West Coast Theatre

308 N. Main Street,
Santa Ana, CA 92701

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Showing 26 - 39 of 39 comments

kencmcintyre on December 18, 2005 at 2:29 pm

Re-opening of the West Coast theater in 1935 after reconstruction:

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kencmcintyre on December 18, 2005 at 1:47 pm

From the Cal Davis collection:

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MagicLantern on December 12, 2005 at 12:38 am

Zedfla, heartfelt thanks for maintaining it and making it available for a public who appreciates and enjoys it as much as your congregation does.

alhezjr on December 11, 2005 at 11:48 pm

Our Church Christian Tabernacle has done its best to maintain this beautiful building. It looks as beautiful as it once did. Anyone is free to come in and view the interior. We are having a photo shoot of the building soon. I will post picture up as soon as their available.

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2005 at 5:02 pm

From the Santa Ana Public Library:

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kencmcintyre on October 18, 2005 at 4:31 pm

From the UCLA Digital Archive:

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GaryParks on July 19, 2005 at 11:04 am

I visited this theatre last month with the Theatre Historical Society of America Conclave attendees. The church that occupies the building keeps it clean and the interior is freshly painted. Along with the obligatory white walls and ceiling, the Skouras swirl and scroll ornaments are all gold, as is the original 1920s proscenium, which is visible within the later Skouras-era one. The ceiling coves all light up, though all in white. Doubtless they were once multicolored. The original Arts and Crafts stained glass windows on the Mezzanine are clean and bright.

thomasl on May 4, 2005 at 9:31 am

Still standing as of May, 2005…and still the crown jewel of Old Town Santa Ana.

rolivos on October 6, 2004 at 3:22 pm

This movie theatre was purchased from the Walkers and was operated by a Chicano family (Lewis Olivos Sr. family of Santa Ana, CA) for most of the 20th century (from the 1950’s until the 1990’s) before they sold it to the “Christian Tabernacle.”

JimRankin on May 25, 2004 at 6:06 am

This theatre is one of some 200 that could be described as “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” which is the title of the ANNUAL of 1987 of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. In the late 1930s through the 1950s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Moderne meets Streamlined.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale. The ANNUAL also show in its 44 pages how some 20 theatres were good examples of this combining of aluminum forms with sweeping draperies heavily hung with large tassels, and with box offices and facades richly treated with neon within the aluminum forms. Few of these examples survive today, but it was a glorious era while it lasted, and this collection of crisp b/w photos is a fitting epitaph by the late Preston Kaufmann.
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:
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 44 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 lend 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)

HarryLime on October 23, 2003 at 2:44 pm

This theatre was located at 308 North Main Street. The Santa Ana Register of Historical Properties notes that this has been “Administratively removed from the Register on April 8, 2002 at the property owner’s request as a religious organisation”.

GaryParks on April 27, 2002 at 2:13 pm

In Fall 1996 I saw the exterior of this theatre, and it still looked exactly as it appears in the above photo except the box office was gone, and the neon tubing was missing from the marquee (though decorative striping was still the same colors as in the photo). The theatre was then being used as a church.