Embassy Theatre

331 S. Western Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90020

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 22, 2011 at 12:40 am

The Los Angeles County Assessor’s office says that the building on this site was built in 1921. In Google’s satellite view, the auditorium roof appears to be partly intact. Comparing it with a 1948 view at Historic Aerials, it looks as though only about the rear third of the building has actually been demolished.

kencmcintyre on January 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm

From the LA Times, 2/12/37:

Theater Booth Fire Fatal to Trapped Girl Cashier

Miss Betty Wallace, 18, died yesterday in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital from injuries suffered Wednesday night when her dress caught fire in the tiny ticket booth at the Embassy Theater, 331 S. Western Avenue. Scores of people gathered outside the theater to attend a bank night drawing were unable to help, as Miss Wallace’s dress, ignited by an electric stove, became a pillar of flame.

William on June 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm

In 1933 it was known as the Embassy Theatre.

Art1956 on June 5, 2008 at 4:26 am

I saw the double feature of Fantastic Voyage and Do Not Disturb there in 1966.Nice theatre.

kencmcintyre on August 14, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Listed as the Fox Embassy in the 1942 city directory. Address was 329 S. Western Avenue.

kencmcintyre on August 11, 2007 at 9:31 pm

Here is the LA Times ad from 1981:

kencmcintyre on August 5, 2007 at 2:59 pm

The Wilshire theater is on the left in this 1924 photo from the USC archive:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 25, 2007 at 2:44 pm

A large percentage of the cards in the L.A. Library’s California Index do refer to this theatre as the Wilshire Theatre. The name Fox was not used though. The West Coast Circuit did not become Fox-West Coast until several years after this theatre opened, and the Fox name was not put on any of the circuit’s theatres until 1929. I don’t know in what year the Wilshire was renamed the Embassy, but it must have been before 1930 when Fox opened its new Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills.

kencmcintyre on July 25, 2007 at 8:37 am

331 S. Western doesn’t exist. There’s a building at 327 and another one at 333. The theater is gone.

kencmcintyre on July 14, 2007 at 3:35 pm

I think this was called the Wilshire or Fox Wilshire at the opening on 10/20/21, per the LA Times. Uncle Fester was the emcee.


Neighborhood house will be dedicated by Jackie Coogan

An attractive neighborhood theater of the West Coast Theaters, Inc. will throw open its doors to an audience which will represent the picture industry and the neighborhood tonight, at Western and Third Avenues. The occasion will be given interest through the presence of Jackie Coogan, who will press the button that will release the curtain folding over the screen.

kencmcintyre on June 14, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Advertised as a Filipino theater in the LA Times on 3/15/81.

William on August 31, 2006 at 1:30 pm

“My Fair Lady” was still in it’s Roadshow engagement at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. till about March of 1966. It played there for 68 weeks starting Oct. 29th. 1964 before going into General release. So it had to have been around spring of 1966 that you saw “My Fair Lady” at the Embassy Theatre.

MichaelM on April 29, 2006 at 6:08 pm

A neighbor took my sister and I to the Embassy, in 1965, to see My Fair Lady.

While there was nothing exceptional about the theater, the neighbor was a real piece of work. After the movie, he gave us a stack of racist hate literature to pass around at school. My mother was horrified and we were forbiden to talk to him again.

As it turned out, he was a real sleazeball in more ways than one. It came as no surprise when Alan Vincent went on to head the American Nazi Party.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 25, 2005 at 2:15 pm

The only theatre I remember as being north of Santa Monica on Western was the Cinema. The Embassy was on the west side of Western, just below 3rd Street. The Clinton was about midway between them, on the east side of the street. Those are the only theatres I remember on Western Avenue north of the Wiltern.

deleted user
[Deleted] on August 25, 2005 at 1:38 pm

As I recall from the 1960’s the Embassy was north of Santa Monica Blvd. At that time it was a pretty nice neighborhood theater. For a little while. Diana Ellis

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2004 at 4:46 am

L.A. Smith was probably the architect of this theater. I have found two references to it in the Southwest Builder and Contractor, issues of ¾/1921 and 4/22/1921. Both give the location of the planned theater, designed by Smith, as on Western Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets, though the exact address is not given. The project is described as a two story brick building, 110 by 150 feet, with theater and two shops on the ground floor, and three offices on a small second floor.

I remember seeing the Embassy while passing by, many years ago, but can’t remember if it fits that description. If it did, and was the only theater on that block, then it probably is Smith’s work.

RobertR on November 10, 2004 at 4:53 pm

The Embassy theatre a standard marquee, but when National General theatres in the mid 60’s did the remodel. They tried a new different design for the marquee. No other theatre used this design.
posted by William on Oct 8, 2001 at 4:37pm

What was the marquee like that made it unusual?

ejaycat on November 10, 2004 at 2:42 pm

Does anyone remember when this theater used to show Tagalog-language movies?

I remember going to this theater as a kid with my family to watch Filipino movies in the late 1970s. I hadn’t thought about this theater in a long time. I don’t remember the theater looking like anything special, but stumbling upon the mention of it on this website sure did bring back a flood of memories! :–)

Makes me wanna drive by the location to see what the area looks like now (this is a part of LA I rarely ever go through nowadays).

MagicLantern on October 10, 2004 at 10:31 pm

This theatre is now a nightclub.

MagicLantern on September 19, 2004 at 11:32 pm

Another Robert L. Lippert Theatre.

William on October 27, 2003 at 7:23 am

The Embassy Theatre was located at 331 S. Western Ave.

William on October 8, 2001 at 1:37 pm

The Embassy theatre a standard marquee, but when National General theatres in the mid 60’s did the remodel. They tried a new different design for the marquee. No other theatre used this design.

William on October 4, 2001 at 5:12 pm

This theatre was located about 3 blocks north of the Wiltern theatre on Western Ave.. The Embassy in it’s later years would show Indian films and 3rd run movies. Before the Embassy was razed it sat for about 2 years closed.