Oriental Theatre

7425 Sunset Boulevard,
Hollywood,
Los Angeles, CA 90046

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skyvue
skyvue on August 3, 2012 at 5:57 am

The exterior of this theatre is seen briefly in a scene towards the end of a 1970 episode of DRAGNET entitled “DHQ—The Victims.” Friday and Gannon drive by, but the theatre is not mentioned and otherwise plays no role in the episode. It’s just in the background (if rather prominently so) as the two police detectives drive by.

I couldn’t quite make out which picture(s) were listed on the marquee as they drove by.

BillCounter
BillCounter on March 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm

The shots from the great 1958 Allied Artists epic “Unwed Mother” that vokoban and haineshisway mention in their 2007 posts:

Here we get Robert Vaughn crossing the street to the Oriental for a holdup:
View link

Leaving afterward:
View link

We see the cashier hitting the button on the floor of the boxoffice to summon the police. It doesn’t go well. The car won’t start and he gets caught.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2008 at 12:05 am

The Oriental was built in 1921, according to both the county assessor’s office and the April 15, 1921 issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor. The SB&C article gives the projected seating capacity of the theatre as 1200. Having been to this theatre, I can say this was a gross exaggeration.

Also, I’d say this theatre should definitely be listed as being in Hollywood, not Los Angeles. That’s why it was once called the West Coast Hollywood Theatre.

ka0gyf
ka0gyf on March 25, 2008 at 9:50 am

During the Mid to late 50’s “The Bugs Bunny Club” at the Oriental Theater was the place to be every Saturday afternoon . Mom and Dad got about three hours of Saturday peace and quiet at the expense of that poor Oriental Manager , every seat filled with screaming kids .

Fifty Cents admission , Ten weeks punched on the Bugs Bunny Club Card meant a free admission .

Saturday Lineup at 1PM
Cartoon
Serial, Flash Gordon , Western , etc.
Sometimes an on stage manager would draw for a prize.
Main feature movie
Always a second feature that required written permission from parents to stay longer .

Pedestrian Underpass beneath Sunset Boulevard at Gardner made a great play ground while waiting on parents to pick us up and take us home up to Laurel Canyon.

A few years earlier about 1954 , I recall my Dad taking me on a Red Car Trolley Ride , tracks cut diagonally through Sunset right along side of and behind the Oriental , the old easement for the trolley tracks can still be seen on Google Maps (satellite).

Doug

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 20, 2007 at 4:29 pm

This theatre is listed in the 1929 Los Angeles City Directory by the name West Coast Hollywood Theatre.

haineshisway
haineshisway on May 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm

It’s quite a long sequence, too – a robbery scene.

vokoban
vokoban on May 24, 2007 at 1:05 am

There’s a great shot of this theater in the 1958 super-bad movie called Unwed Mother.

meryl
meryl on July 16, 2006 at 5:57 pm

something similar happened with an 800 number at Goldwyn— when it rang late at night on the last button, it was always for a radio station request line in Kansas City. We had fun with it; and took lots of requests for ‘Stairway to Heaven!’

MichaelM
MichaelM on July 16, 2006 at 3:57 am

My phone number was one digit off from the Oriental’s. After five years of obnoxious phone calls at 3 a.m., I started making up double bills. I wonder how many drunks showed up expecting The Sound of Music and Deep Throat on the same bill.

As much as I love old theaters, I had mixed feelings about the Oriental’s closing.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 28, 2005 at 11:25 pm

From the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photo Collection:

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 30, 2005 at 10:15 pm

Two c.1926 photographs of the Granada Theatre, Hollywood here:

Exterior
View link

Auditorium
View link

deleted user
[Deleted] on August 25, 2005 at 9:45 pm

Joe Vogel, I think I remember that the carpeting was taken up around that time and it had a wood floor. The theater seemed to be run solely by an old woman. You couldn’t help but like the place. Diana Ellis

meryl
meryl on August 24, 2005 at 11:43 am

the showtimes were odd: instead of 7:00 or 7:15, 7:30; etc.
the Oriental’s showtimes were always 7:14, or 7:23; etc.
in the late ‘70s it was a cheap place to see old movies.

William
William on February 18, 2005 at 1:55 am

The Oriental Theatre was the only theatre that operated on that part of Sunset Blvd.. The closest theatres to the Oriental would be the Monica Theatre (aka. Tomkat) and the Carmel Theatre (aka. Paris) both on Santa Monica Blvd..

jmarellano
jmarellano on February 18, 2005 at 1:19 am

Thanks Ken. Mind you this is less than a mile from the west theatres on Hollywood Blvd (El Capitan / Chinese / Hollywood)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 18, 2005 at 1:03 am

Jeff;
Thanks I will mail you. I have a couple of photos in the book ‘American Theatres of Today’ Vol 1 which shows the exterior facade and an auditorium shot taken in c.1926. I can scan and send to you.

To my knowledge there were no other theatres close by.

jmarellano
jmarellano on February 18, 2005 at 12:51 am

Also, go to www.terraserver.microsoft.com

Enter 7425 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

The Oriental would be where the big red canopy over the sidewalk is.

There is another building just two over, would be about 7415 Sunset that looks like it could be a theatre. When visiting, it has something that looks like it could be a stagehouse, but is shorter and a wee bit wider.

jmarellano
jmarellano on February 18, 2005 at 12:40 am

Also, when they retro'ed the building for quakes, they did such a bad job that there are several Bolts and Rods that go from one wall to another to support it.

jmarellano
jmarellano on February 18, 2005 at 12:34 am

Ken, I drove around to the back of the store. And I saw what looked like it could be a theatre. I was like, hmm…..I took some crappy pics on my cell phone if you would like to see, just email me.

So when I walked in the store I saw the shape and was like…hmm.

When my friend walked to the back room where the vintage guitars are, I was awestruck. Its the full screen area, from floor to ceiling.

What they did was add two side rooms next to the theatre to make the guitar center building bigger. I wonder what is behind all the fake wall in front. Unfortunately we may never know,

But definitely, this theatre is still existant.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 17, 2005 at 6:32 pm

Good detective work there Jeff. Looking at the building you would never belive it had ever been a theatre. I have passed it many times, knowing that it was the location of the Oriental/Granada, but never thought to go inside.

The header needs to be up-dated to : Status: Closed. Function: Retail

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on February 17, 2005 at 5:36 am

Awesome – thanks for the tip, Jeff! I’m going in there next weekend.

jmarellano
jmarellano on February 17, 2005 at 5:29 am

I went into Guitar Center today. If you go in the store down a level to the acoustic room, and into the vintage room, not only can you see where the screen was located, but there is still some ornamental moulding on the ceiling. this is the only room where you can see this at, since drop ceilings were added to the other part.

Oddly enough, if you go upstairs in the Drum Store area, it takes you in part of what was the projection room.

Definitely a site to see.

c13207
c13207 on December 26, 2004 at 10:41 pm

It was the Oriental theatre in 1934 it was near the Gardner street
car stop whem it crossed Sunset Blvd.