Miller's Theater

842 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Miller’s Theatre was expanded in 1916, according to an item in the October 21 issue of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer. Construction was to begin immediately on an addition 28x60 feet. There would be anew stage, and seating capacity was to be increased by 210. A sprinkler system was to be installed throughout the theater, and the entire house would be redecorated. The project was being carried out by the Milwaukee Building Company.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on October 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I have a California/Miller’s Theater combo program at the Silent Film Still Archive.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm

This is an LA Times item from April 1947:

Two events are announced by three Spanish-language theaters-the California, Mason and Roosevelt, for the next several weeks. Starting tomorrow the first showing in America of the beautiful Adriana Lamar in “Memorias de una Vampiresa” is scheduled.

For Mexico’s Independence Day-Cinco de Mayo-May 5, Mexico’s idol Jorge Negrete has been booked in “El Ahijado de la Muerte” (Death’s Godchild).

William
William on November 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

You can see the California Theatre also in the picture on the left side behind the cleaners sign.

tkpepper
tkpepper on November 19, 2008 at 9:25 am

Here’s a 1939 shot that shows this theatre as being the Roosevelt. Apparently the “Roosevelt” name had migrated down from another theatre located on the 200 block of S Main shortly before this shot was taken… and sometime in the coming decade the “Roosevelt” name would once again return to the 200 block.

View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 12, 2008 at 8:50 pm

The 1929 L.A. City Directory has the Triangle Theatre listed at 842 S. Main. It’s an aka. I suspect that the address of 832 S. Main in that 1931 Times article (cited in the third comment at top) was a reporter’s typo.

If Fred Miller retired after selling this house to Loew’s, he didn’t stay retired for long. He built the Figueroa Theatre in 1925, and was connected in some way with the Carthay Circle between 1926 and 1929 (see my comment of May 28, 2007 on the Alhambra Theatre page.)

With regard to Miller’s 1924 deal with Loew’s, note that the January 10, 1925 Screen News flyer for the California and Miller’s Theatres that silentfilm linked to on June 12, 2008, above, names Fox West Coast Theatres as the operator of the theaters.

The ca.1917 photo (panel two of a three-photo panorama) I linked to in the comment at the top of this page has been moved. For now it’s right here. I’m thinking that, if the theater had more than 500 seats, then there must have been a long lobby under the hotel, and the auditorium was probably at right angles to it, behind the hotel. Look at this photo, which is the third panel in the panorama. There’s no way that 500+ seats could have been squeezed into the ground floor of the hotel itself, what with the need for columns to support the floors above. The back building (with all the mushroom vents on the roof) looks to have been at least 50' by 100' and could have accommodated that many seats.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 6:29 pm

I had my doubts if there were ever three theaters on S. Main between 8th and 9th, which would have been the case if you had Miller’s at 842, Triangle at 832 and California at 810. Presumably Triangle refers to the intersection where Main, Spring and 9th meet in that geometric arrangement.

vokoban
vokoban on November 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Miller’s [1914 LAT, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1925]
Triangle [1930]

From the city directory.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 6:20 pm

No, I never added it because I only saw one or two references. I also wasn’t sure if it was an earlier incarnation of Miller’s.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm

The Triangel was listed at 832 S. Main. Many years later, in the 1960s, the Platt Music Store was advertised at that address. I think the Triangle was a separate theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 6:06 pm

The rest of it says “A few at 20 cents, some at 30 cents”, so probably somewhere between 500 and 600.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 5:54 pm

This June 1918 ad notes that Miller’s is under the direction of Carl Ray’s Amusement Enterprises. That may be where the Ray’s Garden came from.
http://tinyurl.com/67fzs9

William
William on November 12, 2008 at 5:37 pm

During the mid 20’s Loew’s was going to start operating more theatres in the West but that plan never was finished. So the only two Loew’s houses operating in California were the Loew’s State (Downtown Los Angeles) and the Loew’s Warfield (San Francisco). Both theatres were operated under a partnership with Fox West Coast Theatres.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Here is a timeline:

7/27/24: Still Miller's
9/7/24: Still Miller's
December 1924: Miller's
March 1925: Miller's
March 1926: Miller’s

After that Miller’s is not mentioned. A search for Loew’s turns up only references to the State on Broadway. No mention of the Roosevelt on Main between 1924 and 1939.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I don’t know. I will check the LA Times database to see if there any stories about Millers post-sale.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm

I’m not sure if it was called Loew’s after they bought it. We know it was the Roosevelt by 1939.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm

The LA Times announced the sale of Miller’s Theater on 7/12/24 to Loew’s and Metro-Goldwyn Distributing. They asked Fred Miller to stay and manage the theater, but he declined and retired.

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on June 12, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Here’s a program for Miller’s Theater from January, 1925 here. The same program was also for the California Theatre in Los Angeles, plus on the flip side was a program for the Loew’s State in Eureka, California. All three were owned by the same group.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 18, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Here is a 1923 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/2kuvzw

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 27, 2007 at 8:37 am

Here is an October 1915 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/2xf92d

vokoban
vokoban on August 22, 2007 at 7:09 pm

You can move Ray’s Garden up a year or back a year, I guess, to 1918:

Dec. 4, 1918
Ray’s Garden Theater, formerly Miller’s, does not belie its name. It is now as new and nice, as spick and span as the painter, the varnisher and the decorator can make it. Moreover, it is presenting, this week, an expurgated edition of a Theda Bara vamp story.

vokoban
vokoban on August 22, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Good…Is that from the LA Times?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 22, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Rays was advertised at the 842 S. Main address.

vokoban
vokoban on August 22, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Here are some more city directory listings for this address. Does your source for Ray’s Garden give the address? I’d like to add it to my list if the address is given. LAT=Los Angeles Times Article…other dates are from los angeles city directories.

Miller’s [1914 LAT, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1925]
Triangle [1930]