Carthay Circle Theatre

6316 San Vicente Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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Carthay Circle Theatre, Los Angeles - Floor Plan

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Carthay Circle Theatre opened May 18, 1926 with Cecil B. DeMille’s Pictures “The Volga Boatman”. Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” had its world premiere at the Carthay Circle Theatre on December 21, 1937. It was the site of innumerable premieres and was one of the jewels of the Fox West Coast Theatres empire.

It was at the Carthay Circle Theatre where Mike Todd showcased “Around the World in 80 Days” in 1956. Unfortunately some of the interior of the auditorium was destroyed to accommodate the huge new Todd A-O screen.

The final film to play the Carthay Circle Theatre was “The Shoes of the Fisherman” starring Anthony Quinn. It was demolished in 1969 and replaced by an office block.

Contributed by Ray Martinez

Recent comments (view all 125 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Here is a February 1953 ad from the LA Times:

sowsowitz on February 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I grew up in the area and saw many great films at the Carthay Circle Theater. It was just behind my grammar school. I can remember catching pollywogs in the little pound in the tiny park just north of the theater where water from the gold miner’s pan spilled out endlessly. Over the years we often celebrated the Jewish High Holidays at local theaters (our synagogue was too small at that time). The theaters we used were the Wilshire (on Wilshire), the Stadium (on Pico) and the Carthay Circle Theater. Seeing the cantor prostrate himself on the massive Carthay Circle Theater and Wilshire stages on Yom Kipper was truly moving/ impressive.

sowsowitz on February 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

For the person who wondered on what corner the Picfair was located; it was the NW corner of Pico and Fairfrax.

matt54 on July 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm

@Warren G. Harris: There were many films in Cinemascope and B&W – before Longest Day roadshow was Diary of Anne Frank (1959 – roadshow @ 171 min + intermission).

EnnisCAdkins on August 2, 2010 at 10:01 am

In DAVID SELZNICK’S HOLLYWOOD, he states that GONE WITH THE WIND premiered first in Atlanta on 12/15/39 at the Loews Grand (3 continuous shows daily) , then four days later in New York at the Capitol (3 continuous shows daily) and the Astor (reserved seat; 2 performances daily) and finally in Los Angeles at the United Artist Downtown (3 continuous shows daily) and the Carthay Circle (reserved seat; 2 performances daily). The Los Angeles invited premiere was held the day before on 12/27/39 at the Carthay Circle.

vokoban on October 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

Here’s a photo that a friend gave to me. I scanned it before I put it in the frame. I don’t think I’ve seen this one yet:

CSWalczak on June 13, 2012 at 2:37 am

A replica of the Carthay Circle has been built at Disney’s California Adventure Park adjacent to Disneyland in recognition of the role the theater had in launching some of Disney’s famous films. Unfortunately, the building only houses a restaurant and cocktail lounge (and probably one of the ubiquitous gift shops so characteristic of Disney parks).

CSWalczak on June 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

A photo of the replica: View link

DavidZornig on October 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Two mid `40’s photo added courtesy of Terry Koenig.

moax429 on August 9, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Anybody who saw the 1941 Our Gang short “The Big Premiere” will remember the Carthay Circle was the theater seen in the opening shot, all lit up at night; the gang attends – and then sabotages – the premiere of the film “Gun Boats,” starring “Imra Acacia” (Ethelreda Leopold).

“The Big Premiere” turns up occasionally on Turner Classic Movies as a short subject between films, and it is also available on “The Our Gang Collection” only from the WB Shop, Warner Bros.‘ online store (not available in regular retail outlets).

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