Golden Gate Theatre

5176 Whittier Boulevard,
East Los Angeles, CA 90022

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Showing 151 - 165 of 165 comments

zyzzyx15 on June 13, 2004 at 10:54 pm

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 on June 7, 2004 at 8:09 pm

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 on April 28, 2004 at 9:56 am

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.

DaveG on April 16, 2004 at 2:09 pm

Growing up, I lived near Atlantic and Olympic and have many wonderful memories of days at the Golden Gate. What a classic, beautiful theater!! I would often just go and watch whatever was playing. I remember one afternoon when my mother gave me some money for the movies and I went there by miself and, as a 10 year-old, watched “Psycho”!! I also loved the set-up, where you would purchase the ticket at the booth at the sidewalk on Whittier Blvd., then walk down the covered courtyard, past the shops before entering the theater. On hot summer afternoons, there was no better place to be. Too bad it has not been restored. I would also love to see other photos of the place in its glory days.

Manwithnoname on March 16, 2004 at 4:30 pm

Two years after my earlier post, the theater still sits. It’s still up for sale.

William on January 9, 2004 at 11:20 am

The design of this theatre is similar to the Fox Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. Both combine a courtyard entrance with what amounts to a small shopping center. Both are Spanish Colonial Revival, but the Golden Gate Theatre is Churrigueresque in its sources. The The building turns the corner via and an eight sided tower surmounted by a lantern. The entrance to the theatre was one of the finest examples of the Churrigueresque to be found in Southern California. The Golden Gate Theatre seated 1345 people.

GaryLee64 on January 1, 2004 at 8:18 am

I lived In East LA and my families business was there. In the last 40’s 50’s and early 60’s I lived in that theatre. I worked there and I loved it. It had beautiful lighting. The consession bar was a hugh clam shell. The first film I ever saw there was “So Dear To My Heart” and the last was “A Raisen in the Sun” In front of the theater in the courtyard was a wonderful drug store and apartments on top. My friends lived there. The Center was down the street along with the United Artist and Boulevard but the Golden Gate was the one we wanted to go to. I went back recently to see it. Just the theatre was there and not the Courtyard. It was sad but it brought back wonderful memories.

William on October 20, 2003 at 6:43 pm

The address of the Golden Gate Theatre was 5176 Whittier Blvd.

William on October 20, 2003 at 6:41 pm

When the Golden Gate Theatre opened it had a Wurlitzer Theatre organ (opus#1873)style 210, in was installed on 4/26/1928.

JustOldBob on October 22, 2002 at 1:32 pm

I was just looking at another theatre I frequented before finding the Golden Gate. That theatre is the Fox Florence Theatre on Florence Avenue just east of Hooper Avenue. While reading the description it hit me how much the Fox Florence and the Golden Gate had in common. The front, then the courtyard, balcony, etc. I wonder if it was the same ARCHITECT, or at least using the same design. The Fox Florence Architect was S. Charles Lee, according to the description. Those of you who actually went to the Golden Gate and or Fox Florence, go to their listings and compare that with your memories. I think they were VERY much alike.

JustOldBob on September 14, 2002 at 5:08 pm

As the others know, but others may not, this theatre was located on the south/west corner of Atlantic Avenue and Whittier Boulevard. To the right of the marque is an opening, and inside of that was a very nice foyer, when I went there, there was a red carpet on each side of the foyer, and running north/south, under canopies. Truly a very nice theatre.

eliperales on May 31, 2002 at 12:05 am

The person who had the Golden Gate built was Harry M. Sugarman.It was built approx in 1925-26. Mr.Sugarman was an actor in Hollywood in the early twenties.He owned a chain of movie theaters under the name West Coast Junior Theatres. He also attended Los Angeles High School in 1916. It’s sad to see its present condition. As a kid in the early 70’s the Golden Gate was my movie theatre.It was beautiful inside and out and it had a wonderful balcony.

Manwithnoname on March 1, 2002 at 5:54 am

There is a for sale sign on the property. Looks like mega bucks would be needed to make this a usable venue again.

William on February 20, 2002 at 12:46 pm

This theatre maybe returning as a Performing Arts Center Theatre. More news to follow soon.

Manwithnoname on February 20, 2002 at 5:24 am

The area between the main theater building and the street was recently paved and turned into a parking lot. It is a Christmas tree lot every year. Yet, the main theater building still stands, boarded up. Does this have protected status?