Los Angeles Theatre

615 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Showing 26 - 50 of 289 comments

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

You could see the outline of letters that said “Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. I think that may have been from the last Conservancy program in 2009.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on March 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

Ken, I seem to remember that event happening in the past year or two.

Also, love your shot of the alley sign.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 27, 2010 at 12:00 am

Here is a b&w photo of uncertain vintage:
http://tinyurl.com/yjs6tpf

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Very nice photos.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on January 31, 2010 at 11:35 pm

ken mc and BillH are expects in this biz. Wanna go see the place for fun soon?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 12, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I’m a procrastinator.

BhillH20
BhillH20 on December 12, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Your like 22 years too late with info already outdated !!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm

This is part of an LA Times article in July 1987:

When Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” premiered downtown at the 1931 opening of the Los Angeles Theater at 615 S. Broadway, even the theater lobby-trimmed in gilt and featuring a crystal fountain-sparkled like city lights. In the ‘30s, going to the movies meant entering a setting so elegant that the escapism on screen extended to the theater itself. The Los Angeles, designed by architect S. Charles Lee, 87, was fashioned after Versailles, with mirrors, marble columns and trompe l'oeil murals.

“It was a popular concept of the time,” Lee explained in an interview. “We made people with 20 cents to spend feel like they owned the palace.” On four consecutive Wednesdays beginning at 8 tonight at the Orpheum (842 S. Broadway), the Los Angeles Conservancy will offer that experience to modern filmgoers with “The Last Remaining Seats,” a series of classic films presented in four of the 10 grand old movie palaces that still operate downtown.

A six-block section of Broadway, containing 12 movie houses built between 1910 and 1932, is the only theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, said Gregg Davidson, assistant to the executive director of the conservancy. With the recent closures of two of those theaters, the Globe at 744 S. Broadway and the Tower at 802 S. Broadway, more downtown movie palaces have shut their doors in the last six months than in the last 55 years, Davidson said. Both theaters are being converted, the Tower into a dance club and the Globe into a swap meet. The conservancy hopes to encourage what Davidson calls “reversible conversions”-the Tower, he said, can be restored as a theater in the future, but the Globe has been gutted and can never be a theater on the same scale again.

Uncertainty about the future of the remaining theaters and a desire to reawaken public awareness to their existence fostered “The Last Remaining Seats.” The series echoes a similar program, “The Best Remaining Seats,” which was presented by the American Film Institute in the summer of 1979 and featured 10 vintage Southern California movie houses, including one in Santa Barbara.

Another concern of the conservancy, Davidson said, is that home video is luring away some of Broadway’s clientele. The movie houses now cater to a largely Latino audience, offering a mixed fare of Mexican features and action-oriented American movies. Six of the movie palaces downtown play Spanish-language films and two others show American movies with Spanish subtitles. But the recent influx of Spanish-language films on home video and the affordability of VCRs are depleting the audience, Davidson said.

But Bruce Corwin, president of Metropolitan Theaters, which owns and operates the movie houses on Broadway and donated the use of the Orpheum, Palace, United Artists and Los Angeles theaters for the conservancy evenings, emphasized that the theaters are far from being fading relics. “It’s not a deteriorating area at all,” Corwin said. “It’s an area that’s in constant flux and constant change… . When video becomes less of a toy, business will improve.”

“The Last Remaining Seats” opens at the Orpheum (842 S. Broadway) tonight with a screening of Buster Keaton’s silent comedy “Steamboat Bill Jr.” The theater was chosen because of its restored Wurlitzer organ, which can simulate more than 14,000 orchestral sounds. Gaylord Carter, an organist who played during the era of silent films, will provide the accompaniment. Also scheduled are “Billy Blazes, Esq.,” a Harold Lloyd short; vintage newsreels and a cartoon.

A live stage show and rare film clips of vaudeville acts will be the offering next Wednesday at the Palace (630 S. Broadway). Milt Larsen of the Magic Castle and Variety Arts Center will emcee. On July 29, “The Taming of the Shrew,” Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks' only movie together, is slated to screen at the United Artists (933 S. Broadway), the theater they helped finance. The UA was the only flagship theater built by a studio in the downtown area.

The series will conclude Aug. 5 at the Los Angeles Theater with a gala reception and a scheduled guest appearance by architect Lee following a screening of “Dames,” with musical numbers staged by Busby Berkeley. All programs begin at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance by writing to the Los Angeles Conservancy, 849 S. Broadway, Suite M-22, Los Angeles 90014. Subscription tickets to all four shows are $35; individual tickets are $10 each and $12 at the door. Tickets to the closing-night reception are $10.

William
William on September 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

That picture from ken mc’s post from Aug 23rd 2009 is of the former restaurant in the lower lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre. That space later became a screening room for Metropolitan theatres in the 60’s.

monika
monika on September 4, 2009 at 9:16 am

Ken, that is quite an interesting image. The Los Angeles' sign is still in that alley as shown in the photo (I’ve got a recent picture of it somewhere, I can’t recall if someone has posted one or not). That alley has got to be one of the filthiest places in downtown.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Here is an undated photo from the USC archives. The jumper has not made it to the ground quite yet.
http://tinyurl.com/n7xkqf

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on August 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Is that the refreshments room just off the ballroom?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm

This was a “mystery theater” on the THSA site. They have now identified it as the Los Angeles in 1931:
http://tinyurl.com/mt2bd6

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on July 18, 2009 at 12:00 am

I just watched the sci-fi/fantasy/adventure/comedy “The Ice Pirates” and was interested to see the Los Angeles standing in as the lair for a group of Amazon women. There’s a scene played on the lobby stairs leading up to the crystal fountain, and another down in the ballroom.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on June 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

I shot some time lapse video at the Last Remaining Seats show two weeks ago of the exterior, auditorium and lobby. It’s on YouTube if anyone wants to take a look.

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 7, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Here is a little video tour of Broadway:
http://tinyurl.com/lzl7l4

Bway
Bway on May 21, 2009 at 11:48 am

Wow that is a beautiful photo.