Golden Gate Theatre

5176 Whittier Boulevard,
East Los Angeles, CA 90022

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castanedapi
castanedapi on December 9, 2004 at 9:26 pm

JDuran,

Thanks for sharing this additional piece of information on the history of one of five Whittier Boulevard Theatres",(located between Atlantic & Downey Road. We can’t forget the Strand Theatre.

Can you provide some additional details about the lunch counter such as was it to the left or right side of the Center Theater if you were facing the theatre.

On one of my last visits to Whittier Blvd I stopped at the Center Theatre (now a low end retail store). I could faintly make out the floor entrance which once had an elaborate, multi-colored pattern, design which was typical for theatres once upon a time and not so long ago.

Thanks for the memories.

JDuran
JDuran on December 9, 2004 at 6:19 pm

I loved the Golden Gate also but I even though less refined, The Center to me was the coolest of Whittier Blvd theaters. What was cool about the Center was the they had a lunch counter in addition to the snack bar and it served burgers and fries and the public outside of the theater could also eat fom the lunch counter as it was two-way into the theater and out on Whittier Blvd. Never saw anything like it. Of course ny biggest thrill was The Three Stooges appeared live to introduce their movie, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. They actually walked from back of the theater down the ailse to the stage to introduce themselves. I got to shake Moe’s hand. To us little kids it may as well have been the Beatles! After going to any of the boulevard shows, me and my cousin would go to the White Front Department store on Olympic. My cousin got his first job at the Johnson’s market. I also remember seeing 13 Ghosts at the center with those cool 3-D glasses.

castanedapi
castanedapi on December 8, 2004 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, man with no name. To Kern Ave. E.L.A., I recalled seeing the movie “Thirteen Ghosts” at the Center Theatre sometime in the 1960’s, man was that high tech for those days or what! We even wore special glasses to see the special effects. Two feature movies & a cartoon for .50-.75 cents.

I recall the older gentleman who used to sell peanuts or in Spanish, “cacahuates”; he used to chant the words, “cacahuatitos, bien salatitos”. This old guy was always flirting with the women both young and old.

If you e-mail me at I provide you with a funny story (In Spanish) of an older co-worker of my mother, who finally had it with this particular street vendors comments, and decided to give him a piece of her mind.

This guy was just one of E.L.A.’s many colorful characters. I somehow don’t remember street vendors in East L.A. in the 1950’s….Thank God.

Flash back, does anybody remember the old CHP office located on Goodrich near Whittier Blvd? I recently met a family member who’s husband was assigned out of this office in the 1950’s, way before the CHP moved to there office east of Garfield Ave by the Pomona Fwy.

I was recently in East Los Angeles and drove down Whittier Blvd. In the 1960’s I used to ride my mini bike down the blvd. (right up the middle of the road) to avoid being stopped by the CHP or the L.A. Co Sheriff’s. I had the displeasure of telling it to the judge on a couple of occasions in juvenile traffic court.

I bought this mini bike at a lawn-mower shop on Whittier Blvd, just east of the famous K-Mart with all the Blue Light Specials.

Thanks for the memories of E.L.A.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 8, 2004 at 1:15 pm

While I certainly agree with Mr. Garcia’s sentiments I must disagree with his assessment that if this theater were located in Pasadena it would be redeveloped. The City of Pasadena is notorious for their indifference to saving historic theaters. So many are gone and were it not for the efforts of the Friends of the Raymond that gorgeous theater would be gone as well. A Walgreen’s? We have more drug stores than gas stations already.

KernAveEastLA
KernAveEastLA on December 8, 2004 at 4:48 am

I was born in E.L.A. in 1956, my parents lived on Record & Whittier at that time. The first movie I really remember going to see without my parents was The Nutty Professor starring Jerry Lewis at The Boulevard I went with my older brother.For a kid use to watching movies on a small B&W TV at home, seeing all those colors on that big screen blew me away! I also remember a time at The Golden Gate Theater I believe it was after a Frakenstein movie all the horror movie characters started to line up on stage in front of the screen. The Mummy,Frankenstein,The Werewolf etc. there must have been about 20 of them,with Frakenstein in the center.There was a pause and then an explosion like a cherry bomb.just then all the creatures started off the stage and up the aisles towards the audience. All the yelling,screaming and kids jumping over seats trying to get out is something i’ll never forget,it was a great time. I lived on Kern Ave. in the early 60’s . I remember my dad coming home from work at U.S. Rubber which became Uniroyal and now The Citidal.He put in about twenty five years there until they moved out of state.Looking out the front window on Kern Ave. you could look across that big parking that went from Kern Ave. to Ferris Ave. just past Johnson’s Market I had a lot of playing time in that parking lot. Does anyone remember that cheerful old guy that sold peanuts on the Boulevard, he wore an apron & a torn up straw hat with a mexican dollar bill taped to the front. I seen him mostly in front of Buster Brown’s. What good memories.I met my first and only girlfriend at Griffith Jr. H.S. in ‘71 she’s now my wife. What more can you ask for.Thanks to elopez & born in East L.A. you guys really got me thinking so I had to put my 2 cents in. I agree that The Golden Gate Theater should be saved, East L.A. was a great place to grow up and can still be. Saving & restoring The Golden Gate Theater would be a great start. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

castanedapi
castanedapi on November 29, 2004 at 9:56 am

I really enjoyed elopez comments dated Wed, Nov. 24th, because I along with family shopped at the same stores that are now gone. Everyone remembers the Western Auto Store across from the Boulevard Theatre, and down the street from Stones furniture by Pep Boy’s. I wish someone could tell me how old, the ice house located on Ford Blvd & Whittier Blvd. Incidently, I think the Southern California Edison office was located on Kern Ave by Whittier.

You know were you could buy a hamburger at the old Monk Uddle (?) hamburger stand by the alley near W.T. Grants or by the S.H. Kress Store,where you could catch either the Kern or Ford Bus for only a dime in the 1950’s. There used to be an old taxi cab company across the street from the Monk Uddle.

Both the Ford & Kern buses ended up at First & Rowen where you could ride the P Car (old street car)and later the No.26 bus into downtown L.A. all the way to the west side on Pico & Rimpau.

The other end of the Kern Bus line was on Whittier Blvd, across from the old Strand Theatre, now a garment factory across the street from the Calvary Cemetery.

From there you could ride the old R Car to downtown L.A. I believe the R Car was later replaced by the Rapid Transit District (RTD) No 72 bus. The R Car was the old street car that made a round turn at the end of the line to head back to downtown L.A.

My mom use to pay 5 cents to ride the Kern/Ford Bus in the late 30’s, early 1940’s. My mom worked at Home Decoraters, The Kress, W.T. Grants, and later at Dotty Dean’s, a very classy womens store next to Lerner Shops. I would sometimes get a root bear soda & a hot dog at the Grant’s cafeteria when my mom was working the fountain.

Boy I’m I old or what? One of my neighbor, Richard here in Fremont, Calif. was born in East L.A. in the 1940’s and his mother was also born in East L.A. in the early 1920’s.

If you think this is isn’t a small world another neighbor, Daniel,(younger than you know who!) attended Garfield H.S. and his mother owned several bridal shops in the area one on Ford & Whittier Blvd.

It seems to me that the answer to all our concerns about saving the Golden Gate and other old East Los Angeles icons is to have a East Los Angeles, Belvedere, Historical Museum.

Is that a great idea or what? If such a museum now exists, someone please enlighten me as to this fact.

It would be something to visit a museum where you could travel back in time and experiance the sights and sounds of East Los Angeles experiance. Just remember this my fellow freinds, before the Golden Gate Theatre or Whittier Blvd, there was the El Camino Real (The Kings Highway)now Whittier Blvd. That’s why you see the old green colored bells on the road.

This highway was built by the Spaniards that spanned the distance from Guatemala thru Mexico, and into Alta California, extending to San Francisco, San Rafael.

You know what’s amazing is that you can still actually see parts of the old road (Old Coast Highway) starting in the area of Hwy 101 in Camarillo, just to the right of the highway all the way to San Francisco.

My father was born in Guadalupe, California in 1925. My dad would share stories of traveling on the Old Coast Highway in a Model A or T Ford into Los Angeles in the 1920’s. My paternal grandfather, Pedro,and my great grandmother settled into the Central Coast area, of California, Santa Maria-Guadalupe in the early teens(1900’s).

My maternal grandfather, Jose Hernandez, was born in a area now known as Norwalk, Ca. in 1912. What’s truly amazing is that my younger sons former preschool teachers family last name is Dominquez. The Dominquez family is one of the earliest settlers in the Los Angeles area dating back some time in the 1700,s (or so). These original families were given vast title to land by the Spain and later Mexico.

Incidently, the earliset members of the Dominquez family and other notable persons are buried at the Calvary Cementary. Across the street on Whittier Blvd (El Camino Real) is the old Jewish cemetery
known as the Home of Peace where one of the Three Stooges (Curly) is buried. Yuk Yuk Yuk (smile).

Getting back to the Golden Gate, I am an antique post card collecter and I have one of the earlist black & white post card taken in the area of Whittier Blvd & Clela (just west of the Golden Gate), circa 1920’s. For you older people(smile), you know where the old Pontiac Dealer was located.

Does anybody remember the old Chevrolet dealer which was across the street from the Atlantic pool and St. Alfonso’s Church. My granfather bought a 1958 Chev. Impala there right out of the show room floor.

I also have a post card of Garfield High School, circa, 1920’s or 30’s. My other classic post cards are of Los Angeles, Compton, Highland Park, San Pedro and Long Beach, the Pike, at the turn of the century, early 1900’s.

I am so greatful to all of you for sharing your memories.
It’s a wonderful life, Living one day at a time.

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas to all.

Thanks for the memories! Keep on sharing.

gorf
gorf on November 28, 2004 at 3:14 am

we as people should take action in try'ing to protest and save our history,whittier is'nt the same anymore'weve lost much or our history'as well as many kid’s life’s there'many gang’s have developed around our area,i myself was also running around being stupid!!!i’m 32 yrs old and have grown up,i have a family and love my children verry much'even the i have moved out,i still love east l.a,all my childhood years were spent there so it is verry hard for me to not to try to do something not to try to save our history,like they said if we were in a rich area,golded gate would be restored and saved,,,now it is us east siders to stand up for our history,and what we can to keep our old golden gate theather..i’ll call{ gloria molina}on monday…..GORF…….

solodogg
solodogg on November 24, 2004 at 9:40 am

Boy oh boy do I remember this Theatre and of course The Center and The Boulevard. What painful memories they bring back of my childhood! Unfortunately, The Whittier Blvd I remember lost it’s charm long ago with the passing of the fine clothing stores and Great Theatres that dotted this historic strip. The Golden Gate Theatre, I recall, was unique and beautiful. As a kid, it almost reminded me of a Castle with it’s long corridor that came in from the street where the ticket booth stood and led back inside the courtyard to the theatres' front doors and beautifully crafted front facade. It also had a charming building wrapping around the main theatre with shops in the bottom and apartments on top. At the southwest corner of Atlantic and Whittier stood its magnificent landmark tower. Incidently, the guy who used to produce Thee Midnighters, Eddie Torrez, had an apartment and office up there. The long corridor had movie posters on the side walls, I recall, and there were two corridors-one on the Atlantic Blvd side and one in front of the theatre on Whittier Blvd. I also remember the lobby which had a 1920’s art noveau shell concession stand and in the restroom they had vending machines that dispensed toys and trinkets. The theatre also had a spectacular balcony seating area and a huge screen. It was sad to see it partly demolished and abandoned. The last true majestic link to Whittier Blvd glory days were cut with it’s closure. Also gone are the fine stores that ran up and down the boulevard. Does anyone remember Curlie’s Men’s store where they displayed their fine Mens suits and overcoats in an enclosed walkway? I still vividly recall Grant’s, Kress, Woolworth, Al’s Army & Navy, Thrifty Drug Store with a cafeteria in the back that served the best pie a la mode, Toy Villa near the Golden Gate that seemed to always have what I couldn’t afford, The Record Inn, Johnson’s Market, Western Auto, Buster Brown’s, Melody Shops and Lerner’s where my Mom used to shop. Also, across from The Boulevard Theatre had this bakery that I can still remember the sweet scent till this day. I am not sure if the bakery is still there anymore. The Boulevard Theatre would only cost me 49 cents to get in. It was a bargain for two movies and cartoons. The utility companies also were located on or near the Blvd. The Gas Company was on the corner of Whittier and Mcdonnell and the Light Company was off of Whittier on Ferris Ave. Memories of that famed roadway take me back to 1970 when I was just 9 years old and flashbacks to the front marquee of the Golden Gate Theatre which was showing “The Family Jewels” and “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. It was truly a classic place. Now, Seeing the old Boulevard in its current state reinforces my idea that the Boulevard distinctive charm and grace is gone forever.

ronpolsc
ronpolsc on November 23, 2004 at 10:20 pm

After reading many of the wonderful stories of the Golden Gate
theatre it is trajic to know the following. Many of you including myself a local city planner and resident of ELA the historic theatre will be turned into a walgreens drugstore. It is ubaurd at what is going on in our community. Where is the social reponsiblity in our city officials. I know for a fact that if this was San Marino or
Pasadena the Golden Gate theatre would be redevelpoment for the community to embrace instead multi-million dollar developers are going to remake the golden gate theatre a drug store. This is a slap in the face in the community all for the sake of making money and not to protect the social fabric that makes ELA what it is. I urge you to please call Gloria Molinas office and the LA conservancy to protest this development. The following is a taken from the LA conservancy website.
Ron Garcia

GOLDEN GATE THEATRE

The 1927 Golden Gate Theatre, one of Los Angeles' most significant neighborhood movie palaces, is in escrow for purchase by a private development firm. The new owner, the Charles Company, intends to remove most of the theater’s interior features to accommodate retail use, most likely a Walgreens Drug Store. The 1,454-seat theater, at the prime corner of Whittier and Atlantic Boulevards in unincorporated East Los Angeles, has sat vacant for over a decade and has been repeatedly threatened with demolition. The theater, in the Spanish Churrigueresque style, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The theater was built by developer Peter Snyder, known as the “Father of the East Side” and its architects were William and Clifford Balch, who were also involved in the design of the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. and the Fox Theatre in Pomona. The Vega Building, the historic retail building that once wrapped around the theater, suffered damage from the Whittier Earthquake and was demolished in the early 1990s. The Conservancy will be working with the new buyer, as well as County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office, to seek retention of the theater’s historic interior features, such as the proscenium, lobby, clamshell-shaped concession stand, and mezzanine level, while encouraging a positive reuse of this long-vacant historic property.

gorf
gorf on November 23, 2004 at 3:30 am

hello people,well im still overwellemed on how many of us, are now intristed in our past history, of east los angeles,i myself was raised in east l.a maravilla,im 32yrs old and still remember,all the good old times i had as little kid, Boulevard,was the first movies,were i got to see my .1st. bruce lee movie,i even seen E.T,there…Alameda,was the spanish movies,i also got to sneak up to the upper level seating,it was always off limits,but you know living in east l.a and being a little kid' we explored,hahahahaha..well i’m telling you something some us would'nt have known,..damb… those were the good old days,..now the Golden Gate,well i myself was attended it many times,now it hurts see'ing it look the way it sits today,,i went by there yesterday,i guess they are going to start restoring the place,which its all good, i dont live in east l.a,anymore but all my familly still lives there, i go by there all the time,,,oh and yes, i do' remember PAP.N.TACO,, THE CHILI BEAN BOWL was the best…….GORF… i love east l.a………

EricIsaias
EricIsaias on November 15, 2004 at 7:07 pm

I too remember the Golden state Theater, along with the Boulevard theater and the Alameda theater. I am 29 years old and remember going with my friends at at age 10 to watch the goonies. I also remember going with my parents and I sure got a kick, when the cartoons would come on. I also rember how looking for parking was tough. I remember the balcony was closed off but my friends and I would sneak up. Does any one remember Pupn Taco on the corner of Goodrich and Whittier Blvd? it is now a Taco Bell.

I hope they restore the building. A few weeks ago a drove by and saw security guards and thought oh no its demolition time, so I stopped and asked they said no they were not there to tear it down,they were there to film a movie scene.

Boy it would be great to see the Golden State restored! I bet it can be a major attraction if restored right and used appropriately maybe for movie premier. lets role out the red carpet once more. Does any one know who I can write to for information concerning the Golden State Theater.

gorf
gorf on November 15, 2004 at 12:27 am

i love east l.a

vic1971
vic1971 on November 9, 2004 at 11:49 pm

my mother and my younger brother would walk from broklyn down to whitier blvd for saturday shopping. I vividly remember the Buster Brown shoe store because that was where mom had to buy our shoes for some reason, but my favorate always was the sidewalk preacher on the corner preaching the coming of christ at the top of his lungs. I remember seeing a promotional poster of The Exorsist which for some strange reason explained the preacher on the corner. My favorate weekend was 1977 when I finally nagged my mother enough to take us to see Star Wars. Im thirty 33 years old now and live in Lebanon tn. I often drive down through the square of historic Lebanon Tn where there on the corner is an old theater rundown and waiting for somebody to resurect a bit of the past. Im told somebody is leasing this theater for a posible restoration which is a wonderful thing. Its a shame sombody didnt restore The Golden gate theater, this theater takes me back to Blvd nights, crusing, Suspiria, and not too long ago Victory Chapel church. Which brings me back to that street corner preacher, preaching hope when it seemed there was none.

Jiffy
Jiffy on October 4, 2004 at 7:45 pm

Scaffolding surrounds what’s left of this building. I fear demolition has begun.

castanedapi
castanedapi on September 14, 2004 at 6:14 pm

Thank you for sharing your Golden Gate theatre and East Los Angeles experiance. I thought no one else was interested in old theatres such as the Golden Gate theatre. I just attended two back-to-back family reunions in Bakersfield & Alhambra California.

I was pleasently surprised to learn that my cousin, Christina was a ticket cashier at the Boulevard Theatre, just west of The Golden Gate. I shared how special it was as a child to buy a ticket and seeing the ticket dispensed from beneath the highly polished ticket counter by the cashier.

Several years ago, I was at an antique fair in Alameda (Oakland area)California, when out of the blue, there was one of the old theatre change machines for $100 dollars; darn I should of bought it…(sound familiar). I was told the coin machine was from the old Alameda Theatre.

The coin dispenser was the one that returned the customers change that rolled down a slide into a round coin receptacle holder.

Funny, how I really admired the theatre ushers and cashiers. The theatre ushers were dressed in black dress pants, black dress shoes, white shirts, black ties and red jackets. To think that we (customers)were actually escorted to our seats by the theatre usher with a flash light is unthinkable in this day and age.

Theatre ushers were respected and not to be taken lightly. I know from personal experiance, my buddy and I were promptly escorted out of the Boulevard Theatre in East Los Angeles in the very mid 60’s for whispering to one another despite a previous warning by the usher. I took a huge financial loss of around $1.25.

I think back to those days and remember a time when you would never seeing anyone talking on there cell phones (they didn’t exist), kids running up and down the aisles, people with their feet up on the seats (unthinkable)or other rude behavior.

My boys are amazed about the “old days”, when you could buy a theatre ticket for $1.00, watch two movies, a cartoon and have someone playing an organ.

I worked as a gas station attendant in East Los Angeles, for the Hudson Oil Company, formerly located on 3rd Street and Humphreys Ave in the mid 1960’s, the gas was around 14-15 cents a gallon.

Even though it was a less expensive gas station (we didn’t sell tires, or performed other services such as oil change) compared to Shell, Chevron stations. I still pumped your gas, checked your hood, which included the radiator, battery, oil and transmission fluids. I would also clean “all” your windows and tire pressure as part of our service.

I rarely recieved any tips since management discouraged the practice of being tipped by the customer. To think that you should tip someone, and I do for selling you a cup of “regular” coffee at a Starbucks just blows me away.

You would never, ever, see a women (out of respect), an elderly person pumping their own gas. No way, no how. I’m 51 years of age and remember paying ten cents to ride the bus or street car and using a public phone for only a dime. Boy am I old or what! (smile)My dad would by a cup of coffee for only a dime (no not vanilla nut!)just regular coffee.

Thanks for the memories.

Anthony

[email]

burningbrains
burningbrains on September 14, 2004 at 4:17 pm

I saw “Jaws” there, with Spanish Subtitles. I was 11. I went to the Boulevard more often, because they showed 3 movies for $1.

William
William on August 16, 2004 at 3:52 pm

Thanks JohnF
That’s how we find out about many of these wonderful theatres. From people who just stumble across this site. Thanks for your shared memories of this theatre.

William

johnf
johnf on August 16, 2004 at 6:07 am

In 1960-61 I lived on Luis Place just a couple of blocks from the Golden Gate Theater. I was 13 at the time and I remember going to see movies there at least once a week. I have spent many a night there. This was, indeed, a truly magnificent theater! Around 1961-62 we moved to Montebello, but I still continued to frequent the Golden Gate. I now live in Santa Barbara, but just before the Whittier earthquate, (my timing may be off here) my wife and a friend of ours happened to be back in East LA and the theater was already shut down. However, the main entrace was open and we simply walked in. I wouldn’t normally do this, but it was too tempting. Once inside, we were met by some attendant who took pity on us and let us roam the theatre on our own. We went all over. the curtain to the procenium was open, leaving the screen fully exposed and I remember noticing not only how large the screen was, but how it’s size was so appropriate in relation to the dimentions of the house. It was a wonderful experience and a bit sad to see the this great movie house abandoned. My only regret was not having a camera with me!

The first movie I ever saw there was “The Rat Race,” followed by movies like “Psycho,” “Elmer Gantry,” “Birdman of Alkataraz,” a reissue of “On the Waterfront,” and “The Wild One” and so many more. Funny that I don’t recall the last film I ever saw there.
Apologies for going on and on, but stumbling on to this site compelled me to write this.

castanedapi
castanedapi on August 6, 2004 at 2:53 am

It’s great to hear from others who can share the East Los Angeles, Belvedere experiance. Before our society became mall crazy there was the Boulevard, were the finest mens, womens and childrens, variety, furniture stores in the L.A. area which extended from Whittier & Ford to Atantic & Whittier Blvd.

Another bit of local history includes the former Los Angeles County East Los Angeles Sheriffs station located on Ford Blvd and Whittier Blvd. This facility had both a juvenile/adult temporary detention facility. There was a coroners office and possibly a court house. This non assuming building was last used as a church.

What predates the Golden Gate, Whittier Blvd and the Calvary Cematary is the El Camino Real which stretched from Guatemala to beyond San Francisco. I always wondered what that green colored bell hanging on that steel bell holder was as a kid.

DaveG
DaveG on August 5, 2004 at 7:54 pm

Anthony,

Yes, I remember the Pontiac Dealer. I used to walk up from where I lived at 1234 ½ S. Clela to catch the bus at Whittier and Clela. I also remember Stan’s drive-in. Just down the stree fro the Golden Gate there was a barber shop where I’d go to get a haircut, where I had my first “hot foam” trimming of the sideburns. It was next to the bowling alley. I took my first swimming lessons at the “plunge” across from St. Alphonse’s Catholic church on Atlantic. Yeah, it is an area that I fondly remember, including the Christmas decorations each year on Whittier Blvd. Do you remember El Metate restaurant on Atlantic?

We also would take the bus and streetcar to downtown and eat at Cliftons. What a magical place for a kid!

ppops70s
ppops70s on July 23, 2004 at 5:01 pm

Anthony,

I really enjoyed reading your comments.

I was born in ELA in 1970, I was born at the Los Angeles Community Hospital. We lived on Eastman and Whittier Blvd. I remember my grandmother telling me about the Chicano riots, I remember the cruising on Whittier Boulevard in the 70s and 80s. I remember the stores on Whittier Blvd; Stones Furniture, Western Auto, Wenger (still exists) and so on.

I grew up going to the Boulevard and Golden Gate theatres. I heard there use to be a theatre around Fetterly and Whittier.

In regards to Downtown, my grandfather was a pachuco.

castanedapi
castanedapi on July 23, 2004 at 10:18 am

I was born and raised in Belvedere, East Los Angeles, in 1953 at the Santa Marta Hospital, formerly located on Humphreys Ave near Brooklyn Ave (now Cesar Chavez Blvd).

I remember going to the Golden Gate Theater to see the first James Bond movie,Gold Finger. There was something special about the Golden Gate Theater that clearly set it apart from either the Center or Boulevard Theaters.I also clearly remember Stan’s Drive Inn Restaurant, kitty corner to the Golden Gate where the waitresses would come to the window of your car to take you order, what service. The Greyhound Bus Station was just across the street on Atlantic Blvd.

Other great memories include riding the Ford & Kern Bus for just ten cents and riding the “R Car” street car that ran from downtown Los Angeles to Whittier Blvd across from the Calvary Cementary. The “P Car” traveled on First Street over the L.A. River to downtown onto Broadway & First out to Pico Blvd. When we were downtown no self respecting person would be caught wearing a tee shirt and jeans. You wouldn’t be caught dead downtown L.A. or any other large city in the U.S. without wearing your best clothes.

You couldn’t visit downtown L.A. without stopping at either Clifton’s Cafeteria, the Grand Central Market, Angel’s Flight, the L.A. City Hall(formerly one of the highest building in L.A.) as well as Olvera Street, China Town & Philippe Restaraunt for a great French dip sandwich.

Talking about old Theaters my mom and grandparents use to catch movies at the Strand Theater which was adjacent to the “R Car” street car turn around. Now sadly enough a converted garment factory.

My mom worked on Whittier Boulevard at W.T. Grants, the Kress Store as well as a fine womens clothing store called Dotty Dean’s close to the See’s Candy store. Some of the finest clothing stores could be found just down the street from the Golden Gate Theater up till the late 1960’s.

The Moon Light sales & the Christmas decorations on the Boulevard were really something special for everyone in the community. Does anyone remember the Pontiac dealership in the area of Whittier Blvd & Clela.

Yes I remember the Golden Gate and so much more

Please excuse any and all typos.

Anthony

zyzzyx15
zyzzyx15 on June 14, 2004 at 6:54 am

Paul must be referring to the Los Angeles Conservancy – the largest ‘local’ historic preservation group in the United States. A very powerful group in LA that can on many occasions make or break big development schemes based on its own endorsements or objections.

ronpolsc
ronpolsc on June 8, 2004 at 4:09 am

It is quiet sad to know that one of the last remaining historical
monuments in East Los Angeles is going to be used for a walgreens.
I think what should happen is like many other cities have done through community economic development is to fully restore buildings that have community value in order for the community to embrace thier community history. Im curious to know what the name of the conservancy is ? Personally I never got to experince the beauty of the theatre but the many stories shared by my family exemplify the personal value that it has on the community. If someone knows the name of the group working to restore the theatre it would be great.

ppops70s
ppops70s on April 28, 2004 at 5:56 pm

The 1927 Golden Gate Theatre, one of Los Angeles' most significant neighborhood movie palaces, is in escrow for purchase by a private development firm. The new owner, the Charles Company, intends to remove most of the theater’s interior features to accommodate retail use, most likely a Walgreens Drug Store. The 1,454-seat theater, at the prime corner of Whittier and Atlantic Boulevards in unincorporated East Los Angeles, has sat vacant for over a decade and has been repeatedly threatened with demolition. The theater, in the Spanish Churrigueresque style, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The theater was built by developer Peter Snyder, known as the “Father of the East Side” and its architects were William and Clifford Balch, who were also involved in the design of the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. and the Fox Theatre in Pomona. The Vega Building, the historic retail building that once wrapped around the theater, suffered damage from the Whittier Earthquake and was demolished in the early 1990s. The Conservancy will be working with the new buyer, as well as County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office, to seek retention of the theater’s historic interior features, such as the proscenium, lobby, clamshell-shaped concession stand, and mezzanine level, while encouraging a positive reuse of this long-vacant historic property.