Million Dollar Theatre

307 South Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Showing 101 - 125 of 225 comments

kencmcintyre on June 21, 2008 at 10:16 am

Here is a 1964 photo from the LAPL. The theater is showing Spanish films. Governor Pat Brown is the forgotten-looking man with the glasses.

rovernl on May 27, 2008 at 11:20 am

Here are some additional images of the Million Dollar Theatre
Facade and marquee

juliagreen on May 23, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I am wondering if the sculptor Joseph Mora was also the illustrator Jo Mora who worked in similar subject manner. My grandfather, the late Western-Americana collector James G. Layne, gave me a poster dated 1933 which depicts all sorts of goings on at the rodeo. At the poster’s top center is the “Sweetheart of the Rodeo,” the same illustration that was much later featured on the Byrds album cover. Same Mora, or family of artistic Moras? My guess would probably be the illustrator is son to the sculptor, but any elaboration on this minutia would be appreciated!

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm

A mariachi show is scheduled for Sunday May 11, per the marquee.

kencmcintyre on April 13, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Here is a June 1957 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on April 13, 2008 at 10:44 am

It looks like there will be two Last Remaining Seats shows at the Million Dollar in June. I’m looking forward to it.

kencmcintyre on April 12, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Here is an article that was in today’s LA Times:

CINECITO on April 6, 2008 at 11:35 am

The MD is featuring a free concert this Saturday April 12, at 6pm honoring the birthcentennial of singer and actor Tito Guizar (1908-2008). Their new web page is

kencmcintyre on April 2, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Here is a screen shot from the 1988 film “Colors”:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 6, 2008 at 8:30 pm

There are cards in the California Index containing citations which strongly imply that it was the Million Dollar project that brought Architect William Woollett to Los Angeles from San Francisco (theatre lessee Sid Grauman was a recent arrival from San Francisco himself and I suppose may have had something to do with the choice of Woollett as designer of the theatre portion of the project.) They also reveal that Woollett worked on the Million Dollar in Martin’s office, not on his own. One Architect & Engineer article refers to Woollett as Martin’s associate in the project.

I don’t know what name A.C. Martin’s firm went by in 1918, but whatever it was should probably be the name in the “firm” spot on the Million Dollar’s Cinema Treasures page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 6, 2008 at 12:34 am

I recall the dropped ceiling of the lobby being there in the early 1960s. It was the sort of cheap modernizing job that was done to many old theatres. Most of the original ceiling decor is probably still there in the Million Dollar, as it usually is in the others. The main point of putting in a dropped ceiling is so you won’t have to go to the expense of actually removing a lot of heavy, decorative plasterwork, and you can cheaply run wiring and duct work through the newly concealed space.

chspringer on March 4, 2008 at 8:14 am

When I took the Theater Historical Society tour a couple of years ago we visted the then closed Million Dollar. A young lady with the Conservancy told us that the original lobby decor was still there, cover over by the sheet rock. They were hoping it could be restored sometime in the future. I’m sure it won’t be cheap and the million spent so far is far short of what’s needed to do a complete restoration of this theater but at least there is forward movement.

stevebob on March 3, 2008 at 4:29 pm

My comment was based on the obliteration of the historic elements of the Million Dollar’s lobby by the 1950s modernization that included installation of a false ceiling.

I believe the Hispanic church inherited this space in its modernized, “stripped” state; I haven’t seen any indication that they contributed to that condition. Did they?

kencmcintyre on March 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Max, there is a Pedro Vargas ad from 1959 posted on 10/13/07.

HowardBHaas on March 3, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Stevebob, that’s what the press reports about the lobby. What’s your version?

stevebob on March 3, 2008 at 2:51 pm

The press coverage of the Million Dollar’s renovation includes this article at LA Downtown News Online (referenced under Openings/Closings today here at Cinema Treasures):

View link

Unfortunately, the stripping of the historic lobby is erroneously blamed on the Hispanic church that occupied the space from 1993-1998.

MaxGallegos on March 1, 2008 at 11:42 am

I was quite moved when I saw press coverage this week of the Red Carpet Event inaugurating the MD with its legendary Mexican artists of years gone by. It’s revival and commitment to what was such an important landmark in the history of Latin Music is remarkable.

I remember as a child, my Father always would talk about those magical special evenings when he would go and see Pedro Vargas, Amalia Mendoza, Cantinflas, then later Vicente Fernandez, Juan Gabriel, and then Gerardo Reyes. I grew up thinking of this place as a magical place far away in my dreams. In the late 70’s and 80’s when I was finally old enough, Dad with Mom and me in tow, would take me to this place he would always talk about. I lived it first-hand and immediately knew why this place meant so much to Dad.

My parents did not have a lot of money, so going was not only a very special treat and a big deal, it was also a dent in their pocketbooks. As back then a concert would be about $5 a person in his time, and in mine, it would be $20. But you see, the experience was invaluable. Those were concerts at the time where multiple artists would perform – and I don’t mean an opening act and the main artist as is done today. In any given concert, you would have A-listers performing in one concert alone. You would have Gerardo Reyes, followed by el Charro Avitia, followed by VIcente Fernandez, and ending with Angelica Maria. So you would really get a great bang for your buck.

The premiere Red Carpet Event of the Million Dollar Theater this week opened up so many beautiful memories of a common bond Dad and I had in my childhood. It evoked the emotional connection that we developed with that theater. But most importantly, it brought back another memory of my beloved Father who passed away three months ago.

I can’t wait to once again, relive a piece of history, because I know that when I make the line to enter the theater with my wife and share with her that magic; I will take Mom and have her tell my wife first-hand, why that place was so special to us. While Dad won’t be there to drop us off while he parks (his F-150 Ford pick-up truck with a brown and white huge worn-out camper) so that we can get a head start on the line that would wrap around the block in order to secure tickets at the box office – I know he will be smiling because we will both be enjoying a piece of what connected us to each other during my childhood.

Max Gallegos

nickb on February 27, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Okay, well that proves me slightly wrong. Maybe it was just the ‘theater’ spelling on the marquee right behind the lamp post that I was focussed on…

nickb on February 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Actually, the spelling confusion runs much wider than just this page. (I’d argue it runs throughout the country: I can’t make out any consistent application of the alternative spellings.) Look, for instance, at the ‘coming soon’ announcement on the Million Dollar’s marquee, in hollywood90038’s third picture on Feb 18. I’ve also observed both spellings on the lightpost notes outside the theatre: I think it must be the headline, which just wraps around out of sight in hollywood90038’s fifth link above, that slips into the ‘theater’ spelling.

As memory serves, Grauman specifically called the Million Dollar a ‘theatre’ to bestow a supposed European sophistication upon it…

DonSolosan on February 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Most of these free-standing ticket booths look like Zeus’s helmet or something, but the Million Dollar Theater booth looks like Elvis’s haircut.

kencmcintyre on December 28, 2007 at 8:35 am

If you look at the USC photo I posted on 11/11, it says “Edison Building”, as Joe pointed out above.