Teatro Hidalgo

373 N. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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This theater was built in 1912. It first shows up on the Los Angeles City Directory in 1915. The address in 1906 shows a horse stable with a harness room and office on the 1906 Sanborn map. It would have been on the west side of Main sitting directly at the center median of the current 101 freeway.

The Teatro Hidalgo appears as the Hidalgo in the following years of the Los Angeles City Directory at 373 N. Main Street:

1915, 1916, 1920, 1925, 1930, 1931 and 1936

Contributed by jeff bridges

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 29, 2007 at 2:39 pm

I think one of the sections I lopped off discussed a corpse named Elmer that was on display somewhere on Main Street. I believe this was a former bank robber who died in the teens. His body ended up at the Long Beach Pike, where for years it was assumed he was a mannequin. When they were moving him during the Pike’s closing his arm fell off and they realized that he was an actual human being. He was then buried, so he had some dignity at the end, anyway.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 29, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Here is the text from the Main Street story:

“For ten cents one can behold, supine in an ornate coffin, the mortal remains of one Elmer McCurdy, erstwhile Oklahoma bad man. Elmer cheated the law which demanded his life after one of his murderous affrays, by swallowing cyanide of potassium. His remains were embalmed and the combined action of the cyanide and the ingredients of the embalming fluid pumped into the cadaver caused it to remain in a remarkable state of preservation”.

vokoban
vokoban on November 30, 2007 at 11:05 am

On the Estella page it lists this theater as another name. It’s a different address so maybe I made a mistake a long time ago when I added it.

vokoban
vokoban on August 4, 2008 at 10:22 am

In John Benston’s book Silent Traces, he shows a screen shot of a frame from Buster Keaton’s 1922 movie called Cops. Buster is running east on Arcadia from Main and you can see the Hidalgo clearly in the background. I’m going to have to get a copy of the movie and watch it now.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Here is an excerpt from a book about Mexican Los Angeles that was I reading the other day:

“And there, on Main Street, were the most promising and enduring of the Mexican auditoriums in Los Angeles, Teatro Hidalgo (1911-1934)…just over on Spring Street were Teatro Zendejas (later Novel, 1919-1924) and the first Teatro Mexico. Farther down Main Street were the Teatro Principal (1921-29), the second Teatro Mexico (1927-33) and the Teatro California (1927-34). Several theaters, especially the Hidalgo, showed the new motion pictures.”

It is pointed out that some or all of these were live performance venues, but it does give an interesting snapshot of the city at that time.

dgarcia
dgarcia on March 20, 2009 at 9:40 am

Ken MC,

Which book on Mexican LA does this information come from? It’s extremely helpful.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 20, 2009 at 10:33 am

I have no idea. It was in the stacks of the history dept at the LAPL, Los Angeles section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 20, 2009 at 3:12 am

The Music Trade Review of March 9, 1918, had this interesting information: “The Wm. L. Glockner Music Co., the local Wurlitzer representative, reports the placing recently of a Style H Wurlitzer Orchestra in the Hidalgo Motion Picture Theatre, on North Main Street.”

I wonder if this was the same Glockner who operated Glockner’s Automatic Theatre?

ToriLuvsHarryP
ToriLuvsHarryP on July 2, 2010 at 11:12 pm

My great-great uncle supposedly performed at the theatre Hidalgo, so I was wondering if anybody knew if the theatre kept records of who performed there.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Notices in issues of Southwest Contractor & Manufacturer in June, 1912, said that architect John E. Kunst designed a new theater that was part of a project underway at 369-373 N. Main Street. The theater was an addition to a building at 369 Main that was being remodeled.

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