1040 S. Hill Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Showing 76 - 100 of 134 comments

DonSolosan on March 7, 2008 at 12:47 am

The images all say “circa 1925”; those crafty people at USC slipped you up!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2008 at 12:40 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2008 at 12:23 am

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.

kencmcintyre on March 6, 2008 at 2:58 am

Also remember the scene from “Save the Tiger”, a 1973 film, where Jack Lemmon and Jack Gilford go to a porn movie at the Mayan to meet with an arsonist.

stevebob on March 6, 2008 at 1:23 am

The timeline with respect to triplexing and porn isn’t quite right, though.

Porno started at the Mayan well before 1977. Besides the examples already cited on this page, “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones” had a long run c. 1974 — in an undivided auditorium.

nickb on March 6, 2008 at 1:17 am

Nice, though “It Could Have Happened…But It Did” (1963)

should actually read “It Couldn’t Have Happened… But it Did” (1936).

HowardBHaas on March 5, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Enjoy the new Intro.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 22, 2008 at 3:35 pm

The Walls of Malapaga was released in March of 1950.

kencmcintyre on February 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Here is an October 1950 ad from the LA Times:

nickb on January 25, 2008 at 10:51 pm

The Mayan opened on August 16 1927 as a playhouse, not first as a movie theater (per the top of the page).

To quote the Los Angeles Times (July 31): ‘The property will be devoted solely to the presentation of musical comedies.’

and in an Aug 17 review of the opening night:

‘Messrs David, Butler and Belasco have done well in presenting such a sparkling general production, to open their new theater, which is to cultivate the lighter muse, as an adjunct to their already successful playhouse, the Belasco.’

Evidently they’d changed their plans within the first couple of years of operation (per Ken’s Nov 1 posting).

A rather glib description of the theater from the latter article:

‘The Mayan casts an agreeable warmth over the spectator. It is abundantly decorative, but the effects are well blended, and typical of an architectural scheme that has never previously been expressed in any playhouse in this locality. It is a building that in its richness and detail elicits a curious as well as a pleased interest, because it is in every sense a novelty.’

DonSolosan on November 24, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for the responses, Chas, Joe. I have the Conservancy’s theater district walking tour book, and under “other theaters” it has a photo of the Belasco. The marquee reads “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” but according to Wikipedia the novel was turned into a stage musical in the late 40s. That probably explains that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 24, 2007 at 8:21 am

Don S: The Hill Street Belasco isn’t listed at Cinema Treasures because nobody’s presented any evidence that it was ever used as a movie theatre. In short, it’s a theatrical treasure but not a cinema treasure. In fact I’m not sure it even has a projection room.

However, the Main Street Belasco is listed here under its final name, the Follies.

chspringer on November 24, 2007 at 8:16 am

I tried to list the Belasco, however it did not list as Cinema Treasures lists only theaters that have shown movies and the Balasco was a legit house for live theater and never ran any movies. It was home of the Metropolitan Community Church at one time.

DonSolosan on November 24, 2007 at 4:04 am

Chas, I was looking for your entry on the Belasco and couldn’t find it. Is it under another name? I also looked under Morgan, Walls & Clements and couldn’t find it that way. Strange…

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 1, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Marianne with Marion Davies and Lawrence Gray was released in August of 1929.

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 9:07 am

Here is an early 70s ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 3:06 am

Then why the church sign?

William on August 9, 2007 at 2:45 am

ken mc, that 1950’s shot is the Mayan and that other vertical sign is on the theatre next door, the Belasco Theatre (Legit, no movies).

kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 2:30 am

Was the Mayan ever used for a church? There’s a sign on the theater in this 1950 photo that says “Immanuel”:

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2007 at 2:01 am

You can see a different type of marquee on the left in this 1928 USC photo: