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This gets more interesting. Apparently there have been three Golden Bough Theatres, and the first two were both destroyed by fire. The original was built on Ocean Avenue in 1924 by Edward G. Kuster, a lawyer and cellist who designed the theatre himself. It was destroyed by fire on May 19, 1935. Kuster had purchased the old Arts & Crafts Theatre in 1929, and when the Golden Bough was destroyed he moved the play then in production there to the Arts & Crafts Theatre. At some date the Arts & Crafts/Abalone/Carmel Playhouse/Filmarte Theatre was given the name Golden Bough. This was the building which burned in 1949, and the Current Golden Bough Theatre was erected on its site in 1951.
Now here’s what I’ve found so far about the second Golden Bough when it was a movie house called the Filmarte. It was operated by a partnership of Dick Bare and Bob Edgren. They had to have been operating it after 1933 as there are references to the Filmarte having shown the Hedy Lamarr movie “Ecstasy” which was made in 1933. This is referenced on this page, which says that Dick Bare filmed a movie called “Famous Places” in Monterey in 1937.
I also found a reference to Dick Bare in an obituary of a fellow named Wayland Fink who grew up in the Stanislaus County town of Patterson, where his parents had bought the local movie house from Dick Bare (this was probably sometime around 1930.) Other that that, results from Googling “Dick Bare” are mostly unspeakable (just try Googling that name with “safe search” off!)
There are more (and more savory) results Googling the name his partner Bob Edgren, because Bob Edgren was apparently the son of a well-known cartoonist, Robert Edgren, (unless Bare’s partner was the elder Edgren, but he died in 1939, and the only obituary I’ve found for him says nothing about him owning any theatres.) Lots of Google hits about the elder Edgren’s newspaper career aren’t useful when hunting down information about theatres, though.
But it seems most likely that Architect & Engineer got the story a bit garbled and that what actually happened was that Dick Bare and Bob Edgren were renting the theatre they operated as the Filmarte from Edward Kuster, and they had to give it up in 1935 when the original Golden Bough burned and Kuster took over the Filmarte as a new location for his stage productions.
And then the Carmel Theatre was built in 1936 not to replace the burned theatre, but to replace the theatre which had been lost as a movie house because a different theatre had burned. However, the Carmel was built for the Monterey Theatres Company, and that company’s representative was, according to the reference in the California Index, E.H. Emmick who, according to other references in the Index, was once president of T&D Jr. Enterprises (1924) and was later head of Golden State Theatres (1940.) What business relationship there might have been between him and Bare and Edgren in 1935 remains a mystery to me. Maybe Emmick was just being an opportunist, taking advantage of Bare and Edgren’s misfortune.
In any case, puzzles to unravel.
According to an article in the Salinas Californian of December 24, 2005 (.pdf), The Golden Bough fire took place in 1949, and destroyed a theatre which had been opened in 1924 as a playhouse called the Arts & Crafts Theatre and was subsequently known as the Abalone Theatre, Carmel Playhouse, and Filmarte before becoming the Golden Bough Theatre. The current Golden Bough Playhouse dates from 1951. The 1935 fire must have destroyed a different theatre.
The Pacific Culver Stadium 12 opened in 2003. It was designed by the San Diego architectural firm Benson & Bohl (who also designed the Pacific Gaslamp 15 in San Diego) in an Art Deco-influenced Neo-Vintage style. Prior to the start of the Culver Stadium’s construction, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported that the proposed multiplex, which had initially been projected as a 10 screen house with 1600 seats, would be upgraded to a 12 screen house with 1852 seats.
Hollywood Reporter said in a 2003 article that the interior of the theatre was designed by a firm called Tanazaki & Associates, but I’ve been unable to find a firm with that name (or the variant spelling Google suggests, Tanizaki) on the Internet.
The Culver Plaza was originally operated by Mann Theatres, and was sold by them in May of 2007. It was previously known as the Mann Culver Plaza 6. CinemaTour gives the seating capacity as 1470.
I wondered why the website of the City of Culver City had nothing about this theatre when the site has multiple mentions of the Pacific Theatres multiplex nearby. Then I remembered that some of the lots along Washington Boulevard are actually within the corporate limits of the City of Los Angeles. I checked a map and, sure enough, the Culver Plaza Theatres complex is on the Los Angeles side of the city boundary.
Neither the L.A. County Assessor’s website nor the city’s ZIMAS program will yield information about this address. Some sort of assembly of several parcels appears to be in progress on this block, suggesting that the Culver Plaza may succumb to some large project not to far in the future.
This theatre may have been built for the San Francisco-based Petersen Theatre Circuit. Plans for a theatre in Brentwood were announced in the Better Theatres section of Motion Picture Herald’s August 22, 1936 issue. The design was attributed to an engineer named L.H. Nishkian, rather than to an architect. Nishkian is additionally cited in the California Index as structural engineer on theatre projects in San Francisco, Sacramento and Tulare at about the same time.
The library’s data page for the the photo ken mc linked to dates it to the 1930s, not specifically the year 1930. The fastback auto at the left indicates a date no earlier than the late 1930s- my guess would be 1937-1939 for this photo.
As for the building itself, the June, 1935, issue of Architect & Engineer carried an item which said that S. Charles Lee was preparing plans for a theatrer at Carmel for the Monterey Theaters Company. It was to replace a theater which had been destroyed by fire. Here’s the California Index card citing the article.
The style of the building in the photo harks back to Lee’s 1931 design for the Fox Florence Theatre in Los Angeles, so certainly bears his stamp. Carmel was not a big town in the 1930s, and I doubt it would have supported more than one local movie house, especially with other theatres being only about four miles distant in Monterey. I’d say there can be little doubt that this photo depicts the Carmel theatre in Carmel.
I’m confused about where this theatre was located. The first cause of my confusion: neither Google Maps nor TerraServer can find a California Avenue in Redwood City. The second cause of my confusion: Both Larry Goldsmith and Simon Overton say this theatre was replaced by a Bank of America, and Bank of America has three locations in Redwood City, these being; 400 Woodside Plaza; 700 Jefferson Avenue; 250-A Redwood Shores Parkway. None of them on a California Avenue and, checking the map, none of them very near to El Camino Real. Have the street names been changed since this theatre was closed?
Also, does anyone have a construction date for this theatre? S. Charles Lee was hired to design a theatre in Redwood City for a Mr. P.A. Frease (Southwest Builder & Contractor, January 27, 1933.) Assuming the Lee project got built, could it have been the Redwood?
Two things: I’ve dug up some information about the Magnolia Theatre, and the address currently listed for it is wrong. The theatre is at 4403 Magnolia, on the north (odd numbered) side of the street. There is no 4430 Magnolia in Burbank, as the numbers only go up to 4420 at the corner of Clybourn Avenue, and beyond that is the 10300 block of Magnolia in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
A mistake in either a card from the L.A. Library’s California Index, or in the article from Southwest Builder & Contractor that the card cited, prevented me from realizing before now that this theatre was designed by Clifford Balch. The card says that the May 17, 1940, issue of SwB&C named Balch as the architect of the “Major Theatre” in Burbank, but it gives the location of the new house as the northwest corner of Magnolia and Valley Street. The Major Theatre was actually at 333 San Fernando Rd., and already existed in 1940. The information on the card must apply to the Magnolia. The L.A. County assessor’s information for the parcel confirms a construction date of 1940 for the building at 4403 Magnolia Blvd.
The confusion must have arisen from the fact that the Magnolia was being built for Al Minor, who was the owner of the Major Theatre. There’s a (very little) bit of information about Al Minor on the Magnolia Theatre page of “Bijou Memories”, a website about Burbank’s movie theatres.
Incidentally, Google Maps has decent photos of all four sides of this building via its Street View feature, thanks to a wide, block-through lot behind the theatre being vacant.
A major development on the block southeast of Hollywood and Vine has been part of the Metro plan from the beginning. The specific nature of the project has changed (in 1991, for example, the leading proposal was for a development dominated by hotels and theatres), but the site has been targeted for intensive use for more than two decades. The redesign of the transit plaza underway now is intended to better integrate the station into the final form of the project, which got underway early in 2007.
J.F.: If you’re referring to the long link you just posted at 3:49pm, when I clicked it, it returned a photo card with printed caption reading “Hyde and Behman’s Theatre on Adams Street”. There’s another line to the caption, above the theatre name, but I can’t make it out because too many of its letters are obscured by a “Brooklyn Public Library” stamp.
This URL from my own search of the site fetches the same photo.
The L.A. Library has provided a larger version of the photo I linked to back in 2005, in the first comment on this page. Here’s the new version of Huntington Drive on November 7, 1937.
I’ve still been unable to pin down an exact address for the Arcadia Theatre, but I’ve found that the “Arcadia” sign strung across the street down the block in this photo was at First Avenue, and since the street numbers in Arcadia Start from Santa Anita Avenue (behind the camera’s position) with single digit numbers, the theatre was most likely somewhere from 30 to 40 E. Huntington Drive.
If they’ve altered signage while the place is closed, that suggests a possible re-opening, doesn’t it? Otherwise, why bother making the change?
The county assessor’s office treats this as 6524 S.Pacific, but it’s definitely the same property. The year of construction was 1925, which matches with the item in Southwest Builder & Contractor issue of January 4, 1924, which said that architects Arthur George Lindley and Charles R. Selkirk were preparing plans for the theatre.
Lindley & Selkirk were best known for designing churches, but there are two other theatres which can be attributed to them. They did the original Egyptian-style design for the Alexander Theatre in Glendale, and they were the architects of the Glendale Masonic Temple, which includes the Temple Theatre. Not a bad rÃ©sumÃ©.
The architect was Vincent G. Raney, who designed all the theaters built by the Syufy brothers' Century Theatres chain from 1964 into the early 1990s. Their Reno theatre opened in 1966. The original name (as brucec noted above) was Century 21 Theatre, which was the standard name with which most of the Syufy domed theatres of that era opened.
The style, though, was not Atmospheric. All the Century 21 domed houses looked pretty much the same inside as the prototype in San Jose.
If this complex was built by the Syufy brothers Century chain, then the architect was certainly Vincent G. Raney, who designed all the theatres built by Century from 1964 into the early 1990s.
The URLs of the photos in UCLA’s Times collection got changed. That’s the problem with linking to other sites. I’ve got orphaned links all over the place.
Ken, that photo, being from 1949, actually shows the earlier Main Street Gym, across Main Street from the Hip in the former Turner Hall, which was for a time the Regal Theatre. That’s the building that was destroyed in the 1951 fire, after which the gym moved into the former dance hall space above the Hippodrome’s entrance.
Photos showing the Strand are hard to find, so even though the theatre barely shows in this one, it’s the best I’ve yet seen. It’s a view of Colorado Street east of Marengo, with the new Post Office under construction on the near corner of Garfield Avenue in the foreground. The large white building beyond that is the Hotel Maryland,which was at the northwest corner of Colorado and Los Robles.
The front of the Strand can be glimpsed at far right, with its side wall displaying the theatre’s name. The Post Office was completed in 1915, so this dates the photo to about the time the Strand opened. Every nearby building in this photograph, excepting only the Post Office, is now gone.
Ken is right. The facade’s style is a sort of Renaissance Revival-Baroque-Romanesque Revival pastiche, I’d say. Certainly not Art Deco. All the elements have clear historic roots in European classicism. Art Deco, even in its nascent form, was full of elements borrowed or abstracted from non-European styles and/or modern industrial technology.
One of the organists at the Strand Theatre was Bob Mitchell (best known as the founder of The Robert Mitchell Boys Choir), who has been the organist at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles since 1990. Late in 1924, the twelve year old Mitchell was hired to play Christmas music between movies at the Strand, and this holiday engagement led to four years providing music to accompany silent movies at the theatre.
Here is an October, 2004 story about Mitchell from the Larchmont Chronicle.
A more extensive interview with Mitchell
Here’s a brief video clip from YouTube showing Bob Mitchell playing the organ at the Silent Movie Theatre. Bob Mitchell’s career as an organist began when, at the age of twelve, he was hired to play Christmas carols between movies during the holiday season at the Strand Theatre in Pasadena, California. Soon he was accompanying the movies themselves, and his temporary holiday engagement stretched into a four year tenure as the Strand’s organist.
He has been playing the organ at the Silent Movie Theatre since 1990.
Henry Warner’s later and larger Pasadena house, the Warner Egyptian Theatre, is listed at Cinema Treasures under the name it had been using for decades by the time it showed its last movie in 1986, the Uptown Theatre.
In the February 10, 1971, issue of the Los Angeles Times, this twin theatre was going by the names Adam Theatre and Eve Theatre. In the Independent Theatre listings (the two names were listed individually in the alphabetically arranged Hollywood section, even though they shared both one address and one telephone number), the Adam’s entry says “Latest Adult Sound Films” and the Eve’s says “Adults Movies”, but the same issue of the paper contains a good-sized display ad (two columns and two inches) for the Eve Theatre which gives its current attraction as West Side Story, and the ad is complete with Oscar icon and that movie’s famous fire-escape-motif logo. I’ve searched the theatre section of that issue of The Times for a display ad for the Adam, but found none. Apparently, they did actually run West Side Story on one screen and some ‘70s porn flick on the other.
If the listed address is correct, then the building is still there.
The assessor’s office says that the 6750 sq. ft. building at 2118 W. 7th Street was erected in 1923. That’s definitely old. I passed by the Lake many times and looked right at it, but I can’t get a clear picture of it in my mind. There’s just a vague impression of a small marquee and the name in slightly rounded letters. I think it was still open into the 1980s and was showing Spanish language movies. I can’t find it listed in either the 1971 or the 1986 papers I have, though.
In the Google Maps satellite view, this location (at least as Google marks it with its little green arrow) is a parking lot now, and one that looks as though it’s been there a long time and hasn’t been paved in years. Furthermore, TerraServer provides an aerial photo from 2000, and it too shows 615 Garrison as a parking lot. Are both websites mis-marking the location? Joe Wasson reported the building being vacant when he added the Sebastian to the database. That must have been later than 2000, since CT hasn’t been around that long. Is the listed address wrong? Where’s the Sebastian?