Music Hall Theatre

9036 Wilshire Boulevard,
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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1952

Originally opened as the Elite Theatre on April 24, 1937, it had a seating capacity of 824 and was designed by architect Wilfred B. Verity. It is just down the street from International Creative Management and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

By 1948 it had been renamed Music Hall Theatre, and it was renovated in 1960 to the plans of architect Arthur J. Drielsma. In 1974 it was taken over by Laemmle Theatres. It was later tripled and renovated in the mid-1990’s. In 2005, the seating capacities in the three auditoriums were;142, 98 and 259. Its Art Deco style appearance has remained to this day and continues to be a local favorite showing independent films. It was threatened with closure in early-2011, but got a least a one year extension on its lease.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

Richie_T
Richie_T on January 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

Sad news. Theater to close this weekend.

BRADE48
BRADE48 on January 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Really? The Laemmle site shows may bookings for the Music Hall in the Coming Soon portion on thier Website.

Danny Baldwin
Danny Baldwin on January 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Yeah, and they have showtimes extending past the weekend…

Richie_T
Richie_T on January 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm

My bad… saw a piece on the news about the closing of the Music Hall due to lease issues… seemed like the theater was closing THIS weekend… drove past today and it looks like business as usual.

frenchjr25
frenchjr25 on January 7, 2013 at 10:31 am

The Music Hall also has a place in TV history. Betty White’s very first sitcom, 1952’s “Life With Elizabeth”, was produced here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Architect J. Arthur Drielsma designed the renovation of the Music Hall for Herbert Rosener that is featured in the 1960 Boxoffice article that Tinseltoes linked to earlier. The project involved completely rebuilding the gutted interior as well as redesigning the front.

So far, Laemmle has managed to keep this house open a year beyond its reported closing date. The slack real estate market probably has something to do with that.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on April 3, 2017 at 12:22 pm

I’m surprised this venue is still around.

Homeboy
Homeboy on May 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

I go often and have yet to see the theater full. They can’t be making any money. To save this theater, that sits on desirable Beverly Hills land, formulate a plan now before it becomes actively threatened. By that time, it’s often hard to turn things around.

CStefanic
CStefanic on August 8, 2018 at 10:42 am

I quite agree. Every time I have been by the Music Hall or even attended a rare screening there, the auditoriums are almost bare. I heard that Sharon Stone and Faye Dunaway have frequented the theater, but never see them there.

JWH
JWH on August 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm

At its peak in the mid- to late-1960s, the Walter Reade Organization operated two flagship movie houses in Beverly Hills, California. The Beverly Hills Music Hall on Wilshire Boulevard hosted many first-run foreign films and prestige releases, including the world premiere of John Cassavetes' “Faces.” The Music Hall was the exclusive exhibitor in the region of the 1968 Russian production of “War and Peace.” (see photos) All the movie industry elite turned out for that long-running “hard ticket” engagement, including Katharine Hepburn, Warren Beatty with Julie Christie, Mike Nichols, Joanne Woodward, James Coburn and scores of others. Theater staffers were required to wear Russian tunics on duty, and the doormen wore full-length Cossack coats, fur hats and accessories. The second Walter Reade cinema in Beverly Hills was the Beverly Canon, which also exhibited the company’s licensed foreign films and was the site of world premiere screenings, including Peter Bogdonovich’s “Targets.”

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