Los Angeles Theatre

615 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Showing 201 - 225 of 329 comments

dennis906
dennis906 on April 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

Beautiful smogless sky over Los Angeles.

rfwebber
rfwebber on April 1, 2007 at 11:39 am

I just watched the 2006 movie “The Prestige.” There are several shots inside the Los Angeles Theatre, standing in for a 19th century London theatre. The famous “3-dimensional” fire curtain, depicting costumed French nobility in the countryside, is clearly visible at times and is actually raised at one point. (There is also an exterior shot of the Tower Theatre, S. Charles Lee’s other downtown L.A. masterpiece, with the name changed to “Pantages.” There are some other theatre interior shots in the movie, which I was unable to identify.)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 3, 2007 at 6:44 pm

There is another batch of interior photos on this page:
http://tinyurl.com/37mq4a

rroudebush
rroudebush on February 6, 2007 at 10:00 am

I was in the cast of the opera performance mentioned above â€" I had a small part in Manon Lescaut as “Le sergent” and sang in the chorus. When I auditioned for the company I didn’t know where we would be performing, but was thrilled when I learned that it would be at the fabulous old Los Angeles Theater, since I remembered the theater vividly from my childhood.

In the mid ‘50s, my mother used to take my brother and me downtown from Culver City, and we’d go to a movie at the stunning Los Angeles Theater, and have lunch at Clifton’s Cafeteria across the street (still operating!). I remember seeing “The Robe” and “Demetrius and the Gladiators” there, and being terribly impressed by the over-the-top performances of actor Jay Robinson as Caligula in both movies (I also remember seeing Bette Davis in “The Virgin Queen,” which Jay Robinson was also in â€" more about Mr. Robinson later!).

Much later, in my adulthood, I also met the architect, S. Charles Lee, at a showing of the movie “The Seven Year Itch” at the theater. I was introduced briefly to Mr. Lee, a spry and friendly old man, who was doing what the rest of us were doing, standing just inside the front door, watching the amazed faces of people as they came in and saw the lobby for the first time!

And then, decades later, I was able to perform in the theater myself. The pseudo-French architecture of the theater suited Manon Lescaut perfectly, I think, though the theater was really too large for our purposes. One of the other cast members, Greg Iriarte, was a docent for the L.A. Conservancy, and I imagine that this is how the venue was obtained. Greg would have preferred the Orpheum as a performing venue, and it’s true that the Los Angeles had a very shallow stage and inadequate dressing rooms for a cast the size of ours. But I was thrilled to be at the Los Angeles, and it was a gift that it had dressing rooms at all, thanks to the fact that stage performances had taken place between movies in the early years. The dressing rooms had been furnished with modern mirrors and lights, but there were no tables or chairs, so we brought our own. One of the larger rooms, obviously designed for “the star,” had original mouldings and “French” tracework, and it was easy to imagine it as it might have been.

The acoustics of the theater seemed fine to me, and I didn’t feel I had to force at all in my solos (and, of course, we sang unamplified â€" even the spoken dialogue was unamplified), but some people remarked that the men’s voices traveled better than the women’s, so perhaps there was a lack of upper resonance in the theater. Though the place looked shabby in the strong rehearsal lights, in performance, when the auditorium was evocatively lit, the place looked overwhelmingly festive and gorgeous.

At our six performances we had an audience of about 600 people a night, a surprising turnout for an unknown/forgotten opera. However, it was obvious that the theater itself was bringing them in, because when we put on our next production, Verdi’s second opera, Un Giorno di Regno, at the Palace across the street (having lost the use of the Los Angeles Theater for undisclosed reasons), hardly anyone attended its six performances, and the company was forced to cancel the rest of the season. The Palace is the right size for an opera house, in my opinion, being about the size of a normal European opera house, e.g. the Stuttgart Opera, and it has better acoustics than the Los Angeles. But the Palace has nothing of that latter theater’s magnificence and glamour, faded though it may be.

Back to actor Jay Robinson: Southern California suffered some severe storms earlier in 2006, and the basement of the Los Angeles Theater was flooded, ruining the parquet flooring in the downstairs ballroom, and causing a dank, musty smell. During those same storms, out in the San Fernando Valley a tree fell on the parked car of a friend of mine. The tree happened to be on the property of Jay Robinson in Sherman Oaks (on Milbank at Woodman) near where I live, and because of this unfortunate circumstance, I got to meet him during the period of my performances of the Los Angeles Theater, where a half century before I had seen his (filmed) performances that had so impressed me. In fact, I found out his birthday on the internet, and took a card over to him and got invited in for a nice chat and a look at his movie and stage memorabilia. This icon from my childhood has lived a block away from me for the last 30 years! I felt that my experience with the Los Angeles Theater had gone full circle.

Rickard Roudebush

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 17, 2007 at 10:36 am

Here is a 2007 close-up view.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 15, 2007 at 11:16 am

This is a 2007 photo of the Los Angeles Theater.

Lou1273
Lou1273 on January 9, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Interviewees Needed – Hi all, I’m working on a report and would really like to interview anyone who had anything to do with the Historic Theaters in downtown Los Angeles while they were still functioning as theaters – whether you worked in them or attended. Please contact me at .com Thanks!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 2, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Here is a recent night view of the Los Angeles Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 26, 2006 at 6:09 pm

This is a more recent photo of the Los Angeles Theater.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 21, 2006 at 6:34 am

Portions of the interior should be visible during tonight’s NBC telecast of “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” a one-hour variety special that was taped at the Los Angeles Theatre with Rob Marshall as director. The program airs at 8:00 PM (EST). I don’t know what the schedule is for other time zones.

Bway
Bway on September 24, 2006 at 3:19 pm

This theater is a real beauty. I remember driving by it a couple years back when I was in LA. I had no idea it was so beautiful inside though!!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 24, 2006 at 8:12 am

Another recent photo of the Los Angeles Theater can be seen here.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 18, 2006 at 4:41 pm

This whole street strikes me as a museum of sorts. All these great movie palaces continue to survive, possibly the greatest concentration left in the United States, and yet most of them don’t seem to have a concrete function. It almost looks to be a salute to L.A’s movie heritage.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 5, 2006 at 8:21 am

This is a recent night view of the Los Angeles Theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 4, 2006 at 8:55 am

It’s behind the float.

JimRankin
JimRankin on September 1, 2006 at 11:02 pm

That last photo appeared to be something about a “Freedom Float.” Did I miss the theatre somehow?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 1, 2006 at 4:28 pm

Here is a 1951 photo showing the marquee from the USC Archive:
http://snipurl.com/vsw2

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 6, 2006 at 7:49 am

Here are some photos of the Los Angeles Theater.

GWaterman
GWaterman on July 23, 2006 at 4:58 pm

We had tickets to the “Rebel Without a Cause” show, but missed it due to another committment. Yesterday, though, we took the Conservancy walking tour, and were lucky enough to get inside the Los Angeles. We happened to be there when the door was open, and our docent quickly spirited us inside! She says that it is difficult to get access to this theatre, so we felt very very lucky.

Because we were “sneaking” in, we didn’t get to explore it at our leisure like Mike did above, but, boy, what we saw was fantastic. The lobby takes your breath away! It’s like Versaillles! We could see the bare brick stage wall through passageways beneath the grand stairway with the fountain, and it was lit, so we went in there. The cleaning crew was vacuuming, and let us look around undisturbed. The decor was magnificent. I only wish my photos of it came out! The front of the stage has little footlight shades along the front that look like shells. I was so busy looking that I didn’t sit in the seats, but my fellow tourists said they were comfortable – I believe they are the original seats. The ceiling has a beautiful dome painted with murals.

We went down to the basement, where there is an incredible oval space, wood-floored, like a ballroom. Then off that was the ladies' room, which is incredible. There is a mirrored ladies' lounge, very opulent, The stalls lead off that; they are completely enclosed, floor-to-ceiling walls, not booths; each with its own detailed door. The room with the sink was tiled – I got a photo I will try to post. The most amazing thing was the downstairs nursery, with painted walls and ceiling designed to evoke a circus tent; the walls were decorated with murals of circus dancers and carousels and animals like monkeys, parrots, and peacocks.

We had to hustle out — there was a general sense of urgency to avoid being locked in by the roll gates. But it felt like a real stroke of luck to get inside.

The tour was definately worth taking; I want to take it again. I advise anyone taking the tour to bring a good flashlight with new batteries, and if you can figure out how to take photos in low light, please do so. We also saw the Arcade, the Cameo, the Million Dollar, the Warner and the Orpheum. We came tantalizingly close to sneaking into the Palace, too! Will update those theatre pages.

GWaterman
GWaterman on July 23, 2006 at 4:58 pm

We had tickets to the “Rebel Without a Cause” show, but missed it due to another committment. Yesterday, though, we took the Conservancy walking tour, and were lucky enough to get inside the Los Angeles. We happened to be there when the door was open, and our docent quickly spirited us inside! She says that it is difficult to get access to this theatre, so we felt very very lucky.

Because we were “sneaking” in, we didn’t get to explore it at our leisure like Mike did above, but, boy, what we saw was fantastic. The lobby takes your breath away! It’s like Versaillles! We could see the bare brick stage wall through passageways beneath the grand stairway with the fountain, and it was lit, so we went in there. The cleaning crew was vacuuming, and let us look around undisturbed. The decor was magnificent. I only wish my photos of it came out! The front of the stage has little footlight shades along the front that look like shells. I was so busy looking that I didn’t sit in the seats, but my fellow tourists said they were comfortable – I believe they are the original seats. The ceiling has a beautiful dome painted with murals.

We went down to the basement, where there is an incredible oval space, wood-floored, like a ballroom. Then off that was the ladies' room, which is incredible. There is a mirrored ladies' lounge, very opulent, The stalls lead off that; they are completely enclosed, floor-to-ceiling walls, not booths; each with its own detailed door. The room with the sink was tiled – I got a photo I will try to post. The most amazing thing was the downstairs nursery, with painted walls and ceiling designed to evoke a circus tent; the walls were decorated with murals of circus dancers and carousels and animals like monkeys, parrots, and peacocks.

We had to hustle out — there was a general sense of urgency to avoid being locked in by the roll gates. But it felt like a real stroke of luck to get inside.

The tour was definately worth taking; I want to take it again. I advise anyone taking the tour to bring a good flashlight with new batteries, and if you can figure out how to take photos in low light, please do so. We also saw the Arcade, the Cameo, the Million Dollar, the Warner and the Orpheum. We came tantalizingly close to sneaking into the Palace, too! Will update those theatre pages.

fliknpins
fliknpins on June 5, 2006 at 9:50 pm

I attended the opening night of this years Last Remaining Seats on May 31st. I have never been to a movie theatre with so much beauty and awe. I was absolutly stunned at the great decor this theatre has. You walk in and feel like your entering another time. The fountain located half way up the grand staircase was just amazing and was working. I walked all over the place and chose to see the film “The Mark Of Zorro” from the top balcony. I almost sat in one of the side opera style balconies but felt i had to go higher. The painted curtain, deco ceiling, cherubs on the walls, lobby, bathrooms, and really the whole theatre are just breathtaking. When you see this theatre from the outside you have no idea what is waiting for you inside. I have been to hundreds of movie theatres and none have come close to being as awesome. Some repairs still need to be made but you just don’t care when your there. I would love to see these Broadway Theatres all repaired and used for daily showings of hollywoods latest blockbuster features. Sadly though the area is very depressing, and not safe feeling at night. Not everyone is going to visit an area of town where your harrassed and hit up for your change every 10 feet. Other than that anyone who has not seen a movie there should get tickets to the next showings of The Last Remainging Seats by The Los Angeles Conservancy at The Los Angeles Theatre. I believe the showing of “Rebel Without A Cause” is sold out but there are tickets still available to “Dos tipos de cuidado” for $18 dollars online ($15 for members) or $20.00 at the box office. That movie is showing on June 28th and Rebel on July 5th. You can see the schedule at laconservancy.org for this theatre and for the Orpheum and Palace Theatres. These Broadway theatres are a must for movie theatre fans…

Ziggy
Ziggy on May 2, 2006 at 11:35 am

Hi Joe,

I was able to get a seat in the third row. The seats were sold by section rather than by aisle and number. Being close to the stage, the acoustics were great. I tried moving further back after the intermission (just so I could have a better view of the auditorium), but had a hard time understanding the spoken dialogue (the dialogue in this opera was simply spoken rather than being sung as recitative), so I moved up to the 5th row. There were plenty of people sitting further back, so the problem may have been mine more than the acoustics. The second balcony was not open, and the staircases were too closely watched for me to sneak up during the performance. I also noticed the stumps of what must have at one time been drinking fountains near the bases of each staircase up to the 1st balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 2, 2006 at 6:49 am

ziggy: I was hoping that somebody would make it to one of the Lyric Opera’s performances and post about it here. What sort of seat were you able to get at the last minute? Did you notice if they opened the second balcony or not? How are the acoustics for a live performance? I’ve only ever been there for movies, and I’ve always wondered if the theatre sounds as good as it looks.

Ziggy
Ziggy on May 2, 2006 at 6:32 am

I was fortunate enough to be in Los Angeles last weekend (for a family wedding). I got to L.A. on the morning train and walked around Broadway before going to the hotel and I saw that the opera “Manon Lescaut” was going to be playing at the Los Angeles Theatre that night. While the rest of my friends and relatives went out to drink I walked over to the theatre to see if I could get in at the last minute.

The opera was a budget production, but the singing and music were beautiful. The theatre was slam-dunk gorgeous! As usual, photographs do not do it justice. The theatre was very dusty, and had the dank feel of a building that is not used often, but it is still in very good shape. The famous crystal fountain was lit up, and I noticed that the base of the fountain was actually plumbed for water (no water was flowing that night, of course).

I met one of the stagehands after the performance, and he gave me a tour of the theatre before I left.