Beverly Theater

206 North Beverly Drive,
Beverly Hills, CA

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MagicLantern
MagicLantern on August 23, 2005 at 12:24 pm

For the record, I drove past this building on Saturday and there was no fence around it or any other sign demolition was to begin today.

moviebluedog
moviebluedog on August 23, 2005 at 9:10 am

I was in Beverly Hills the night before this theatre was to go down. All I could think of is how yet another great theatre is meeting with the wrecking ball. “Durn” developers…

William
William on August 23, 2005 at 7:38 am

In the Special features part of the DVD “That’s Entertainment” you can see a exterior shot of the theatre during the premiere of that feature.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on August 21, 2005 at 4:55 am

I saw “The Bible” here in 1966 as a birthday gift from my mother. I still remember the huge screen or at least it seemed that way to me. Two theaters gone in one fell swoop. I guess Beverly Hills hasn’t been the same since those durn Clampetts moved in. :–)

moviebluedog
moviebluedog on August 19, 2005 at 7:09 am

News of the destruction of The Beverly is terribly sad. Even though the theatre was gutted years ago, the structure stood for many years. I took an exterior tour of this former palace and could only imagine how beautiful it was.

dyban
dyban on August 19, 2005 at 4:00 am

From:
View link

On August 22, demolition is to begin on three well-known Beverly Hills buildings.

First, and most importantly, is the 1923 dome-topped Beverly Theater. Next to City Hall and Rodeo Drive, this iconic structure — though dwarfed in recent years by taller buildings — symbolized old Beverly Hills. I live next door to the woman whose father built the theater. Fortunately, she won’t have to witness the demolition from her window. A massive Jerry Snyder “mixed use” project currently under construction now blocks the view.

The other two buildings slated for demolition include the old Canon Theater, which before it went legit showed movies as both The Canon Theater and, in earlier times, The Hitching Post. And next door to that, the Gucci warehouse, once a Bekins or Lyons storage building, also will fall. This building, by the way, was the first poured concrete structure to feature a “waterfall windows” facade.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 1, 2005 at 1:00 pm

From the 1967 annual report of Loew’s Theatres:

“Your Company has acquired 27 of the Statewide Circuit’s fine theatres in Southern California and 3 in Phoenix, Arizona. These include such important showplaces as: the Hollywood Paramount, the Beverly, Crest and Picfair in the Los Angeles area, Century 21 in Anaheim, the Titan in Fullerton, and newly completed theatres in San Bernardino and Bakersfield.”

The report also has a photo of the Beverly, showing The Bible.

deleted user
[Deleted] on May 15, 2005 at 6:50 am

David Harrison Levi – Beverly Hills High School Alumni – Class of 1970 – Child Actor – TV & print – Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say The Darndest Things” LMNO Productions – CEO/President David Levi Entertainment, Inc. David Levi Productions, Inc. Personal Management TV /Screen /writer (TV & Film Prop rental sales leasing) in Beverly Hills, California – Top 50 Sexiest Men in Hollywood – Producer of various charity telethon events i.e.: Jerry Lewis MDA , Variety Clubs International, March of Dimes, American Cancer Research, Easter Seals, SPCA , John Wayne Institute for Cancer Research ( Dr. Lee Morton ), Founder/ CEO Recycle Smiles AMERICA ( toys to medically challenged children), working partner and management/ Chippendales, Inc. Los Angeles, CA. 1979-1991 – Partner/co-creator / Beverly Hills Diner / Chippendales Nightclubs / (Partner)Los Angeles, CA. CEO/President Levi Corporation of America

deleted user
[Deleted] on May 15, 2005 at 6:23 am

Beverly Theater was originally designed in the Indo Chinese style, but was later remodeled into an Art Deco theater. The Beverly has a large Taj Mahal-type dome, which is located above the theater’s facade. After the huge red carpet premieres the parties continued through the night at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel across the street. Hernando Courtwright Owner and Mr. Whitehead General Manager. Milton Kriess 24 Hour Coffee Shop in the hotel was a meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Celebrities were common place. The Coffee Shop later changed in the 1980’s to The Pink Turtle. My family owned the world famous Beverly Hills Liquor Castle, 212 South Beverly Drive.The California Bank building is NOW owned by Clippers owner Donald Sterling,framing Wilshire Blvd to the right. Blums Restaurant with their incredible ice cream sundaes and candy was directly across from The Beverly Theater. Tie Tyme, Progressive Shoe Repair, a Jewelry store and Old World Restaurant, were its neighbors on the left. Paul Fegans Suites atop the Glendale Federal Building,in the 1970’s (Paul Fegan Personal Injury attorney and magician, party giver, and event planner. The Fig – Best Parties in Town.
(Mr. Zabo General Manager) In the mid 1970’s, Beverly Hills had a number of theaters. But with the noise & traffic generated by such films as Tommy, Woodstock, and others, local citizens began to complain.

Responding to these local complaints, General Cinemas closed the theater in 1977. It was later gutted to become a store – (Fiorucci) At the time of the closing, you could still see what the inside looked like. To get a small look inside this once outstanding theater, watch the film Xanadu.

Today, the theater is empty, and the only remnant of its previous use (Israeli Discount Bank)is the exterior dome. The future of this historic movie palace IS scheduled for demolition in the very near future.

Welcome to Beverly Hills… David Harrison Levi – Thank You to William Gabel

chconnol
chconnol on May 11, 2005 at 12:27 pm

An article in today’s NY Times states that a new hotel will take over the site where the Beverly Theater now stands.

Here is a portion of the article dealing with the theater:

“For the city, the project solves a problem that had irked city officials for more than a decade: how to remove the empty and unusable buildings on the site. The most visible of those structures is the Beverly Theater, a 1920’s movie house with onion-shaped domes inspired by the Taj Mahal, and now fronted by an incongruous entryway of black glass added in the 1980’s.

After the theater closed in the 1970’s, the building served as a clothing store and a discount bank before shutting its doors in the early 1990’s. Five years ago, the city said that the building was structurally unsafe. "

ProtectBH
ProtectBH on January 29, 2005 at 4:17 pm

the city of Beverly Hills is going to tear down the building to donate the land to the high-rise Montage Hotel – owned by the Chairman of Ebay.

Not only that, they’re also giving the Hotel $33 million in city funds to build a parking lot.

Help save the Beverly Cinema Building! Go to ProtectBH.com to help.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on December 18, 2004 at 4:21 pm

The Beverly is the theatre that hosted the huge Metro-Goldywn-Mayer 50th Anniversary premiere of “Thats Entertainment” which was attended by M-G-M’s biggest stars such as Fred Astaire,Gene Kelly,Elizabeth Taylor,Donna Reed,Esther Williams,Lassie,Jimmy Durante,Ava Gardner,Shirley MacLaine,Louis Jordan,Jane Powell,Jackie Cooper,Debbie Reynolds,Howard Keel,June Allyson,James Stewart,Glenn Ford,Charlton Heston,Margret O' Brian,Marge Champion,Janet Leigh,Tony Martin,Cyd Charisse,George Burns,Nannette Fabray,Buddy Ebson,Merle Oberon,Myrna Loy,Donald O' Connor,Ginger Rogers,Johnny Weissmiller,Roddy McDowell,Alexis Smith,Keenan Wynn,Eva Gabor,Zsa Zsa Gabor,Jack Haley,Tom Drake,Adele Astaire,Dan Daily,Vic Damone,Gloria Swanson,Dennis Morgan,George Hamilton,Marjorie Main,Nicholas Bros,Virginia O Brien,Ann Rutherford and many others. A few people on the list were not M_G_M stars but it was the largest premiere I ever saw and it was telecast on Television. They had the red carpet where the stars walked from the theatre to the party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel accross the street.brucec

reflectionscs
reflectionscs on December 15, 2004 at 6:45 pm

In the 1970s, I took my young niece to see “That’s Entertainment!” here. I still look for the theater dome when driving through BH.

William
William on August 18, 2004 at 7:50 pm

General Cinema picked up this house and other Loew’s Theatres in the Southern California market, when Loew’s dropped the Southern California market from the chain. Most of the theatres were like brucec said were suburban mall market and Drive-In screens. This former Fox house was the oldest in Beverly Hills. Fox West Coast Theatres dropped the theatre back in 1960. After that Statewide, Century and then Loew’s Theatres would run it. General Cinema dropped this theatres lease after grosses had died down and Westwood started to show more business after films like the “Exorcist” did Blockbuster business at the National Theatre. But also the releasing patterns of the studios changed during this time. The time of the Roadshow was dying, these pictures that would only play two times a day. There are many things that killed this theatre and the Warner Beverly Theatre around the corner. The Art-Deco Warner Beverly died because a savings and loan company that owned the property found it would cost around 14 Million to do a earthquake retro-fit and restoration on the theatre. Now you want to talk about a real lost to the city and area.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on August 5, 2004 at 6:34 pm

Bruce, you posted these memories on the old board and it ate them, huh? :)

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on August 5, 2004 at 6:27 pm

The City of Beverly Hills helped cause the demise of the movie palaces in downtown Beverly Hills. The big Three were the Fox-Wilshire,Beverly and the Beverly Warner. As long as they were able to play the exclusive reserved seat attractions these theatres did very well.The studios were also to blame for not placing the proper movies in the 1970’s that wouldn’t have attracted the unruly crowds that caused problems with the residents in the area.They opened “Woodstock” in Beverly Hills instead of Westwood or Hollywood and the “Excorcist” instead of Hollywood on exclusive runs.The Beverly Hills market was great for the upscale and roadshow films such as “The Sound of Music”.I saw “On A Clear Day” at the Beverly what a great film presentation. General Cinema was the wrong chain to be running this theatre. They were mainly in the suburban mall market and didn’t run single screens in the city. After problems with the “Excorcist” and “Woodstock” Beverly Hills started resticting parking and not allowing for midnight shows. The City help destroy going to the movies in Beverly Hills during the 1970’s. The Fine Arts and the Music Hall are upscale smaller cinemas that have been able to survive because they attract the audience that the city is happy with. It was not until the Beverly Center was built did movies return to Beverly Hills in a major way but this was in a mall on the cities border.brucec

br91975
br91975 on May 15, 2004 at 6:02 pm

According to a ‘Buzzcut’ item in the June 2004 issue of Los Angeles Magazine, the Beverly Theater building – which was the first movie house in Beverly Hills – is slated for demolition at an unmentioned date.

William
William on November 24, 2003 at 7:01 pm

But since that picture and book has come out the theatre has gone from being a store to being a bank. So most of the interior has been gutted. Remember the book was published in 1981. That theatre stopped being a theatre back around 1977. And it sat empty for a few years after the store left.

frenchjr25
frenchjr25 on November 24, 2003 at 6:36 pm

According to “American Picture Palaces” by David Nalor (1981) the interior was still intact and the store used it to show off its displays. There is even a wonderful color photo of the interior on page 191.

William
William on October 7, 2003 at 6:37 pm

For many years this theatre was operated by the Fox West Coast Theatre chain till around 1960. It was then part of a few more chains: Century, Statewide, Loew’s and finally General Cinema Theatres. During the 60’s it was one of the Roadshow houses in Los Angeles. It was equipped with Norelco AAII projectors.

William
William on March 5, 2003 at 5:36 pm

The Beverly Theatre got the Art Deco remodel and new marquee in 1936. And during the early 70’s the outside where the small windows (in the above picture)got remodeled , by covering the front areas.

William
William on January 14, 2003 at 10:14 am

This theatre was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres from 1925 to the late 50’s. Then Amusement Corp. of America, Statewide theatres, Century theatres, Loew’s theatres then the last chain was GCC theatres.

Lee
Lee on February 16, 2002 at 9:54 pm

The theatre did not close because of local complaints, it closed because moviegoers went to Westwood or Hollywood. The town had no night life to boot. I worked there as an usher in 1974.