Los Angeles Theatre

615 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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JimRankin
JimRankin on May 22, 2004 at 6:56 am

The LOS ANGELES is notable for many luxurious appointments such as the lavish decor, the neon strips bordering the aisles, the fire curtain sporting fully clothed figures upon it, the viewing device in the lower lounge, and that most unforgettable ornament: the crystal fountain at the head of the Grand staircase. This opulent ornament is one thing that sets this theatre apart from so many others in that it is a feature beyond the ordinary and focuses to the smaller scale as well as the grand scale of the theatre.
Another theatre that employs smaller scale, focus point ornaments is the CORONADO in Rockford, Ill, which features ‘vases’ of stained glass flowers in niches in the sidewalls under the balcony to this day. Using flame shaped bulbs to illuminate them, these decorations also lend the more artistic air so little found in smaller scale in theatres; we all appreciate the large scale effects, but a good planner balances the theme by means of attention to ornaments on both ends of the size scale. One might also recall similar ornaments in the form of the dioramas of Chicago cityscapes that once graced the niches in the walls of Chicago’s long-lost SOUTHTOWN (preserved at the Theatre Historical Soc. www.HistoricTheatres.org ), but people can increase the level of interest by using smaller ‘jewels’ to highlight the lobbies, as was done with antique figural lamps upon an imported mahogany back bar in the PABST in Milwaukee, for example. The wonderful ‘fountain’ of stained glass centered in the rotunda of the lobby of the RIALTO in Joliet, Il, also comes to mind as a wonderful focal point feature that takes that theatre beyond the ordinary.

One can see many vintage photos of the LOS ANGELES in the Annual of the Theatre Historical Soc. by that name for the year 1998 and its 36 pages will leave one a lasting impression of a luxury that has rarely been seen in American theatres, and unlike its reputed model, the San Francisco FOX, it is still with us and used by many commercial photographers as a background, even as it has been used in many videos.
PHOTOS AVAILABLE:
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
www.HistoricTheatres.org
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on May 20, 2004 at 11:51 am

Last year or so, there were due to be a series of events put on by UCLA in the Los Angeles, the Orpheum and the Palace. The Orpheum was just fine, Gilmore shut the Palace down, and the Los Angeles was revealed not to have had a fire curtain(!), which led the fire marshals to shut it down indefinitely. Just watching “Charlie’s Angels II: Full Throttle”, it’s very funny at the end to see the characters hop in a sportscar directly outside of Grauman’s Chinese, and in the next scene magically appear just outside the Orpheum, drive past the Tower (heading south, of course), back past the Orpheum repeatedly, and then crash into the main stage of the Los Angeles! At least they made Broadway at night look dishy and cosmopolitan; would’ve been funny to see this scene set in the other Broadway theatre district (nearer South Central, comprising the theatres Aloha, Kiva, etc.).

edward
edward on April 28, 2004 at 10:58 am

Updated link to the Los Angeles Conservancy – Last Remaining Seats:

http://laconservancy.org/remaining/index.php4

RobertR
RobertR on April 28, 2004 at 10:55 am

Is all of the renovating completed or is it a work in progress?

ppops70s
ppops70s on April 28, 2004 at 10:22 am

I am going to see Some Like it Hot there on June 2, sponsered by Turner Classic Movies. The Los Angeles Conservancy is hosting the event.

ppops70s
ppops70s on April 28, 2004 at 10:21 am

Robert, did you ever go to the private screening room in teh basement?

RobertR
RobertR on April 28, 2004 at 10:19 am

Paul, I was fortunate to have a projectionist friend who did the same for me. What a theatre it is.

ppops70s
ppops70s on April 28, 2004 at 10:05 am

I use to go there in the 80s. A friend of mine worked there so I saw every room, including the balconies. Therer is a crying room on the balcony level. The seats are elevated so when kids were seated they could see the show behing an enclosed room with a glass window.

XvXMatthewXvX
XvXMatthewXvX on March 10, 2004 at 12:50 pm

if anyone has a direct contact with the owner/leasee of the theater please contact me at , I’m involved with a business opportunity and I’m looking for space – Thanks ( matt )

William
William on February 17, 2004 at 1:36 pm

You can see some of the lower lounge area in the movie “New York, New York”. And its been used many times in recent years as a music video and commerial location.

RobertR
RobertR on February 17, 2004 at 12:58 pm

I was given a tour of this theatre by a projectionist friend around 1990. Words cant describe theatres like this. One thing I found ammusing is that the size of the main mens room could accomidate ten of todays multi-plex sized theatres. Each stall had its own sink and mirror. To say they dont make them like this anymore is an understatement.

Knatcal
Knatcal on February 8, 2004 at 2:07 pm

I saw “El Jefe” here as part of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats program. I also toured the interior during the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Broadway Behind-the-Scenes program. The relatively small exterior bellies the enormous interior with two balconies. In my opinion this is truly grandest theater on Broadway on Broadway.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on February 6, 2004 at 5:33 pm

Scratch that address above.
Instead, click the link below.

http://catalog1.lapl.org/a_photo.html

Click on “Search the Database” on the bottom.
Allow it time to redirect.
Type in “Los Angeles Theater” in the space provided for the search.
On the “Keyword” drop-down menu, change it to “Subject Browse” and
click on the “Search” button.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on February 6, 2004 at 4:46 pm

You can see historic photos of the theatre here.

View link

It is from the Los Angeles Public Library.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on February 5, 2004 at 12:30 am

Was a relief projectionist there in the 70s and early 80s. The place will take your breath away… awesome…

PAULB
PAULB on January 23, 2004 at 6:35 am

The last remaining seats site link is truly astonishing..thankyou!

sdoerr
sdoerr on November 29, 2003 at 5:57 pm

WOW! That place is beautiful, I love the nice gold color it has to it. Just by looking at it, this is one of my favorites!

Gina
Gina on March 18, 2003 at 6:18 pm

The Los Angeles is open and available for filming and live events. If you are interested in renting it and can’t find a contact for the manager, e-mail us and we will get you in touch with them!

William
William on October 2, 2002 at 1:07 pm

During the Los Angeles’s early years it was part of the Fox West Coast Theatres.

TomDavis
TomDavis on June 17, 2001 at 1:37 pm

My mother considered the Los Angeles so special that she set aside an entire day to take me to a matinee there in the late 1940’s. The interior is truly overwhelming, like the most opulent of opera houses.