Boulevard Theatre

1615 W. Washington Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90006

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Boulevard Theatre auditorium

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The West Coast Boulevard Theatre was a large neighborhood house with a stage and a Wurlitzer theatre organ. It opened on May 27, 1925 with Joe Weber & Lew Fields in “Friendly Enemies, plus on stage a Fanchon & Marco ‘Idea’ "Sally”.

In the 1950’s, the stage space was removed and made into offices for Fox West Coast Theatres, the chain that operated the Boulevard Theatre. Sadly, the organ was also removed.

This theater was finally torn down in the mid-1980’s and the site is now part of a drug store.

Contributed by John Chappell, Ralph Nardoni, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 38 comments)

noloss36
noloss36 on March 6, 2008 at 11:25 am

I just looked at the pictures of the Fox West Coast Theater Co. offices located in the building housing the Boulevard Theater, posted by ken mc. They brought back a lot of memories for me as my father, Manager of the Boulevard from 1945-57, often took me to the offices with him when he attended manager staff meetings, when I was 5-7 years old. If I recall correctly, the Division Manager, a Mr. Bowser(?),held the meetings in his office, which looked similar to the offices shown in the pictures. I remember his secretary’s name was Mrs. Scofield, as I was left in her charge while the meetings were held. My father would also often take me to the in-house barber for my haircuts. The offices were very palatial by the standards of the day. a lot of wood paneling and large conference rooms.
One additional observation. Several times the offices are listed by commentators as being in the sub-basement of the building. I don’t think this is correct,as one would use the elevator to access the offices on the buildings 2-4 floors, with the penthouse occupying the 5th floor. The only FWC facilities I ever saw on the first floor was the the FWC cafeteria bordering Washington Blvd. and the 50 seat screening room used to preview motion pictures on the Vermont Ave side. The theater and commercial spaces occupied the rest. My father’s office was just off the second landing of the stairs leading to the theater’s balcony. One could access the FWC offices from both sides of the first landing and opposite my father’s office on the second landing. The only spaces I ever saw below ground (basement area) was the theater’s heating and a/c control room.

William
William on March 6, 2008 at 12:40 pm

There are a lot of windows in those pictures for being in the sub-basement.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm

It looks like some great special effects. Would that be artificial sunlight coming through the windows. LOL

noloss36
noloss36 on March 6, 2008 at 1:39 pm

If I remember correctly, the executive offices and conference room wwere on the 4th floor facing east to Vermont Avenue. This is the side with windows. There were no windows of any consequence on the other three sides of the building above the first floor. The largest office shown was probably that of Charles Skouras, President of FWC Theaters. The medical facility, showers and steam room, etc. were also on the 4th floor. Skouras suffered from heart disease; hence, the closeness of the medical facilities to the executive area.

BhillH20
BhillH20 on March 23, 2008 at 10:22 pm

At least we have our beautiful St. Sophia Cathedral at Pico & Normandie thanks to Charles Skouras, who is buried on the church grounds in a mausaleum.

Clarkus
Clarkus on April 10, 2008 at 2:09 am

Patrick, my brother and I remember your father (and you) when we lived on Will Rogers street.

noloss36
noloss36 on April 10, 2008 at 8:29 am

Clarkus,

I remember two brothers, first names Billy and Clark, who lived up the street. Would that be you? If not, please let me know who. You can email me at

Patrick

rrrahl
rrrahl on September 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I was born in 1945 and grew up in the neighborhood around Washington and Vermont. My father had a drugstore on the northeast corner. From the time I was five years old I spent a fair amount of my childhood in the Boulevard Theater, first going with my older brothers or my mother and later, by the time I was eight or nine, going by myself or with schoolmates and neighborhood friends. Saturdays at the Boulevard were a regular routine. The program started in the late morning with ads for local businesses, like the Gin Gin Inn (Chinese food), trailers (previews of coming attractions), ads for the snack counter, and numerous cartoons followed by a double feature. There were also special Friday the 13th late night “spook shows” with mini-marathons of scary movies like The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I must have run into Pat Howard (ushering from 1952-57) numerous times but I don’t think I knew him by name. There was another usher, Cody Fishburne, whom I knew because he was a friend of my brothers.

I appreciate Pat’s descriptions of the offices of Fox West Coast Theaters. While I never got to see them myself, my father occasionally played poker with Charles Skouras and his cronies in the penthouse. My dad’s descriptions of the palatial layout were similar to Pat’s with added emphasis on the variety and quality of the food and refreshments served on those occasions. When the property was acquired by Thriftimart my father seems to have been “grandfathered” in since he continued to play poker with the new management, headed by Roger Laverty.

ljsspot
ljsspot on June 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm

West Coast Theaters were originally Gore Bros, who later partnered/sold out with Skouras and Fox – I can’t get the whole story straight. My mother cashiered at this theater probably in the mid thirties. Thriftimart was also Smart and Final – I rememer being in the offices and seeing a beautiful stairway going up and my dad telling me that my mom had worked there before marriage. My mom was a Gore and a niece of the “Gore Bros.”

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