Mesa Theatre

5807 Crenshaw Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90043

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm

An article about Acousti-Celotex, a recently-developed acoustical tile product, appeared in the December 14, 1929, issue of Movie Age, and was illustrated by a photo of the Mesa Theatre’s auditorium.

wavery on April 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

In 1959, my brother was the Assistant Manager at the Mesa. I was 12-years-old at the time and he used to have me help him set the marquee. When I turned 15, I was hired to set the marquee and I did that for 4 years (until I was 19) at which time, I got married and bought a house in Van Nuys. I then set the marquee at the Victory Drive-in.

The Mesa Theater had a row of dressing rooms, in the basement under the stage. One of the rooms was set up with all of the ~15" square plastic letters, arranged in alphabetical order, for setting up the movie manes and the name of the star player was in smaller letters (maybe 9" square). We had a ~10' x 4' platform on wheels that was about 10' high and it was on wheels. I rolled it around in front of the Marqueee every Wednesday evening @ 9:PM. I got $24 for 3 hours work. That was a ton of $ at that time. I have lots of fond memories of that place and the people that I worked with.

Mike Tiano
Mike Tiano on July 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Wow, PM, that is amazing you remember that same day! Would like to see if we have more in common about those days…email me at if interested.

pmmorgan on July 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

This was a beautiful, huge kick-ass movie house. Check the comment by “miketlano” on 9/27/09—i remember that day too! It was major Saturday fun for local kids, plus way rowdy—lots of popcorn box sailing at the screen and candy throwing. But it was also a major first-run movie outlet for everything that came out. My parents loved movies & we’d often go there as a family at night—no candy throwing then. They showed double features w. a cartoon. There were palatial restrooms with lounge couches on the second floor. Sad that it was demolished.

Mike Tiano
Mike Tiano on September 27, 2009 at 12:26 am

I was a youngster growing up in L.A. (around 1960) and still remember the Mesa well. Local establishments would have free tickets for Saturday matinees of cheapo films like “The Invisible Boy” along with cartoons (to get the kids to buy consessions, I presume). I remember at one of these events the film was stopped midway, the lights came on, and the theatre owner stormed to the front of the theatre, demanding to know who was responsible for throwing something at the screen that resulted in a large gash (naturally no one ‘fessed up—and no, it wasn’t me :–).

kencmcintyre on February 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

This is from the News-Advertiser, 7/18/65:

kencmcintyre on August 5, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Here is a portable ad circa 1920s from the LAPL:

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Shocking story from the LA Times dated 10/20/32:

Lawrence Dews, assistant manager of the Mesa Theater, 5803 Crenshaw Boulevard, suffered burns yesterday when he came into contact with a high-tension wire while attempting to attach a decoration guywire to the roof of the theater. Fellow workmen were unable to release him from the wire, to which he was forced to cling until the power was shut off. He was rushed to Georgia Street Receiving Hospital.

kencmcintyre on July 19, 2007 at 8:15 pm

A 1931 LA Times story puts the Mesa at 5803 instead of 5807. Not a big deal.

kencmcintyre on June 29, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Please change the address to 5807 Crenshaw. Thanks.

kencmcintyre on June 24, 2007 at 8:08 am

Fine with me, Joe. You’ll save me a trip down Crenshaw Boulevard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2007 at 8:52 pm

My source for the September, 1963 closure, April, 1964 fire, and July, 1965 demolition of the charred ruins is an article in the Crenshaw area paper, the News-Advertiser, of July 18, 1965. Pick up a pdf scan of it from the L.A. Library. There’s a barely legible picture of a wall about to get whacked with a big ball.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 4:53 pm

I should point out that MESA stated on 9/1/02 that he saw films at the Mesa from 1956 to 1970. As the theater was supposed to be demolished in 1965, MESA is either talking about a different theater or has simply misremembered the dates he attended. If he is correct, I would wonder when the actual demolition date was.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Here is a church ad from the LA Times dated 11/17/28:


Services in Angeles Mesa Lodge Room, 5805 Angeles Mesa Drive, adjoining the West Coast Mesa Theater. Rev. Jesse W. Ball, in charge.

Another article dated 11/5/31 desribes a robbery of the Mesa Theater at Slauson and Crenshaw Avenues. I think we can safely change the address to 5807 Crenshaw. It also means that I have to go back down that street as I previously found nothing at 8507.

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Badabing. LA Times in 1961 advertises the Mesa at 5807 Crenshaw.

noloss36 on June 23, 2007 at 3:34 pm

If there remains any confusion, the Mesa was located at Crenshaw and Slauson. I lived above it as described in previous commnts regarding this theater, dated 1/10/2004 above.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2007 at 2:50 pm

The Times was right. The Mesa was at Crenshaw and Slauson in the Angeles Mesa district of Los Angeles. Crenshaw and Manchester is in Inglewood. I think the address of 8507 must be wrong. Slauson would be 58th Street if it were numbered, so maybe the first two numbers of the address got transposed when this page was set up?

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 2:30 pm

In 1947, the LA Times advertised a Mesa Theater at Crenshaw and Slauson. I used Lost Memory’s tip on previous name searches, and came up empty. As the Mesa listed here was at Crenshaw and Manchester, this may have been an error on the part of the Times.

JAlex on September 6, 2006 at 2:51 pm

The Mesa’s Morton organ is currently in a residence in Portage (Kalamazoo), Michigan.

kencmcintyre on September 25, 2005 at 2:54 pm

Here is a picture, courtesy of the LA Library. The library database says that Crenshaw Boulevard was previously called Angeles Mesa Drive. I did not know this.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 3, 2004 at 7:14 pm

The Mesa was closed in September of 1963. A fire damaged the building in April of 1964, and it was demolished in 1965.

noloss36 on January 10, 2004 at 9:22 am

I lived with my parents and siblings in the apartments above the Mesa Theater in 1944-45. The apartments were on the second floor and faced Crenshaw Boulevard. Our unit is just out of the frame on the left or southerly side of the photograph. Crenshaw Boulevard was a major thoroughfare even in those days and had two sets of streetcar tracks running down the center. St. Mary’s Aademy for Girls was directly across the street. I remember the alley behind the theater very well, as a source of film strips, as previously noted by Mr. Blumberg, and where I severly lacerated my hand rooting through the Theater trash. I was five years old at the time. I also recall the candy store, the old fashioned drug store on the corner and the cleaners located in the southerly most first floor commercial unit. My father managed other Fox West Coast Theaters, primarily the Boulevard, Carlton, Stadium and Culver Theaters. My uncle was briefly an assistant manager of the Mesa upon returning from World War II. He later managed the Leimert Theater further north on Crenshaw Boulevard. The neighborhood around the Mesa, at that time, was a really fun, safe place for a kid to live and play

unknown on October 29, 2003 at 11:34 pm

I was born in 1931 at 3422 W. 58 Pl. in the shadow of the Mesa Theatre. Until I was 12 and moved away the mesa was a big part of my everyday life. Next door to the Mesa was John’s candy store I rab errons for every day. I would hunt there trash for strips of old nitrate film to make stink bombs. Set them on fire than stamp them out and they gave off a back stinky smoke.
Once a month they gave me the scary job of sweeping out under the stage.
There were 8 dressing rooms only one was used by the ladies that worked there. I hung around all the time and loved that old theatre. Got any more pictures of it?

Now I am 72 and remember it well.
Don Blumberg