Vista Theatre

4473 Sunset Drive,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Showing 101 - 125 of 140 comments

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 2, 2005 at 2:09 pm

An expanded view of the photo at the top of the page:

http://jpg2.lapl.org/theater3/00015504.jpg

UKuser
UKuser on November 2, 2005 at 12:49 am

CALLING ALL THEATRE / MOVIE ENTHUSIASTS!!!

T'he Los Angeles Theatre' on South Broadway, LA is playing host to the UK television show ‘Dead Famous LIVE’. We are currently looking for people who would like to come along as part of the studio audience.

‘Dead Famous LIVE’ is a studio entertainment show all about Hollywood History and the paranormal. We will be welcoming celebrity guests on to the show and investigating famous locations around Hollywood which are rumoured to be haunted including the Los Angeles Theatre itself.

This is an invaluable chance to get access to the Los Angeles Theatre, the place where Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ premiered in 1931 and to have a thoroughly great day out! (And its free!!)

We’re transmitting ‘Live’ back to the United Kingdom so expect it to be exciting and fun!

We will be filming on three days from 11th – 13th November between 11.30am – 4pm. If you are interested in coming on one or all of these days then email me for tickets!

.uk

I look forward to your responses!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 14, 2005 at 4:13 am

Here is a modern photo of the Vista Theater.

BILLHOPPYBOYD
BILLHOPPYBOYD on October 13, 2005 at 6:55 pm

TC: I CLICKED ON ALL 3 OF YOUR http’S AND A PAGE COMES UP SAYING NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 3, 2005 at 5:59 pm

I DID SOME RESEARCH AND FOUND THAT VINCENT’S LAST NAME WAS MIRANDA.

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 3, 2005 at 4:06 pm

GOING BACK ALMOST 40 YEARS REQUIRES ALOT OF CONTEMPLATION ESPECIALLY SINCE I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN A BOOTH FOR 15 YEARS AND EVERY SINGLE HOUSE IS GONE. THE MONICA WHICH I MENTIONED ABOVE WAS OPERATED BY PUSSYCAT THEATRES WHICH WAS SOLELY OWNED BY A MAN WHOSE LAST NAME I COMPLETELY FORGET BUT HIS FIRST NAME WAS VINCENT. I MET HIM AT AN INDEPENDENT NEGOTIATION BECAUSE HE WAS NOT A MEMBER OF NATO. SEVERAL CHAINS NEGOTIATED SEPARATELY BACK THEN BUT HELL LOCAL 150 NEVER GOT THE BACKING OF THE IA BECAUSE OF SOME GRIEVANCE THEY HAD AGAINST 150 AND THIS IS WHY WE HAD NO POWER BECAUSE WE WERE THE ONLY MOVIE UNION THAT DIDN’T GET STUDIO REPRESENTATION!! I BELIEVE VINCENT PRODUCED A FILM CALLED THE DIRTY BASTARD FROM CHICAGO WHICH ACTUALLY STARRED THE 1940 SERIAL ACTOR REED HADLEY!!

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 2, 2005 at 4:17 pm

MEMBERS: Click on this and go to my site and see the VISTA 2005 and the VISTA BOOTH 1968. This is a BRENKERT carbon arc lamphouse. I don’t remember what company made the 16mm projector. As I recall the reels held 45 minutes of film. We played a tape with music continually because the skin films had no sound and there was no hardcore. Eventually, Mr. Sayles built a booth downstairs and I believe the projector was a Cinemacanica with 2 hour reels. This is after getting the union out of the booth.

http://community.webshots.com/user/arpichat

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 2, 2005 at 2:29 pm

MEMBERS: I went downtown this summer for something. I carry a small camera because Auto Club says they come in handy for accidents and proof of guilt. I came home by way of Sunset. When I got to the Vista which is alive and well and looks great I took the camera and took a good shot. I have a site on WEBSHOTS where members see theatres I have pics of that I feel are important. I will find the picture over the Holiday as well as a picture I took in 1968 of the Vista Projection Booth. I will put both on my site with the address you just click on and you can see some great theatres. I hope I contributed good solid facts to you all!!

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 2, 2005 at 2:22 pm

This was a long time ago and I did 23 years for the Local and left at age 48. I went to C.S.U.N. and graduated with a degree in Social Work and I have remained in Gerontology on a part-time basis due to a mobility problem. I am now 62. Lou H. works for Laemmle and has been their chief for 20 plus years. Ironically, Wild Bill Rickard worked for a time in the valley as a theatre manager in the 70’s where I saw him outside his theatre one night. I called the Local but forget the theatre or the chain. He retired from that valley theatre. Many members back then did not want to work skin alone porno. There was another house on Santa Monica further east from the Paris. It had the world exclusive engagement of DEEP THROAT which actually had been shot in 16mm in 1964 with a young LINDA LOVELACE who died in her 40’s. I believe the theatre was the MONICA. I do not believe that Violet Sawyer added it to her chain but I can’t remember for sure. Young guys in the late 60’s and 70’s like me had no moral problem with adult entertainment but most 150 men were out of the moral 30’s and 40’s and had serious scruples about SEX in film!!

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 2, 2005 at 2:08 pm

The APOLLO ARTS was on Hollywood near Western. The PARK was across from MCARTHUR PARK at the southeast corner on Alvarado. Yes, it was all-male. No, the PARIS WAS NOT PERIOD!!! Shan wanted to do something no one in Los Angeles had ever done historically. He got a construction crew and made the first multi-plex in LA history. The main auditorium was untouched! What he did was this. He put a partition in the middle of the balcony from bottom to top of the stairs. He then put sound proof wallboard across the whole balcony railing all the way up to the ceiling. He then put a screen on each side. They were about 12 feet wide and 10 feet high. Next, he created a PARIS CARD CLUB FOR MEMBERS ONLY. The left balcony screen was the Club Only and was all-male. The right balcony screen was hetero. Both showed hard core porno. The auditorium remained open to the public and did not show hard core porno. Yes, the famous SONG OF THE LOON played in the major auditorium. I was dating the cashier, Connie who was a film grad from UCLA and trying to get into directing which for a woman then was almost a dream. cont’d.

cheviothills
cheviothills on September 2, 2005 at 1:55 pm

MEMBERS: Facts from a retired Local 150 man. When I first joined the Local at 25 in 1968 you could work any 16mm house without a license. A still active member named Lou H. and I were assigned to Continental Theatres for 3 months in the fall of 1968. Shan was not the owner period. The whole circuit was owned by a woman and Shan fronted her. No woman is going to acknowledge owning skin houses as they were called. Her name was VIOLET SAWYER. I met her and Shan in court. The case was based on the fact that Violet felt that she should not pay union scale for 16mm or flatly put not even use Union men! The scale was 3.50 per hour. The shifts were 9:30-5, 5pm-11:30 and 11:30-4:30am. This chain owned the following theatres where I had to work: VISTA, APOLLO ARTS, PARK and PARIS. The D.M. was “WILD” BILL RICKARD. He hated unions, projectionists and people in general. He carried a snub nose 38 revolver in a shoulder holster. Now about the Paris. This was once a legendary FOX house near BARNEY’S BEANERY on Santa Monica near La Cienega. TO BE CONT’D.

KenRoe
KenRoe on July 12, 2005 at 12:22 am

When first opened as Bard’s Hollywood Theatre (architect Lewis A. Smith) it had a small style D, Wurlitzer theatre organ 2Manual/6Rank, Opus #701 that was shipped from the Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda on 15th September 1923. The organ was later broken up for parts.

There were proposals in the 1970’s to put an organ back into the Vista, but these seem to have come to nothing.

filmymcfilm
filmymcfilm on July 11, 2005 at 6:24 pm

I agree. I can’t figure out if there’s a “contact another member” thing on this website, so how about you send me an e-mail at and we’ll get the ball rolling that way? And if anybody else reading this post has keen historical or technical info about the Vista (and you’re not just making it up), feel free to let me know.

sinclair
sinclair on July 11, 2005 at 3:50 pm

Sure, McFilm – tell me how. This ain’t the forum.

filmymcfilm
filmymcfilm on July 11, 2005 at 2:56 pm

You seemed very well-informed, sinclair. I’m a journalist working on a piece about the Vista. Any chance I could talk to you about it?

sinclair
sinclair on July 11, 2005 at 2:38 pm

Dear Filmy McFilm: Yes. You are correct!

filmymcfilm
filmymcfilm on July 11, 2005 at 1:39 pm

I was wondering where sinclair got his info about the Vista’s ownership. Who is the mysterious owner in the ‘70s who won the countersuit against the union? Is it Shan Sayles?

cunniff22
cunniff22 on May 30, 2005 at 1:06 pm

My very first encounters with the Vista Theater happened back in the early 1960’s. A bunch of my college friends and myself would get all boozed up and hit the late night porn flicks at the Vista. They were pretty tame by today’s standards, featuring the likes of the immortal “Temptest Storm” with her spinning pasties. It was enough to send a pack of over sexed college boys into a midnight trance.
In a later era we use to go and watch the arty flicks at the Vista with dates that talked about Bergman and James Joyce. I think I like old “Tempest” better. The place was kind of run down, and a Bergman film is depressing enough.
I rediscovered the Vista in the year 2000, when I took a bunch of my 12 Step recovery buddies to see the Russell Crowe spectacular: “Gladiator.” They were a bunch of thugs, fresh out of prison from drugs, in a program called IMPACT. They had never seen anything like it.
My retirement from 39 years of government and military service, has been blessed by this old movie buff seeing such films from “De Lovely” last year to “Sin City” this year. It is the great bargain in town with senior prices at $4.00 a head. Tomorrow, my friend Trip and I are going to see the new Star Wars.
Check out my photos and writings on my AOL profile: Also, my new web page: http://hometown.aol.com/michaelcunniff/

alaskaman
alaskaman on May 22, 2005 at 10:46 am

I saw the free premier of “ED WOOD” here, hosted by Tom Lykis and KFI am 640. One of the actresses from the movie, in horror costume,
wanted to sit in the seat next to me, but it was broken.

sleazyred
sleazyred on March 31, 2005 at 1:41 pm

Some Vista Facts I’ve picked up along the way:

The Vista is built on the original location of Silent film director D.W. Griffith’s biggest and most expensive movie – Intolerance (1916). This set is now the theme and look of the Hollywood & Highland mall is based on.

Cult movie director Ed Wood used to have an office in the building.

dfranco
dfranco on March 20, 2005 at 9:17 pm

Does anyone know why the “Vista Cafe” adjacent to the theatre remains closed, and is only used for movie shoots???

sinclair
sinclair on March 20, 2005 at 4:58 pm

For many years in the ‘70s, this business was owned and operated by the same person that owned the very gay Nob Hill Cinema in San Francisco, a legendary character who made Variety front page with winning a counter-law suit while being sued by the union many a year ago. He was responsible for the careers of many adult film legends, gay and straight. The Vista was sold to Mike Thomas who owned the Strand in SF for cash, and a lot of it. This owner also owned the long-gone Paris gay theater and made John Holmes first film, which was gay, by the way. Also the legendary “Song of the Loon."
It can be witnessed in its former '70s 'glory’ in "The Back Row,” if you can find it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 27, 2005 at 5:27 pm

I believe that stevebob is correct that the Vista is on Sunset Drive rather than Sunset Boulevard, as the theater is east of Hillhurst Avenue, which is where the street name changes. Sunset Boulevard bends south at Hillhurst.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 27, 2005 at 5:07 pm

A photo of the Vista Theater can be seen here:
http://you-are-here.com/theatre/vista.html