Art Theatre

2025 E. Fourth Street,
Long Beach, CA 90814

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Lee Theatre exterior

Originally the Carter Theatre which opened on January 22, 1925 with Priscilla Dean in “The Siren of Seville”. It had 636 seats and the theatre was decorated in an Oriental style and equipped with a pipe organ.

Remodeled into an Art Deco style by the architectural firm Schilling & Schilling in 1934 it was renamed Lee Theatre, operating until 1947, when after further remodeling it was renamed Art Theatre. This classic art house cinema was going strong for many years.

The Art Theatre closed on March 8th 2008 and was renovated, reopening on August 22, 2008.

Contributed by George Haider

Recent comments (view all 51 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

Here is an item from Boxoffice magazine, May 1950:

Art J. Thomas, who recently purchased the Lee in Long Beach and renamed it the Art, appointed Harold Stevert as manager of the house.

drb on June 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

That “Recent exterior view” at the top of the page isn’t so recent anymore… ;–)

JakeM on September 2, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Hey, major congratulations to the Art’s 2nd anniversary (since re-opening). This place has really grown to be a centerpiece of Retro Row…I couldn’t imagine Long Beach without the Art!

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on August 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I visited this theater today and liked it very much. It even has a curtain, which is rare these days. My only complaint is that the picture was very dark. It looked like the xenon bulb had seen better days. The movie I saw today was flat, and it took up the entire screen. How do they present a scope picture? Is it in the same aspect ratio as the flat picture, or do they have a top masking that can be lowered?

rivest266 on August 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

This was renamed Art on January 15th, 1949. I uploaded its first ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on February 21, 2021 at 11:43 am

Opened as Carter on January 22nd, 1925. Grand opening ad posted.

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