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Love your update details Don, they close the miles between Santa Monica and Seattle.
Thank God someone’s paying attention! Thank you so much for taking the time to inform us, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing your photos.
I only wish I were there to pick up some memento, the “Majestic” ranks high in my childhood memories from the early 50’s. Yes, it was small and off of the main avenue, but it presented great movies on their second run. It’s where I first saw GWTW, Titanic, African Queen and War of the Worlds! I remember during intermissions I studied its ornate interior, the mysterious box seats with its maroon velvet drapes that no one ever occupied and the two bas relief faces that stared down from the proscenium high above the stage; Drama & Comedy.
Fortunately, I never entered the Majestic during its downhill slide. After it failed as a music hall in the 70’s, I understand
that its decomposing began in earnest and the earthquake proved to be the final knell. I’m glad to hear that the beautiful faÃ§ade is being preserved—its better than nothing.
Thank you L.M. for the big crisp photo, it was taken in the afternoon—I know because I grew up in W.L.A. Wonderful memories from the 50’s watching Titanic, Beau Brummel, War of the Worlds even a re-issued G.W.T.W. We can never have too many good memories, thanks again.
I distinctly remember a theater showing only Western movies (at least on Saturday’s) in that location in the very early 50’s and there was an authentic Hitching Post in front of the entrance. The actual name of the theater I’m not sure, but my brother and I called it The Hitching Post. In the 60’s it was not there anymore and if it had been replaced by an adult theater before 1964-65 I would have surly known about it. Santa Monica had a liberal reputation but an adult theater in the midst of all those merchants who’s business' catered to Mom’s and Family is quite unbelievable.
Can you offer any info about it William?
Were there two Hitching Post theaters? Because my memory places it in Santa Monica in the late 40’s, and yes indeed it had an actual ‘hitching post’ out in front.
Priceless photos, so clear in detail, truly a moment frozen in time. Thank you ‘ken mc’ from all of us.
Lost Memory – Thank you for posting that outstanding, extra large and crystal clear photo of the old Majestic. She’ll be 100 yrs old in 2012 (only 5 years from now). It’s a shame Santa Monica (or all of L.A. for that matter) doesn’t understood the lure of a preserved artifact/structure; that brings the old back to remember and the young to discover the beauty and grace that once was. I pray that I’m wrong, but like so many old landmarks in L.A., I have a feeling this grand old theater will be replaced by an urgently needed high-end sports bar.
Donâ€™t forget that innovative balcony, it took up about Â¼ of the rear of the auditorium and you reached it by walking through the same two short corridors to reach the main floor seating. If you turned around youâ€™d discover those plush aisle carpets continued up sets of corresponding stairs lit with tiny aisle lights at each landing, there were even single seats for people who came to see the movie by themselves.
We’ve been waiting for you, thanks. You’re proof that the Majestic Theater was indeed; “all things to all people”, a lovable ol' gal who pleased everyone.
Oh it was the biggest and most well appointed theater in Santa Monica! I remember it from the early 50’s & 60’s. The stage was so large that when other theaters had to renovate in order to install the new cinemascope screens, the Criterion installed theirs easily and it looked as though it had always been there. The Criterion had plush red seats and ushers to open doors, it had a real “powder room” for ladies to sit down on sofas, or at large mirrors for “repair” work. It played only first-run movies and special attractions like 3-D or a midnight show on Halloween. I remember the feeling of immense space entering the main auditorium, but not a lost feeling; the thick carpets, comfortable seats and 60 ft. screen (seen only when the film began and the curtains parted) gave one a sense of being a part of something important. E.L.
In response to “Bob by the SF Bay”; The Majestic was built in 1912.
It was a gem. With a balcony. I vividly remember the two life size masques on either side of the proscenium arch, Comedy and Tragedy. It was tiny as movie theaters go, but it had the architectural details of the big ones.
If you visit LA or even live there, if you haven’t experienced seeing a movie at Grauman’s then you just aren’t a part of LA history. I was 9yrs old and I knew I was someplace special when I saw the small brass courtesy light on the side aisle that read, -l o g e-
Elegant but, you can wear your walking shorts
if you show a little respect for the grand old dame
Hollywoodâ€™s only Royal Pavilion