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Now that steveorini has revealed that the address of The Rolling Hills Theater was 2535 Pacific Coast Highway, perhaps someone can restore the entry for the United Artist’s Torrance Theater mentioned in comments above. The U.A. Torrance was located at 2735 Pacific Coast Highway, according to the theater listings in The Los Angeles Times of February 10th, 1971.
As far as I know, there was never a theater in that location. The tall, classical building to which it is attached was called the Merritt Building, and for much of its history it has been a bank, (I believe the original occupant was the Pan American Bank of California), though it has been used as retail space, too. I’ve seen this particular postcard before, but I have no idea why there is a marquee on the building at the time this picture was taken. In none of the other old pictures of the building that I’ve seen does the marquee exist.
In light of the comment above by Gary Parks, saying that the original architect of this theater was A.W. Cornelius, I re-checked my source of information, and I think he is probably right. I found a reference to an article in the magazine Architect and Engineer of March, 1936, which says that the former T&D Theater in Richmond was being remodeled for Fox Theaters, to designs by Architect F. Frederic Amands.
It doesn’t give the name of the original architect, and I have been unable to find any other references to Cornelius in connection with this theater, but as this remodeling took place a year before the announcement of the proposed theater designed by Walker and Eisen, I think it likely that their project was for a different theater, intended for the same block of MacDonald Street, that remained unbuilt. Given the fact that Cornelius designed so many theaters for T&D, it does seem most likely that he was the original architect of the United Artists.
Also, I noticed that in his comment on the Fox Theater (formerly the Costa) in Richmond, jwr gives the address for the United Artists as 823 MacDonald.
My bad for the uncaught typo. That should be Robert Kelly, not Kelley.
There is a page for this theater at the web site of the San Antonio Conservation Society, which says that the theater interior was designed by Robert Kelley and R.O. Koenig. There is no mention of Meyer and Holler at that site. I suppose that the building as a whole might have been built by Meyer and Holler’s firm, the Milwaukee Building Company, but I think we can trust the preservationists of San Antonio to know who deserves credit for designing the theater’s interior.
Century City is not actually a city, but merely the name of the development. It is inside the corporate limits of the City of Los Angeles.
James Edwards not only retained control of all his theaters in the San Gabriel Valley into the 1960s, and most of them well beyond that, but continued to expand his holdings there even after the main focus of the company’s expansion shifted to Orange County. The Edwards company owned or operated every english-language theater in Alhambra, San Gabriel, Temple City and Monterey Park from about 1962 until the company was taken over by the Regal group. (Edwards' San Gabriel Drive-In was operated by Pacific Theaters.) Probably 90% of the movies I saw before I was about sixteen, I saw at an Edwards Theater.
Actually, (if it works with the browser you are using- I don’t think it’s compatible with all of them), all you need to do is click on the name of the city in the row of links at the top of this page, just under the line; “Discover. Preserve. Protect.”
I think I may have a couple of monthly calendars from the Rialto in South Pasadena, dating from the early 1980s. I recall packing them when I moved from Los Angeles in 1986. A few of my boxes are still unopened after all these years.
I’m trying to remember if I went to the Beverly in the 1960s. I attended at least two theaters on Beverly Boulevard at that time, but can’t remember the names, though “Riviera” rings a bell.
Stevebob is correct. Also, the links to the Pantages and the Wiltern in that first paragraph don’t work.
I think that William must have meant to reference all four theaters (Warner San Pedro, Warner Huntington Park, Pantages Hollywood and the Wiltern) as outstanding examples of art deco, but the phrasing and punctuation got confused when the links were added.
The theater listings of the Los Angeles Times issue of February 10th, 1971, have the Roadium listed among the independent drive-ins. I can’t find it listed at all in the August 24th, 1986 issue of The Times.
I lived within a couple of miles of the San Gabriel Civic most of my life, and visited it many times, and had no idea that it had ever been used as a regular movie theater. By the time I was born, it had become the Civic Auditorium, and only showed movies once in a while, usually travelogues or special features such as Bruce Brown’s surfing movies. It really is a splendid building. I’m glad to see that they repaired the severe damage it suffered in the Whittler Narrows earthquake, rather than just demolishing it, as was the fate of many other historic buildings in the area.
What became of the duplicate posting of this theater under the name Fox Colorado? It had a photograph of the original facade, as designed by architect L.A. Smith. Can the photo be transfered to this post, now that the other has been deleted?
There is a better than even chance that the correct name of the architect of this theater is John Walker Flood, rather than J. Flood Walker. I have seen both names on cards in the L.A. Public Library database, but I believe J. Flood Walker to have been an error. If someone has access to an old Santa Ana City Directory, or a copy of Who’s Who in California from the 1910s-1920s, the mystery might be cleared up.
I’ve been unable to find any indication that Carl Boller was the architect of this theatre. I believe that the theatre Boller worked on was the one announced in Southwest Builder and Contractor issue of July 10th, 1925. The location of that theatre was given as 5th and Broadway, Santa Ana, but I suspect that it was the Broadway Theatre at 416 N. Broadway. The article says that the plans for that theatre were being prepared by Boller and architect A. Godfrey Bailey, associated, and the owner of the theatre is named as E.D. Yost.
This Yost theater on Spurgeon Street was announced in Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, issue of February 15th, 1913, and the architect was named as Harry Frederick Eley. Other references I have found indicate that the theatre was financed and erected by T.H. Fowler, a Santa Ana Contractor and financier of the era.
This Yost Theatre is mentioned again in a Southwest Builder and Contractor article of January 21st, 1921. This article announces that E.D. Yost has had plans prepared for an addition and remodeling of his theatre on Spurgeon Street, to cost $30,000. The architect of this remodeling is named as W.W. Kays.
Another remodeling of the Yost took place in 1947 (Southwest Builder and Contractor, February 21, 1947) and involved deepening the basement, relocating the restrooms, enlarging the foyer, and installing new heating and ventilation systems. The architects of this remodeling were Wildman and Faulkner, 225 Spurgeon Building, Santa Ana.
I’ve been unable to find the name of the architect who designed the 1909 Temple Theatre, but the August 2nd, 1935, issue of Southwest Builder and Contractor contains an article saying that the architects who prepared the plans for remodeling the theatre for C.E. Walker were Austin & Wildman, of Santa Ana.
Ken, I’m wondering if the interior looks as though it has been stripped down to the bare walls, or if the original decoration was merely covered up, as was a common practice with remodelings done in the 1950s? I remember that when the Garfield Theatre in Alhambra was remodeled, about 1960, the faux stone of the side walls was merely covered over with some sort of plasterboard. (Unfortunately, the installation of a CinemaScope screen a few years earlier had already led to the destruction of the once-grand proscenium wall of the Garfield. If the Glen did close early enough in the ‘50s, it’s possible that it never had a CinemaScope screen installed, and if the walls were merely covered over, the proscenium wall decoration might still be there.) I know that when the Academy in Pasadena was multiplexed in the early 1980s, it was discovered that much of the old decoration from the Bard’s Colorado era still existed under the false walls installed for the mid-1950s makeover.
In any case, it’s nice to know that the building, at least, is still there.
If the Forum Cafeteria was already there, and Desmond’s still there as well, then I must have misremembered the Forum being in Desmond’s old building. It was apparently next door.
The radio station with its tower on top of the Arcade Building was KRKD (a clever pun- K-arcade-e.)
Ron: The store was called “Swelldom,” and I believe it sold clothing. I never went inside, but it was there for ages. If I recall correctly, Leroy’s was a jewelery store. Desmond’s was also a clothing shop by the 1960s, but I think it began as a department store. I recently found that the five story 1920s era Spanish Colonial style building up Broadway from the Palace (and almost directly across the street from the Los Angeles) was originally Desmond’s Department Store. By the 1960s, that building housed a cafeteria, and Desmond’s had moved to a nearby building.
I have come across a reference card in the L.A. Public Library database which briefly quotes a newspaper story of 9/23/1917 (the card refers to the “L.A. Times?” with the question mark, so the identifying info was apparently lost.) It says that a “Metropolitan Cafe” was planned for a site on West 8th Street between Broadway and Hill. It was owned by a Mr. Marcell Annechaini, and would be called the Maison Marcell. The article, with an illustration, was supposed to be in the Central Library’s California Vertical File, under “Restaurants- Los Angeles- Maison Marcell.” I think the cards in the database antedate the library fire of the mid-1980s, and I don’t know if this file survived or not. If it still exists, the illustration might help to identify the building.
Since the Olympic is supposed to have been in a building that previously housed a restaurant, this particular establishment seems the most likely candidate, having been large enough to warrant a newspaper article which was then preserved. The restaurant must have been on the north side of the street, as Hamburger’s Department store already occupied the south side of the block in 1917.
The card does not say if a new building was being built for the restaurant, or if an existing building was being remodeled. If it was a new building, then it seems likely that it would have been completed in 1918, in which case the date of 1908 on the photograph of the Olympic linked in the comment above by manwithnoname might be no more than a typo, one number off.
Was the Gill of “Hebbard and Gill” Irving Gill?
The facade of this building was very Sullivanesque.
The Starlite was designed by William Glenn Balch and Clifford A. Balch. I believe it opened in 1948 or 1949. It was the only drive-in I ever attended.
The grand opening of the Fox Cinemaland was scheduled for April 10th, 1968, according to an article The Los Angeles Times of April 7th that year.
The Fox Anaheim was built in 1920, and was originally called the California Theatre. It was designed by Meyer and Holler, and the original owner was Mr. Theodore Roberts, who leased the theatre to Sol Lesser & Gore Brothers of Los Angeles.
The architectural style of the Lyceum was Richardsonian Romanesque, named for its progenitor, the Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson. So popular was this style in the 1880s that, by the end of that decade, the streets of Los Angeles were lined with dozens of prominent Romanesque buildings, including the City Hall, the Los Angeles County Courthouse, and Los Angeles High School.