Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections: Downtown | North of Downtown + East L.A. | San Fernando Valley | Glendale | Pasadena | San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier | South, South Central and Southeast | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Long Beach | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces |
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Theatres in Movies site and the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.

Long Beach Theatres

Exploring 60 theatres on The Pike, around downtown, and in various neighborhoods.

It's delightfil that Long Beach has so many wonderful art deco treasures left from the city's great building boom following the 1933 earthquake. Sadly, there's not much left from the great stock of theatres that once thrived in town. Changes in the theatre business and urban renewal spurred by the declining fortunes of the downtown area finished almost all of them.

The Art Theatre, a cute deco style neighborhood house dating from 1924 is the only historic Long Beach theatre still running films. Looking at other Long Beach treasures requires a bit of time travel. Some of the theatres were well documented, some not. The major resource for information on the historic theatres of Long Beach is the Ronald W. Mahan Collection. Thanks to Ron for sharing his photos, data and insights.  

Many of these theatres changed names more than once in their liftime. For an alphabetical list that also includes those alternate names see the Long Beach Alphabetical List. The links below are organized by street or area. If you'd like a slightly more detailed look at that arrangement, head to the Along the Coast Theatre List By Address.

Thanks for visiting!

-- Bill Counter
 
 

A map by Ronald W. Mahan of early downtown Long Beach theatre locations appearing on the Cal State Long Beach page "Early Long Beach Theatres." The page also offers a list of theatre addresses and dates.


1st St.
| Coughran Opera House |

2nd St.
| Fox Belmont |

3rd St.
| Ebell Theatre | Tabernacle |  

4th St. 

American Ave.
It got renamed Long Beach Blvd. around 1960 -- see those listings

Anaheim St.  
| Cabart Theatre | Dale Theatre | Hart Theatre | Home Theatre |

Atlantic Ave. 

Bellflower Blvd.
| Los Altos Drive-In |

Belmont Shore
| Fox Belmont |

Bixby Knolls

Board Walk
| Theatorium |

Broadway
| Edison Theatre |

Carson St.
| Regal Edwards Long Beach 26 | Lakewood Drive-In | Lakewood Theatre | Paradise Theatre |

Lakewood
 
Locust Ave.
 
Long Beach Blvd. / American Ave.

Ocean Blvd.
| Imperial Theatre | The Movie | Roxy Theatre | State Theatre | United Artists Theatre | West Coast Theatre

Pacific Coast Highway

Parkview Village

Pine Ave.
| AMC Pine Square 16 | Cinemark at the Pike Outlets | Coughran Opera House | La Petite Theatre | Laughlin Theatre | The Lyceum  | Municipal Auditorium - 1905 | Palace Theatre

The Pike

Queens Highway
 
Redondo Ave.
 
Santa Fe Ave.
 
Seaside Way 

Signal Hill
 
Spring St.
 
Virginia City
 
Viking Way
 
Ximeno Ave.
 
 
 
6346 E. Pacific Coast Highway 

This complex opened in 1984 with six screens and got an expansion into an adjacent building in 1997.  It's still operating. The photo is from 2007. For more information see the page about the AMC Marina Pacifica.
 
 
245 Pine Ave. 
 
This complex opened in 1992 and closed in 2010. The area once occupied by the thatres is now condos. It's a 2007 photo. For more information see the page about the AMC Pine Square
 
145 E. Seaside Way
 
This 450 seat house opened sometime around 1912 on the north side of the street just east of the Municipal Auditorium. It ran until about 1932 but the building survived three decades longer. Thanks to Carolyn Comings for this 30s view in from the Rainbow Pier. The American's building is in the center with the row of ten windows on the 2nd floor. That's the Jergins Trust Building/State Theatre on the left and the Breakers Hotel on the right. For more information see the page about the American Theatre.
 
 
2025 E. 4th St. 
 
This deco gem opened in 1925 as the Carter Theatre with a somewhat Oriental interior. It became the Lee following a deco remodel to repair earthquake damage in 1933. The Art name came along in 1949. The theatre got a $1 million restoration in 2008. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for her 2009 photo. It's the only historic theatre remaining in Long Beach. For more information see the page about the Art Theatre.
 
314 on the Pike

The distinctive clamshell entrance of the theatre is seen part way down the block on the left in this card from the Ronald W. Mahan Collection. We're looking west along the 300 block from Cedar Walk. The Art was running from 1907 until about 1918, after which time its building was remodeled for other tenants. For more information see the page about the Art Theatre
 
5870 Atlantic Ave. 

This 1942 design by Carl Boller featured underwater blacklight murals on the auditorium walls. In the 70s they ran live burlesque shows and adult movies. In the late 70s and early 80s as the Teatro Zacatecas and the Cinema Variedades it was Spanish language films. Later it was Chinese and Kung Fu epics. It tried a comeback in the late 80s as a bargain house called the Long Beach Big Screen. After a long preservation battle the city decided they would demolish it for a new library although there was another very nice vacant lot across the street. Thanks to Mark Goodrich for his 2014 photo taken during a "demolition festival." For more information see the page about the Atlantic Theatre.

Bentley Theatre
319 on the Pike

This house was a legit venue of about 1,500 seats erected in 1908 by a consortium of "Eastern capitalists" headed by I.H. Bentley of Minneapolis. The stagehouse of the theatre is seen in the center of this detail from a c.1908 postcard. It had problems with a 1913 earthquake and needed a "reconstruction." In its short life it went under a variety of names: Bentley Grand, Empress Bentley, Hart, Hip, and Strand. The end came in 1921 when it was converted into a ballroom and retail space. The building survived in its modified form into the 1970s. For more information see the page about the Bentley Theatre

 

333 on the Pike

This theatre was on the north side of The Pike just a couple doors west of the Bentley. That's the Bijou in this detail from a 1910 postcard view looking west toward Chestnut Pl. and the Virginia Hotel. It probably opened in 1910 and evidently closed up around 1918. For more information see the page about the Bijou Theatre
 
 
2157 Atlantic Ave. 

This 956 seat neighborhood house was a 1925 project of George F. Brayton. The design by Schilling & Schilling didn't fare well in the 1933 earthquake but the same architects patched it up and gave it a new streamline look. Thanks to the Ronald W. Mahan Collection for the post-remodel photo. It closed in 1971 and was turned into a parking lot several years later. For more information see the page about the Brayton Theatre

336 on the Pike
 
This open-air legit venue began in 1908 with the beach right behind the theatre and stage end of the sprawling venue almost at Chestnut Pl. where the amusement area ended. Later it got a roof over the top. In the c.1909 photo from the Ronald W. Mahan Collection we're looking east with the Wonderland /Gaiety and the Art theatres beyond. The operation went through several owners and names: Long Beach, Unique and Boston. Closing was sometime around 1916. For more information see the page about the Byde-A-Wyle Theatre.


2342 E. Anaheim St. 
 
This 924 seat house was opened by Milt Arthur's Cabart Theatres in October 1936 with "Swing Time" and "Adventure in Manhattan." The photo is the Press Telegram's shot of the opening night crowd. It ran until 1961 and the building then got remodeled and expanded for office, retail and community center use. For more information see the page about the Cabart Theatre
 
 
1049 American Ave.
 
This house opened sometime around 1921 between 10th and 11th streets on the west side of what is now called Long Beach Blvd. Thanks to the Ronald W. Mahan Collection for the 1924 photo. The end came with serious damage to the back of the building in the 1933 earthquake. For more information see the page about the California Theatre

99 S. Pine Ave. 
 
This 14 screen complex opened in 2003, a design by Blair Ballard Architects. Total seating capacity is 3,572. For more information see the page on the Cinemark at the Pike Outlets
 
 
1633 Ximeno Ave at PCH
 
This 1,000 car facility opened in 1951 as a project of Eagle Theatres Corp. but later ended up with Pacific as the operator. Thanks to Rick Prelinger for the image from some 1952 footage. The theatre closed in 1985 so the land could be developed into a business park. For more information see the page about the Circle Drive-In.


112 E. 1st St.
 
This 550 seat theatre was in a three story building at Pine and 1st, just north of where the Palace would later be. The proprietor was J.B. Coughran, who also had a real estate and insurance business. In this c.1907 view from the Ronald W. Mahan collection we're looking west on 1st with Coughran's signage seen on the side of the building on the left. It was running in 1904 but it seemingly got demoted to being called Coughran Hall after larger theatres opened beginning in 1908. The building survived into the 70s. For more information see the page about the Coughran Opera House

 
4275 Atlantic Ave. 
 
This 1947 "Prefashioned" Skouras-style theatre designed by Carl Moeller and Kaiser engineers was intended to be a prototype for theatres that could be inexpensively assembled out of factory manufactured components. The cost savings weren't there and Fox West Coast didn't pursue the program. The house sat 1,164 with the upper section done stadium-style, a standard size and configuration for Fox in the 40s. Thanks to Matt Spero for his 1974 photo. The theatre closed in 1998 for construction of a strip mall on the site. For more information see the page about the Crest Theatre.  
 
 
2933 E. Anaheim St. 
 
The 550 seat  house opened in 1922 touted as being the "first in East Long Beach." For much of its life it wobbled back and forth between being called the New Dale and the Dale. The 1932 photo by Anton Wagner is in the California Historical Society collection. The Dale was running until 1951. The site is now an Auto Zone parking lot. For more information see the page about the Dale Theatre
 
1100 E. 3rd St.  

This 1,000 seat theatre opened in 1925, equipped for both film and stage presentations. It was part of a building constructed by the ladies organization Ebell of Long Beach to replace an earlier building on Ocean Blvd. Otis Hoyt was the first early operator, calling it Hoyt's Ebell. The c.1925 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library. Later it was known as the Metro Theatre as well just as the Ebell Theatre. It was running as a commercial film house at least into the late 40s and was used sporadically for various shows into the 90s. The building has been restored but the theatre portion is now condos. For more information see the page about the Ebell Theatre

 
213 E. Broadway 
 
It's a 1917 vintage building that has had many uses over the decades but only became a theatre in 1998 when Cal State Long Beach spent $250,000 building it out as a 99 seat flexible space for their California Repertory Company. They vacated in 2006 when it became evident that an adjacent building was seismically unsound and, under state regulations, they couldn't occupy the theatre. The 2019 image is from Google Maps. For more information see the page about the Edison Theatre
 
 
234 E. 4th St. 

This 1,180 seat conversion of a former garage opened in 1924. Thanks to the Ronald W. Mahan Collection for the photo with the maquuee advertising an "Atmospheric Prologue" along with "Little Old New York," their opening film. Although it was initially an independent house advertised as Cheroskes' Egyptian, by late 1925 it was part of the West Coast circuit. After 1929 it was advertised as the Fox Egyptian. It was demolished in 1959. For more information see the page about the Egyptian Theatre

225 E. Seaside Way
 
This 600 seat film and vaudeville house opened near the end of 1912, on a stretch of Seaside just west of the Municipal Auditorium that also included the American and Wigwam theatres. The image is a detail from a 1924 photo in the USC collection. It was replaced in 1925 by the Ritz, the theatre that ended up being called the Tracy. For more information see the page on the Fairyland Theatre

4918 2nd St. Belmont Shore

This 1929 design by Reginald F. Inwood was perhaps the first deco style theatre to open in the L.A. area. The decor was inspired by pyramids, minarets, sunbursts, jungle animals and maidens riding elephants. Fox West Coast gave this 800 seat house a Skouras-style redecoration in 1949. Thanks to Eric Lynxwiler and Tom Zimmerman for the 1961 photo from their Angel City Press book "Spectacular Illumination." Mann Theatres closed the house in 1977 and it was gutted for reuse as a gym. For more information see the page about the Fox Belmont.
 
5832 Atlantic Ave. 
 
This venue opened in 1973 and, except for a brief spell as a family film house, ran porno for over 30 years. It was on the east side of the street just south of the Atlantic Theatre. The opening name was the R & X Mini-Cinema. Before settling on the Front Door name it was the Atlantic Mini-Cinema and the Back Door Cinema. The sad closing for its many devoted patrons was in 2006. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the 2007 photo. The site is now a garden area in front of the Michelle Obama library branch that's on the site of the Atlantic. For more information see the page about the Front Door Theatre


330 on the Pike
 
This film house on the beach side of the "Walk of a Thousand Lights" between Cedar Walk and Chestnut Place was running as the Wonderland by 1908. Later it was known as the Pickwick and the Lyric before ending up as the Gaiety. It closed around 1915 but the multi-tenant building it was in survived into the late 70s. The building is in the center of this detail from a c.1922 postcard in the Michelle Gerdes collection. For more information see the page about the Gaiety Theatre
 
1901 E. Anaheim St. 

This legit operation run by the Hart Brothers was operating in 1923 and 1924, perhaps earlier. It was at Anaheim St. and Gardenia Ave., a block west of Cherry Ave. For more information see the page about the Hart Theatre.
 

1625 E. Anaheim St.
 
This house opened in 1924, a remodel of space in an existing building. The end came with the 1933 earthquake as seen in this photo from the collection of the Long Beach Heritage Museum. The theatre was on the north side of the street about three and a half blocks west of Cherry Ave. For more information see the page about the Home Theatre
 
 
319 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach

This operation of West Coast Theatres opened in 1925, a few months after the opening of its much larger neighbor the West Coast. It was a design by Lewis A. Smith that repurposed an existing building for the auditorium and had a lobby through a new hotel building in front. Robert E. Power Studios was the decorator. Repairs and redecorating following the 1933 earthquake were by Clifford A. Balch. The image is a detail from a 1945 photo in the Marc Wanamaker collection. The theatre was demolished in 1987. For more inforemation see the page about the Imperial Theatre.
 
339 on the Pike

This tiny house opened in 1911 as the Arrowhead, a promotional venue for the output of a local film studio. It soon closed, got a remodel, and reopened as the Joyland. The location was on the north side of The Pike in the middle of the block between Cedar and Chestnut. Its neighbors were the Bentley, the Bijou and the Boston, the former Byde-A-Wyle. It ran until about 1918 and then became a bowling alley. For more information see the page about the Joyland Theatre.  

2259 Orange Ave. Signal Hill 
 
This complex that opened around 1940 included a movie theatre but it's not known what sort of equipment they had or how much commercial film exhibition the they did. The photo from the Ken Davis collection appears in his Arcadia book "Signal Hill." The establishment was a project of former prize fighter Tod Faulkner, known as Kid Mexico, and also included a bowling alley, a bar, and a nightclub with a "glamorous auditorium" and dance floor. For more information see the page about Kid Mexico's Miracle Block.
 
236 Pine Ave. 
 
This house, on the east side of the street between 2nd and 3rd, was right across the street from the Lyceum and just north of the Masonic Temple. It was an operation of Billy Clune and C.M. Bockoven's far-flung Southwest Amusement Co. It was running in 1907 and 1908, during the same time they had the Palace of Pictures, adjacent to the Tarrytown on The Pike. Southwest closed or sold off their theatres in 1908 and this building on Pine was then used for retail and as a warehouse. For more information see the page about the La Petite Theatre.
 
 
5384 Long Beach Blvd. 

It opened in 1924 as the Oriental Theatre, in the community then known as Virginia City. It was also known as Murray's Oriental. It didn't do well in the 1933 earthquake and got a rebuild of the stage end of the building as well as a deco re-styling. After the reopening it was called the La Shell, named for its owner Laura La Shell. The 1947 photo comes from the Los Angeles Public Library. It closed as a film house in the 50s and then was home to the La Shell Players. It's now a furniture store. For more information see the page on the La Shell Theatre
 
 
2120 E. Carson St. 
 
This 1,000 car facility was a 1948 design by the brothers Clifford A. and William Glenn Balch for Pacific Theatres. The 1981 photo by John Margolies is in the Library of Congress collection. The site has been redeveloped into a retail area called Long Beach Town Square. For more information see the page about the Lakewood Drive-In


4501 E. Carson St. 

This 922 seat design by S. Charles Lee opened in 1945 as an independent operation. The 1946 photo by Julius Shulman is from the UCLA S. Charles Lee Papers Collection. The house was twinned in the 70s and in the 80s was part of the Pussycat circuit. An exciting new office building and strip mall have been on the site since 1991. For more information see the page about the Lakewood Theatre.

 
347 Pine Ave.

This 1915 project was designed by noted modernist architect Irving Gill for Homer Laughlin, Jr. The 1921 Winstead photo is from the USC collection. Laughlin died in 1932 and the theatre was taken over by Eugene Tracy, who would later operate the Tracy and Victor theatres on Seaside. During his short tenure, the house was known as the Tracy and Tracy's Laughlin. The theatre didn't survive the 1933 earthquake. For more information see the page on the Laughlin Theatre

 
Santa Fe Ave. at 223rd St.

This 1,200 car venue opened in 1955. Initially it was operated by Aladdin Theatres and Berman Bros., later by Pacific. Thanks to Bill Gabel for locating the 1955 photo. It closed in 1979 and was replaced by a business park. For more information see the page about the Long Beach Drive-In
 
23 S. Locust Ave.
 
This 1,500 seat legit house was running in 1907-1908 with no answers yet as to why it closed. This image with the theatre on the far right is a detail from a c.1908 panoramic photo in the Library of Congress collection. The location was a half block south of Ocean Blvd., seen here over on the left. For more information see the page about the Long Beach Theatre


34 American Ave. / Long Beach Blvd. 

This was a 1920 design by Walker & Eisen that opened in 1921 as the Elite Theatre. The original plan was for stores, offices and a cafeteria. That got changed with an 1,156 seat theatre replacing the cafeteria. By 1922 it was called the Empire. It went through periods of legit, vaudeville and film use as the Mission, Major and Long Beach, later becoming the Fox Long Beach. With the consent decrees it was spun off and became the UA Long Beach. Thanks to Facebook contributor Lost San Francisco for the c.1950 photo. Demolition was in 1952. For more information see the page on the Long Beach.

 
2800 N. Bellflower Blvd. 

Pacific Theatres opened this with a 2,100 car capacity in 1955. After they triplexed it in 1972 it was up to 2,700. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the 1972 photo. The theatre closed in 1996 and the site got redeveloped. For more information see the page on the Los Altos Drive-In.

233 Pine Ave. 
 
This nickelodeon was running in 1907 and 1908 but there isn't much more data so far. It was on the west side of the street in the middle of the block between 2nd and 3rd. For more information see the page on The Lyceum
 
345 E. Ocean Blvd. 

This porno venue, operated by the Pussycat chain, opened in the mid 1960s and ran until the mid 1980s. Thanks to American Classic Images for this 1983 photo. The theatre was demolished in 1987, along with its neighbors the West Coast and Imperial, for the Westin Hotel project. For more information see the page about The Movie


S. Pine Ave. at Seaside Way
 
This structure replaced several earlier pavilions adjacent to the pier extending out from Pine Ave. The c.1908 postcard is from the USC collection. The building had a capacity of 6,000 with a flat main floor and a balcony that wrapped around three sides of the auditorium. It was demolished after the new Auditorium was completed nearby in 1932. For more information see the page about the 1905 Municipal Auditorium.
 
 
270 E. Seaside Way 

This building designed by J. Harold McDowell and William Horace Austin was a replacement for the 1905 building and located just a bit farther east on Seaside. It protruded 500 feet into the ocean and was surrounded by a breakwater, the Rainbow Pier. The building housed a 1,377 seat Concert Hall and an 8,000 capacity Exhibition Hall, with a shared stage. Demolition was in 1975 for construction of the Terrace Theatre and the Convention Center. For more information see the page about the 1932 Municipal Auditorium

30 Pine Ave. 

It opened in 1916 as an operation of William J. Fahey, who had the Theatorium and would later operate the State Theatre. The 850 seat house was a design by Long Beach architect H. Alfred Anderson. The house got a deco re-do in 1929 by Merrill & Wilson when Warner Bros. was running it. Later Fox West Coast had it and in the late 40s and early 50s it was called the Newsreel. It ended its days as a triple feature grind house operated by Walnut Properties. Thanks to American Classic Images for the 1983 photo. The block was redeveloped later in the 80s. For more information see the page about the Palace Theatre.

4129 Viking Way
 
This 360 seat operation opened in 1973 as a family oriented operation in Parkview Village called the Triangle Cinema. In 1975 it went to a foreign film policy and was renamed the Coronet. In 1976 it became a bargain house called the Paradise. Two years after the 1990 closing the space was absorbed by a sports bar next door. The building survives. For more information see the page about the Paradise Theatre.  
 
6337 E. Spring St. 
 
This 500 seat single screen independent operation opened in the Lakewood Plaza strip mall in 1966 and was initially intended to be an art house. Soon they went to family programming when business didn't materialize. It closed in 1977 and the building is now a gym. For more information see the page about the Plaza Theatre  
 
 
1126 Queens Highway
 
The ship had four 35mm cinema facilities when she first sailed in 1936. This view of the First Class Lounge, later renamed the Queen's Salon, is from the Queen Mary Archives. This lovely deco room, as elegant as ever, survives as a theatre and events space. The Second Class Lounge, after several remodels, is now a banquet space called the Brittania Salon. The Third Class Lounge/Cinema still retains much of its decor as well. For more information see the page about Movies on the Queen Mary
 
1216 Redondo Ave. 
 
This one is listed in the 1918 city directory but not earlier or later. You always wonder what happened with these theatres that last only a year or two. Problems with a landlord? Someone get sick? Perhaps the story will emerge about this one. There's a cute little church on the site that might have once been the theatre. For more information (but not much) see the page about the Redondo Theatre.  


7501 E. Carson St. 

This monster complex in the mall called Towne Center opened in 1999 as the Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26. In 2002, following the Edwards bankruptcy, it got rolled into the Regal chain now operated by the British firm Cineworld. The photo is one from Emil C. that appears on Yelp. For more information see the page about the Regal Edwards Long Beach ScreenX & Imax.


6601 E. Pacific Coast Highway

This 6 plex on the south end of town, not far from Seal Beach, opened in 1976 as the UA Movies 6. It's also been known as the UA Marketplace 6 and the Long Beach Marketplace 6. One of the houses was later equipped for 70mm. Since 2002 it's been operated by Regal, scooped up by Philip Anschutz following the United Artists Theatre circuit bankruptcy. Regal books it as one of their art house operations. For more information see the page about the Regal UA Long Beach
 
 
117 on the Pike
 
The house opened around 1908 as the Theatorium with an address on Board Walk, between The Pike and Ocean Blvd. The image is a detail from a c.1912 postcard. Around 1917 a new entrance was created through a building on The Pike that had been a restaurant. At the same time, the venue was renamed the Rialto. It ran until 1950. For more information see the page about the Rialto Theatre
 
 
681 Redondo Ave. 
 
This 520 seat neighborhood house opened as the Ramona Theatre in late 1924. Sometime around 1930 it was renamed the New Redondo. In 1933 it became the Ritz. It's seen here in a 1947 photo from the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The end came in 1951 when the building was destroyed by fire. For more information see the page about the Ritz Theatre
 
 
525 Long Beach Blvd.
 
It opened in 1936 when the street was still called American Ave. The 1,105 seat theatre was designed by Floyd E. Stanbery. The 1955 photo was a find by Dallas Movie Theaters. The house was demolished in the 80s for the less-than-successful Long Beach Mall. For more information see the page about the Rivoli Theatre
 
 
127 W. Ocean Blvd. 
 
It was called the Liberty Theatre when this 760 seat house opened in 1916. By 1931 it had become the Stanley. Later it morphed into a grind house, was renamed the Roxy sometime around 1940, and started staying open all night in 1942. The 1954 image is a detail from a postcard in the Manitoba Museum of Finds Art collection. In the 70s it went to porno and came to an end in the 80s. For more information see the page about Roxy Theatre.
 
 
2170 Santa Fe Ave.
 
This 948 seat neighborhood house opened in 1946 and by 1958 had been converted into a bowling alley. Hugh Gibbs was the architect for both the theatre as well as the bowling alley conversion. Thanks to American Classic Images for this 1983 view. It was demolished later in the 1980s. For more information see the page about the Santa Fe Theatre
 
 
104 E. Ocean Blvd. 
 
This 1,800 seat house opened in December 1920 and for its first several years was Loew's State. After Marcus Loew left town, his operators Ackerman & Harris continued to run it for awhile then around 1923 William Fahey and his partner W.J. Johnson took over. Fahey, who said he "made a million dollars" off the State, sold his holdings in 1950. The image is a detail from a 1946 Pettit's Studio panorama in the Huntington Library collection. Pacific was the operator when the theatre closed in 1977. Demolition for a condo project that never happened was in 1988. For more information see the page about the State Theatre
 
 
237 on the Pike 

The first house on the site, the Columbia, was running by 1910. In 1919 it got replaced and emerged as Hoyt's Theatre, also known as Hoyt's Pantages, operated by Otis Hoyt. The design, of at least the interior, is attributed to William Lee Woollett. It became the Strand on Christmas Day 1927, then later the New Strand after a refresh. Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for her 1953 postcard. The theatre was running into the mid 60s. For more information see the page about the Strand Theatre.
 
 
N.E. corner Locust Ave. and E. 3rd St. 
 
This structure, built in the 1880s, is considered Long Beach's first theatre. It was a combination church, theatre, chautauqua and lecture hall. In June 1900 it was the venue for the first exhibition of motion pictures in Long Beach. The photo is from the California Historical Society. By 1908 it had a sign painter as a tenant. The date of demolition is unknown. Locust Ave., now called The Promenade, no longer goes north of 3rd. But where it ends is the resting place of the mosaic once on the facade of the 1932 Memorial Auditorium. For more information see the page about The Tabernacle


311-313 on The Pike

The first Tarrytown, an outdoor legit venue, opened in the middle of 1907 and burned in December that year. The image is a detail from a 1907 photo in the Long Beach Historical Society collection. A new one was built in 1908 but it didn't operate very long. In addition to the legit venue, there was an adjacent nickelodeon, the Palace of Pictures, running until 1909 or so. The Pastime was another film house, perhaps in the same spot, running from around 1912 until perhaps 1918. The location was just west of Cedar Walk. For more information see the page on the Tarrytown / Palace of Pictures / Pastime Theatre.  


300 E. Seaside Way

This 3,051 seat venue opened as the Pacific Terrace Theatre in 1978, a design by a consortium called Allied Architects. Thanks to Wayne Thom for his 1978 photo. The theatre is part of the Long Beach Convention Center complex and is sometimes referred to as part of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. For more information see the page about the Terrace Theatre.
 
4425 Atlantic Ave.
 
This 1,200 seat project of Milt Arthur's Cabart Theatres Co. opened in 1946, designed by Hugh Gibbs. The photo showing off the theatre's modernistic design is one that appeared in a two page December 1946 article in Boxoffice. It ran into the mid-1970s but was unable to compete with the multiplexes. There's now an office building on the site. For more information see the page about the Towne Theatre.
 
 
219 E. Seaside Way
 
This 1,200 seat house designed by Carl Boller opened as the Ritz Theatre in May 1925. Later the same year it was renamed the Capitol. Active as a film and vaudeville house for awhile, by 1929 it only saw occasional rentals. After severe damage in the 1933 earthquake it got a restoration and was renamed the Tracy, operated by Eugene Tracy. The 1935 photo is from the Los Angeles Public Library. It ran into the early 50s and then went through another period of sporadic rentals and failed rescue attempts until demolition in 1974. For more information see the page about the Tracy Theatre


United Artists Theatre
217 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach

This 1,242 seat deco style house opened in 1932, a design of Clifford A. Balch along with Walker & Eisen. Initially it was operated by Fox West Coast for UA. Beginning in 1950 as a result of consent decree rulings it was run directly by United Artists Theatre Circuit. It finished its days as a Mitchell Bros. porno operation. Demolition was in the early 1980s. See the United Artists page for more information.
 
 
207 E. Seaside Way
 
It opened in 1913 as the Wigwam Theatre. The 1914 photo by G. Haven Bishop is in the Huntington Library collection. It got a makeover, including a totally new facade, when it became Scott's Theatre in 1924. Later it was known as the Pike Theatre, the Victor and, in the early 50s, the Rainbow Theatre. After that it was an exploitation house known as the Follies and then the El Rey before closing in 1953. For more information see the page about the Victor Theatre
 
333 E. Ocean Blvd.
 
This 2,038 seat house, the largest in Long Beach, was a 1925 design by Meyer & Holler for West Coast Theatres. The 1954 photo of the theatre and its neighbor the Imperial is from the Facebook page Americar the Beautiful. It was operated by Fox West Coast, National General and Mann Theatres, the successor companies to West Coast, until 1974. It then had short-lived flings as a concert venue, church and Spanish language film house. It closed in 1985 and was demolished in 1987. For more information see the page about the West Coast Theatre.   

A few Long Beach history resources: 

California State University Long Beach has a huge section on their website devoted to early Long Beach Theatres and silent film production in Long Beach from RGRLL, the University's department of Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literature. Pages of interest include: 

"Burgeoning 'Hollywood,' The Pike and Theatre by the Sea" | Columbia/Strand Theatre - 1910 | Hoyt's Pantages | Liberty/Roxy Theatre | Balboa Studio Research Archives - home page | Long Beach - Hollywood By The Sea | California Motion Picture Manufacturing - 1910-1913 | Balboa Studio Milestones | Unfinished Story of Balboa Studios | Balboa Features | Long Beach Studios - 1918-1922 | Articles | Balboa mysteries | ... and many of these pages have links to additional documents.

The site Card Cow has over 1,600 Long Beach postcards. One of interest is a 1945 card of the Veterans Memorial Building

See the Cinema Treasures list of Long Beach theatres. Also pay a visit to the Long Beach section of the Cinema Tour directory. The City of Long Beach Planning Department has a page on historic landmarks. Bob Compere has a small set of earthquake photos on Flickr that were taken by his grandfather.

The Historical Society of Long Beach has a website detailing their activities and collections. Also see the HSLB Facebook page. The Island of Long Beach Facebook page has hundreds of photos from a variety of sources.

The Library of Congress collection includes 14 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Long Beach dating from 1888 to 1950.

The Arcadia Publishing book "Long Beach Art Deco" by John W. Thomas, Suzanne Tarbell Cooper and J. Christopher Launi has many great photos.  Check out a view on page 15 of a 1930 vintage auditorium and skating rink at 278 Alamitos Ave. The page is included in the book's preview on Google Books.

The Facebook page Long Beach, Calif. has a nice set of historic photos. The Long Beach Heritage Museum has a page of historic building photos on their site.

The Long Beach Public Library has both an online photo collection as well as digitized city directories. Note that more than one city directory company covered early Long Beach, sometimes resulting in several different sets of information from different sources.

See the blog Militant Angeleno for an interesting tour of 7 Long Beach Buildings. The Odd Duck website has a nice spread that includes photos of a number of "Art Deco Theaters of Long Beach."

Penny Postcards from California has a great assortment of vintage postcards showing the aftermath of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. Also see the site's main Long Beach section. The Port of Long Beach has early photos on their main website, PortTown.polb.com as well as on a blog celebrating the Port of Long Beach Centennial
 
The "A Visit To Old Los Angeles" series by Brent Dickerson has two chapters about the city giving a fine tour via vintage postcards. "Long Beach: Pier and Pike" explores that area. "Long Beach Downtown and Uptown; Signal Hill" continues the story. 
 
 
 
This early 1900s postcard view looking north toward Signal Hill appears in part 2 of Brent Dickerson's epic. The street at left is possibly American Ave., later renamed Long Beach Blvd. Note the curious large pinkish building, perhaps a theatre or lodge hall. A larger black and white version of the card appears on page 15 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Long Beach in Vintage Postcards."
 
On You Tube: A six minute "History of Long Beach." And from the Ronald W. Mahan Collection: "Long Beach Movie Palaces and Theatres," a 1hour+ exploration of many of the city's now vanished theatres.
 

Pike history resources: 

For many, many vintage photos see the page here on this site about the Rialto Theatre for views of the 100 block. The Strand Theatre page focuses on the 200 block. The pages about the Gaiety, the  Tarrytown and the Joyland theatres have many views of the 300 block between Cedar Walk and Chestnut Pl.

The Pike is a wonderful website by Paul Prosise with many historic photos. Check out the "Long Beach: Pier and Pike" chapter of Brent Dickerson's series "A Visit To Old Los Angeles" for a fine tour via early postcards. 

"The Pike 1902-1979" is a photo pool on Flickr. Wikipedia has an article on The Pike. On YouTube check out "Revisit the Pike," "Long Beach Pike - Slideshow," "We Met at the Pike," "The Pike" and"Long Beach Pike." 

Rick Warren's "Pike Amusement Park" and "Old Long Beach Buildings" albums on Flickr have many wonderful shots. 
 

Two more maps:

A 1908 Sanborn insurance map. Thanks to Ron Mahan for providing it. He's colored some of the more interesting theatre locations. 


A 1926 map from the Long Beach Historical Society. Again thanks to Ron Mahan for supplying the map and coloring the theatres they included. Click on it to enlarge.

| [more] Los Angeles Movie Palaces | Los Angeles theatres - the main alphabetical list | Los Angeles theatres - list by address | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on facebook | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide |

No comments:

Post a Comment