Million Dollar Theatre

307 South Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Unfavorite 54 people favorited this theater

Showing 201 - 225 of 225 comments

br91975 on February 22, 2005 at 7:11 am

The exterior of the Million Dollar Theater can be very briefly glimpsed in the new Keanu Reeves flick ‘Constantine’.

rroberts on February 9, 2005 at 6:22 pm

Is it worth the money to save it? Historic tax credits could be brought to bear… I wll look into it. Anyone else interested in helping me? Paul

DonSolosan on February 9, 2005 at 12:17 pm

I just did the LA Conservancy’s Broadway Theater tour (again!) and this time we went into the Million Dollar. Unlike Knatcal’s experience noted above, the theater was open to us but the balcony was closed. And the first few rows of seats on the main floor were blocked off by that yellow “caution” tape.

The problem, they explained to us, is the proscenium, a huge arch of block stone. In most theaters of that era, the stones would have simply been made of plaster — but in this case they are real. And unstable. The area of the theater that’s blocked off is the area that the proscenium would hit if it happened to collapse.

Apparently the owner is holding off repairs until a new tenant is found and their needs are taken into account.

William on February 9, 2005 at 11:17 am


Here is Metropolitan’s website.

Here their contact address.

I think the Paramount Theatre you got was the Downtown Los Angeles Paramount Theatre which when it opened was named the Metropolitan Theatre.

Good Luck!!!


vmorales on February 9, 2005 at 10:34 am

I already tried it and it’s now the Paramount Theatre… I think! Unless I am getting the wrong one.. do you have a link or web address? Thanks

rroberts on February 9, 2005 at 9:29 am

Does anyone have new information on the theatre? E-mail us.

William on February 8, 2005 at 5:15 pm

It’s sad that a lot of these types of advertising items no longer are around. You might try Metropolitan Theatres in Los Angeles. Its a long shot.

vmorales on February 8, 2005 at 4:18 pm

Oh, so pretty much, they may have been tossed. :–( Well Thanks for that info. I will try and see what next step to take…THANKS!

William on February 8, 2005 at 3:53 pm

The last chain to operate the Million Dollar Theatre was Metropolitan Theatres. Having worked many of the theatres along Broadway. A lot of those types of trailers and film daters would have been thrown out since that time. And since the theatre was leased to the Universal Church for a time, they may have cleaned up the booth areas. Because the theatre booths that I worked had very little left from the past other then the equipment.

vmorales on February 8, 2005 at 1:50 pm

I am looking for someone or some place that would have old film strips from the late 1970’s from the Million Dollar. My fiance’s grandfather performed there and we would like to know how we can get a hold of some of those itms, DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW??? Thanks so much

Manwithnoname on December 14, 2004 at 10:03 am

The theater is not completely “nameless”. On the front sidewalk is a sign citing the historical significance of the theater and outlining it’s history. It is clearly identified as the Million Dollar. The building I work in, the Fine Arts Building, also has a signpost.

William on December 14, 2004 at 9:16 am

Hi L Linares

It was a pharmacy type store. I remember a small bodega that baked this great Mexican breads nearby. For those who got to see these Great Theatres during those times, they were good memories. During those times those theatres would be operating full on the weekends and alittle less during the week. I remember going to the Million Dollar many times along with the Los Angeles, State, Orpheum, Warner, United Artists. I grewup in Los Angeles and saw all of these theatres up and running for years. And later would run many of them as a projectionists.

falomir73 on December 9, 2004 at 10:25 pm

hello William,
how do you know so much about The Million dollar? and all the other theaters of which i remember quite vividly as a kid in the 70’s. I remember there was a spanish store right next door to the theatre of which i think it was a pharmacy or bodega? I remember that corner was always so busy!!! i loved all the caos. But the one main reason i remember that theatre is because of my grandmother of whom loved to join all her loved ones to meet and have a good time. And sad to say some of our family members were aliens to the U.S. and when they crossed the border, we would all meet them at The Million Dollar and exchange hugs and kisses of loved ones we had not seen in over 10 years, and walk down to Cliftons and have a great dinner.:(……I’m sorry if this upsets anyone, But i’ve never shared this with anyone. I always wished to live above the great theatre and look at the street and hold on to those great memories of grandmother of whom has passed away.

William on December 9, 2004 at 9:48 am

The theatre has been for lease for a few years. After the church left the theatre to move down to the State Theatre. The owners tried to bring back movies to the theatre. But the damage was done, movie going on Broadway was dead. The day that I went to the theatre there was only about 10 people watching the new movie. The location of the Million Dollar Theatre is at the north end of Broadway, about 3 blocks away from the next theatre. There was a few theatres in and around the Million Dollar at one time but they are all gone now. Those live shows kept the Million Dollar going for many years. The Million Dollar had the same problem that the United Artists Theatre had for many years. The United Artists is located at the Southern end of Broadway, about a block away from the Orpheum Theatre. For some reason people would not go that extra block, during the last years the United Artist was run as a theatre. During the last few years the theatres on Broadway ran. People seemed to go to the Los Angeles, State, Orphuem, Palace, Tower, Rialto, Cameo and the Olympic. Maybe it was the way Metropolitan Theatres booked them, but the Globe, Roxie, Broadway and the Arcade were the first one of the new batch of theatres to close. During one of the last contracts for projectionists, Metropolitan Theatres had installed platters in a few of the theatres and had the operator walk between them. So you had one projectionist for three theatres. To some that would not be a problem nowadays. But we are talking about three old single screen theatres, that had many problems. The building that the Million Dollar Theatre is located in now has been turned into apartments.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 9, 2004 at 9:05 am

That’s quite a recent photo possibly summer 2004 as there are road works going on outside the theatre (which have been been happening for quite some time).

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 9, 2004 at 8:47 am

This theatre is currently ‘nameless’. In 2000, the church who were using the building at that time removed the name ‘Million Dollar’ from the marquee over the entrance (a case of money is the root of all evil perhaps?). As can been seen in the Nov 2002 photo above, the marquee is now totally bare, apart from the ‘For Lease’ sign.

rroberts on December 9, 2004 at 6:23 am

Is it for sale or lease? Any particulars about the building itself?

falomir73 on December 8, 2004 at 10:49 pm

my whole family enjoyed watching spanish movies and very famous spanish singers like Vicente Fernandez and Juan Gabriel. We always had a blast but i always remeber The Million Dollar because of its beautiful architecture!

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on February 5, 2004 at 3:15 pm

I did relief projection there in the late 70s. That had to be the smallest booth I have ever worked in. And yes, between movies, I had to run that damn spotlight on Isela Vega during her nudie shows. What a rude awakening that was because it was my first job in Los Angeles. Come to think of it, I met my wife there. She was a cashier. Oh well, but we are no longer together. Ahhh, the memories. tee-hee

Manwithnoname on January 7, 2004 at 1:58 pm

The marquee currently sports a “for lease” sign.

gbachlund on November 28, 2003 at 12:25 pm

In the 1950s the Million Dollar was operated by Francisco Fouce, who also operated the Mason Theatre and the Mayan Theatre in LA, and I worked as relief projectionist in all three.

The booth of the Million Dollar was apparently an afterthought, as it was located at the front center of the balcony. Thus the ceiling sloped down toard the front affording barely 6' of headroom at the front wall. When I worked there, new Century projectors and sound heads had been installed, but connected to the original WE sound fader and amplifier.

When the Million Dollar hosted stage shows along with a first run Mexican film, the projectionist was the followspot operator. I recall one night the legendary Argentina La Marca was appearing, and the angry stage manager called me on the house phone to demand that I use a straw gel in the spotlight as the naked arc was making her face an ashen color. I warmed up the color and Ms. La Marca appeared years younger.

Knatcal on November 7, 2003 at 10:31 am

On the Los Angeles Conservancy’s recent Broadway Behind-The-Secenes Tour the Million Dollar Theater was open for view. The balcony was open but the ground floor auditorium is closed because of “falling plaster.” The lobby has been modernized and retains none of the original features.

William on February 18, 2003 at 11:36 am

During the early 30’s the Million Dollar Theatre was part of the Circle Theatres chain. By the late 30’s, The Million Dollar would become part of the Metropolitan Theatres chain till the 1990’s.

William on August 21, 2002 at 11:18 am

Sid Grauman launched his career as a film showman in Los Angeles with the Million Dollar, said to have cost as much as its flamboyant name. On opening night, February 1, 1918, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and others stars drove past kleig lights and crowds two blocks long waiting to see William S. Hart in “The Silent Man”. The Million Dollar remained a movie theatre with stage show well past other theatres in the area. During the late 50’s – 70’s the Million Dollar had Spanish stage shows, featuring some of the Best Spanish entertainers in the world. The Million Dollar today is a church. Movies did return for a short time in 1999. The building was constructed for the Metropolitan Water District in the Churrigueresque style, popularized by the San Diego Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915. Derived from Spanish Baroque, the lavish terra cotta ornamentation displays whimsical Americana: a bison head, Texas longhorn and cavorting figures. The building’s architect Albert C. Martin has produced major Los Angeles landmarks which include City Hall and the Department of Water and Power. The sculptor for the theatre was Joseph Mora. The Million Dollars’s architect William L. Woolett went on to build important movie houses in Long Beach and Santa Monica; his crowning achievement, The mighty Paramount (aka: Grauman’s Metropolitan) Theatre at 6th and Hill Street. It was downtown’s largest movie palace until its demolition in 1963.

William on June 5, 2001 at 4:38 pm

This theatre opened as THE MILLION DOLLAR by Sid Grauman in 1918. The style is spanish baroque. It seats about 2200 people. This was Sid’s first theatre in Southern California (1)Million Dollar (2)Metropolitan [renamed Paramount Downtown razed in the 60’s] (3) Rialto (4) Egyptian (5) Chinese. The Million Dollar tried to reopen with movies in 1999, but turned back into a church.