Cabart Theatre

2342 E. Anaheim Street,
Long Beach, CA 90804

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises Inc., Cabart Theaters Corp, Pacific Theatres

Functions: Office Space, Retail

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

Cabart Theatre exterior

The Cabart Theatre opened October 15, 1936 with Fred Astaire in “Swing Time” & Jean Arthur in Adventure in Manhattan". It closed November 12, 1961 with Andy Griffith in “Onionhead” & Tony Curtis in “The Perfect Furlough”.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

bcurran1946
bcurran1946 on January 13, 2009 at 9:10 pm

i was born in 1946 and we moved out to a address on ohio street when i was in elementry school( patrick henry). back then you could run the neighborhood without fear of being shot at, i used to spend many happy warm summer vacation days running amuck throughout the neighborhood, jumping fences,picking fruit from the neighbors trees and never once getting shot at(once in a great while a neighbor might complain).
as “raymond” mentioned the old cabart was a ball-it was cool-literally-and i got alot of nitemares from those old vincent price movies they always were showing.

cabartlvr
cabartlvr on September 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

The Cabart was (and still is) my all time favorite theater. I fondly remember attending Saturday Kiddie Matinee programs with color cartoons, serial chapter and a double feature. I’m looking for photos and any home movies that anyone might like to share. Seems the photo on this page is the only one in existence but perhaps somebody has something stashed away. Any exterior or interior photos or film footage from any time frame would be wonderful. Also looking for same of any other Long Beach Theaters from days gone by.

cabartlvr
cabartlvr on September 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm

“River of No Return” & “Hell Raiders” (of the deep) played September 1-7, 1954. Final double feature of “Onionhead” & “Perfect Furlough” played final time on November 12, 1961. Still looking for photos or communication of and about the iconic Cabart.

cabartlvr
cabartlvr on August 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Follow up research indicated the actual opening date of the Cabart was Oct 15, 1936. Press Telegram newspaper of that date had a titled story “Cabart Theater opening marks new advance of Anaheim Street.” Next day edition of the Press Telegram had a titled story “Long Beach’s new, ultra modern playhouse; throngs greet Cabart Theater dedication. The July 12, 1936 edition of the Press Telegram had a titled story "Work is started on movie house costing $75,000; on sw corner of Anaheim & Junipero – structure leased to Cabart firm for 15 years. Wondering if following a 15 year lease, if lease was renewed for 10 years and then not renewed again, causing the closure after final performances on November 12, 1961? Still researching the Cabart, still looking for photos, stories, etc.

cabartlvr
cabartlvr on December 19, 2017 at 8:04 am

I just added a 1936 photo of the opening day of the Cabart. This is only the second photo I’ve seen of this wonderful neighborhood theater.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on April 18, 2021 at 5:31 am

Opened October 15, 1936 with Swing Time and Adventure in Manhattan for Cabart Theatre Circuit.

cabartlvr
cabartlvr on April 18, 2021 at 10:03 am

Great post dallasmovietheaters. Thanks for posting those great ads and feel free to contact me about any other ads or photos or stories about the Cabart.

Ron Pierce
Ron Pierce on July 4, 2021 at 9:12 pm

The Cabart name was derived from combining partners Charles A. CABallero and Milton ARThur. Milton Arthur came to Long Beach in 1930 and leased the Capitol, later named the Tracy Theatre. His brother, Harry Arthur, ran several East Coast theaters, in the 1930s, most notably the Fox New England Circuit and was listed as a stockholder in New York’s Roxy. Mr. Caballero partnered in 1947 with William Foreman to form United Drive-In Theatres, later known as Pacific Drive-In Theatres.

As early as April 1932, Mr. Arthur was mentioned in the Santa Ana Register as division manager of Fox West Coast Theaters. A story appearing in Variety on February 26, 1936, reported Milton Arthur was banned from the Fox West Coast home office because of a feud with Charles Skouras. At the time Arthur was FWC district manager of five Orange County theaters and the feud may have had something to do with a contract for the Broadway and West Coast Theaters to share revenues. Milton’s father, Harry C. Arthur Sr., managed the Fox West Coast in Anaheim for 18 years before his death in 1945.

Film Daily Year Book 1940 lists Cabart Theatres with 15 Southern California locations. Cabart’s Long Beach houses at one time or another were the Atlantic, Brayton, Dale, Cabart, Art, Ritz, Rivoli, Tracy, and State. By 1950, with offices at 4425 Atlantic Blvd in the Towne Theatre, the La Shell and Santa Fe were added to now 21 locations. As for the Art Theatre it was Mr. Arthur’s idea in January 1949 to change the name of the Lee Theatre to the Art Theatre, that name being more descriptive for at the time the theater was playing Laurence Olivier’s Henry V.

Other theaters mentioned as Milton having an interest in were the Southside Theatres and Alto Theatre, Los Angeles, Fanchon & Marco theatres and the Temple Theatre in San Bernardino. In 1949 Cabart purchased the State, Walkers, Yost, and Princess in Santa Ana and would later operate the Paulo Drive-In, Costa Mesa.

Cabart theatres weren’t without problems. In December 1947 the Ebell Theatre filed suit against Arthur and 15 distributors for violation of the anti-trust law. In October 1952 Milton assumed the lease of the Ebell for $750 a month. In August 1950 a similar suit by Eulah and Ivan Hanson of the Atlantic Theatre against Cabart was dismissed. Mr. Hanson had passed away the previous April and in 1958 the Atlantic came under the Cabart Theatres banner.

The most devastating hit to Cabart Theatres was the February 25, 1952, $500,000 fire of the Broadway Theatre in Santa Ana. Managed by a Cabart officer George King (Milt’s brother in-law), the theater had just undergone a $250,000 refurbishment. The Broadway was rebuilt, reopening in 1955, with mid-century minimalist architecture, in contrast to the ‘Skourasized’ Fox West Coast, Santa Ana.

Mr. Arthur began planning the Los Altos Drive-in Theatre in 1953. When it opened on June 3, 1955, the Long Beach Independent noted it was jointly owned by Cabart Theatres and Pacific Drive-In Theatres. In 1960 the Cabart, Rivoli, State, and Towne, became part of Pacific Theatres.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Arthur for many years was chairman of the Los Angeles County Park and Recreation Commission and was a proponent to bring major league baseball to Los Angeles. At one time he, and brother Harry, was part owners of the St. Louis Browns baseball. In March of 1957 Milton was part of Mayor Norris Poulson’s entourage who met with with Walter O’Malley in Vero Beach to persuade him to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. Before meeting with O’Malley, Arthur said he had already researched Chavez Ravine as a possible site.

Mr. Arthur led a colorful life prior to becoming a theater magnate. The Press-Telegram noted he was born in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen and was a bat boy for the Yankees in 1913-14 under Frank Chance. He came to Los Angeles in 1921 as a film salesman and opened his first theater there in 1926. At the time of the October 1951 interview he made his home on Myrtle Avenue in Bixby Knolls. Mr. Arthur passed away in August 1973.

cabartlvr
cabartlvr on July 5, 2021 at 5:41 am

Great post Ron Pierce. Very informative. You mentioned the Cabart as well as the Rivoli, State and Towne theaters became part of Pacific Theaters in 1960. With the Cabart closing in November of 1961 and operating only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at that time, do you have any information as to why the Cabart closed? Lack of business perhaps or no agreeable lease renewal terms? I have searched through newspaper files up to Dec 31, 1977 and never found mention of the Cabart closing except for the word CLOSED under the Pacific Theater banner the week after it was closed.

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