Los Angeles Theatre

615 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Showing 251 - 275 of 295 comments

William on September 16, 2005 at 4:37 am

UKuser: Two theatres that you might look into in the Hollywood area are the Pacific 1,2,3 (aka: Warner Hollywood Theatre) and the Vogue Theatre. Both have had paranormal activity. The Vogue Theatre was subleased by a group doing paranormal research. They say a former long time projectionist (of the Vogue) and a stage hand from the Chinese and two or three children have been studied there. Over at the Pacific, former long time employees said Sam Warner roams the theatre. I’ve worked both theatres over the years and there is something. The old GCC Sherman Oaks 3-5 Theatre also had a former projectionist roam the theatre after his death.

JimRankin on September 16, 2005 at 4:20 am

To “UKuser”: You don’t give any contact information in your post or on your Profile page, so this will have to do.

The LOS ANGELES is one of the most lavish theatres remaining in the country and is even well documented in one of the ANNUALS of the Theatre Historical Society of America (www.historictheatres.org) and you would find it a very fine location.

However, you mention it in regard to the “paranormal” and if your quest is sincere and not merely a location for Halloween time special effects, then you are starting on a dangerous quest that could sooner or later cause you and yours injury! I have commented at length on this elsewhere here (can’t find the link) and elsewhere, so won’t repeat here, but do contact me via private Email if you want the gory details, by clicking on my name below in blue and noting the Contact data on my Profile Page to which you will be taken. I can likely save you horrors that you have no accurate knowledge of, and will dearly wish you had never encountered.

If you merely seek to do a real magazine piece on American movie palaces, then do contact the L.A. as well as the Society listed above, and they will be willing and able to assist you greatly. Best Wishes. Jim Rankin, member THSA since 1976

UKuser on September 16, 2005 at 3:46 am

Hi. We’re thinking of coming to film our UK television show at the LA Theater. This is a programme all about Hollywood history and the paranormal.

I’m looking for any interesting stories to do with the history of the theater and wondered if any of you chaps might be able to help. I’ve read all about the theater’s history on the official website but am interested in anything else you might know.

Was “City Lights” the only film ever to premiere there? Did it decline from then on? Are there any famous stories associated with the theater that you know of?

Would appreciate the help!


kencmcintyre on August 26, 2005 at 6:01 pm

I saw “Some Like It Hot” also, back in 2004. I don’t think the Conservancy has shown a film at the Los Angeles in a while. This year’s films were all at the Orpheum. Speaking of Broadway, I often appear at the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board on the 9th floor of the original Broadway building on 4th street. I would be interested in any links that would show the interior of the store in its heyday. There are plenty of exterior shots on the LAPL database.

scottfavareille on June 24, 2005 at 6:19 am

With regard to the last comment: The photo taken by TC was likely taken in 1970(maybe late 1969). Both the Cleopatra and the Romeo and Juliet film(full title: Sex Lives of Romeo and Juliet) were Harry Novak-produced titles that played first at the Pussycat theater chain(Romeo was a 1969 release and Cleopatra came out in 1970). Some of the more popular films would get released outside of the Pussycat chain and play other theaters and even drive-ins as this time period X-rated fare was doing good business. (Trader Hornee and the later Erotic Adventures of Zorro were the two biggest crossover titles.) Also, it was not unusual for downtown theaters, with their declining attendance, to turn to “adults only” fare for a period of time.

Manwithnoname on June 9, 2005 at 3:18 pm

The pic TC’s link shows has the Los Angeles sporting The Notorious Cleopatra and Romeo and Juliet (probably not the Zefferelli version) on it’s marquee. Were softcore films regularly shown here? Most recently the marquee announced “AFIs 100 Years 100 Quotes” starring Pierce Brosnan. Does anyone know if the special was taped there?

RobertR on June 9, 2005 at 2:49 pm

In early 1969 Russ Meyers classic soft core epic “Vixen” opened here at the Los Angeles. The three other locations were Loews Picfair, Loews Century and Loews Cine.

teecee on May 19, 2005 at 5:25 am

Late 1906s(?) photo:
View link

JimRankin on April 13, 2005 at 11:02 am

If you had read the previous comments you would have seen mine of May 2004 wherein I list the source of a large booklet crammed with large photos of the LOS ANGELES.

William on April 13, 2005 at 8:15 am

I think the marquee was charged out in the late 30’s. And you can find photos of interior and exterior of the theatre at the Los Angeles Public Library site.

AshleyParadiso on April 9, 2005 at 8:26 pm


Two questions. 1)Anyone know what year the Marquee was changed, and 2) Anyone know where their might be Historic photo’s, from its earlier years. (both interior and exterior shots?) if so please inform me with any information.

Thank you,
Ashley Paradiso

William on March 8, 2005 at 3:46 pm

Washington Mutual Savings has a commercial that is currently being shown that uses the lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre. On newly released DVD of “NEW YORK, NEW YORK”, you can see the lower lounge area in the theatre.

JimRankin on March 8, 2005 at 3:24 pm

Yes, it was the unmistakeable LOS ANGELES, with the image computer colored to immitate the tints of the M&Ms. The scene following it was also shot in one of the lounges there, it too being tinted and dressed to further the theme of the commercial. It appears that the theatre is largely surviving on commercials these days, but then where else can they go for such a sweeping stairway shot? The FOX in San Francisco is gone, as is the MARBRO in Chicago, and their wonderful UPTOWN is not in any photographic condition. Thank goodness location scouts are aware of the LOS ANGELES and other movie palaces around the nation (and of course, it IS in their ‘back yard’ so moving and location expenses are much lower than going elsewhere)! The Theatre Historical Society once started a file of theatres used as film/commercial/video locations, but I don’t know if it is any longer maintained. Contact them via their web site: www.HistoricTheatres.org

MagicLantern on March 8, 2005 at 2:26 pm

I thought it was, Bryan. Sure looked like it to me.

Manwithnoname on March 8, 2005 at 11:59 am

Today a crew was busy cleaning the marquee.

RobertR on March 4, 2005 at 11:27 am

View link

Here is a night shot

RobertR on March 4, 2005 at 11:26 am

Look how incredible this place looks

View link

Manwithnoname on March 2, 2005 at 10:43 am

Film crew working here today. The marquee read Barbara Stanwyck in “Sorry Wrong Number”.

bruceanthony on December 21, 2004 at 3:59 pm

I think Downtown is another decade away from being a 24 hour destination. Many lofts are being redeveloped as we speek along with new condos and apartments. I think downtown in another ten years will have a large enough population to support more restaurants and theatres. The city of LA needs to continue to put money into cleaning up all the historic facades on Broadway.A lot of investment has gone into Downtown North of Broadway such as the Cathedral,Disney Concert Hall and the Staples Center. Maybe they can turn Broadway into an Old LA Historic District.brucec

chconnol on December 1, 2004 at 10:27 am

Joe Vogel: Absolutely fascinating what you wrote. I’m a New Yorker and if Downtown LA were in NY, whoa boy!!! That sucker would’ve been way regentrified by now. NY-ers love space like that. But the most interesting thing you wrote is that Los Angeles lacks any real urban tradition. New York IS an urban tradition. That’s why I find the area we are speaking of so endlessley fascinating. It’s being used but not regentrified like it would be in New York. In so many ways, you have to be thankful for this. In New York, the land values were and are so high that the beautiful movie palaces like The Capitol, The Rivoli and others were demolished because developers would get more for the land. In downtown LA, they’ve survived, for better or worse, because of the lack of value and/or interest. I’m not trying to put the area down. I think it’s beautiful from what I’ve seen. I love the grittiness. NY-ers do. We hate it when a neighborhood that is alive (like some parts of Manhattan) become “trendy”. Then everything that made it real, vital and interesting slowly gets pushed out and the Pottery Barns, Bed Bath and Beyonds and Starbucks move in and sap the life out of it.

You never know what’s around the corner for certain area. NY is a prime example of this. There are areas and neighborhoods that were unseemly and outright dangerous 10 or 20 years ago that are now some of the most trendy, upscale neighborhoods in town. Let’s hope the LA Preservationists keep up their good work. You may find it will pay off handsomely in the future when the rest of the world rediscovers that area. I just want to see it someday before it goes trendy. And dies…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2004 at 2:57 am


Downtown Los Angeles has never been forgotten, at least not in the sense that some of the old areas of lower Manhattan were forgotten and then rediscovered. Broadway has been a thriving commercial street for over a hundred years. As late as the 1980s, the sales per square foot in Broadway stores were the second highest of any shopping area in Southern California, exceeded only by pricey Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. They continue to be among the highest today.

By 1906, the three major department stores of downtown, (The Broadway, Bullocks, and May Company- then called Hamburger’s) were established at Broadway locations which they would occupy until at least the late 1960s. The Broadway Department Store was the first to go, ironically moving a few blocks west along Seventh Street. Bullocks and the May Company followed in the mid-1980s, moving six blocks west to Figuroa Street. Still, the smaller shops along Broadway have survived, and done quite well, and vacancies are rare.

Broadway has not been a popular destination for the middle class for at least four decades now, but lower income groups still throng to it. The neighborhoods in nearby sections of the city, and many of those those further out with easy access to Downtown by public transit, still attract large numbers of immigrants, and Broadway has long been a street on which you can hear many languages. The place is very cosmopolitan and, by day at least, very busy.

In fact, the theaters are almost the only buildings vacant (at the street level- the offices above have been mostly vacant for years now) along most of the street. Were the large movie palaces to be demolished and replaced with ordinary commercial space, that space would probably fill up quickly. It is a wonder that most of Broadway’s old theater buildings survive at all, so valuable would their space be for retail uses on this busiest of L.A.’s streets.

The area is pretty rough by night, now that the theaters no longer bring crowds, and skid row has long since spilled over and around Broadway, but then Downtown has not been the center of L.A. nightlife since the late 1920s, when the action shifted to Hollywood and, since then, to other parts of the west side. Even the modern business district a few blocks west of Broadway tends to empty out at night. There have been attempts to bring more residents into the area, and many proposals to convert the vacant offices above Broadway’s stores to apartments and lofts, but it’s pretty slow going.

There are a lot of inherent problems in getting a good urban neighborhood established in downtown. For one thing, the blocks are huge, making for poor pedestrian circulation. Also, the area is relentlessly commercial and industrial, with few apartments, and most of those are either in decay or, if built recently, are in projects that are deliberately isolated from surrounding streets. And though public transit has improved somewhat in recent years, it still doesn’t offer the sort of access and reliability that are necessary for urban neighborhoods.

Most importantly, Los Angeles lacks any real urban tradition and thus, those people who are trying to make downtown work like a real city, instead of just the big business district it has long been, come up against a lot of official ignorance, and even hostility. Chances are that Pasadena will develop a good urban core before Los Angeles does, even though Los Angeles has more to work with. But if L.A. does ever get its act together, Downtown could be a great place. It has great potential, but nobody has been able to tap into it yet.

chconnol on November 23, 2004 at 1:19 pm

For some reason, I’m very interested in the area of Los Angeles where this movie theater is located. It seems like a once forgotten area that is being found again. Is this true? What is the area like now? It appears to be one of the few areas in LA that actually looks like NY. I know they’ve used it as a stand in for NY when the want to make NY look seedier (not a nice thing to do…they did this in a bad movie called “Phone Booth”).

Anyway, is the renovation of these theaters helping this district?

Manwithnoname on October 18, 2004 at 5:43 am

Now to Dec. 5 this gorgeous theater is once again open to the public with the stage production of “Alma”. I don’t have statistics on this but it has to be the first time in years one of these classic Broadway houses was open on a regular basis (except for church services). The marquee is now fully lit at night and is absolutely stunning.

RobertR on October 4, 2004 at 7:06 pm

Thank god this theatre is not in New York or it would have been torn down already. This place is as beautiful as a church.

Jiffy on October 4, 2004 at 4:55 pm

This theater is currently presenting the live stage production of “Alma”.