Avenue Theatre

11022 Downey Avenue,
Downey, CA 90241

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retrocool on December 8, 2004 at 8:08 pm

The Only Theater that I know of on Third St would be the Kirkorian it is a new theater built about 5 years ago. I have never heard of a theater on Paramount Blvd. I have heard of plan to convert the Avenue into a bistro along with a banquet room in the old auditorium. I would rather see it restored myself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 8, 2004 at 7:53 pm

Poking around the L.A. Public library web site, I’ve come across references to five theaters that were proposed for Downey in the 1920s, and I know that at least three were built. A fourth may have been built, as well, but it was on a side street (Third Street, if I remember correctly.) El Teatro was probably one of the two I described in my comment above.

I’ve also come across a reference to another theater proposed for Downey, in the late ‘30s or early '40s, which was planned for a site on Paramount Boulevard, but I don’t know if that one was ever built.

The Meralta is listed on Cinema Treasures, but El Teatro is not.

retrocool on December 8, 2004 at 7:23 pm

I live in Downey and as far as I know there were actually three theaters on Downey Ave. The El Teatro (Im not sure of the spelling) The Avenue, and The Merelta. They were built between the late teens or twenties. The Downey Historical Society has information and photographs of them at their Museum located at Imperial Hwy and Rives Ave. In Apollo Park. At one time they all had brick fronts. Only the Avenue remains, However the El Teatro building is still their and is now Popcorn Video.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2004 at 4:46 pm

This could be one of two theaters proposed for Downey in the mid 1920’s. If it is at the northwest corner of 2nd Street, then it is probably a theater built for a Mr. John Baker and designed by Architect and Engineer Henry Carlton Newton and Clifford A. Truesdell, Jr. The plans were announced in the Southwest Builder & Contractor issue of 5/30/1924.

SB&C of 5/15/1925 announced another theater proposed on Downey Avenue (then called Crawford Avenue), this one for a Mr. L.R. Matthews of Downey. No exact location is given for this project.

GaryParks on November 26, 2004 at 3:30 pm

I saw the outside of this theatre once, in 1991. It was open at that time. I remeber it had a classic Sixties facade, overhanging marquee, and sign. I wandered around it, and structurally it appeared to me to be a considerably older theatre.