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The Crest in Long Beach had the neon “Preview” sign as well, but alongside the vertical name sign, as shown in this photo, dated March 27, 1947.
Now Showing! The Headless Brides!
The Stadium is the only pre-war Los Angeles area Fox house with a stadium section that I can recall, but I remember a few more that were built in the 1940s, including the Culver, the Loyola, the Fox in Inglewood, and the Crest in Long Beach. I think there were others, but my memory refuses to jog.
Beverly Hills Speedway, west of Rodeo, south of Wilshire, had the only large stadium in the area that I know of. That photo is ca.1920, and the place lasted until 1924 when increasing value of the land in the area led the the track’s operators to move to a cheaper location near Culver City. They probably made a bundle subdividing the land. Here’s an aerial view, about 1921.
Unfortunately, this location is outside the L.A. city limits, so I’m unable to generate a report on it from the city planning department’s website. But after looking at the aerial view on TerraServer my guess would be that it’s possible that 8717 is actually part of the Balboa’s parcel, and the Jurdan may have been demolished when the Balboa was built.
I wish that L.A. County would set up something like the city’s ZIMAS service.
There are cards in the California Index containing citations which strongly imply that it was the Million Dollar project that brought Architect William Woollett to Los Angeles from San Francisco (theatre lessee Sid Grauman was a recent arrival from San Francisco himself and I suppose may have had something to do with the choice of Woollett as designer of the theatre portion of the project.) They also reveal that Woollett worked on the Million Dollar in Martin’s office, not on his own. One Architect & Engineer article refers to Woollett as Martin’s associate in the project.
I don’t know what name A.C. Martin’s firm went by in 1918, but whatever it was should probably be the name in the “firm” spot on the Million Dollar’s Cinema Treasures page.
vokoban: It’s entirely possible that the caption writer got the year wrong, and that the Cozy didn’t open until 1937.
LM: Martin also remodeled for Lou Bard the commercial building which became Bard’s Hill Street Theatre in 1920. A Southwest Builder & Contractor item of May 30, 1921, credits Martin with the design of an amusement complex on Sunset Pier in Venice which was to include a 1200 seat movie theatre. In addition, the California Index contains a card citing an article in Architect & Engineer of August, 1918, naming Martin as the architect of a theatre to be erected at the corner of 8th and Broadway in San Diego.
I’ve also found some cards I’ve not seen before in the Index, regarding the Million Dollar project, but I guess I’ll post about those on that theatre’s page.
This building was remodeled some time after 1939, losing its original fancy cornice. In this view of the 1939 fire which destroyed the nearby Gray Building, the cornice is still there. The wide Chicago windows look to have always been there.
I’d say A.C. Martin is certainly a possibility as architect of the theatre, the building, or both. He was born in 1879, and is known to have designed theatres in the 1910s & 1920s. The Cozy would have been a pretty small project for a guy who was in 1927 part of the team designing L.A.’s new city hall, though.
That date should be ca.1927, of course.
I’ve also come across cards in the California Index which cite L.A. Times issues of August 16 and September 5, 1929. The first article announces that the Mayan will soon be presenting a talking movie, and the second is about the world premier of the new Marion Davies film “Marianne”, to take place at the Mayan that night.
The USC Digital Archive has changed the URLs for the photos of the Mayan to which ken mc linked in his post of October 4, 2006. Rather than recreate the individual links which might vanish again, here’s the Archive’s home page. Search on “Mayan Theater” (note the spelling- using “theatre” will fetch only three results) to access 21 historic photos and renderings of this splendid building, most of them ca.1925.
The Regent (operating as the National) and the Banner were certainly both open at the same time in 1915, according to the Times article from that year Ken cited on July 2, 2007. We know that the Banner has been at 458 S. Main in recent times (I saw it there myself.) The questionable caption (almost certainly containing an error in the address) cites events from 1918 and (presumably) 1922.
But, while there are sources from before 1918 and after 1922 proving the Banner to have been located south of the Regent at those times, this information does not preclude the possibility of the Banner’s owner having gotten hold of the lease on the National, moved his operation there for a few years, and then, due to another reversal of fortune, having to return his business and its name to its previous location.
Signage of theatres was usually of a sort easily moved in those days. Due to shadow in this 1920s photo, the Banner’s signage can barely be made out, but it looks like the same small board (minus the neon which was obviously added later) seen in this night view from 1965. The Regent, though, had a spiffy little marquee in the 1920s (on which the name is not readable in this view, alas.)
So, while it seems most likely that the caption writer (or the source the caption writer used) got the address of the Banner wrong, none of the evidence at hand is conclusive. That’s why I suggest checking a city directory from about 1919-1921. If the directory shows that the Banner was not at the Regent’s address, or that the National or Regent was at the Regent’s address, then the caption is certainly wrong. Ads from the period showing addresses for either theatre would do as well.
LM: The source for Martin as architect of the Cozy must be the caption to the 1955 photo linked from his previous comment. However, given the questions that have arisen about the accuracy of the information in the caption for a photo of the Regent Theatre in what appears to be the same book, a corroborating source would be nice— especially given the fact that the assessors info for the Cozy’s building gives a construction date of 1905. If the theatre opened in 1927, it must have been only a conversion of existing space.
I recall the dropped ceiling of the lobby being there in the early 1960s. It was the sort of cheap modernizing job that was done to many old theatres. Most of the original ceiling decor is probably still there in the Million Dollar, as it usually is in the others. The main point of putting in a dropped ceiling is so you won’t have to go to the expense of actually removing a lot of heavy, decorative plasterwork, and you can cheaply run wiring and duct work through the newly concealed space.
This building was erected in 1927, according to assessor’s information.
An item in Daily Variety for June 18, 1941, indicates that at that time this was a playhouse operating under the name Hollywood Troupers Theatre.
I’m now wondering where that building with the arched windows was (or is) located. It looks familiar, but I can’t quite place it.
I wondered about the caption myself. The address for the Banner on its CT page is 458 S. Main, but I suppose it’s possible that the Regent was once called the Banner. Theatre operators would sometimes take the name with them when they moved to a new location (Woodley’s Optic, for example), especially in the early days.
Incidentally, the assessors information for the Regent building gives a construction date of 1914, so the caption can’t be referring to an earlier building at the same address. I guess somebody should check the city directories from the era.
I think just about everybody knows that teatro is only the Spanish word for theater, so in a way it seems pointless to add it, but then Teatro (capitalized) Whatever did appear in advertising and (in some cases) on the signage, so it is historically accurate. I guess that adds up to me being indifferent.
I think almost all the downtown theatres were advertised with “Teatro” in their names if and when they ran Spanish language movies. Here’s photographic evidence of Frank Fouce’s Teatro California, and of El Nuevo Teatro Rialto, and I recall the Million Dollar advertised as El Teatro Million Dollar. I’m pretty sure the Mason, State, Globe, United Artists, and others were advertised as “Teatro…” as well. The same was true for neighborhood theatres throughout the region. Not all of them got signs out front, or cloth banners, but Teatro Whatever was what they were in their ads.
Ken: The 1973 picture is not the Central’s building. It has arched windows on the top floor, while the Central’s building had square-topped windows. Also, the building to the left of it is too low to be the 5-floor Bradbury Building, and the building to the right has a light well on the side, which the Cozy’s building didn’t have. The State library probably mislabeled this photo.
I never before noticed how much the terrazzo of the Palace looked like the lower part of a giant clown’s face, with the nostrils just below the box office, and then… would that be a bristly moustache, or a mouth full of teeth like giant piano keys?
Can’t sleep. Palace will eat me!
(Don’t mind me. I probably just need medication. Or I’ve been at the computer too long)
Prison Break was released in Denmark on February 9 of 1939, under the title OprÃ¸r i fÃ¦ngslet.
Army Girl received three Oscar nominations. Prison Break was snubbed by the Academy.
Army Girl was released in August of 1938.
Here’s a b&w photo of Broadway in 1943. Click on it to get to a page with an enlarging feature. There is a high-angled view of the Roxie’s marquee at far right, and it’s probably the original marquee. Click it a few times to make it big enough to see the detail. It’s all covered in neon.
Northgate Reel Theatre showtimes and such can be found online at this page.