Warner Grand Theater

478 W. 6th Street,
San Pedro, CA 90730

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Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Owned by the City of Los Angeles since January, 1996, today’s Warner Grand Theater is the last remaining functioning ‘nabe’ south of downtown L.A. and north of San Diego County. It still screens the classics on its 50 ft. screen and hosts concerts on its vaudeville size stage. Since the city’s acquisition, the theatre has undergone a slow upgrading, including the installation of new dressing rooms, new concession stands, a box office area, redone projection and an upgraded stage system.

This theatre has for over fifteen years been a favorite filming location, seen in numerous TV series from “7th Heaven”, “Melrose Place” and “Party of Five” to major features including “Worth Winning”, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, (as the Apollo), “Pearl Harbor”, “Seabiscuit” and most recently, as a southern West Virginia Bijou in “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton”.

Every Sunday evening, the interior and beautiful exterior of the Warner Grand can be seen in ESPN Classic’s sports movie show, called “Reel Classics”.

The Warner Grand Theater is designated a Historic Cultural Monument.

Contributed by Ray Kaufman

Recent comments (view all 62 comments)

William
William on November 20, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Warner built the Warner Hollywood and leased Wiltern (aka Western). They opened the Western and closed it a few years later. And it was reopened as the Wiltern during the mid 30’s. Fox leased it for a short time along with afew independent operators. (This from a reopening program for the theatre). I know the Downtown was bought after Pantages had that problem with that girl in the theatre.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on November 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Okay, I asked Hillsman Wright about this at the LAHTF tour today, and he said that Warners originally planned to build 6 theaters in this style. Three actually got built. One has been torn down. And the San Pedro Warner is the only one still operating. So the article is only talking about the small sample of Warner theaters in this specific style, not their whole empire.

mrarteest
mrarteest on January 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I volunteer with the GVF (Grand Vision Foundation) and have inside access to this theater. I have a set dedicated to the Warner Grand…

View link

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Great pictures and history.

matt54
matt54 on November 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm

That shot of the sign and marquee is awesome, Chuck!

paulsp
paulsp on January 25, 2011 at 9:49 am

It would appear that this theatre has the rare distinction of still retaining the original marquee, always such an important part of a theatre’s design and so often destroyed over the years.
Looks in great shape, would love to go there someday.

RayKaufman
RayKaufman on January 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm

The marquee and blade sign were completely repainted in 1996 by John Wittle, then a local painter and funded by Grand Vision Foundation. Originally, only the marquee was to have been repainted back to its original colors, but a local business man made a substantial donation and the blade sign as well as all of the neon were completed.

After stripping the paint off down to bare metal, the original zigzag pattern of the painting was discovered as the marquee had been painted over numerous times. There was a puzzle as to the colors and the proper scheme. When two pieces of angle iron that attached the side panels to the building were removed, the original paint, in like new, undisturbed condition was discovered allowing for a match and pattern to be determined.

What was in many ways important, was that original thin paint strips beneath the angle iron was not stripped for repainting, but re-covered as they were found and still remain as documentation if and when needed.

William
William on May 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm

You can see some of the auditorium and lobby in the new film “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer”.

paulnelson
paulnelson on August 29, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Incredible art deco interior with such great detail.

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