Encore Theatre

5308 Melrose Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90038

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Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

adsausage on November 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

“Hollywood’s Most Distinguished Art Theatre” showed The Pawnbroker, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, plus Way Out in 1966. Good year.

JimFarris on April 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm

I loved this venue. The Encore was the first “art house” I attended. They served Espresso, I was very impressed. I fell in love with Francois Truffaut at the Encore.One night they had the studio vault technicolor prints of “Meet me In St. Louis” and “Singing In the Rain”. How could you not fall in love with the movies with a great theater like this?

rivest266 on August 5, 2016 at 1:03 pm

July 11th, 1980 grand opening ad as Continental in the photo section.

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

kencmcintyre on May 10, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Here is an October 1968 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on April 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

This site has a 1984 view of the Continental:

kencmcintyre on January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Here is another 1951 photo from Life magazine:

kencmcintyre on January 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm

The Encore was used for church services in July 1970, according to this article from Time:

emote on December 9, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Hey Rob and all,
I worked for Film Generations, managers of “The New Encore Cinema”, in the late 1970’s. Thanks for the job Rob! It’s hard to tell from the ariel photo if the original building is still there. If it is still there it is to the right (west) of the building on the corner of Melrose and VanNess. It would be the one with the HVAC ducts visible on the roof. When we ran the theatre there was a parking lot on the corner that wrapped around the back of the building. The Adagio restaurant was across the intersection diagonally. Our biggest competition was an art house on Sunset.

rwillhite on November 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Yes as a matter of fact, that is where my parents met, and my dad and I would go there every so often for dinner when he was working. He had an advertising agency, and in those days you would do live commercials at channel 9, then take the clients to the bar at Nickodell’s, and drink until the next station break!

kencmcintyre on November 20, 2008 at 10:58 am

I wonder if your father went to Nickodell’s near Paramount. That was a classic old restaurant.

rwillhite on November 20, 2008 at 10:36 am

ken mc,

Thanks so much for the Life photo. Great to have a photo of the theatre from when my father was producting there.

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Here is a 1951 photo from a new collection of Life Magazine images on Google:

kencmcintyre on September 20, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Here is a January 1950 ad from the LA Times:

rwillhite on March 17, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Funny thing about the photo of the Encore as the KTLA Studio Theatre. When My group took over operations for Louis, prior to the closing, I was talking to my father about the Encore. He told me that when he was doing producing live shows for KTLA that was where the shot them, shows like “Queen for a Day”, and others that I wish I could remember.