Saban Theatre

8440 Wilshire Boulevard,
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Showing 76 - 97 of 97 comments

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on April 25, 2005 at 5:41 am

For a look inside this theatre circa 1980, footage of the Wilshire’s interiors can be seen in the film “Terror On Tour” (1983).

stevebob
stevebob on March 24, 2005 at 9:19 am

I had no idea that John Cassavetes had an office in the Fox Wilshire building. Coincidentally, the only time I recall going to the Fox Wilshire was in 1976 to see Cassavetes' “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie”. There were only a handful of people there and, while watching a film in a packed movie palace is a singular experience, so is watching one in a nearly empty movie palace! I literally had the balcony to myself. Even though I found the movie less than splendid, I did revel in the atmosphere.

The Fox Wilshire is a spectacular art deco masterpiece, in the same class as the Pantages in Hollywood, the Wiltern in Los Angeles and the sadly destroyed Warner in Beverly Hills. There are a number of photos of how it originally looked in the L.A. Public Library’s database at www.lapl.org that you can find by searching on the keyword “fox wilshire”.

wahoo76
wahoo76 on March 15, 2005 at 7:06 pm

Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” premiered at the Fox Wilshire on January 29, 1959. The film was projected in 70mm (Technirama) and 6-track stereophonic sound.

William
William on March 4, 2005 at 5:08 pm

Brucec

That would be a good idea, to have all three houses running thatn way.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on December 28, 2004 at 1:18 am

The previous comment might seem as if the Wilshire has suddenly been demolished, but happily – not the case. He’s talking about the Warner in Beverly Hills.

deleted user
[Deleted] on December 28, 2004 at 12:48 am

Not a nail was salvaged from this royal palace. Seems a shame, the world was asleep, while the bulldozers played, with movie history. I truly believe the City of Beverly Hills, is a sadder place, when one thinks of the beauty, the history, the importance of so rich a theatre, now nothing more, but a few vintage photographs and fond memories, of what was unmistakingly, one of the finest examples of art deco in America. The planning commission here in Beverly Hill’s continues to hold on tight to architecture review but fails and falls short of what was and what is! How could anyone in their right frame of mind, destroy a work of art so important to the landscape and rich history of our fair city. Where were the history buffs, the movie palace buffs, the historical society who swear an oath to keep history of demolition, from repeating itself. My heart is empty inside, daily, each time I must drive by this shallow street level Rolex parking lot. I’m sure I don’t speak for myself, as this is happening all over the United States and in big and small citie’s around the world. Who really is watching out, for the next demolition. Maybe Rolex may build another office building in Italy, maybe, just maybe, the Vatican is next up for demolition?! hmmmm !@#$%&$(*)$$#@ I’m confused who’s really in charge here? Is it REALLY all about $$$? Respectfully I remain; David Harrison Levi – Beverly Hills, California 90210 USA Please respond —–
posted by David Harrison Levi on Dec 28, 2004 at 12:39am
Stanley Warner Movie Theatre BEVERLY HILLS
Comment
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bruceanthony
bruceanthony on December 18, 2004 at 4:46 pm

William what do you think about Nederlander moving its Broadway shows from the Wilshire to the Pacific in Hollywood which has a larger capacity if restored. This would compliment the Pantages down the street and help Hollywood become more of a live theatre district. I always thought LA theatre was to decentralized for its own good.brucec

Knatcal
Knatcal on November 16, 2004 at 8:12 pm

I have seen numerous musicals at the Wilshire Theatre. Most notably was the touring cast of the revival of “Cabaret.” For this performance the orchestra seats were removed from the auditorium to make room for cabaret style seating. The theater does lend itself well to theatrical performances. For “Blood Brothers” and “Aspects of Love” I was in balcony and the sound was still very good.

thomasl
thomasl on September 21, 2004 at 5:08 pm

One Saturday afternoon in 1965, my family got all dressed up (as people did back then) and cruised to Beverly Hills in my Dad’s 1961 Pontiac Catalina station wagon. After lunch at Dolores' Drive In on Wilshire (with real car hop service), it was on to our destination—the Fox Wilshire, to see “The Sound of Music” in it’s exclusive engagement. Going to a movie at the Fox Wilshire was a major event—the theatre alone was worth the price of admission. We had seats in the Orchestra section, and I still remember how spacious and comfortable those seats were. The film, of course, is history. Fortunately, the Fox Wilshire isn’t—the equally elegant Fox Carthay Circle Theatre, just a few blocks away, was torn down in the late 1960’s.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on August 19, 2004 at 5:06 pm

This would also be a perfect house to show classic films when the theatre is not being used for stage. This is Nederlanders second string broadway house after the Pantages. The Fox-Wilshire has a small capacity for the large broadway shows. I think the Nederlanders should move there operation to the larger Pacific Warner in Hollywood which would be down the street from the Pantages.The Wilshire could be used for concerts,classic films and major studio film premeires. The Wilshire is the last movie palace left in Beverly Hills. Maybe the Academy of Arts and Sciences could use this house along with the Samuel Goldywn down the street.brucec

William
William on August 4, 2004 at 12:25 pm

Yes, He had an office there.

Mark1
Mark1 on July 27, 2004 at 6:43 am

Also, wasn’t this the building where John Cassavetes had his office (upstairs)?

Mark1
Mark1 on July 26, 2004 at 10:47 pm

During the 60’s this theatre ran road-show films. The Sound of Music played here forever. Man of La Mancha showed here also on reserved seats.

JimRankin
JimRankin on May 27, 2004 at 6:32 am

This theatre is one of some 200 that could be described as “Skouras-ized For Showmanship” which is the title of the ANNUAL of 1987 of the Theatre Historical Soc. of America. In the late 1930s through the 1950s, there occurred on the west coast of the United States a phenomenon known as the ‘Skouras style’ in recognition of the oversight of the Skouras brothers in their management of several cinema chains. They employed a designer by the name of Carl G. Moeller to render their cinemas/theatres in a new style best described as ‘Art Moderne meets Streamlined Rococo.’ The then new availability of aluminum sheeting at low cost was the principal material difference to this style allowing for sweeping, 3-dimensional shapes of scrolls to adorn walls and facades in an expression that would have been much more expensive and not at all the same in plaster. With the use of hand tinted and etched aluminum forms, the designers could make ornaments in mass production that allowed much greater economies of scale. The ANNUAL also shows in its 44 pages how some 20 theatres were good examples of this combining of aluminum forms with sweeping draperies heavily hung with large tassels, and with box offices and facades richly treated with neon within the aluminum forms. Few of these examples survive today, but it was a glorious era while it lasted, and this collection of crisp b/w photos is a fitting epitaph by the late Preston Kaufmann.
PHOTOS AVAILABLE:
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
www.HistoricTheatres.org
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 44 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to lend it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

PAULB
PAULB on January 21, 2004 at 3:30 am

We had a cinema like this in the heart of Sydney called THE EMBASSY; the snazziest, most exquisite deco with jazz /fountain / deer motifs. It opened in 1934 no doubt influenced by progressive deco masterpieces like this one above. The late 70s and a greedy ugly bank made sure it didn’t survive.

William
William on December 19, 2003 at 6:10 pm

You can see alittle of the Art-Deco lobby and auditorium in the Mel Brook’s movie “Silent Movie”.

Crispin
Crispin on October 17, 2003 at 2:40 pm

According to the Broadway/L.A. website the theater opened on Sept.19, 1930. The Wilshire Theater was originally named the Fox Wilshire.

“It was designed by Architect Charles Lee. The art deco auditorium and lobby were decorated in silver and black with coral draperies and seats, a scheme attributed in the opening program to Fox West Coast general manager Harold B. Franklin. In addition to the main organ, one of several cobbled up for Fox by Louis Maas and pipemaker Archie Marsh, the lobby for a time sported an Estey Minuette, a 2/3 portable organ worked into what looked like a large grand piano case. Renovated in 1981, the house is now a stage venue. On Nov. 4, 1953, Marilyn Monroe was among the luminaries who attended the premiere of “How To Marry A Millionaire,” also starring Lauren Bacall, at the theater.”

The theater still brings gasps from first time attendees shocked to find such a beautiful art deco auditorium still standing.

William
William on October 17, 2003 at 2:18 pm

According to Film Daily the theatre opened with 2295 seats, during the 40’s it was reseated with slightly larger seats. Because this was Fox’s Main first run house in Beverly Hills. Fox West Coast Theatres ran the Fox Wilshire and the Regina (aka. Fine Arts) and the Fox Beverly on Beverly Dr.. The Fox Carthay Circle Theatre was another premiere house located ½ mile away. The Fox Wilshire also premiered “The Sound of Music” in Todd-AO 70MM.

Crispin
Crispin on October 17, 2003 at 1:17 pm

The (Fox) Wilshire Theater reportedly has 1900 seats according to a NY Times internet article. My historical interest in the Wilshire lies in the fact that it was the Hollywood premiere site for Robert Wise’s “The Sand Pebbles” on December 28, 1966.

William
William on October 10, 2002 at 12:08 pm

For information on Nederlander
shows at the Wilshire Theatre.

Please try the below site.

www.nederlander.com/wilshire.html

Enjoy the Theatre and the show.

William
William on June 4, 2001 at 7:01 pm

Also it was called the “Fox Wilshire” theatre. Fox West Coast theatres ran a theatre in Santa Monica called the “Wilshire” theatre(also a Mann theatre)

William
William on June 4, 2001 at 6:57 pm

The theatre also get theatre booking from the Nederlander company. The theatre is a S.Charles Lee design. This was one of the first-run houses for Fox West Coast theatres for many years. The last chain that ran it was Mann theatres around 1977.It is 1 block away from the Fine Arts theatre in Beverly Hills. block