Adams Theatre

1898 West Adams Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90018

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Initially a silent film theatre, it was open from 1925 through 1950 at least.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 14, 2006 at 9:04 am

Still listed as open in the 1952 edition of Film Daily Yearbook with a seating capacity of 496.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 3, 2007 at 12:52 pm

On 1/22/50, the features were “And Baby Makes 3”, along with “Restless Moment”. Phone number was PA 3464.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 10, 2007 at 11:17 pm

This is now a carpet store.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2008 at 11:22 pm

The county assessor’s office lists three structures on two lots at this address: A 6000 sq.ft. building erected in 1912; a 3600 sq.ft. building erected in 1914; and a 4320 sq.ft. building erected in 1957. TerraServer’s satellite view shows that the building just west of the one abutting the alley (see ken mc’s photos linked above) has a section behind it with a different style of roof than the street-front section.

The alley-side brick wall in Ken’s photo looks too old for 1957 so is probably from the 1910s. That building also looks a bit narrow for a theatre. The City’s ZIMAS site gives the addresses of the two lots as 1896 and 1898 W. Adams, so it seems likely that the theatre was in the building farther from the alley.

The question is, which section of the building next to the alley-side building is of 1910s vintage. From above, the back section of the western building looks more like it would have held an auditorium, but it also looks more like it might be newer construction. I wonder if the theatre’s auditorium was there, and replaced in 1957, or if the former front section of the theatre building was replaced then?

If the front of the theatre had originally been divided into lobby, foyer, and a couple of storefronts, with load-bearing walls separating them, then it would have made sense for someone converting the property for another use to demo and replace that part of the building, and keep the auditorium section with its clear span. In any case, it seems likely that at least part of the Adams Theatre has been demolished.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Local in Utah? There were Lyceum and Cozy theaters in DT LA in the 1930s, as I recall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Stanley Steck doesn’t have any mentions in the California Index, but he does show up in various issues of Boxoffice. In the November 9, 1940, issue there’s an item saying that he was returning to Los Angeles after visiting friends in Utah, where he had formerly operated theaters.

That’s the earliest reference to him I’ve found. The most recent reference was in the February 26, 1955, issue, which said that he was closing the Adams and had no plans to reopen in the foreseeable future.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm

It looks like Stanley Steck was still (or once again) running theaters in Utah in 1951, when the November issue of Boxoffice said that he had returned from a trip to check on his theater interests in Ogden and Salt Lake City.

The magazine also misspells his name as “Stack” from time to time. A 1945 item says that S.B. Stack, of the Adams Theatre, had returned to town after attending the funeral of his brother Elmer in Del Rio, Texas.

Most interesting to Mr. Steck’s fan base will be the item in the March 17, 1945, issue of Boxoffice. The brief profile of his career up to that time features a small photo of him- a respectable looking gentleman with a receding hairline and wire-rimmed glasses. The scan of the magazine is poor and partly unreadable, but I can make out that he began operating a theater in a small town in Idaho in 1911, and two years later became the owner the Lyceum in Ogden. In the next two years he added the Rex and the Cozy.

The years he quit running the Rex and Cozy are illegible, but both look to be in the 1930s. The year he took over the Adams is also very muddy, but appears to be 1928. In Los Angeles he was also a director and treasurer of the ITO of Southern California.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm

The May 3, 1913, issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer said that architect A. C. Martin was preparing plans for a 1-story, 50x150 foot brick building to house a moving picture theater and two stores, to be built on the south side of Adams Boulevard between Harvard Boulevard and La Salle Avenue. That has to have been the Adams Theatre.

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