Golden Gate Theatre

5176 Whittier Boulevard,
East Los Angeles, CA 90022

Unfavorite 22 people favorited this theater

Showing 51 - 75 of 171 comments

William on August 17, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Your wrong there. They use the front half of the theatre for warehouse storage for the store. And they wall off from there and use and re-configure the rest of the lobby areas. A 1500 seat or so size is the right size for a Walgreen/CVS/Thifty type of drug. The upper parts of the auditorium is covered over with false ceiling tiles. The old Warner Lincoln Theatre in Union City, New Jersey is retail now and only former theatres in NY.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 17, 2007 at 1:16 pm

It was a 1300 seat theater. I’ve seen similar size theaters converted to drugstores. As an example, the Oasis Theater in Queens, NY had 1300 seats and is currently a CVS.

kencmcintyre on August 17, 2007 at 1:03 pm

It seems kind of large for a drug store, though.

William on August 17, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Well in some conversions to Walgreen type stores. They put false ceilings in and use some of the auditorium area from their warehouse use. There are many former theatres that have been turned into this type of use here in New York and New Jersey. Most of the times the interior features are just covered over.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 17, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Not much better than demolition, but still better.

kencmcintyre on August 17, 2007 at 11:52 am

I guess a Walgreens is a “positive re-use”, depending on how much is left after the renovation. Better than demolition, anyway.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 17, 2007 at 11:31 am

This is another recent photo of the Golden Gate Theater.

vokoban on August 5, 2007 at 7:30 pm

The Conservancy does extend to East LA….here’s a link about it, but I don’t know how current it is:

View link

kencmcintyre on August 5, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Here is an undated architect’s sketch from the LAPL:

kencmcintyre on June 30, 2007 at 4:56 pm

I just noticed the status at the top of the page. Status should be closed.Glad the photos brought back some memories. I can’t help wondering what the inside looks like, though. Too bad the Conservancy doesn’t extend its program to East LA.

RAlvarez on June 30, 2007 at 12:32 am

truly some amazing detailed photos of what was once the flagship theatre of that area. thank you ken for jarring my memory.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Excerpt from an LA Times article dated 2/9/27:

This week will mark the beginning of building operations on the theater project on Whittier Boulevard in Golden Gate Square. The theater proper will seat about 1500 persons, and will contain thirteen stores. There will also be several apartment units. It is planned as a legitimate playhouse, but will be equipped for motion pictures as well.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 9:54 am

Looking at the photo I posted on 9/1/06, it appears that the outer buildings were constructed first and used as shops. They then built the theater on the inside and added the two marquees. If anyone disagrees, let me know.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 9:49 am

I took a batch of photos yesterday, which I will post later. Very sad to see the building deteriorating. If nothing is ever going to be done with that, it should be razed.

kencmcintyre on June 11, 2007 at 7:22 pm

Here is the lineup on 6/26/35. Well worth a couple of simoleons:

Held Over: Joe E. Brown

Will Rogers – “Doubting Thomas”

Baer-Braddock Fight Film

kencmcintyre on May 29, 2007 at 1:21 pm

His name was the first strike (from the LA Times, 11/30/29):

Walter H. Tinklepaugh was named yesterday in a complaint charging robbery of the Golden Gate theater at Whittier and Atlantic Boulevards. Mr. Tinklepaugh was identified by Helen Weddle, cahier, as the man who robbed her on September 3 and 11th inst., of $102 ad $23, respectively.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 11, 2007 at 9:18 am

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982

Golden Gate Theater (added 1982 – Building – #82002192)
Also known as Golden Gate Theater/Vega Building
5170-5188 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles
Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: Vega Corp., Balch Brothers
Architectural Style: Art Deco, Other
Area of Significance: Architecture, Entertainment/Recreation
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Recreation And Culture
Historic Sub-function: Business, Multiple Dwelling, Professional, Specialty Store, Theater
Current Function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Business, Multiple Dwelling, Professional, Specialty Store, Theater

DaveG on November 22, 2006 at 12:07 pm

For a recent pic (11/21/06) go to

gverdin on November 6, 2006 at 7:07 pm

Add the Terrace Theater to the list of long-gone movie palaces of East Los Angeles. The theater was located in City Terrace on City Terrace Drive. The theater was informally known as “the Show” to the citizens of City Terrace, and it was a special place to anyone fortunate enough, and old enough, to have attended a Saturday matinee. I remember the students of City Terrace Elementary School meeting every Saturday in the first three rows of the theater (no one sat with their parents). The price of admission was 25 cents for two features, and the theater boasted a balcony and a glass enclosed room for mothers with babies or small children. I remember watching all of the Three Stooges Meet…(Snow White, Hercules, etc.) movies. Does anyone else remember “the Show?” Can anyone offer more information about the B-17 Spirit of City Terrace?

William on October 12, 2006 at 5:07 am

That’s the same photo that ken mc posted on Sept. 1st 2006.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 12, 2006 at 4:19 am

A 1930 picture of Whittier Boulevard showing the Golden Gate Theatre. You can also see, farther down the street, a Van De Kamp’s Bakery with its windmill.

RAlvarez on September 27, 2006 at 3:46 pm

unfortunately, Beverly W. you will find that some of those suburbs areas like la puente are in probably worse shape than boyle heights was back in those early days. that is a big shame in itself. a reason to continue the “flight” that occured back in the 60’s to even farther locations. recently it seems that the push to bring boyle heights back to LIFE again is underway with new homes being built near downtown and also the reconditioning of old buildings, with the creation of lofts and condos in that area. the cycle is beginning. i will always remember the way it was.

gverdugo on September 27, 2006 at 5:49 am

I was born in EastLA in 1966 i remember growing up and going to the movies at the GoldenGate Theater on the corner of atlantic and whitter blvd it was a cool place to go see a movie i remember when we didn’t have any money we would sneek in through a hole in the back of the building it would be very dark inside, then in 1987
Pastor Mike and Donna Neville moved there church congragation from
maywood ca to the Golden Gate Theater and the churche’s name was
Praise Chapel Christian Fellowship I remember when i walked inside
the building i felt the power of God in the movie theater I was a
Gang Member from the Winter Gardens Gang that night i gave my life to Jesus Christ and i was never the same again nd alot of people were
getting saved and born again. The golden gate Theater was not only a
movie theater it was a place of worship were God moved in a very powerfull way the theater is very special to me because my life was
tranformed and not only me i have friends who got saved and are now pastoring churches all over the country who ever knew that this was going to happen. Everytime someone ask me where my life was changed
i tell them in the Golden Gate Theater under pastor Mike Neville…
so no forget that there was a powerfull christian called Praise Chapel in East Los Angeles because of that im am now a pastor
in Kansas City , Missouri its called Praise Chapel South K.C
what a blessing i never saw this for my life but now God is using
me to help other people that need to find their place with God.
that movie theater was meant for something good real good and I thank
God that im one the very few that could say my church was the Golden
Gate Theater God bless you. Pastor George Verdugo Jr

BeverlyWilson on September 18, 2006 at 9:42 am

I was born in Los Angeles in 1944 and my family moved to ELA when I was a baby. We lived on Record Street, just below Union Pacific, until 1952 when we moved to Downey Rd. I attended Eastman St. school through 6 grade. Is there anyone out there who went to Eastman? I have fond memories of the Golden Gate and the other theatres in ELA. I saw “Gone With The Wind” there in 1954. I saw many movies at the Boulevard Theatre. I remember seeing “From Here To Eternity” in 1953. My friends and I often caught the bus for a dime and went to the Montebello Plunge. My brothers and I all learned to swim in that pool. We left ELA in 1956 and moved to Montebello for 2 years and then on to La Puente. That was the route that many people took back in the mid-fifties, moving out to the suberbs where it was more affordable. I have gone back to the old neighborhood several times over the years to have a look, but it is depressing. Too many changes, and not for the better. I am glad that I grew up in the fifties and have the memories that I do. I have lived in many different places and am happy where I am now, but my heart will always be in East LA.
Beverly W.