Cinema Theatre

1122 N. Western Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90029

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The Cinema Theatre was opened in 1939. It was converted from a former retail store by noted theatre architect S. Charles Lee, for exhibitor Louis Berkoff. It was an art house cinema for many years, then ran adult films. It is now a church.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 14, 2009 at 7:47 am

Here’s a brief item from Boxoffice Magazine, May 28, 1962:

“Approximately $75,000 was expended to give the Cinema Theatre a complete facelift in time for the Pacific Coast premier of ‘Through a Glass Darkly.’ Remodeling included a new lobby, marquee, carpets, drapes, and an elaborate mezzanine art gallery.”
My first visit to the Cinema must have been fairly soon after this. I don’t remember ever seeing the old marquee, or being in the theatre before the art gallery (not so elaborate, really) was installed.

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I met Louis Federici when I was a doorman at the Apollo Theater. He Wused to stop by after he left the Cinema theater. We would talk until I closed and then we would go out and he would buy me a hamburger. I think he was just curious to see how much business we were doing. Years later, I would manage the State theater in Pasadena, that he was leasing. He was old now and couldn’t properly take care of business properly. Through him I met a wonderful person, who was a retired projectionist, Conrad Button. If I had any problems with the theater projectors, he would drive over and help me out. He was a wonderful, kind, person who died of a heart attack a few years ago. I miss him still today. Federici is also gone now.

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm

The above was posted by William Dakota, not Federici. I goofed!

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm

This is Friday the 13th. Federici is watching me goof with his name. I used to like to hear him talk about the celebrities who came into his theater. Nick Adams came with Natalie Wood, without any money. Nick said he would pay Federici later, but he didn’t. Nick had rented an apartment from Federici and James Dean used to visit Nick on several occasions.

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 15, 2009 at 8:40 pm

These Independent persons who always helped Federici and other Independent operators, never got the respect that is owed to them. If Conrad Button hadn’t always been there, when I needed him, the State theater in Pasadena, would have been in bad trouble. He worked with a few others who would always be available when a theater was in trouble. They would have and sell, very reasonably, parts for old projectors that would often break down. Most of them have now passed on. They did it because the theater operations were in their blood. They were never really retired. I don’t remember all of their names because Conrad was my main helper. A candy bar would be his reward, even though he was diabetic. From the beginning when I first met him, we were close friends.

Twistr54 on May 9, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I think this was a Pussycat Theatre when I lived there in 1981.

kencmcintyre on July 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm

From Boxoffice magazine in March 1949:

An extensive remodeling job is underway at the Cinema Theater, Hollywood showcase recently acquired by Joe Moritz.

MovieMgr on June 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Updated and edited on June 26, 2011 I worked for a small chain of Art Theatres from 1963-1973. The company was Art Theatre Guild, Inc. Founded by Louis K.Sher in Bexley, Ohio in 1955. The company moved its HQ to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1963. I was promoted to manager in 1964 and sent to Tucson to operate the original Loft Theatre located at 6th & Fremont, which I also lived in. I also managed the Fine Art in Fresno, The Rockhill in Kansas City, Missouri. The Cinema in Hollywood, the Art Theatre in Dayton along with the Little Art in Yellow Springs, Ohio and The Bexley (then first twin theatre in America) in Bexley, Ohio along with the World Theatre in Columbus and the Opera House in Granville, Ohio. I was the manager of the Bexley and World theatres from 1969 – 1973.

adsausage on April 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Programmed ‘Underground Movies / Saturday at midnight’ in March 1970. Eight movies, all experimental/shorts. Admission was $2 and membership, a whopping 25 cents.

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