Fairyland And Dreamland Theatres

posted by JohnSpradley on August 19, 2005 at 2:10 pm

LONG BEACH, CA — I’m looking for information on the Fairyland and Dreamland theatres.

I own the pipe organ from the Fairyland. Any info would be appreciated.

John ()

Comments (3)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 21, 2005 at 11:44 am

I can find nothing about the Dreamland Theatre in Long Beach, but the California Index of the Regional History section of the L.A. Public Library web site (mouse over “Library Resources” on the main page to find the Regional History link on the drop-down menu) has three brief references to the Fairyland Theatre.

It was located in the 200 block of East Seaside Boulevard, and existed as early as 1914 (date of the first reference, when the theatre was undergoing repairs.) The address then was 227 Seaside. The next reference, from 1920, says that the theatre had been purchased by a J.M. Donley, who intended to erect a new theatre on the site. The address at this time is given as 223 Seaside. A third reference, from 1924, again says that there are plans underway to erect a new theatre on the site, and that the manager of the theatre is a Chatham C. Donley. Here the address is given as 225 Seaside. The Tracy Theatre at 219 E. Seaside must have been a next-door neighbor of the Fairyland, though it’s also possible that the Tracy (AKA Ritz and Capitol), built in 1925, actually replaced the Fairyland.

Not much to go on, I know, but that part of Long Beach (around The Pike) went through a lot of changes over the years, and every trace of it is now gone, so it’s hard to track down information about it. Your Dreamland Theatre may have been one of a number of theatres on The Pike itself. If so, there’s a chance you might be able to find a picture of it on an old picture postcard. The Pike was a popular subject for postcards early in the century.

As you own the organ from the Fairyland, I would suggest that you re-post your question, and mention the organ in the subject line. Several members of Cinema Treasures are very knowledgeable about theatre organs, and they are more likely to read your post if it mentions the organ in the subject line. They might be able to give you more information than I can.

JohnSpradley
JohnSpradley on August 21, 2005 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for the response, Joe! I acquired the organ in 1958 from
the person who took it out of the theatre after WW II. Pipes
in the Robert-Morton organ, built in Van Nuys, CA were dated
March of 1925. I understand the theatre was part of the FOX
chain at that time.

I found a site on the Long Beach Pike, showing the Strand theatre.
My grandparents and great-grandparents are buried in the
Pioneer Cemetery in Long Beach where my mother and older brother
were born.

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