Orange County Register Profiles (Some Of) LA’s Top Theaters

posted by Ross Melnick on April 15, 2004 at 9:51 am

LOS ANGELES, CA — “Most of the great movie houses have disappeared. Even in Los Angeles, capital of the American movie industry, scores of grand theaters have been carved up, bulldozed away or converted into churches or 99-cent stores. A few are shuttered in the hope that someday they will be saved. The few lucky ones like the Pantages and the Wiltern have gone back to the future as live theaters or music venues.

But scattered around Southern California are a few remaining single-screen cathedrals of cinema where for $10 or so you’re transported to another world even before the opening credits roll by…"

Read the Orange County Register article reprinted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

(Thanks to Jim Rankin for sending this in.)

Comments (5)

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on April 15, 2004 at 11:38 am

What do you think of the OCR’s list and the verdict on the theaters in this article? Is the interior of Grauman’s Egyptian really “a disappointment”? What other theaters would you add to this list of LA Cinema Treasures?

William on April 15, 2004 at 3:12 pm

The interior of the Egyptian has been a disappointment since 1969. When UA damaged the auditorium by installing the D-150 screen.
There are still a few theatres that they missed in the article that are still standing.

In the Downtown area of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Theatre
Orpheum Theatre
United Artist Theatre
State Theatre
Million Dollar Theatre
Warner’s Downtown Theatre (aka. Pantages)
Tower Theatre
Palace Theatre

In Hollywood area.

Pacific 1,2,3 (aka. Warner)
Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre

In Los Angeles.

Wiltern Theatre
Forum Theatre
Four Star Theatre

In Beverly Hills.

Fox Wilshire Theatre

In Huntington Park area.

Warner Huntington Park Theatre
California Theatre (main theatre downstairs only)

edward on April 15, 2004 at 9:13 pm

The article is pretty uninspired. I must agree the the Egyptian auditorium itself is a disappointment; other than the bits of original ceiling left. The exterior is worth the trip however.
Everyone has forgotten about the Pantages. The Palace is nearby , although now the Avalon nightclub, the interior is somewhat intact and huge. And finally, not the biggest theatre around but has the best programming, The NUART in Santa Monica.

By the way, does anyone know what theatre was in the building that is boarded near the Henry Fonda and the Florentine Gardens on Hollywood Blvd.? It’s painted all white and has been shuttered as long as I can remember.

William on April 16, 2004 at 11:53 am

That theatre that is just west of the Florentine Gardens was called the X Theatre. It had a large red X sign above the front marquee. It was a twin X Theatre. It played the same shows as the Mayan Theatre downtown Los Angeles, when the Mayan was a X rated theatre. The building just west of the X Theatre was the Fox Marcal Theatre, which later was named the World Theatre when Pacific Theatres operated it. The X Theatre was always known as that. It tried regular features but always went back to the adult fare.

edward on April 16, 2004 at 12:05 pm

Thanks William for the info. To think the Mayan was an X rated theatre. What a waste. But I suppose it’s what kept some of these places from being destroyed. Have spent some time in LA and have poked around most of the old theatres. I was thrown out of the Los Angeles when it was showing first run movies for not getting permission to take pictures! I hope something good is done with the Pacific. The city/state should give these places a tax break to get them up and running again.

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