Beverly Canon Theatre

205 N. Canon Drive,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Beverly Canon Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater had been used as a small stage theater from 1976 until a few years ago. Before that it had run revival films. It was demolished in September 2005.

The Canon Theatre was located a half block from where the Warner Beverly Hills Theatre sat (now a parking lot). It was also around the corner from the Beverly Theatre on North Beverly Drive.

One historical note courtesy of Ed Haselwood:

“When CBS premiered ‘The Wild Bunch’, director Sam Peckinpah became so angry at how his film was butchered he scheduled a single, free screening of the uncut European version at this theater. When he arrived with the print, the crowd cheered.

Inside, upon meeting Peckinpah, I told him this was my favorite film and I had seen it many times. He replied “Well, now you’ll see
the film I made!”

Also there were Warren Oates, Strother Martin (who remembered me from a previous meeting) and L.Q. Jones. It was a wonderful afternoon."

Contributed by William Gabel, Ed Haselwood

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

barrnet on September 22, 2005 at 4:38 am

It’s not often that two historic theaters are simultaneously razed in any town, let alone Beverly Hills. The Canon Theatre was demolished last week, along with the Beverly Theater. I took some photos which can be seen here:

Minutes after I took the Canon shot, the crane extended its arm over the top of the facade, shifted into reverse, and pulled it down. I worked on Canon Dr. for 40 years and attended many performances there. Very sad moment.

Two of the photos were used in last week’s Beverly Hills Weekly. They accompanied a story about the futile last ditch legal efforts to save them.

MagicLantern on October 17, 2005 at 8:55 am

This was known as the Solari Theatre as of February 5, 1980.

SalvageSailor on October 31, 2005 at 8:13 am

Aloha Everyone,

I saw lots of film noir at the Beverly Canon during the early 1970’s. I particularly remember seeing ‘The Big Sleep’, ‘The Maltese Falcon’, and several other Bogart films here.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 10, 2006 at 2:53 am

The recent documentary Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (available on DVD) briefly mentions and shows the Beverly Canon theatre. Jerry Harvey, the subject of this documentary, programmed the Beverly Canon before moving on to program first SelecTV and then the Z Channel.

At the Beverly Canon, Harvey was responsible for, among other things, showing an uncut version of [i]The Wild Bunch[i].

kencmcintyre on September 26, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Here is a December 1972 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on March 22, 2008 at 2:10 am

Here is a 1958 photo from the Los Angeles Public Library:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 14, 2009 at 10:57 am

The November 2, 1946, issue of Boxoffice said that the opening of the Hitching Post Theatre in Beverly Hills had been postponed from November 8 to November 22. The building was apparently new, as the item gave its cost as a quarter of a million dollars.

This being Beverly Hills, the grand opening didn’t lack for celebrities. Among those attending were Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and Trigger, as well as lesser luminaries such as Glenn Ford and Eleanor Powell. Trigger’s hoof-prints were immortalized in cement as part of the festivities. There are photos in the December 7, 1943 issue of Boxoffice.

The January 25, 1947, issue of Boxoffice said that the Hitching Post Theatre in Beverly Hills was adopting a newsreel policy to be in effect Mondays through Thursdays, but would continue to show western movies on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It would be the first newsreel operation in the Los Angeles area outside downtown and Hollywood.

The owners of the house, ABC Theatres (which I was a local partnership consisting of Buddy Adler, Horace Boos, and Gregory Carter, and was not related to the later nation-wide ABC circuit) renamed the house the Beverly Canon Theatre and switched its policy to single features and short subjects with newsreels in 1947, according to Boxoffice of April 19 that year. For a time, the theater continued to run two daytime shows of westerns for the local moppets on Saturdays and Sundays. Later Boxoffice items reveal that the Beverly Canon had gone to an art house policy by 1949.

ABC converted their Hitching Post in Hollywood into the art film Paris Theatre in late 1949. Their Santa Monica Hitching Post continued to run westerns for only a few months after the last of its companion theaters went highbrow on it, then after a brief closure was reopened as the Riviera Theatre, another art house.

ChasSmith on November 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I discovered the Beverly Canon when walking around there in summer of 1974. I guess it was a repertory house by then, because I saw “The Big Sleep” and something else in a double feature. I loved eating frequently at the little cafe next door — which may have been called Beverly Canon Cafe, not sure now.

rivest266 on August 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm

April 8th, 1947 grand opening ad in photo section.

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