an independent operation called the Riviera Theatre. In 1944 it was renamed the Fremont and ran until the early 50s. The building survives as a furniture rental warehouse serving the film business. The 2018 photo is from Google Maps. For more information see the page about the Fremont Theatre.
It opened in 1947 and at various times has been called the Morning Calm Theatre, the Park and the Teatro Variedades. It got the Gardena Cinema name in 1995 and is a lonely single screen first run survivor in its part of the world. Thanks to Ken McIntytre for the 2008 photo. For more information see the page about the Gardena Cinema.
6525 S. Compton Ave.
This 1938 S. Charles Lee streamline confection for Fox West Coast had 1,296 seats. The photo is one from Marc Wanamaker appearing in the Arcadia book "Theatres in Los Angeles." The building survives at 66th and Compton in the Florence neighborhood, now used for some sort of wholesale or storage. For more information see the page about the Gentry Theatre.
1703 E. Firestone Blvd.
This one in the Florence-Graham neighborhood was running by 1925 but the opening date is unknown. The location was at Graham ave., just east of the Pacific Electric tracks. Until the late 20s, the street it was on was called Manchester Ave. 1934 was evidently the end of it. For more information see the page about the Graham Theatre.
115 N. Market St. Inglewood
Leonard L. Jones designed this 1,000 seat house, opening in late 1924. The c.1930 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. It ended up being operated by Fox West Coast and after it burned in 1945 they replaced it with the Fox Inglewood. For more information see the page about the Granada Theatre.
1522 Cravens Ave. Torrance
This 654 seat house opened in 1939, presumably a design by Clifford A. Balch. Initially operated by Pacific States Theatres, it was later run by M & M, a mini-circuit that also had the Stadium, the Torrance, and the Park in Gardena. It closed in the 60s, briefly becoming a concert venue, and then was home to community theatre shows. The 1983 photo is from the American Classic Images collection. A condo project is now on the site. For more information see the page on the Grand Theatre.
6044 Pacific Blvd. Huntington Park
This 1920 design by Edward Borgmeyer had 650 seats. It was located on the east side of the street (as all of Huntington Park's theatres were) just north of Randolph St. Evidently it was running into the early 50s. For more information see the page on the Huntington Theatre.
3180 W. Imperial Highway Inglewood
This once lovely 1,300 seat stadium-style house was a 1949 design by George Russell and Eduardo Samaniego. Problems encountered by various operators included getting product in the early years and dealing with neighborhood troubles later. It closed for good in the early 80s. The photo is by Ken McIntyre. Demolition was in 2006. For more information see the page about the Imperial Theatre.
115 N. Market St. Inglewood
This 1923 design by Carl Boller was operated by West Coast Theatres and its successor companies. It was a block west of Inglewood's other theatres on Market St. The 20s postcard comes from the Cal State Dominguez Hills collection. The theatre ran until 1969 and was then victim of a failed downtown redevelopment plan. For more information see the page about the Inglewood Theatre.
8607 S. Compton Ave.
This 625 seat house in the Florence-Graham area opened in 1925, a partnership between West Coast Theatres and local operator C.W. Grubbs. They were also partners in the Sunbeam Theatre, a bit farther north on Compton Ave. The Kinema was around at least until the early 1950s. The site at the southwest corner of Compton and Firestone now has a gas station on it. For more information see the page about the Kinema Theatre.
La Salle Theatre
1625 W. Adams Blvd.
This one was running in 1914 and perhaps that was it. The location was two blocks east of Normandie. Late in 1914 a new house, also called the La Salle, opened a bit farther west at 1898 W. Adams. That one was later renamed the Adams. For more information see the page about this first La Salle Theatre.
La Tijera Theatre
6820 La Tijera Blvd. Westchester
This 1,530 seat design by S. Charles Lee opened as an independent house in 1949. The photo is from the UCLA collection. It had trouble getting bookings in a competitive part of town that didn't have a large population base yet and in 1952 got converted into a bowling alley. In the 1980s the building was gutted for offices. For more information see the page about the sad saga of the La Tijera Theatre.
La Tosca Theatre
2928 S. Vermont Ave.
This 640 seat house just north of USC opened in 1912 as the Photoplay and was the La Tosca by 1918. In the 50s it made a change from regular product to a smorgasbord of foreign film offerings, regularly running Korean, Czech, German, Indian and Hungarian films. It closed in the 70s. Thanks to Gerald DeLuca for the post-closing view. The building survived until about 2015. For more information see the page about the La Tosca Theatre.
1827 E. 103rd St. Watts
It opened in 1924, a design by Carl Boller for Paul Farron, who also had the Yeager/Linda Theatre several blocks away on E. Main St., as it was then called. The image is a detail from a 1960 photo by Harry Adams in the USC collection. Within a couple of years the theatre was closed and abandoned. There's now a community center on the site. For more information see the page about the Largo Theatre.
3341 W. 43rd Place
This 1,153 seat deco design by Stiles O. Clements of the firm Morgan, Walls & Clements opened in 1932 as part of Walter Leimert's development of the area. It's owned by the City of Los Angeles and has been undergoing a stop and start rehab program for a decade. The Hunter Kerhart photo shows off some of the exterior renovation. After work in the auditorium and addition of a stagehouse they plan a reopening in 2021. See the pages on the Leimert Theatre for more information.
2300 S. Central Ave.
This 1,960 seat house opened in 1927 and quickly became the entertainment hub of the thriving African American community along Central Ave. It was a Moorish inspired design by John Paxton Perrine for Adolf Ramish. In its heyday, all the major performers who played New York's Apollo appeared at the Lincoln when their tours took them to the west coast. The building has been a church since the early 60s. See the page on the Lincoln Theatre for more information and photos.
1635 E. 103rd St.
The theatre was running by 1914 as the Lyceum Theatre with an address west of the Pacific Electric tracks on W. Main St., later renamed E. 103rd. It's in the 1914-15 Watts city directory. By 1919 it had become the Yeager Theatre. At some point after 1932 it got renamed the Linda. The 669 seat house was running into the 1950s but has been demolished. For more information see the page about the Linda Theatre.
24333 Narbonne Ave. Lomita
This 500 seat house, a block north of Lomita Blvd., opened in 1924. Richard D. King designed an upgrade in 1925 for the Chotiner Circuit. The 1928 photo is from the book "Lomita...A Century Remembered." Judy Garland and her sisters performed in 1935 when the theatre was being run by her father. Since 1955 the remodeled building has housed other tenants. For more information see the page about the Lomita Theatre.
8610 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester
1752 W. Adams Blvd.
It's unknown what happened with this one. It's in the 1914 city directory but not later. The building survives, remodeled for other uses, about a block and a half west of Normandie. The 2007 image is from Google Maps. For more information see the page on the Luna Theatre.
11179 / 11606 Long Beach Blvd. Lynwood
There were two. The first was a 900 seat house that opened in 1925 and got flattened by the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Thanks to Ron Mahan for his photo showing the damaged theatre. The same operator leased a new house built for him seven blocks farther south that opened in 1934. It ran until at least 1950, got turned into a bowling alley and then demolished. For more information see the page about the two venues using the Lynwood Theatre name.
7208 Pacific Blvd.
This 1,100 seat vaud and film house opened in 1922 in the then-booming Walnut Park business district. It was just a couple blocks south of what turned into the main Huntington Park theatre area. The design was by local architect A.H. McCulloh. It was operated by Fox for decades then by Pussycat. The late 50s image is a detail from a much larger one on the page from the Sean Ault collection. The building survives but it's been gutted for offices and retail. For more information see the page about the Lyric Theatre.
322 W. Manchester Ave.
This 1,668 seat house just west of Broadway opened in 1926, a design by L.A. Smith for West Coast Theatres. It had a full stage and served for a time as a tryout house for the Fanchon & Marco prologues, termed "Ideas," before they hit the big time downtown. The image is a detail from a 1951 photo by Julius Shulman from the Getty Research Institute. The theatre was a victim of deteriorating conditions in the neighborhood and was demolished in the 1970s. For more information see the page about the Manchester Theatre.
8734 S. Broadway
This 900 seat house opened in 1932 and got some 1944 renovations by noted African-American architect Paul Williams. It closed in the 50s and got churched. Since the 60s it's been home to the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church. It's best known as the location for the shoot of the 1972 footage for the Aretha Franklin documentary "Amazing Grace." The 2020 image is from Google Maps. For more information see the page about the Mayfair Theatre.
2488 W. Washington Blvd.
This 600 seater opened in 1913 as the Arlington, a desgn by Frank L. Stiff. When a larger theatre was built across the street this one gave up its name and was called the United. In 1929 it became the Gem and in 1936 got renamed the Maynard and also got a new moderne facade. The 50s image is a detail from one in the Sean Ault collection. The theatre ran into the late 50s, running foreign films at the end, but has been demolished. For more information see the page about the Maynard Theatre.
4417 E. Slauson Blvd. Maywood
It opened in 1924 as the Egyptian Theatre, a West Coast Theatres operation designed by Evan Jones. Sometime prior to 1944 it got renamed the Maywood. Thanks to Jason Vega for spotting the 1944 photo on a post from the city of Maywood. It ran into the 60s, got repurposed as a shooting range and was demolished for shopping center construction in the 1980s. For more information see the page on the Maywood Theatre.
10912 Downey Ave. Downey
This 900 seat house designed by Evan Jones opened 1926 with the initial lessees being Pearl Merrill and Laura Peralta. They also operated Meralta theatres in Culver City and East L.A. The late 20s photo is from the Downey Conservancy. The theatre got remodelings by Clarence Smale in 1949 and 1971. It was demolished in 1978. For more information see the page on the Meralta Theatre.
5807 Crenshaw Blvd.
This 1,442 seat design for West Coast Theatres by Lewis A. Smith opened in 1926. Later when West Coast morphed into Fox West Coast it was advertised as the Fox Mesa. Thanks to Sean Ault for the 1955 photo. It ran until 1963, a victim of newer competition and neighborhood violence. It was demolished after a fire in 1964 and got replaced by a gas station and shopping center. For more information see the page about the Mesa Theatre.
Florence Mills Theatre
3511 S. Central
This 1,000 seat house, later down to 740, opened in 1912 as the Globe Theatre, another project of the short-lived Globe Amusement Co. It was on the west side of the street just south of Jefferson Blvd. Later it was known as the Amusu and in 1936 was renamed for the Black vaudeville and legit theatre star Florence Mills. The photo is a 2012 Google Maps view. Demolition was the next year. For more information see the page about the Florence Mills Theatre.
4258 S. Broadway
This 525 seat house opened in 1913 when the street it was on was called Moneta Ave. The location is several blocks north of Vernon Ave., not far from USC. It was running into the early 50s and the building survives, cionverted to retail use. For more information see the pahge about the Mission Theatre.
1919 Nadeau St.
This 476 seat neighborhood house in the Florence-Graham area opened c.1926 and was running into the early 1950s. The location was just west of Walnut Park. It's been demolished. For more information see the page about the Nadeau Theatre.
12039 Firestone Blvd. Norwalk
This 680 seat house opened sometime around 1927. The 1938 image comes from the Ronald W. Mahan Collection. The theatre was twinnrd in 1972 and was running into the mid 1980s. It's gone now with a strip mall on the site. For more information see the page about the Norwalk Theatre.
16711 Bellflower Blvd. Bellflower
It opened in 1929 as the Bellflower with a full stage and a huge tower in front in quite a different style than the one it ended up with. The moderne remodel happened in 1949 while it was run by South-Lyn Theatres. The postcard view dates from 1955. With different operators in 1966 it was renamed the Holiday. Final closing was in 1977. It's now been churched. For more information see the page about the Nubel Theatre.
9110 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester
This sprawling, curvy design with 1,314 seats from 1950 was by Arthur Froelich and Ted Rogvoy. Fanchon & Marco's Southside Theatres were the initial operators. The photo is from a 1950 issue of Boxoffice. It ran until 1978 when the theatre and a companion bowling alley were gutted and turned into an office complex. The facade and a few artifacts survive. For more information see the page on the Paradise Theatre.
6504 Pacific Blvd. Huntington Park
The first theatre on the site opened in the 20s, if not earlier. The image is a detail from a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Metropolitan Theatres replaced the original building with a new twin theatre in the 1980s. For more information see the page about the Park Theatre.
12788 Hawthorne Blvd.
This 891 seat house opened in 1927. The pre-opening photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Later taken over by Fox as the Fox Plaza, at one point it was surrounded by an 18 hole miniature golf course. The theatre ran until 1964. New owners didn't get a chance to reopen as it was seized by eminent domain for the Hawthorne Mall project. It was demolished in 1971. For more information see the page about the Plaza Theatre.
6107 S. Main St.
This 700 seat house was a design of Lawrence McConville, who also did the Broadway Theatre downtown. It opened in 1924 or 1925 and, with some time off in the 30s, ran until at least 1949. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for the 1944 photo. The site a block and a half north of Gage Ave. is now a parking lot. For more information see the page about the Princess Theatre.
11239 S. Western Ave.
This 1,100 seat design by Clarence Smale was built in 1948 for Fanchon & Marco's Southside Theatres circuit. Thanks to Dallas Movie Theaters for finding the 1949 trade magazine photo. Other operators had it after 1959 and it finally closed in 1971 due to gang violence. It sat for years and was finally demolished in the 1990s. For more information see the page about the Rio Theatre.
Ritz / Miracle Theatre
226 S. Market St. Inglewood
This 708 seat house opened in 1937 and went through several operators before Loew's got it in 1967, calling it the Loew's Ciné. Later it was run by General Cinema and the Century circuit. In 1975 it was rebranded as the Pussycat. It had several years after Pussycat left as an independent first and second run house before getting churched. Since 2016 it's been the Miracle Theatre, home to legit theatre, dance and music events. For more information see the page about the Ritz / Miracle Theatre.
4521 S. Western Ave.
This 870 seat house a couple blocks south of Vernon Ave. was a design of the prolific Lewis A. Smith. It opened in 1921, a project of A.L. Sanborn and a slew of partners. It was listed in the 1922 city directory as the Western Avenue Wonder Theatre. The opening night photo with actor Bert Lytell in person is from the Sanborn family's collection. It was running into the mid 1930s. The site is now a parking lot. For more information see the page about the Rivoli Theatre.
Bill Robinson Theatre
4219 / 4319 S. Central Ave.
This 850 seat house was a design of the prolific Lewis A. Smith. It opened as the Tivoli in 1921 or 1922 a block and a half north of Vernon Ave. The city did some street renumbering in the late 30s resulting in a new address. In 1938 it became the Bill Robinson. The 1966 photo is by African-American photographer Harry Adams. The theatre was demolished following 1971 earthquake damage. For more information see the page on the Bill Robinson Theatre.
Rolling Hills Theatre
2535 Pacific Coast Highway Torrance
This 1,100 seat single screen house just east of Crenshaw was a design of Roland Pierson for Seattle-based Sterling Theatres. Thanks to Dallas Movie Theaters for the 1963 pre-opening view. It was twinned in 1975 and closed in 1984. Sterling declined to build a new multiplex in the Rolling Hills Plaza. AMC did that, opening in 1986. The unique building survives, now used for retail. For more information see the page about the Rolling Hills Theatre.
1940 S. Central Ave.
This 800 seat house catering to an African-American clientele opened around 1915 and was running into the 1950s. The 1945 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The site a block south of Washington Blvd. is now part of a school playground. For more information see the page about the Rosebud Theatre.
5326 S. Central Ave
This 700 seat house, a design of Edward Borgmeyer, opened in 1913 on the east side of the street about 5 blocks north of Slauson Ave. The 1942 photo by Julius Shulman is in the collection of the Getty Research Institute.It was running into the 50s. For more information see the page about the Savoy Theatre.
6407 West Blvd. Inglewood
This 786 seat Mission-style house opened in early 1924 as an independent. The postcard from that year is from HipPostcard. Soon things went south as far as getting product with West Coast Theatres opening several new theatres nearby and distributors changing their zoning. The operators closed it in 1927 and later West Coast picked it up. It ran on and off until the early 50s. The building was later used for retail then demolished. For more information see the page about the Seville Theatre.
665 W. Jefferson Blvd.
The largest historic theatre in the country, the Shrine Auditorium opened January 23, 1926 as a replacement for a 1906 auditorium on the site that had burned in 1920. John C. Austin designed the building with the auditorium interior done by G. Albert Lansburgh. Seating capacity is 6,308 currently, originally 6,717. In addition to the auditorium, the complex includes various basement halls and a vast exposition hall to the north. It's alive and well as a home for concerts, dance presentations, award shows and other special events. For more information see the pages on the Shrine Auditorium: history | exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | backstage | expo hall + support areas |
528 Melvin Ave. / 9814 Graham Ave. Watts
This one was running as the Palace Theatre in time to make it into the 1922-23 Watts city directory. Originally it had an address of 528 Melvin but with street renumbering and renaming in the late 20s it ended up as 9814 Graham Ave. In the 1927-28 directory it had become the Sonora Theatre. It may not have survived long after that. It's just east of the Blue Line tracks and the block is now all residential. For more information see the page about the Sonora Theatre.
11243 S. Vermont Ave.
Clarence Smale designed this 1,466 seat theatre in 1949 for the Fanchon & Marco circuit Southside Theatres. Looking rather like a quonset hut, it actually used a Lamella style timber roof. The 1949 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. Later the theatre was operated by Statewide Theatres and running at least until 1970. It's still surviving although now churched. For more information see the page about the Southside Theatre.
1653 Cravens Ave. Torrance
The 900 seat stadium-style house (hence the name) opened in 1949. Originally operated by M&M, the same mini-circuit that also had the nearby Grand and Torrance theatres, it was later picked up by Pacific. In 1969 it was renamed the Pussycat. After it closed in 1991 it was used for several film shoots. The photo from Paul Wisman shows the vertical redone as the Aurora for a shoot in 2000. Demolition was in 2002. For more information see the page about the Stadium Theatre.
2710 S. San Pedro St.
This 354 seat venue opened around 1910 with a C.G. Davis as proprietor. The location is three blocks south of E. Adams Blvd. It was running as late as 1929. The building survives, now with some unknown commercial usage. The 2019 image is from Google Maps. For more information see the page about the Star Theatre.
145 N. 1st St. La Puente
This 599 seat house designed by S. Charles Lee opened in 1947 as the Puente Theatre. It looks like a quonset hut but was actually a Lamella roof, using short pieces of lumber for the framing and eliminating the need for trusses. Thanks to Flickr user A Box of Pictures for the 2008 photo. Despite a preservation battle, the theatre was demolished in June 2019. For more information see the page on the Star Theatre.
6525 Compton Ave.
This 1,200 seat house in the Florence area was running by 1920 and made the papers with a booth fire that destroyed it in 1923. Originally with a 6857 address, it was at the corner of E. 69th St., now called 66th. Rebuilt by a local operator in partnership with West Coast Theatres, it reopened in 1925. It was destroyed by fire in 1931, possibly as the result of a labor dispute. The site was used for S. Charles Lee's Gentry Theatre in 1937. For more information see the page about the Sunbeam Theatre.
212 N. Tamarind Ave. Compton
This 860 seat film and vaudeville palace opened in 1924, a design by Richard D. King and Frank M. Goodwin. Like much of Compton, it didn't fare well in the 1933 earthquake. Thanks to Sean Ault for this cutaway view of the stage end of the damaged building. It wasn't rebuilt. The site is now part of a shopping center parking lot. For more information see the page about the Symphony Theatre.
5863 S. Vermont Ave.
Harry C. Deckbar designed this 800 seat house that opened in 1922 a bit south of Slauson Ave. In 1914 he was one of three architects of the Trinity Auditorium. Thanks to Mister Comics for finding the 1962 photo. The theatre was running at least until the late 60s. The building survives but is now used for retail. For more information see the page about the Temple Theatre.
1403 Sartori Ave. Torrance
This 705 seat house, designed for film and vaudeville presentations, opened in 1920. It was a design by Allan E. Sedgwick. Thanks to Sam Gnerre of the South Bay Daily Breeze for the 1936 photo. The theatre ran into the 50s and was then remodeled into a bank. For more information see the Torrance Theatre page.
111 N. Long Beach Blvd. Compton
This 1,000 seat S. Charles Lee design opened in 1935. It was operated by Fox West Coast and was also known as the Fox Tower. The 1935 image is a detail from a photo in the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection. The house closed in the 60s after white flight and gang violence made doing business difficult. For more information see the page about the Tower Theatre.
931 W. Jefferson Blvd.
This 600 seat house across from USC opened in 1913 as the University. Later it had a spell as the Realart and the New University before becoming the Trojan. The 1936 image is from footage taken by Philip W. Sanford that's in "Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles," a 2016 Rick Prelinger compilation. The theatre closed in 1952 and the building was demolished in the 80s. For more information head to the page on the Trojan Theatre.
1122 W. 24th St.
It opened around 1911 as the Faiyland and has also been known as the Union Square, the Mystic and the Louise Glaum Playhouse. Later it was a union hall and a church before being rescued in 2005 by Sara Velas. There's a panorama space upstairs and a shallow theatre space that remains in what had been the front of a 400 seat auditorium. For more information see the page on the Union / Velaslavasay Panorama.
United Artists Theatre
148 N. Market St. Inglewood
This 942 seat theatre designed by Walker and Eisen along with Clifford Balch was across the street from the Fox Inglewood. When it opened in 1931 it was operated by Fox West Coast. The image is a detail from a 1949 Los Angeles Public Library photo taken after a remodel. In the 70s it ran porno as the Mitchell Brothers Inglewood and later was a Spanish language house as the Fox Cinema II. The end came by fire in 1993. For more information see the page on the United Artists.
5352 W. Adams Blvd.
This 662 seat house opened around 1937 as a remodel of a building that dates from 1934. It was running as a film house into the 50s and then had a reopening in 1964 as the New Esquire Theatre. Since the mid 90s it's been used as a nightclub and events space. For more information see the page on the Variety Theatre / Café-Club Fais Do-Do.
4365 S. Vermont Ave.
This Egyptian style house with 854 seats was a design of Edward J. Borgmeyer. It opened in 1921 or 22 and survived into the 1960s. Thanks to Mike Hume for finding the photo in a 1922 issue of Motion Picture News. The theatre has been demolished with the site now a shopping center parking lot. For more information see the page on the Vermont Theatre.
2811 E. Olympic Blvd.
It's an S. Charles Lee design from 1941, originally with 832 seats. The floor got leveled in the 1970s for use as a nightclub and restaurant called Don Quixote. It's still in use as a banquet hall and events space. The 1941 photo by Julius Shulman is in the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection. For more information see the page on the Vern Theatre.
1718 S. Main St. | map |
It opened in 1912 as the Globe Theatre and by 1914 had become the Royal. The 755 seat house got a re-do in 1938 and emerged as the Victor. Thanks to Lou Rugani for finding the 1942 photo. Closing date is unknown but it's long gone. The site is under the 10 freeway. For more information see the page about the Victor Theatre.
9325 Long Beach Blvd. South Gate
It was a 1937 S. Charles Lee design with 800 seats. After closing in the mid 1950s, it had a spell as a church and then reopened as the Teatro Los Pinos. Final closure was in 2014 with a demolition in 2018. The 1938 photo by G. Haven Bishop is in the Huntington Library collection. See the page about the Vogue Theatre for more photos and information.
The 1,468 seat art deco theatre opened in November 1930, one of three neighborhood houses designed for Warner Bros. by B. Marcus Priteca. It was later operated by Stanley Warner and, after 1968, by Pacific Theatres. Pacific twinned it in the 80s and closed it in the mid-90s. After sitting vacant for almost 20 years it was sold and is getting converted into a gym and retail. For more information see the pages on the Warner: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | projection booths | stage | basement |
3930 S. Western Ave.
This 904 seat house opened in 1926 or 1927 about five blocks south of Exposition Blvd. When operated by Fox West Coast it was advertised as the Fox Western. It was closed by 1952 and sat there. Thanks to Sean Ault for the photo looking south toward the closed theatre. It's now been demolished with site part of the Martin Luther King Therapeutic Recreation Center. For more information see the page about the Western Theatre.
7728 S. Broadway
It opened in the early 20s as the Florence Theatre with an address on Moneta Ave. six blocks south of Florence Ave. The street was renamed around 1927. The theatre was rebranded as the World in time for the 1938 city directory and it ran into the 1950s. The photo is of the building repurposed as a market. It was demolished in 2007. For more information see the page about the World Theatre.
A few history resources: The Arcadia Publishing book "Downey" by Larry Latimer and the Downey Historical Society gives an interesting history. See the Downey Historical Society website as well as their Facebook page. There's also a website for the Downey Conservancy. The Conservancy also has a fine photo collection on Flickr as well as a Facebook page.
For Huntington Park history see the 2007 Arcadia Publishing book "Huntington Park" by James Kinsey. The book is available on Amazon. There's a preview on Google Books.
See the Arcadia Publishing book "West Adams." The website for the West Adams Heritage Association has some articles on the history of the area. One of interest is West Adams and the Movies. Wikipedia also has a West Adams article.
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