Princess Theatre

218 E. Fourth Street,
Santa Ana, CA 92701

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Charles Walker opened his New Princess on Fourth Street on September 6, 1923 after closing his old Princess on Main Street to construct his New Walker Theatre, which later became the Fox West Coast. A 1920s city directory shows that the New Princess was called the Lyric before Walker took it over.

The New Princess, which later was just called the Princess, has a sketchy history. It dropped out of the local newspaper listings, and presumably closed temporarily after December 24, 1926, probably due to the Yost Broadway, which opened in June of that year. The Princess appears to have been open intermittently and was still listed in the local phone directory in 1950 and then disappeared completely. It appeared in the Los Angeles Times independent movie listings from time to time, always with two Spanish-language films. Its ads were never in the local Register newspaper with any regularity. When it dropped out of the Times listings in the early 50s, the local Yost Theatre began to show Spanish-language movies.

Today, the building that housed the Princess still remains but there is no indication that is was ever a theater. No photograph of the Princess could be found but it appears that it was just one tenant sharing the building with other businesses. Its space is now being used as a retail store.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 9, 2005 at 4:09 am

Listed in Film Daily Yearbook’s 1941 & 1943 as the Princess Theatre with a seating capacity of 550.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 7, 2007 at 7:19 pm

Here is an article from the LA Times dated 5/3/41:

Patrons Flee Theater Fire in Santa Ana

Several hundred patrons filed from the Princess Theater without injury tonight as fire broke out in the projection booth, manager Daryl Johnson reported. Amount of damage to the theater, which is located at 4th and Spurgeon Streets, was not estimated, although it was reported that the booth and a portion of the balcony were burned.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 8, 2007 at 7:43 pm

This is a ©1930 photo of the Princess Theater. Click on the photo to expand it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm

This theatre needs an AKA as the Lyric Theatre, per Ron Pierce’s first paragraph at top.

The movie named on the marquee in the photo to which Lost Memory linked above, Oh Billy, Behave, was released in 1926.

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