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It isn’t the Tracy, which would be behind the cameraman in this photo.
“The park” was a fortunate side benefit. The County bought the property to improve the storm-drain system. A big pit was dug which will collect storm water in event of a 100-year storm that overwhelms the drainage system. It would hold the water until the normal drainage system could handle it. That’s why the park is in the shape of a big bowl, and no substantial improvements are in the center of the park. They may be underwater some day.
There are also some good historical pictures of the neighborhood on the TILE on the walls of the new Pan Pacific Recreation Center — the building that replaced the burned-out Pan Pacific Auditorium that was next door/behind the Pan Pacific Theater.
Next door to the Mayan is the “Belasco Theater” (1050 S. Hill). It doesn’t show up in the Cinema Treasures listing for Los Angeles under that name. Is it documented under another name? Real Estate signs indicate it’s available for rent as a nightclub.
Make that “barricade.”
It’s behind a plywood bararicade. Walk down the Pine Avenue hill toward the ocean from Ocean Boulevard, and turn left when you get to the bottom. The lot where the building stood is empty. You can see the tunnel tiles on the remaining south wall.
The tunnel’s still there — just closed off at each end. The south end is visible. Nothing’s been built on the property yet.
Thanks, Ken, for those GREAT pictures — particularly the interior shots. By the time I got to it, the Tracy had been fitted with one of those angled marquees — but the inside looked just like your photos.
I sneaked into the Arcade today. The auditorium is now used as a storeroom for the electronics store that fronts on Broadway. The seats are gone, but architecturally everything else seems to be intact.
The story I heard (from the manager of the Long Beach Imperial Theater at the time) was that the Paramount was so well-built, that the demolition company went out of business tearing it down. And — they only tore it down to the street level in 1963, leaving it as a parking lot. When the property was redeveloped in 1980, the remaining Paramount basements still had to be dealt with.
Seems to me there was a cafeteria and a bowling alley in the same building as the Pan Pacific Theater, with the theater operating long after the closing of the other entertainment venues. As for the Pan Pacific Auditorium, I remember attending a performance of Ice Follies (or maybe Ice Capades) in the 1950s — all I remember about that outing was that I sat behind a post, and couldn’t see much of the show. The Pan Pacific Auditorium was really TWO auditoriums — a North Hall and a South Hall. Supposedly, the side with the ice rink had the largest ice surface in Los Angeles.
There were plans in the early 1960s for the Long Beach Civic Light Opera to take over the (long) closed Tracy for their productions, which were then presented in the Concert Hall of the old (second) MVNICIPAL AVDITORIVM. I remember participating in the cleaning of the theater, where a demonstration (sales presentation) performance was to be given. We rented arc spotlights for the projection booth (the projectors were gone, as I recall). I remember particularly the good acoustics of the Tracy — we were all amazed and pleased that we weren’t going to need a lot of amplification for the performances.
The mural is still there on the side of the parking garage. You can walk right up to it and inspect its intricately placed tiles. I remember looking at it when it was mounted high on the MVNICIPAL AVDITORIVM. One had no idea it was so detailed when viewing it from the street level. The Jergen’s Trust Building is gone, but the subway still runs under Ocean Boulevard. You can see a little of the subway wall tile on the portion that ran through the JTB basement.