United Artists Theatre

606 E. Colorado Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91101

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

United Artists Theatre in Pasadena

Not to be confused with the new United Artists Pasadena Marketplace multiplex cinema, this old United Artists Theatre was opened around 1931 with 912 seats. It was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres by June 1938.

Closed in the late-1980’s, it has been gutted and converted for retail space.

Contributed by William Gabel, "manwithnoname"

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I don’t remember ever seeing the original facade of the United Artists. The first time I saw a movie there, about 1961, it had already been clad in that aluminum skin seen in the 1980s photos. The entire house had been renovated, with new seats, carpeting, drapes, and all new fixtures in the rest rooms. It still had new theater smell.

Boxoffice Magazine ran an item about the renovated theater in its February 6, 1961, issue, which said that U.A. had spent $250,000 on the changes. Of considerable surprise to me is the news that the house had been reseated as part of the renovation, reducing capacity to 756. The last time I went to a movie there, in the 1980s, by which time I was taller than I’d been in the early 1960s, the seating had seemed very cramped to me. It must have been incredibly cramped before the renovation.

As I’d been to that part of Pasadena a few times earlier, I must have seen the U.A. before the aluminum skin was put on the facade, but I don’t remember it. As aluminum skins went, it wasn’t a bad one, but I’m still grateful that Angel’s school supply peeled it off and restored the original detailing underneath.

Zubi on August 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm

The United Artists-Pasadena single was a test site for experimental projection/sound equipment, such as UA Cinema 150. The Naifys, former oweners of United Artists Theatre Circuit Inc., came down to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade from bleachers constructed on the theatre’s rooftop. Later, bleachers were also erected atop the UA Marketplace-Pasadena, which opened further down Colorado Blvd. in the 1980s. The single-screen’s official name was “United Artists Theatre” – NOT “United Artists Pasadena Theatre” as stated above. Also, I don’t know its early history but it was operated by UATC well AFTER being managed by Fox West Coast Theatres.

Zubi on June 19, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I have 736 (from a 1989 district office listing) as this theatre’s seating capacity, much less than what is indicated above. Also, again, as evidenced by the photos linked to this page, the name of this place—both historically and during its last days in the 80s—was simply the “United Artists”. Of course, it was located in Pasadena. However, it was not named the “United Artists Pasadena Theatre”, just “United Artists”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 24, 2010 at 3:31 am

Fox West Coast gave up the United Artists in Pasadena in 1950 as part of the consent decree. Boxoffice of February 2 that year listed twelve FWC houses in California that had gone to UA, finally severing the relationship that had existed between the two chains. The other eleven houses were: State and United Artists, Los Angeles; Capitol and California, Glendale; United Artists in Inglewood, Long Beach, and Berkeley; Long Beach in Long Beach; Mission, San Jose; Varsity, Palo Alto, and California, Richmond.

FWC was operating the Pasadena UA at least as early as 1937, according to items I’ve seen in Boxoffice, but I’m pretty sure it was a UA-operated house from 1950 until it closed. I also recall the Washington Theatre in Pasadena being a UA house in the 1960s.

Zubi on June 24, 2010 at 8:02 am

Webmaster – thanks for correcting those two items… Just one more thing, the intro. above says “closed in the 1960’s”. It should say “closed in the late 1980s”.

Mr. Vogel – you really know your theatre history. Very interesting. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend taking LA’s Broadway District Walking Tour next time you’re in that area.

iatse311 on October 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

View link
angels art supply at least restored original facade, removed that awful look from the 80’s View link

Jengood008 on May 24, 2016 at 8:06 pm

After Angel’s School Supply closed, the new owner applied for and received local landmark status for this building. BlankSpaces coworking was set to become the tenant, and judging by the pictures on their Facebook page, the name “blank space” was appropriate since the interior was just a big, white box. Not a trace of theater left. The deal appears to have fallen through, as the building was put back up for lease a few weeks ago. It is still being marketed as a coworking space but in my dreams, I’d love to see it utilized in a way that was accessible to the public- perhaps even with a restoration of the front entrance. Swoon

Jengood008 on February 27, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Sad news. I noticed that the (likely original) lightbulb covered entryway ceiling has recently been demolished. The space still has not found a tenant.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater