Los Angeles Optic Theater on fire site

posted by TDavis on October 17, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Anyone with an interest in the old theaters of Main Street in Los Angeles may wish to examine some interesting photos I found on this L.A. Fire Dept. history website. Under the heading of “famous fires” are photos of a 1913 fire at the then Brennan Hotel. An excellent contemporary news article accompanies the photos telling all about the
fire.

This is significant because the photos and the news story talk about all the theaters which were busy DURING the fire, and how the public was warned about the fire but did not panic. The Optic Theater is clearly visible next door to the Brennan Hotel. While smoke (mostly from the horse driven fire engines!) obscures our view of things, you get a good sense of time(and architecture). Hope you can find the web page.

Theaters in this post

Comments (2)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 18, 2007 at 5:42 am

Here’s a direct link to the Brennan Hotel fire page.

In a couple of the pictures you’ll get a glimpse not only of the Optic but of another theatre just north of the Brennan Hotel. Called the Century at the time, it is listed at Cinema Treasures as the Gaiety Theatre.

The Brennan Hotel building survived the fire and by 1915 one of its gutted ground floor storefronts had become the location of a small movie theatre which was last known as the Star.

TDavis
TDavis on October 21, 2007 at 10:57 am

October 21, 2007

Thank-you Mr. Vogel for your comments on the Brennan Hotel fire and the building’s subsequent uses. It seems you already knew about these images from the LA fire department web pages. Great. Just thought I’d mention them because the Optic Theater is so visible in those photos. Pre-neon lighting. Someone on the web was wondering what this theater looked like on the outside. That’s why I wrote in. Funny how so many people would really care about this neighborhood so many years later. Tom Davis
it was all torn down. Tom Davis

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