Encore Theatre

5308 Melrose Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90038

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Encore Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

In operation as the Melvan Theatre from at least 1941, it later became the Encore Theatre.

From around mid-1980 it was taken over by Laemmle and was re-named Continental Theatre playing mainly foreign films.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

raybradley on July 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I saw a picture at this theatre in 1983 when it was called the Laemmle. Don’t remember the film title, but do remember the entire interior was red; red carpeting, red seats, red valour covered every inch of wall space, everything red, red, red.
From the LIFE Archives come these photos when this cinema was known as KTLA Studio Theatre,
View link

Jessewayne on November 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm

From the early 1950s The Mel-Van Theater was used exclusively by KTLA to broadcast their musical TV productions – “Dixieland Showboat”, “Bandstand Revue”, “Dixieland Showboat”, “The Ina Ray Hutton Show and "Western Varieties”.

“Queen for a Day”, a Ralph Edwards Production was televised from the Aquarius Theater, across the street from The Hollywood Palladium.

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm

This is from the LA Times on 10/17/50:

Ina Ray Hutton’s show tonight inaugurates KTLA’s new studio theater. It’s the old Melvan house that, although vacated, carried the slogan “Movies are Better than Ever” on its dusty marquee.

offhollywood on June 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm

The picture from google up above shows the opposite side of the street, but if you rotate around you can see where it once was.
While it’s always heartbreaking when a movie theater is demolished, this particular one at least remains in the movie biz.
This is the site of Raleigh Studios. It’s had different names over the years, but Raleigh is the current name of the studio. Obviously the building there now is one of the newer ones on this studio lot, but you can see some of the older buildings of the studio behind it.

And, they use their studio for movie screenings. So while the theater itself is gone, you can still go see movies along this block of Melrose Ave.

offhollywood on June 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

looking at the pics posted of the original theater, I noticed how that strip of Melrose looks very similar to the strip of buildings between Van Ness & Wilton Place.
5308 Melrose is definitely now the one big building that stretches from one end of the block to the other.
A bit off topic I guess, but there was also an old ice skating rink right around there.

WayneS on September 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I worked as projectionist in the late sixties when it was run by Louie Federici, in fact, it was there I was trained to be an operator. The bill was mainly the better foreign films. Louie had the lens, masking and apertures so all those foreign films could be shown correctly. Once he had at great effort obtained Fellini’s personal copy of “La Strada” since it had been shot in English, then dubbed into Italian, and then the dubbed version was subtitled back to English. That was a concession to Anthony Quinn, and it helped that Guiellte Messini’s spoke English. The audience complained thinking they were seeing a dubbed print, (they were snooty about that), so Louie in disgust returned the original version and played the subtitled Italian dubbed version for the rest of the run.

WayneS on September 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm

It is true the Encore served Sunday mornings as a meeting place for the fledgling Metropolitan Community Church led by Rev. Troy Perry as a welcoming church for gays of all faiths. The chief projectionist Willie Smith was MCC’s musical director and persuaded Louie Federici to let the church use it before the Sunday matinees.

mujerado on July 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

The Encore theater was a great repertory house for old 30s-60s movies and foreign films. Two friends and I saw “Swing Time” there on a long smoke-filled Hollywood weekend in 1969. The lobby held a bizarre 5-foot image of the owner, and the theater part faced sideways behind the deep-red velour drapes that covered all the walls. A unique theater, like all the other disappeared theaters in L.A. irreplaceable.

WizardofOdds on November 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I remember it as the Continental but never went. Yet, in my archives of Ephemora, which i must dispense of, I found their program as the Encore! ca. 1974?

Sixto Morales
Sixto Morales on September 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm

My folks took me to see Dixie Showboat, Ina Ray, Harry Babbit, Perez Prado, and one other Big Band at the Encore Theater. Great memories.
Sixto Morales

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