Four Star Theatre

5112 Wilshire Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Showing 1 - 25 of 80 comments

monika
monika on November 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

Demolition of the Four Star building is scheduled to begin soon. It’s a shame.

haineshisway
haineshisway on June 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

At the END it couldn’t function as a first-run house. It was a first-run house for decades.

ScottyA
ScottyA on June 3, 2014 at 7:16 pm

When they installed those 70mm projectors in the 1980s, it was truly a first-class theater. Terrific! It was a shame that because of its location, it couldn’t function as a first-run house. Back then, you either opened in Westwood or Hollywood.

adsausage
adsausage on November 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm

‘The Magic Christian’ held its Gale Premiere here, with Ringo Starr in person.

http://www.adsausage.com/ad.cfm?id=52937

turnkey
turnkey on May 22, 2013 at 11:03 am

Looks like a demo is in its future: http://losangelestheatres.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-teardown-for-four-staroasis-theatre.html?spref=fb

nixols
nixols on December 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Looks like the tenants bought a historic church a few blocks away and will be leaving. “…Oasis will be moving in the near future from its present headquarters at Wilshire near Highland, a former movie theater.”

http://larchmontchronicle.com/oasis-christian-church-new-home/

LAConnection
LAConnection on November 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I lived within walking distance of the Four Star for years and years. It was a great old palace, but, it got pretty run down by the end. And, having no parking lot in the middle of the Miracle mile district really hampered business. The first double feature I remember seeing there in the 80s was Hitchcock’s 39 STEPS with Tarkovsky’s SOLARIS. Bizarre double feature, but great great films. Lots of memories, but the the best was probably attending a screening of the 1986 restoration of 1937’s LOST HORIZON introduced by Jane Wyatt herself. As she introduced the screening Wyatt said that the film’s original premiere 50 years earlier was also held at the Four Star! Wow.

dibblabio
dibblabio on February 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm

As of January 2012, the building is still a church (Oasis Church), but Oasis has just announced they are leaving the building for another venue, and will be (have already?) sold it. With the new BMW dealership next door, the ritzy apartment complex across the street, and a dying decrepit Burger King next door, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new owners knock it down and start from scratch. As a 500ish-seater theater with no parking, there are few uses left for it as is.

drb
drb on June 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

There’s some great night footage of the old neon marquee in the 1960s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0lEosbR-Vg

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 6, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Here is a March 1977 ad from the LAT:
http://tinyurl.com/nvnhey

haineshisway
haineshisway on August 3, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Great Behind The Great Wall ad – I was, of course, there and saw and smelled the film. And a few weeks later I was at the Ritz seeing and smelling Scent of Mystery.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on July 22, 2009 at 9:14 pm

I went by this place today. Did the church move out as stated above? There is a sign on the side with their web address — the Oasis Christian Center. That site lists “service” times. And there’s still a star (a la Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame) on the sidewalk out front that reads “Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 23, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Here is a January 1960 ad from the LAT:
http://tinyurl.com/nxh6xo

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Here is an October 1952 ad from the LAT:
http://tinyurl.com/kj2mv8

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 14, 2009 at 5:29 am

Here is a November 1974 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/r7a5kb

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Here is part of the injunction from 1976:

Four Star Theatre is a theatre and related property located on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The property is leased by its owners to United Artists Theatres of California, Inc., and subleased by United Artists to James and Artie Mitchell and corporations controlled by them. The sublease calls for rent of $48,000 per year, runs to August 30, 1977, is for the purpose of conducting a theatre, covers furniture, fixtures and equipment, and vests the right of possession in the sublessee.

The Mitchell group operates the theatre, catering to devotees of “X-rated” films. During the calendar year 1974, officers of the Los Angeles Police Department observed over 30 acts of public masturbation by patrons of the theatre. Employees of the Mitchell group were instructed to cause a warning of the presence of officers in the theatre to be flashed on the screen whenever their presence was known. While ushers sometimes patrolled the aisles, the patrol was sporadic at best except when police officers were known to be present.

William
William on December 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

The theatre chain was United Artists Theatres and the subleased party was the Mitchell Brothers which showed adult films there along with a few other locations in Los Angeles area.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 23, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 1/27/76:

The controversial Four Star Theater has resumed operations under a state Supreme Court stay of a Los Angeles Superior Court injunction which closed its doors last December 2. Superior Judge Harry Hupp had shut down the theater at the request of the Los Angeles city attorney’s office under the state’s 1913 Red Light Abatement Act, designed to combat “lewdness or prostitution”.

The theater at 5112 Wilshire Boulevard is owned by Chief U.S. District Judge Albert Lee Stephens, Jr. and two of his daughters. However, it is leased to a theater chain and subleased over the Stephens' family’s protests to a group which is showing X-rated movies.

Police chief Edward M. Davis has complained of numerous arrests for lewd conduct in the theater. Hupp emphasized his decision was based on lewd activity and not the content of the movies.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Here is a November 1938 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/55pqtt

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 14, 2008 at 8:45 pm

From the LA Times, June 1, 1939:

A pedestrial bandit yesterday held up Maurice Sherman, assistant manager of the Four Star Theater, 5112 Wilshire Boulevard, as he was walking to a nearby bank, and robbed him of $90. Sherman said the bandit fled south on Sycamore Avenue after warning him to continue walking east on Wilshire Boulevard.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 4, 2008 at 8:09 am

Very interesting. Thanks for the information

William
William on October 4, 2008 at 7:08 am

The average weekly attendance at U.S. Theatres for 1946, 1947 & 1948 was estimated at 90 million people. During the war it was around 85 million. 1949 hit 70 million people and 1950 60 million people. By 1954 it was estimated at 49.2 million for weely attendance. Foe 1947 the U.S. film theatres gross was estimated at $1,565,000,000.. During that year there was a total of 486 releases from major and independent companies. The big studios put out 249 features. The average U.S. Theatre admission cost was around 33.4 cents, 7.0 tax for a total of .40.4 cents. (40 cents). Film theatres in the U.S was around 18,607 .