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 39 comments)

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.

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.”

Homeboy
Homeboy on June 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

My memory is fuzzy so this could be substantially wrong. But what I think I remember — I was a kid at the time — is that there were several theaters within a two block radius of Washington and Vermont — at least three — and the area seemed to be a wholesale film booking area with more company in the film distribution business or affiliated businesses. Of course, what seemed to be “more than one company” could have been various Fox West Coast offices in different buildings. In particular wasn’t there a theater in a huge building on the southeast corner of Washington and Vermont with the entrance on Washington? And wasn’t there a smaller theater on Vermont in the several blocks south of Washington?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Homeboy: You’re right about the area around Washington and Vermont having been the home of L.A.’s “Film Row” with a number of booking offices, but the only theater I recall in the immediate area was the Boulevard itself, and it was on the northwest corner.

The nearest theater on Vermont to the south was La Tosca, at 30th Street, and to the north there was the Fox Parisian, but that was all the way up at 8th Street.

To the west were the Arlington Theatre, on the north side of Washington just west of Arlington, and the Maynard Theatre, on the south side of Washington just east of Arlington. I don’t remember there being any theaters on Washington east of the Boulevard.

The only cluster of three theaters close together that I recall on the south side was the one around Broadway and Manchester. The Manchester Theatre was the big one, just west of Broadway, and then there were the smaller Mecca and Mayfair Theatres, about a block apart on Broadway south of Manchester.

There were several more theaters on South Vermont, but they were all south of Exposition Park.

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