1040 S. Hill Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Showing 26 - 50 of 119 comments

LuisV on March 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

If the Belasco did run films for two full years then you should post it.

LawMann on March 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Since the Belasco ran movies regularly for two years and it once had projection equipment up in the booth, this magnificient theatre should be listed in Cinema Treasures.

kencmcintyre on March 18, 2009 at 11:07 pm

The Belasco is an orphan. Thanks for the photos.

DavidZornig on February 11, 2009 at 7:00 pm

P.S. Two nice night time full tilts of the Mayan blue neon blade & marquee at show’s end.

DavidZornig on February 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

The Mayan had a major role this evening on the NBC prime time show “Life”. The theater was the opening scene of the murder of the lead singer of a fictional metal cover band called Hot Lead.

They only utilized tight shots of the marquee sides. But did show the auditorium, stage & suspended mirrored ball. Along with various interior bar shots, and stage door/alley exteriors.

Since it was a new episode, it’s plausible that it was the filming that was taking place the day of ken mc’s Dec. 3rd photo.

kencmcintyre on November 18, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I drove by the Belasco this morning. No photos as no place to put them. Alas.

William on November 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

It did have a listing at one time. But they pulled it, for some unknown reason.

cnichols on November 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I respectfully submit this information in the hopes that the Belasco at 1050 S. Hill can have a separate listing. They definitely screened films there… At least in 1950.

drb on October 21, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Just as a side note to the Belasco discussion, I thought I’d point out that it was used as the filming location for the “abandoned opera house” that was the setting for the big Angel vs. Spike fight in an episode of the last season of Angel. So you had the two lead vampire heroes doing super-powered leaps from the balcony and beating the crap out of each other. It’s dark, but if you squint you can see that it’s clearly the Belasco there, especially in the one balcony shot.

nickb on September 1, 2008 at 6:01 am

also see jericl cat’s – a dozen or so starting with this one:

vokoban on August 27, 2008 at 9:03 am

We also had a tour of the Belasco last night. Here are some photos of that theater….mostly details and again, very dark inside:

View link

vokoban on August 27, 2008 at 8:40 am

My HTC meeting was held in the Mayan last night…here are some photos. Some are not very good since it was very dark in there:

View link

vokoban on August 20, 2008 at 9:05 am

Here’s something about Francisco Cornejo, mentioned in the article above:

View link

vokoban on August 20, 2008 at 8:59 am

Interesting about the opening of the Mayan:
(July 31, 1927 LA Times)
Mayan of Indian Design, Erected on Hill Street at Cost of $850,000, to Open Soon
The newest Los Angeles theater, the Mayan, erected at a cost of $850,000, is situated on Hill street between Tenth and Eleventh streets, next door to the Belasco, and is the first to follow the earliest-known American mode, the Mayan.
The property, fronting 100 feet on Hill street, with depth of 150 feet, is a Class A reinforced concrete structure, and will be devoted solely to the presentation of musical comedies. The theater will have its premiere August 15, next.
Gerhold O. Davis, who, with Edward Belasco and Fred Butler, is lessee of the new Belasco Theater, has leased the Mayan for twenty years from the owner, N.W. Stowell. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 1500, with 750 chairs on the main floor and 750 in the balcony. Offices are located on the second floor in front.
Into the structure, the architects have incorporated the most modern design and equipment architecturally. The exterior is in ornamental stone designed by a young Mexican artist, Francisco Cornejo, who in his interior design and color, has embodied the findings of his extensive research into earliest known American and Mexican art, with a predominance of blue, brown, red and gold tones. Doorways, proscenium arches and the ceilings are of ornamental stone in Mayan design. The selection of the Mayan motif by Gerhold O. Davis was the result of important archeological discoveries in Central America a year ago.
Entrance to the theater is through a large outer lobby, 18 x 32 feet, into the downstairs foyer. This and the mezzanine foyer, running the full width of the building, are decorated and furnished for the comfort of patrons during intermission, and smoking will be permitted in them as a result of the recent removal by the City Council of the ban on smoking in such places. Retiring rooms open off the mezzanine lounge.
Auditorium illumination is by an indirect system. The large figure of the Mayan sun rays, from whose circumference the entire ceiling is lighted in white and amber tones, is in turn lighted by green and blue lights from a pendant fixture.
Of exceptional interest because it is the first time in America such practice has been followed, is the use of a twelve-foot connecting stage, on each side of the main stage, which is thirty-eight feet deep and has a width of forty-two feet.
Space for fifty musicians is provided in the orchestra pit, which is 10 x 38 feet. From tis two stairways lead below stage, to the musicians' room, which is 35 x 11 feet. An interesting innovation in stage lighting is the use of a balcony fifteen feet above stage level for the switchboard panel.
With the exception of the de luxe star quarters just above the stage level, equipped with a suite of three rooms, and a star room on the stage level, all dressing-rooms open off the green room below, which is 45 x 25 feet. These include two star dressing-rooms, three dressing-rooms accommodating three persons each, five chorus rooms-two accommodating twenty-three each, two accommodating eight and one for six persons. On this level are also the wardrobe room and ventilating system. All downstairs rooms are well ventilated. Shower rooms for the convenience of the players are also in the basement.
Ground was broken for the Mayan Theater last August, and the general contract awarded to the Scofield Engineering Company.

vokoban on August 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Here is a detail of a Sanborn map from around 1950 showing the Mayan and the Belasco:

View link

vokoban on August 19, 2008 at 7:40 am

Here is an article about the Mayan switching to movies:
(Aug. 16, 1929 LA Times)
The Mayan Theater has gone talkie. Commencing Thursday evening, September 5, the Eleventh and Hill street playhouse, hitherto devoted to spoken plays, will inaugurate a policy of talking pictures to be shown twice daily. The opening attraction will be “Marianne,” a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer screen musical comedy. Gerhold O. Davis, manager of the Mayan, believes that the best entertainment of the future is to be in the form of talking pictures, and he is installing the finest equipment for reproduction, including a new device which he declares to be sensational in its improvement over the present devices. “I am thoroughly convinced that the public has taken the up-to-date talking, singing and dancing picture to its heart and prefers it to all other forms of entertainment,” declared Davis last night. “For that reason I am going to a great expense to equip my theater.” Mr. Davis announces that he will present only the best talkies available. Arrangements are being made for a typical gala premiere.

vokoban on August 18, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Dec. 9, 1948
Belasco Theater has been purchased from the Doheny Estate by Belco Properties, Inc., whose officers are Sidney Pink, Paul P. Schreibman and Monroe Goldstein. On Christmas Day, Pink will bring in the first of his new foreign film-stage show bills. Initial stage attraction will be “Wally Vernon’s Big Game Hunt.” The Belasco seats 1000 persons.

(Later on the name changes to ‘Big Dame Hunt’…maybe it was a typo)

vokoban on August 18, 2008 at 8:00 pm

The same film seems to have been shown with the same stage show which usually lasted a week or two. Who said it mattered if the films were French? I was just describing the fair…not commenting on what qualifies. The Danielle Darrieux movies they showed were from the mid to late 30’s, so its almost like a revival. It’s amazing that she’s still alive and working today!

kencmcintyre on August 18, 2008 at 7:41 pm

In counterpoint, I would say that if the theater featured burlesque with short racy films screened as filler, that probably wouldn’t qualify it to be listed as a legitimate house. That’s what the films described above sound like to me. The patrons weren’t going to the place for the films, they were going there for the girls.

kencmcintyre on August 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm

You could always ask Ken Roe. He was one of the contributors to the Cinematour page for the Belasco.

vokoban on August 18, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Here are a few examples of short write ups for the movie period at the Belasco:
April 7, 1949-The Belasco Theater’s new bill consisting of the French film, “She Returned at Dwan,” starring Daneille Darrieux, and a musical stage show, “Silk Stocking Revue,” opens this afternoon.

Jan. 27, 1949-A new stage show, “The Garter Girls,” starring Viviene Lee, and featuring Genii Young, Frank Scannell, Joe De Rita and Mary Miller, opens today at the Belasco Theater. In addition, Danielle Darrieux, French screen star, will be seen in her Parisian picture, “Club de Femmes.”

vokoban on August 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Apparently, the Belasco went from legit dramatic and musical theater to a program of burlesque with a movie following the performance by the end of 1948. This continued until June of 1950 when the church bought the theater. The numerous movies tend to be French or drug propaganda type films. Here are a few of the titles that screened for that short period: Fric-Frac, Kiss of Fire, Human Beast, Bride’s Delight, Lysistrata, Venus of Paris, Streets of Shadow, She Returned at Dawn, Wild Weed, Girls For Sale…etc….there are more but you can look under the movie listings in the LA Times if you’re interested. I’m not really concerned whether the theater gets listed on here or not. I just wanted to show that they did show movies here, briefly or not.

vokoban on August 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Hmmmmm… the last sentence.

(Dec. 25, 1948)
The newly refurbished Belasco Theater will open today with Wally Vernon’s “Big Dame Hunt” written by Eddie Maxwell. The theater has been given a scrubbing and repainted from stem to stern. Backstage, the dressing rooms and the Green Room have been renovated. Switchboard has been enlarged to handle special lighting effects and rigging and flies augmented in order to facilitate changing of scenes. New movie equipment has been installed.