Imperial Theatre

319 E. Ocean Boulevard,
Long Beach, CA 90802

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

DavidZornig on September 7, 2015 at 10:20 pm

Circa 1953 photo added, courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

MJuggler on July 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

earthquake shot, (postcard I bought)

William on August 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm

The Imperial Theatre was part of the Fox West Coast Theatre chain from the mid 1920’s through National General Cinemas to Mann Theatres which closed the house in August 1977. It went independent after that year.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 9, 2010 at 5:05 am

TLsloews you gotta go back to the UNICORN THEATRE site.

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Nice photo ken mc.

kencmcintyre on May 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

The Imperial is to the right of the train in this photo, probably circa 1940s:

kencmcintyre on May 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm

You can see the UA down the street as well.

William on May 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm

The above picture in ken mc’s post is from around January 1932. The West Coast Theatre was playing “Stepping Sisters” (1/9/32) from Fox Film Corp. and the Imperial Theatre was playing “The False Madonna” (12/5/31) with Kay Francis & Conway Tearle from Paramount.

kencmcintyre on April 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Here is a November 1973 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on July 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm

No, it’s a monthly service. The film in question supposedly depicted murders of real people. I think someone admitted later that the deaths were all staged.

kencmcintyre on July 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Here is a letter to the editor of the Press-Telegram dated 3/28/76:

Mr. James Forman, assistant manager of the Imperial Theater, is to be commended for his susceptibility lo the concerned citizenry of Long Beach. In response to the orderly picketing and reasonable requests of the Long Beach chapter of the National Organization for Women and the North Long Beach Concerned Citizens, the cheap and repellent movie Snuff has been discontinued by the Imperial Theater. Community constituents should note that citizen responsiveness and responsibility has determined the standard of decency in our Long Beach community in this case. We are the difference between shabby, brutal and degrading depictions of sex and women and decency, safety and community hygiene. Be barometers of peace and decency. Stand in the way of violence and sexual sickness. Take that stand publicly. The Long Beach chapter of NOW thanks the theater for respecting the wishes of the community and ridding this city of a movie which brutalizes and degrades women.

kencmcintyre on June 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Here is an August 1960 ad from the same source:

kencmcintyre on May 11, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Here is a December 1959 ad from the Long Beach Independent:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 5, 2009 at 7:48 pm

The January 8, 1955, issue of Boxoffice said that the Imperial Theatre had been reopened after being completely remodeled and refurnished. A new 19x40-foot screen had been installed, along with a stereophonic sound system and acoustical plaster. The house was reseated with American Seating Company’s Bodiform chairs. The new seating capacity was given as 804.

kencmcintyre on March 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm

An ad for the Imperial is on the left in this December 1947 issue of the Long Beach Press Telegram:

kencmcintyre on August 26, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Here is a 1959 ad from the Press-Telegram:

Here is the 1926 photo:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 14, 2006 at 3:13 am

An article in Southwest Builder & Contractor, issue of October 2, 1925, announced that architect L.A. Smith was preparing plans for the Imperial Theatre in Long Beach. The theatre was remodeled from an existing building. The previous use of the building was not specified.

A 1933 issue of the same publication said that architect Clifford Balch had been hired to plan repairs to the exterior of the Imperial Theatre following damage in the earthquake of that year.

As the theatre was art deco in later years, some extensive remodeling must have taken place, which probably eliminated most or all of Smith’s earlier design.

kencmcintyre on September 30, 2005 at 3:52 pm

This picture is partially duplicated above, but you get a better shot of the Imperial and the adjacent West Coast (from the LA Library):

JimRankin on April 13, 2004 at 7:47 am

The largest repository of information/photos of theatres in the USA is the Theatre Historical Society of America, which has files on some 15,000 theatres and some 50,000 images, artifacts, and drawings. Contact them through their web site at:

William on April 12, 2004 at 5:03 pm

The Imperial Theatre was built in the late 1920’s. I have an listing for it as early as 1929.