Los Angeles Theatre

615 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Showing 201 - 225 of 295 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 12, 2006 at 1:46 pm

Carey: Though I undoubtedly saw the facade before 1952, I don’t remember what it looked like. My mom tells me that we went to the Los Angeles a couple of times in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, but my only early memories of any downtown theatres are of the Warner Brother’s and the RKO Hillstreet. My first memory of the facade of the Los Angeles is from about 1960.

I don’t remember what retailers were in the north wing storefronts in 1960, but by 1963 I know there was one of those cheap electronics dealers in one of them, because I bought a radio from them. Whatever company had caused the remodeling to be done was probably gone by then. I’ve always suspected that the owners of the building had allowed the remodeling to be done by a tenant- probably some time in the 1940’s, as that plain style of facade was popular with retailers during that decade. An old city directory (many are available at the downtown library) would give the name of the store’s occupant(s) during that time.

I’m glad to hear that you intend to restore the facade. It’s always bothered me that the north and south wings don’t match.

careyupton on April 12, 2006 at 12:49 pm

Does anyone know exactly when the Facade was removed from over the right hand storefronts? And Why? I have a 1937 photo with the Facade intact. By 1952, it was definitely gone. We are in the process of restoring that facade.
Carey Upton, Theatre Manager

BhillH20 on April 12, 2006 at 12:00 pm

The storefront section of the Los Angeles would look much more appealing if the ornament was restored to its former appearance!

William on April 12, 2006 at 8:33 am

There are two commercials running in the New York Tri-State area that uses parts of the Los Angeles theatre’s lobby. The current Burger King “French Toast sandwich” spot. They use it as the King’s bedroom. The other is for a diet pill Fahrenheit.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2006 at 12:05 pm

I’ve heard excerpts from the 1884 Manon by Massenet, and the entire 1893 Manon by Puccini, but Auber’s earlier version is so rarely recorded (and almost as rarely performed) that I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much as a single aria from it.

The Lyric Opera company’s ticket prices seem quite reasonable, though. The ten dollar tickets are probably for the second balcony. I’ve only ever been up there once, but I recall the view being fairly decent— in fact, better than the comparable seats in the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre (though the best seats in the Los Angeles are definitely those in the side sections that extend from the first balcony.) I wish I could get to L.A. for this event. Even if Auber was no Puccini, it would be worth sitting through an archaic, Victorian opera just to see the Los Angeles Theatre in operation again.

JimRankin on March 1, 2006 at 11:50 am

Howard Haas is very right that most cities did indeed have movie palaces suitable to being converted to opera houses, but most of them were as egocentric as they were flush with the “Great Society” dollars of pres. Johnson’s revenue sharing of the 1960s, so their priorities were upon the potential campaign slogan of such as ‘Look what I built for our city during my last term!!’ (as mayor, county Exec., or the like.) Since then, the ethos has changed from Urban Renewal to Historic Preservation, but now the money is not there; all governments are deeply in debt and spending on the arts has all but vanished. Now the retired politicos of the ‘60s and later saunter by the PACs with the plaques with their names on them and smugly say “See what I left for everyone!” Yes, they often left jerry-built eyesores that are sometimes still being paid for, but they couldn’t have left as large a plaque if it had been merely a converted movie palace built by someone else. And how else would they have been able to pay back all their campaign contributors with construction jobs unless they built from scratch? Look at the sad story of the FOX in San Francisco as the case study it is of political machanitions that brought down possibly the best candidate for an opera house that ever existed.

HowardBHaas on March 1, 2006 at 8:04 am

The “perfect setting for French opera” is NOT hype! I’ve been twice inside, both for Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats, Thief of Bagdad with orchestra, and From Here to Eternity. This restored theater is one of the most beautiful neoclassic movie palaces ever built. Its opulent design is indeed perfect for opera. If I was living in LA, I’d love to attend. The auditorium looks like it was indeed designed for opera, the Grand Lobby is unforgettable, and the lower lounge neat, too.

This should have become LA’s main venue for opera, and other neoclassic movie palaces in other cities should have been saved for opera, too, rather than building new performing arts centers, such as in Manhattan, Washington, D.C. etc.

spikewriter on March 1, 2006 at 6:48 am

I stopped by the LA Conservancy Page and noticed the following under Events:


Rare Opera in a Rare Venue

Lyric Opera of Los Angeles (LOLA), a cultural partner of the Broadway Initiative, will present the nineteenth-century French operatic masterpiece “Manon Lescaut” by Daniel François-Esprit Auber from April 21-30 at the majestic Los Angeles Theatre.

With its opulent, French Baroque-inspired design, the 1931 Los Angeles Theatre is the perfect setting for French opera. In bringing this production to the Los Angeles, LOLA seeks to provide theatergoers with an unforgettable experience, while fostering the use of Broadway’s historic theaters in bringing new life and entertainment to historic downtown.

First performed in 1856, “Manon Lescaut” is the poignant tale of a young woman at the turn of nineteenth-century France who, on the way to a convent, meets a young man and runs away with him to Paris. She discovers the vagaries of power, love, lust, and debauchery in Parisian society, and through a tangle of events is arrested and shipped off to Louisiana, where she meets her destiny.

This production has not been performed in the U.S. since 1979, so this is a rare opportunity. With ticket prices so affordable, you can bring friends and family to support this unique event in this spectacular theater.

“Manon Lescaut” by Daniel François-Esprit Auber
Los Angeles Theatre
615 South Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles

Friday, April 21 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 22 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 23 2:00 p.m.
Friday, April 28 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 29 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 30 2:00 p.m.

Tickets: $10-30

For tickets or more information, visit www.LyricOperaLA.org or call (800) 471-9515.

If you love opera and are in the LA area, it’s a great price. My only hesitation is that I’ve see “Manon Lescaut” and it’s not one of my favorites.

William on February 16, 2006 at 1:30 pm

In the New York area, there is a commercial currently airing for a product called “Fahrenheit” Diet supplement pill. You can see some of the lobby area (mainly the ceiling) as a women walks back and forth like in a fashion show.

Hibi on February 10, 2006 at 2:10 am

Happy to hear the theater will be in use again (for more than film shoots!)

kencmcintyre on February 9, 2006 at 3:32 pm

I have gone to the Last Remaining Seats shows for several years. My question for some time has been why the programs are never held at the Million Dollar theater. The former owner was showing first run films in the late 1990s, so the theater must be operational. It would be interesting to see some films in theaters other than the Los Angeles and the Orpheum. Otherwise, kudos to the Conservancy for a well-run program each June.

careyupton on February 9, 2006 at 1:34 pm

On behalf of the staff of the Los Angeles Theatre, thank you for the 75th anniversary well wishes. After years of concentrating on filming, the Los Angeles Theatre is returning to public performances. This April you can see the Lyric opera of Los Angeles perform MANON LESCAUT. (www.lyricoperala.org) We will once again participate in the Last Remaining Seats program of the LA Conservancy on May 31. For more information, please visit our website: www.losangelestheatre.com Carey Upton, Theatre Manager

Hibi on January 31, 2006 at 2:31 am

I second that. What a gorgeous place. And still standing!

BhillH20 on January 30, 2006 at 11:30 am

A most happy anniversary today for this most wonderful movie palace on the 75th year of its opening day!!

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2005 at 10:16 am

Another view of the interior:

View link

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2005 at 10:15 am

From the California State Library:

View link

William on October 27, 2005 at 4:48 am

That documentary was available in two versions. The long version was around 30 minutes and the short version was 8-9 minutes. The long version turns up sometimes on the PBS stations. I taped the long version from PBS and was able to get the short version in 35mm, which I show every so often at special screenings.

The book “The Show Starts on the Sidewalk” is a very good book about the works of Mr. Lee.

UKuser on October 27, 2005 at 4:43 am

Calling all those interested in the Los Angeles Theatre. Our UK television programme “Dead Famous LIVE” will be filmed in the Los Angeles in a few weeks time in mid November.

We are looking for people who would like to be part of the studio audience for the show. This will be an invaluable opportunity to take a look inside one of LA’s most impressive movie palaces.

If you would like more information then contact me at .uk

Many thanks,

George Hughes

JimRankin on October 27, 2005 at 1:33 am

A post script to the previous: for those wanting a to see Mr. Lee shortly before his death, he can be seen speaking lucidly in the 1987 documentary “The Movie Palaces” by the Smithsonian Instution (a division of the federal government), not available for many years, but still to be found in some libraries. Feel free to copy the video tape, since title 17, section 205 of the US Code says that the government has no legal right to make copyright what it publishes, aside from legal or classified documents which this historical tape is not. Thus, the copyright warning at opening is bogus and designed to deceive those ignorant of law. I state this because the video tape is valuable to history, and should not be allowed to disappear from use as the copies in libraries deteriorate. IF repeatedly copied in multiple formats, it may survive for the generations to come. (yes, the Smithsonian has been approached repeatedly to reissue the title, but they have no interest, as befits bureaucrats already paid handsome salaries to do as little as they wish.)

JimRankin on October 27, 2005 at 1:20 am

If William cannot find his interview with S.Charles Lee, perhaps some will find the only book written about him of interest:

I have not seen the out-of-print book (though Amazon.com does list nine sources of it) so do not know if it reflects all the “300 theatres” that it claims he designed, but it would at least be a start, even if the woman who wrote it was apparently more a self-appointed architecture critic than a biographer. Click on the link I give here and you should be taken directly to the book’s page at Amazon.com. IF she furnished a list of his projects, it is not evident in Amazon’s write-up.

William on October 26, 2005 at 3:37 pm

We spent afew hours talking for the interview. I have to start looking for the video materials.

BhillH20 on October 26, 2005 at 3:13 pm

Cool! Perhaps I can get a copy of it.

William on October 26, 2005 at 2:02 pm

That’s all they have because a few years before his death. A lot of the original materials were stolen. A friend of mine interviewed him about his theatre designs. The interview took place at his home in Beverly Hills. I have a video transfer of the interview somewhere.