Cinema Theatre

1122 N. Western Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90029

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

MovieMgr
MovieMgr on June 26, 2011 at 6:35 am

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.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 10, 2009 at 2:59 pm

From Boxoffice magazine in March 1949:

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

Twistr54
Twistr54 on May 9, 2009 at 3:35 pm

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

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 15, 2009 at 1:40 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.

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 13, 2009 at 6:02 am

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 13, 2009 at 5:51 am

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

William Dakota
William Dakota on March 13, 2009 at 5:50 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2009 at 11:47 pm

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.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Thanks. I will post the photo over on that page.

SteveHopkins
SteveHopkins on January 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Regarding the mysterious “S” theatre on Western, it could well be the Sunset, located a few doors above Sunset Blvd. In its last years
the Sunset was one of the last venues of the Pussycat chain. If I
recall correctly, it was a purveyor of ‘nudie cuties’ in the 60’s,
well before Pussycat took it over.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Here’s an item from the June 3, 1939, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, which may or may not be about this theater: “Lou Berkoff opened his new Cinema Arts Theatre in Hollywood with ‘Ballerina,’ a French production, as his first attraction. The de luxe theatre will play foreign ‘art’ films.”

The County Assessor’s office gives 1937 as the construction date for this building, but “Cinema Arts” isn’t listed as an aka for any theater in Hollywood or Los Angeles, so maybe this was it. Perhaps the house failed as a neighborhood operation and Berkhoff took over a year or so after it opened? I suppose the Assessor’s office could have gotten the construction date wrong, too.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Joe Vogel, there was a Strand Theater in the 4400 block of South Broadway some years ago. That may be a candidate for my 8/12/07 photo, although the theater would have to had lasted until the 1990s. I’ll keep looking.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Here is an LA Times story dated 2/14/41:

Two men and a girl were taken into custody by police yesterday following the robbery of a theater at 1122 N. Western, Wednesday night. According to Detective Russell Smith, a 6-foot bandit held up Miss Dorothy Kemp, cashier, and escaped in a car driven by a girl.

Bob Calvert, 20, usher, chased the bandit car to Santa Monica Boulevard and Normandie Avenue, where the bandit assertedly threatened him with a gun. The bandit then fled from the automobile.

A short time later, police arrested Miss Verna Barber, 21, in a gas station at 3426 Beverly Boulevard. She was taken to the Central Robbery Bureau and questioned. From information supplied by the girl, police took Fred Freeman, 30, into custody at 1100 E. 68th Street. Freeman confessed to robbing the theater and also admitted holding up three other theaters during the last few weeks.

Freeman then implicated Jack Greenwell, 31, who was taken into custody at 30th Street and Western Avenue. Greenwell denied any part in the holdups.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 28, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Here is a November 1972 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/3vgapk

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2008 at 1:06 am

If the caption is correct and the “S” theatre is (or was) on Western Avenue, I’m guessing that it must have been on South Western. I’m pretty sure there was never a theatre that looked like that north of Wilshire. The graffito “PIC 44” might be a gang sign indicating 44th Street. I can’t recall which theatres were on Western in that area. It’s possible that it’s one that’s still missing from the Cinema Treasures database.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 28, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Nobody ever got back to me on the “S” theater I mentioned on 8/12/07. I’m still curious.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 28, 2007 at 10:10 pm

According to a report from the L.A. city planning department’s zoning information system, the building at 1122 N. Western Avenue was built in 1937.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 12, 2007 at 10:11 pm

I see that there are four theatres named “Music Hall” listed in that 1945 ad. I wonder if they were all run by Walter Reade Theatres? I know that the Beverly Hills Music Hall was a Reade operation for a while, and they also ran the Music Hall Theatre in San Francisco, though that was in the 1960s.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 7:50 pm

I posted this photo on one of the other pages. It’s from a book of LA photos, circa 1994. The caption stated that the theater was on Western, but nothing other than that regarding the identity. The name started with S, obviously. Any ideas would be welcomed:
http://tinyurl.com/25jhk7

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 1:00 am

Here is an early 70s ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/26e89v