Million Dollar Theatre

307 South Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on December 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

I was there tonight to see THE GODFATHER. They had an excellent 35mm print but it was very dark and much of the sound was unintelligible due to bad acoustics. They did use the curtain at the beginning and end. I sat in the balcony. There was a very large crowd.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 17, 2014 at 6:54 pm

For those interested in construction, here is an interesting article about the reinforced concrete arch supporting the balcony (called the gallery in the article) of the Million Dollar Theatre, published in the September 14, 1917, issue of Southwest Builder and Contractor:

“SEVERE TEST FOR REINFORCED CONCRETE STRUCTURE

“The reinforced concrete arch, and the reinforced concrete cantilever gallery which it carries, in the theater building at Third and Broadway, now being erected for the Stability Building Company, was given a severe test by the city building department, acting under instructions from the Board of Public Works, and the results show that the structure is without a flaw either from a theoretical or constructive standpoint. The structure, including the arch and gallery and side supports are monolithic and constitute what builders and technical men consider a bold piece of engineering. The idea of designing the structure in reinforced concrete was conceived by Albert C. Martin, the architect and engineer, when it was found that structural steel for the gallery as originally planned could not be obtained without unreasonable delay.

“The cantilever gallery is carried on an arch 10 ft. wide, with a clear span of 104 ft., so as to give an unobstructed view of the stage from all parts of the ground floor. A three-hinged arch was first considered, being the simplest and easiest type of construction, but it was found that the hinges alone would cost $15,000 and to eliminate this excessive item Mr. Martin decided upon a bow-spring arch with a segmental curve. The arch, which has a maximum rise of eleven feet, is tied at the haunches with steel rods aggregating 154 sq. inches in area, which are anchored at either end in steel plates with nuts and encased in concrete. Great care was taken also in designing the cantilever trusses for the gallery, plates and nuts being used at the juncture of various members. The gallery has a maximum overhang of about forty feet, the structure being evenly balanced upon the arch.

“Under the requirements of the city building ordinance the gallery was designed to carry a weight of 125 pounds per square foot and the test was made by placing upon it a load of double that amount, 250 pounds per square foot. A total of 1,400,000 pounds of cement in sacks, bricks and sand was placed on the gallery extending the entire length and covering that portion which is carried directly by the arch. A week was consumed in placing the great mass of material, all of which is to be used in the building, and the full load was allowed to remain for a period of about 48 hours.

“The greatest deflection in the arch under this tremendous strain was only one-quarter of an inch and the greatest deflection in the cantilever gallery was three-eighths of an inch. The greatest deflection at the haunches of the arch was one-eighth of an inch on each end, making a total spread of only one-fourth of an inch. Theoretically, the spread of the arch should have been greater as the 104 feet of steel, under a load of 16,000 lbs. per square inch, which it was figured to carry, would stretch five-eighths of an inch. With double the load figured the steel should, theoretically, have stretched twice five-eighths of an inch, or one and one quarter inches. The actual small deflection is explained on the theory that a part of the load which would have been borne directly by the arch is, in reality, taken up by the vertical arches on the exterior of the structure.

“The test, besides proving satisfactorily the calculations of the engineer, demonstrated the thorough character of the construction. Greatest care was exercised in pouring the concrete for the arch and gallery and it was permitted to stand for sixty days before being stripped of the forms. The. R. H. Arnold Company is the general contractor on the building.”

MJuggler
MJuggler on February 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Sunday, March 2 at 5:00pm Doors open: 4:00 pm Tickets: $20; LAHTF Members: $15 Click here to purchase tickets: http://goo.gl/YuvRUO Tickets also on sale at the door on event night (pending availability)

-Enjoy the glamour and spectacle of the most famous awards show of them all – telecast live on the BIG screen of Sid Grauman’s Million Dollar Theatre. Join us in honoring the best movies of 2013, on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles, where Hollywood began! -Come early, have dinner at one of the exciting new eateries or enjoy an old favorite at the Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway. -Walk down Broadway’s Red Carpet, duck the paparazzi and make your grand entrance to the Million Dollar Theatre – right next door. -The ABC broadcast will be projected on the Million Dollar’s big, BIG screen. -Official Red Carpet coverage begins at 5:00 pm -The Main Attraction, the Awards broadcast, begins at 6 pm

Come alone, bring a friend, assemble your own entourage and experience awards night in a grand new way – with a live audience in a legendary theatre.

Participate in games, win prizes, laugh, cry, cheer in triumph, groan in defeat – experience it all in Grauman’s first Los Angeles movie palace – the fantastic Million Dollar!

No-host bar
Attendees are invited to dress in formal attire, vintage clothing or costumes keyed to your favorite contender. Prizes will be awarded.

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, in association with Grand Central Market, presents this special evening open to all.

This event is not sponsored by or affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, restoring and sustaining the operation of Southern California’s historic theatres.

Please pass this info on!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 5, 2013 at 3:13 am

These members get 1st purchase opportunity to March 23 rare screening of director’s print of Blade Runner: http://www.lahtf.org/

cclopez123
cclopez123 on January 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm

This theather brings a lot of memories..when I was little ,my mom use to bring me and my brother to see the Mexican stars..beautiful performances..beautiful theather..everybody spent good part of there Sunday afternoon just enjoying life..these days are long gone but the memories live on ..thank you for the memories..they will remain my heart for ever..:)

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on October 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

The image is of the barbershop located inside the theatre.

silver
silver on August 1, 2012 at 1:46 am

Bummer development.
The tenant (and apparently a good one at that, who spent $1 million (ironically) in renovations) couldn’t make a go of it.

Too bad the corporation that owns the theater didn’t reduce the rent so that tenant could’ve hung on. Any guesses on its future? Back to being leased again by some fringe church?

“Million Dollar Operator Terminates Lease” (excerpt) “After six years of running the Million Dollar Theater, Robert Voskanian, the 1918 venue’s operator since 2007, terminated his lease on the property in June.

Voskanian said that despite holding events like concerts, a Wednesday night film series in partnership with the UCLA Film Archive and renting the venue for filming, they were still not making enough money to cover their bills.

“I love the place, it’s gorgeous and it really broke my heart but financially it was too difficult,” he said. … When Voskanian took over the property the theater had been vacant for about two years. Before that it had served as the headquarters for two churches and once housed the Metropolitan Water District.“ full article: www.ladowntownnews.com/news/million-dollar-operator-terminates-lease/article_cd24e73e-d81d-11e1-a1d1-0019bb2963f4.html

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on February 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Pretty common trick when the aperture plate doesn’t stop some light from spilling onto the screen masking…

jackfmurphy
jackfmurphy on February 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

Re: The projection booth, how about that fancy masking on the window? Two pieces of paper taped to the booth window. Isn’t the masking supposed to be in the film gate? I guess that it works, so why not.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on February 14, 2012 at 6:25 am

200 is significantly more than the crowds when I’ve gone…

silver
silver on February 13, 2012 at 5:46 am

An interesting article: “Archive screens film classics in historic downtown movie palace” from UCLA Today Jan 19,2012. http://today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/ucla-film-tv-archive-on-broadway-222412.aspx

Unfortunately it says that they’re only typically getting 200 people in attendance. Hope this weekly UCLA programming series can survive…

silver
silver on January 27, 2012 at 5:26 am

Here’s a blog post with a photo taken from inside the Million Dollar projection booth during the 1/25 Paths of Glory show. Way off, you can see Kirk Douglas on the screen www.laobserved.com/archive/2012/01/million_dollar_theater_pr.php

dtrigubetz
dtrigubetz on January 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I can’t believe I was one of only about 25-30 attending the 1/11 showing of the 1940 and 1966 One Million Years B.C. movies. I will be there for the 1/25 showing of “Paths of Glory”.

Dining hint: When Angels Flight reopens soon you should take the ride up, turn right(east)and walk two blocks to the Colburn School self-serve cafe for tasty and reasonable food, and then take the Angels Flight back down. FYI, I always take the Metro to Pershing Square and the theater is only two blocks away. Metro now runs every 10 minutes in the evening and is very safe.

milliondollar
milliondollar on December 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Dear friends, on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21th @ 7:30pm the Million Dollar Theater will showcase two great musical films: Norman Jewison’s JESUSCHRIST SUPERSTAR (1973) and Ken Russell’s TOMMY (1975). For ticket info. visit: http://tiny.cc/ipqyl

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on December 17, 2011 at 5:18 am

However, it should be noted they have allowed people to go up to the balcony before/between shows. You just can’t sit up there, as of now.

MJuggler
MJuggler on December 17, 2011 at 2:49 am

Here is the list of new movies! http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/sites/default/files/Broadway-JanFebMarch2012.pdf

Howard: the balcony has not been opened yet. Management told me that the floor really needs work and is only opened for very large groups. (over 1,000) As far as the curtains go, no I am sorry, we do not us them, but they are manually done and we don’t have the staff. But that is something to think about.

hollywood90038: Thanks! You got lucky and came to the only show that had a Q&A, Superman. That was scheduled only 2 or 3 days before the event.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Excellent 35mm prints sounds impressive. At these classics showings, is the balcony open to sit in? Does the curtain open before the movie & close afterwards?

MJuggler
MJuggler on December 9, 2011 at 2:25 am

Thanks to everyone who have been coming out to the movies on Wednesday nights! Some of you return each week. Please tell your friends!

I (Michelle) am with the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation (LAHTF.org) and am helping the Million Dollar Theatre and UCLA Film & TV Archives with the Wed. night movies by getting them volunteers to run the shows each time. There has been low attendance but we have hopes that the new movies for Jan, Feb & March will get more folks out to see movies on historic Broadway. Always @ 7:30 every Wed. night $10 double features.

New list of movies is getting finished up right now! But getting apx 26 movies lined up form the Studios is quite the undertaking. All will be CLEAN 35mm prints. I’ve over heard some say “that was the best print of the movie I have ever watched”.

See you at the movies! Michelle

MJuggler
MJuggler on December 9, 2011 at 2:22 am

dtrigubetz, BTW it was the Palace Theatre not Rialto and it was it’s 100th Birthday! The Rialto is a reck right now.

I so wish I knew why we can’t get the LRS crowds for the movies. The LAConservancy has told their membership about it in their online newsletter. They even passes out the flyers at their Sat. Theatre tour and @ their Holiday movie last Sunday but only a handle full have said they have come from them. We (the LAHTF) have taken flyers around to area businesses an attendance did increase from 70’s to 100 but more would help pay for the lights being on and other expenses such as the projectionist (Tom, great guy!). If you have any ideas on how to get people to come to Broadway that doesn’t cost much (free even better) please let us know! lahistorictheatrefoundation @ charter.net

dtrigubetz
dtrigubetz on November 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Boxoffice report: About 75 attended the 11/16 screening of “Lawrence of Arabia” and about 70 for the 11/23 screening. According to a docent what looked like a barber shop on the balcony level actually was a working barber shop many years ago. UCLA plans to continue programming into early 2012.

dtrigubetz
dtrigubetz on November 16, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Danny, I am going tonight to see “Lawrence of Arabia.” Where are all the patrons that pack the Last Remaing Seats program run by the L A Conservancy(they sold out three shows at the Rialto)?

On 11/2 I attended a live “Day of the Dead” show at the Million Dollar. It was great: three bands, a cast of 50 and great decorations on stage and on Broadway. All for only $10! About 850 were in attendance.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on October 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Only about 50 people there for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN/LOVE AT FIRST BITE last night, which is sad — downtown could use something like this regularly. Hopefully it grows and can continue past December.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on September 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Full list is here — http://www.milliondollartheater.com/Archive_on_Broadway_CAL.pdf

I think I just wet my pants.

Ross Care
Ross Care on November 21, 2010 at 4:33 am

I add to this album of vintage movie theaters, ads and memorabilia from time to time:
View link

Cachita
Cachita on November 20, 2010 at 2:08 am

Does anyone remember Las Chispitas Del Ritmo ? The first Latin-American Chorus line I believe in the U.S.A. that performed at the MILLION Dollar Theater in approx. 1952-1953 . We would do the background/back-up dancers for the stars that performed there, like Luis Aguilar, Antonio Badu, Pichi Fernandez, Fernando Fernandez, Trio Los Mexicanos, etc..Yes, I was one of them! I am now 74 years old . I would like to know if there are any Chispitas around for a reunion. I also danced solo under the name Cachita, a name given to me by Mr. Fouce, Jr. I can still dance a good Mambo.