Meralta Theatre

9632 Culver Boulevard,
Culver City, CA 90232

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Meralta Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Meralta Theatre opened in the mid-1920’s.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2004 at 8:20 pm

My mother lived in Culver City in the 1920s, her family having arrived at the end of 1921, when she was six years old. She remembers going to the Meralta Theater, both in its original (built in 1914-1915) location on the triangle of land where the Culver Hotel was built in 1924, and the theater which then replaced it, on Culver Boulevard. She remembers the owners/operators of the Meralta, Pearl Merrill and Laura Peralta, who were sisters, as stout, dark haired women of Spanish ancestry. On Saturdays, the sisters would open the theater two hours before the matinee movie began, and one of them (my mom doesn’t remember which- they were so alike that she could never tell them apart) would play the piano, and the other would lead the crowd, mostly children, in singing the popular songs of the era.

Butchstone on January 25, 2005 at 1:15 am

I think I saw Les Girls and Pal Joey at the Meralta.

kencmcintyre on December 10, 2005 at 10:21 am

Here is a photo from 1928, via the LA Library:

kencmcintyre on May 25, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Here is an LA Times blurb from 2/24/83. “Sure, we demolished the theater, but we named the office building for it, so we’re square, right?”

Culver Rebuilds
$4-Million Plaza on Old Meralta Theater Site First Major Project in Once-Ignored Downtown

Demolition has started on an entire block of old buildings in downtown Culver City to make way for the first of three major redevelopment projects—a $4-million, three-story office building called Meralta Plaza.

jamwood on February 7, 2008 at 12:21 pm

In the 1930s I lived three blocks from the Meralta. At ages six-seven my little brother and I attended the ten-cent Saturday afternoon matinee with a newsreel, previews, cartoon, main feature, and our favorite, the weekly serial with cliffhangers and the works. The Meralta introduced me to Franz Liszt’s beautiful “Les Preludes.” To this day when I hear it in the concert hall I see Flash Gordon’s rocket-ship mockups wobbling into outer space on invisible strings. It was the ticky-tacky 2001 Space Odyssey of its day. One preview scared the pants off of me when a giant genie, played by Rex Ingram, shot up from a bottle uncorked by Indian boy actor Sabu. The following week I went for more terror at “The Thief of Bagdad [sic],” an all-time favorite that I’ve seen several times since. One day my brother and I went AWOL from Pacific Military Academy up in the Cheviot Hills, walked three miles to see a picture show at the Meralta. I still don’t know how the Commandant found us, marched in Gestapo-style, and personally hauled us back to the school, where corporal punishment was no issue. We got swats (not too hard), an hour of standing at attention against the wall, and a full day of litter pickup on the campus grounds. So sad to see the old movie house dead and gone.

kencmcintyre on April 29, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Here is an expanded view of the photo at the top of the page:

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Here is a January 1983 photo, around the time the theater closed:

mweston on July 13, 2009 at 4:15 am

I used to go see movies at this theater in the 70’s.. it was lit with green lights inside.. the lobby and bathrooms were painted black! It wasn’t a showplace by any stretch of the imagination…
but if you compare it to todays tiny box theaters, I much prefer the Meralta! Does anyone have any interior pics of the place??

moivebuff on May 23, 2013 at 1:09 am

I went to the Meralta many times growing up in the mid/late 60’s in Culver City. I saw a live show with the 3-Stooges there one summer as well….Those were fun times!

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