Main Theatre

438 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Showing 1 - 25 of 47 comments

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on July 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Nice to see Star Pants Mfrs. is still in business. It makes it easier to pinpoint the theatre’s location, anyway.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 3, 2007 at 12:10 pm

A little off topic here. The LAPL was guessing that this undated photo was on Broadway, but from the film “Street with No Name” I recognize this as the west side of Main between 4th and 5th, more or less across the street from the Main:
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics45/00057466.jpg

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm

523 S. Main was the location of the Gaiety Theatre

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Does anyone know the name of a theater at 523 S. Main inside the Waldorf Hotel? I have a graphic of the Sanborn map but want to put it on the correct page if there is one. The map only says ‘movies’ and the theater looks pretty large with a balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Drat. Maybe I conflated the proprietary name, or maybe Dave Rector owned both Admiral Theatres (in the 1930s he owned the Gordon Theatre on La Brea, so I know he had more than just one.)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Janet Leigh played a Russian pilot in the Wayne film. Howard Hughes had the hots for her at the time. Jet Pilot was the film that Hughes used to watch over and over again when he was holed up in the Desert Inn.

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Too bad there aren’t Sanborn maps after 1972 or 1973. Do you think the Chaplin reference above refers to the Hollywood Admiral? The name ‘Rector’s Admiral’ shows up in advertisements for an exact year in LA Times movie listings from Dec. 1958-Dec. 1959 but the problem is that they all refer to the Hollywood Admiral. Here’s an example:

(Dec. 31, 1958)
4 Days Only! Today Through Saturday
Rector’s ADMIRAL-Hollywood & Vine
Happy New Year to Everyone!
Doris Day “PAJAMA GAME” color
John Wayne “JET PILOT” color

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2007 at 12:41 pm

vokoban: The Admiral on Main Street (AKA Rector’s Admiral) was a grind house, on the east side of the street, somewhere between the Regent and the Burbank. It was smaller than the Regent, but larger than the various storefront theatres in the area, so I suspect it might have actually been built as a theatre. It had a marquee of about the same style and vintage as the Regent’s.

When you posted the article about the Banner having gotten a new front in 1952 I thought that it might have become the Admiral, but I’ve seen comments indicating that the Banner was still the Banner into the 1970s, and the 1973 picture of it that Ken posted doesn’t resemble the Admiral. That’s why I now think it had to have been below 5th Street. I passed by it many times in the 1960s, and I’m sure I’d recognize it immediately if I saw a picture of it, but my memory has lost track of the exact location and other details.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Here is the CT listing for the Admiral aka Vine:
/theaters/431/

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 11:58 am

Here’s one last item about the Admiral in Hollywood:
(Oct. 2, 1968)
The Vine Theater, at 6321 Hollywood Blvd., will be Hollywood’s newest showplace. The Vine will feature new seating, carpeting, refrigerated air-conditioning, the latest projection and sound systems and a modern building. The Vine occupies the site of the old Admiral Theater.

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 11:55 am

Joe, do you have any idea of the address of the Admiral you are thinking of?

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 11:54 am

I don’t know if this is in Hollywood, but it mentions an Admiral:

(Nov. 23, 1966)
Chaplin understood whims and restaurants. He had been walking one night when he discovered a delicatessen where the owner didn’t have enough money for proper refrigeration. So he built a restaurant for him-Henry’s, where the Admiral Theater now is.

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 11:40 am

There was an Admiral in Hollywood….but I don’t think Joe could get that one mixed up with the Main street Admiral.

(May 14, 1940)
“His Majesty’s Mistress,” starring Danielle Darrieux and John Loder, will open Thursday night at the Admiral Theater in Hollywood. This is the film version of Princess Bibesco’s story, “Katia.”

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 11:40 am

There was an Admiral in Hollywood….but I don’t Joe could get that one mixed up with the Main street Admiral.

(May 14, 1940)
“His Majesty’s Mistress,” starring Danielle Darrieux and John Loder, will open Thursday night at the Admiral Theater in Hollywood. This is the film version of Princess Bibesco’s story, “Katia.”

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2007 at 11:01 am

Maybe we need a parallel universe website. Dibs on the Optic.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2007 at 10:57 am

Ken: I decided this was never the Admiral, as the entrance was too narrow. I have no memory of the Main Theatre existing in the early to mid 1960s, but I can’t say for certain that it wasn’t open yet at that time.

As for the elusive Admiral, I’ve also just about discarded the Banner as a possible location, and now suspect that the Admiral was in the block south of 5th Street. The other possibility is that I’ve unknowingly made a visit to (or actually come from) another Los Angeles which is in a parallel universe, and the Admiral existed there but not here.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2007 at 10:08 am

I was reading Joe Vogel’s post from December 05. He would know better than me, but it doesn’t seem like this was ever a theater in the 30s or 40s. That would mean that the Admiral was at a different location. Alternatively the Admiral was replaced by a series of businesses and then became the Main. I think it more likely that some entreporneur took over the small space in the late 60s after x rated films became in vogue.

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 4:51 am

The Westminster Hotel sounds like a crazy place. From dignitaries and presidents staying there to becoming a flop house. From about the late 20’s until it was demolished in 1960, I’ve found 17 suicides there.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2007 at 2:58 am

They may have had multiple locations as Main Street was prime pawn shop territory. I park on the lot at 4th and Main all the time and it’s funny to think that this enormous Victorian hotel was once on that spot.

vokoban
vokoban on May 11, 2007 at 2:20 am

The Roxy Loan Co. must have played leap frog up and down Main. Here’s something from April 23, 1944:

Roxy’s Loan Office
Clothing-Boots-Shoes-Tools-Musical Instruments-Luggage
Tues., April 25, 10:30 A.M., 244 S. Main St.

There are a bunch of classified ads from 1960 that read:

Men’s Suits $7.95
Out Of Pawn.
Roxy Loan Co., 118 S. Main.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 10, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Ken: Did you notice that the 1957 photo you just linked to at the Hippodrome page shows the Roxy Loan Company office located in the corner store of the Westminster Hotel building? I doubt they’d have had two locations so close together at the same time, so I’m guessing they moved to 4th and Main between the times the two pictures were taken. That might be when their premises in the Canadian Building were converted into the Main Theatre.

vokoban
vokoban on May 10, 2007 at 11:20 am

Great photo ken mc….I sized it up a bit and added more contrast to make reading the signs easier…here it is:

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 10, 2007 at 10:17 am

This 1954 photo shows the Roxy Loan Office at 438 S. Main, so presumably the theater arrived later:
http://tinyurl.com/2rj5jk

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 10, 2007 at 7:05 am

If you want to see Main Street in the 70s and 80s, your best bet is to rent Baretta and Hill Street Blues, respectively. In one HSB episode, two patrolmen started driving at 7th and Main and proceeded north. You could see every storefront on the east side of the street through the passenger window. I remember going frame by frame for three or four blocks.