Golden Gate Theatre

5176 Whittier Boulevard,
East Los Angeles, CA 90022

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Showing 76 - 100 of 165 comments

richard56ela on July 13, 2006 at 2:07 am

Most people that I’ve asked remember the Two Guys store on Whittier Blvd. just east of Goodrich Ave., but they don’t remember that when that building first went up it was Unimart. Just thought I’d add that. Is there any pictures out there of East L.A. in the 50’s or 60’s?

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on July 5, 2006 at 11:21 am

What a great design: unique and elegant but not overstated. Too bad it has ended up as it has. Any indication as to how much of the auditorium is intact?

RAlvarez on July 5, 2006 at 7:12 am

thanks, ken mc for the great pictures. my faint memory of the that haunting interior became clear and defined once again as if it were yesterday. i can still hear the classical music playing while waiting for the movie to start.

surreallady on June 21, 2006 at 2:43 am

WoW Ralvarez! That was beautiful. Beatiful doesnt even cut it…

kencmcintyre on June 1, 2006 at 3:29 pm

I had no idea that Two Guys had stores in California. There was one in Atlantic City when I was a kid.

RAlvarez on May 21, 2006 at 2:58 pm

To any residents of E.L.A./Boyle Heights for the last twenty years or more, Cesar Chavez
Av. will always be Brooklyn Av. Having said that, i was born, raised in and will always relate to my Boyle Heights roots. Lincoln Hospital was my birthplace in 1954. We lived on Gleason Av. near Lorena. I remember street looking out at the fourth street bridge from our front steps, seeing the first 747 fly overhead, street football games, the Mercado on First Street under construction and shaking Bobby Kennedy’s hand as he drove by it during his 1968 campaign. That was a rush. I remember walking to Our Lady of Talpa through all the alleys in my neighborhood. Seeing the narrow column of black smoke from the Evergreen Cememtary Cremetorium. Later years would find me waxing my 64' Chevy under a shady tree in that cemetary. i recall shopping up and down first street , taking the bus a few blocks with my mother to The First Street Store. Walking into Lee Mars Mens Clothing Store, where i later attempted to get a job that never materialized. The Unique theatre , where my grandmother would take me to see Spanish Language movies. Back Then i never understood one word. It wasn’t until high school (Salesian) that i began to learn. Then having a Tom’s Burger for lunch. The warm summer nights would find us at the corner of indiana and Third Street where my dad would buy a huge bucket of raspadas with extra juice that we would take back to eat on our front lawn and stay there till one or two in the morning. Ha! try doing that now. I remember waiting for my dad to get home on Fridays so we could go to either Thrifty’s at Atlantic Square for all you can eat fish dinner or to the Triangle Bowl , yes, it was later called Lucky Lanes, where i would have one of huge burgers on a sesame seed bun and these huge fries and a coke. I was the luckiest kid in the world. Who needed an Ipod. Before the 60 fwy. there was a restaurant on Atlantic with a pig on it’s sign, wish i remembered the name. the best blue cheese dressing on a cold crispy salad. i remember Two Guys dept. store and Atlantic Savings , where my aunt worked. She and my cousins lived on Amalia St. Largo’s Mitote Restaurant , maybe still standing, where my Sunday dinner consisted of Chorizo and eggs. The best brownies at the Jewish Bakery near Soto and Brooklyn. The RTD turnaround at Rowan and Brooklyn. El Tepeyac, the bonfires at Evergreen Playground, buying 45’s at the Mercado record store, gettin my hair cut by Dan’s Barber shop on Third street, where he once proclaimed That FM radiio would be the wave of the future, and buying firecrackers from a robed woman on Concord Av. Certainly i remember the cold nights at the Golden Gate Theatre where my mom wrap a blanket around me on our walk to and from the theatre after a late night movie where the whole time, i was obsessed with the majestic and scary architecture of it’s interior. …Whew! sorry i was in a zone. thanks for the memories…

jmarellano on April 13, 2006 at 11:17 pm

The Metro station that was originally planned there was moved to the corner of Atlantic and 3rd St.

kencmcintyre on April 13, 2006 at 9:14 pm

Thanks for the response, Fez. I was actually arguing both sides, which is what they teach us in law school to avoid taking any responsibility when other people disagree with us.

Fez on April 13, 2006 at 7:52 pm

To Ken mc,
Most people in East L.a. dont care if a street name is a relection of the community.They hated the name because they were not consulted or were allowed to vote on it.Its about tradition and history.With your argument you could say for example, the people of Santa Barbara have no connection to the street names,which a majority are in spanish and most of people that live in there are not.

Manwithnoname on April 13, 2006 at 4:48 pm

The link above appears to be 10 years old. Anyway, the building itself is beginning to remind me of the UA in Detroit. It has been open to the elements and vandals for some months now with the balcony exit door on the Atlantic side wide open. You can see a piece of the balcony from the street. The building has a new coat of paint in the form of ever growing graffiti and one can only imagine who resides inside and what it must now look like. It has become a major eyesore.

enriquep on April 13, 2006 at 4:23 pm

found this link of what the mta or metro could be planing for the site check it out

View link

kencmcintyre on April 8, 2006 at 3:08 pm

There are two ways to look at the name change. It’s good that some people make an effort to keep continuity between the former Jewish population and the current Hispanic one. Brooklyn Avenue was obviously a nod to the NY ex-patriate roots. However, you could argue that the street name should be a reflection of the community. How many people living in East LA today have any connections to Brooklyn, or speak Yiddish for that matter?

Fez on March 29, 2006 at 12:09 am

Mr.Davila regarding your post written 12/22/04,a very well written piece and I agree with totally.I know its a late response but I just came across this website and it brought a lot of memories.I agree with your position about the Brooklyn ave name change to Ceasar Chavez blvd,they should have never changed it.You can thank Gloria Molina for that.I also remember the head shop,bongs, rolling papers and the L.a. free press.

Fez on March 28, 2006 at 11:48 pm

Does anyone remember the Monkey Oodle hamburger stand behind W.T.Grants next to the bus stop on Kern ave? The best hamburgers!Or the lunch counter at W.T.Grants,great hot dogs.there also use to be a hamburger stand at n/e corner of whittier and atlantic blvd, I dont recall the name, it was back in the early 1960s.

kencmcintyre on March 18, 2006 at 1:40 am

I had lunch today at a restaurant directly behind this theater. Out of pure kindness, I will not reveal the name of this dubious establishment, the food of which leaves much to be desired. restaurant. The theater is still standing, but has not been converted into a Walgreens, Blockbuster, Starbucks or Photomat. The front entrance is covered with graffiti. It doesn’t look like anyone plans to use this building in the near or distant future.

BhillH20 on March 4, 2006 at 12:29 am

Sure. Go to and click on browse the photo collection. Type in Golden Gate Theatre, and you will find four photos of the theater…

surreallady on March 3, 2006 at 11:21 pm

WHOA…this gorgeous theatre is still standing. I’m glad they haven’t torn it down and built a walmart. Does anyone have any links or pictures of the Golden Gate theatre’s interior? Please share them with me, I had the misfortune of being born in the 80s and never got to go inside.

vokoban on January 20, 2006 at 11:24 pm

Here is a little bit about what I think is this theater before it was built:

(Feb. 9, 1927)
LA Times

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, it is declared 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 November 11, 2005 at 12:52 am

The photo at the top of the page is by William Reagh:

View link

Manwithnoname on October 17, 2005 at 7:21 pm

For the past few weeks the exit doors leading from the balcony level have been left open to the elements. With the new graffiti that is on the building on that level I wonder if someone has moved in?

Manwithnoname on September 25, 2005 at 10:42 am

Ken’s second pic reveals the theater at one time had 2 marquees, the older one on Atlantic and a newer one on Whittier. In the later pic both had been replaced. All of that is gone and the whole corner is a vacant lot with only the actual theater building (barely visible above it all in the back) still standing.

Manwithnoname on August 7, 2005 at 2:08 pm

A building is going up on the lot just to the right of the theater. It doesn’t look like a standard Walgreen’s. There was previously some scaffolding and a huge dumpster on the Atlantic side of the theater that is gone now and the same side now sports graffiti that wasn’t there before. I wonder if this theater is about to come down?