Sunbeam Theater

6525 Compton Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90001

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Located in the Florence district of Los Angeles, on Compton Avenue at 65th Street. The Sunbeam Theater was damaged in an explosion in 1923, but was rebuilt by West Coast Theatres in early-1925. The explosion may have been the result of a labor dispute. Another fire in 1931 destroyed the theater, a wooden structure.

The S. Charles Lee designed Gentry Theater was built on the same spot in 1937.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on February 29, 2008 at 10:21 am

Here is a January 1920 article concerning discrimination at the Sunbeam:

kencmcintyre on November 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm

This December 3, 1931 story in the LA Times discusses the second blast:

Sheriff’s investigators last night continued to seek a motive in the mysterious blast which early yesterday wrecked the front of the Sunbeam Theater at 6525 Compton Avenue. Deputies from the sheriff’s arson squad were assigned to run down a number of clues, including the movements of an auto seen stopping in front of the theater about three minutes before the explosion.

Rushing to the scene of the blast, which occurred shortly before midnight, deputy sheriffs from the Florence avenue substation surrounded the building in the belief that an attempt had been made to blow up the office safe. The safe, however, was found to be intact.

According to the officers, Charles W. Grubbs, who lives in the same building and who formerly owned the theater, said the explosion may have been the work of men not in sympathy with the policy of the present owners, the Franklin Theaters Corporation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2017 at 12:09 am

This item is from the March 4, 1925, issue of The Film Daily:

“Sunbeam, New L. A. House

(Special to THE FILM DAILY) Los Angeles — The Sunbeam built jointly by C. W. Grubbs and West Coast Theaters, Inc., at Compton Ave. and 69th [sic] St. has opened. It seats 1,400. The owners recently opened another, but smaller house, known as the Kinema, at Manchester and Compton Aves.“

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