Hitching Post Theatre

1442 2nd Street,
Santa Monica, CA 90401

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm

We have an identity problem. The very reliable web site Los Angeles Theatres says that the Hitching Post and the Pussycat were two different theaters (turns out Kirk Besse was on the right track in his comment of July 22, 2007, above.)

Much of the information on the L.A. Theatres Santa Mocia Hitching Post page matches information I posted some time ago on the Cinema Treasures page for the Beverly Canon Theatre, which was once the Hitching Post Theatre in Beverly Hills. My source was Boxoffice Magazine, and I have no doubt the additional information from L.A. Theatres is correct.

The Hitching Post was at 1448 4th Street, not 1442 2nd, which was the address of the Pussycat Theatre (for which L.A. Theatres also has a web page.) The Hitching Post opened in the 1940s, was closed briefly in 1950, then reopened as the Riviera Theatre, an art house, though it probably continued to run westerns at matinees on weekends. The Riviera was apparently closed by 1953, and in 1954 the building had become a furniture store.

The Hitching Post/Riviera had been closed for almost two decades by the time the Pussycat opened, so it isn’t surprising that someone would mistake the Pussycat’s location for that of the long-gone Hitching Post, which must be what happened when William submitted this theater. The description above should be changed to correct the errors, and the Pussycat should probably get its own page.

KenJr
KenJr on October 16, 2010 at 7:04 am

My friends and I used to go to the Hitching Post Theater in Santa Monica every Saturday in the 1940s (I lived just down the street at 4th and Pacific). They played all Western movies, double features .. Lash LaRue, Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and on and on. The only exceptions to the Westerns I remember were the Three Stooges shorts and the cartoons. I should also note that the ushers would get up on stage between features and throw out Double-Bubble gum and various candies. It was a great way to spend Saturday afternoons.

cazia
cazia on April 6, 2009 at 2:13 am

My buddies and I would go to the Hitching Post every Saturday morning during the late 40’s and very early 50’s. They showed nothing but “B” Westerns and weekly Serials. I remember they had a sign stating “Check Your Guns At the Box Office” And of course the only attendee’s were very preteen boys. I was raised in Santa Monica and have many fond memories of some of the theatres found on this site. Just found the site today and plan on spending many enjoyable hours here!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 3, 2009 at 2:20 am

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 9/19/95:

The Pussycat Theater is back, much to the dismay of Santa Monica officials. The adult theater closed for a month and was replaced by a foreign-film operator. The theater shut down after a Beverly Hills chiropractor took a three-month sublease on the theater space, a block west of the Third Street Promenade. Since mid-August, Dr. Shahin Ravery had been showing Iranian films at the theater, which he renamed Asia Theater. But problems with the sound system and foul smells inside the building forced Ravery to close.

Last week, the X-rated Pussycat reopened, but city officials want to see it closed. The city says the 30-year-old business, which was exempt from a 1981 ordinance banning adult theaters, is now bound by the law because it is considered a new business in the wake of its reopening. There are no other adult movie theaters in Santa Monica.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 30, 2008 at 4:58 am

Here is a August 1997 article from the LA Times:

The X-rated Pussycat Theater on 2nd Street has been purchased by a Santa Monica real estate company and will go out of business by the end of the year.

Calstar Equities, which bought the theater for about $1.5 million, said it may raze the theater to make way for a three-story office building.

City officials hailed the move. “Many people have been turned off by the theater’s marquee and posters,” said Councilman Ken Genser. “We’re hoping this will fit into the overall scheme of downtown improvement.”

William
William on August 8, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Thanks Jay for that post on the history of the chain.

JayAllenSanford
JayAllenSanford on August 8, 2008 at 3:23 pm

New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
View link

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on February 2, 2008 at 7:05 am

Ken, your second photo favors Rapp Saloon, the oldest building in Santa Monica (1875) and its first landmark. As well as a saloon, it functioned as storage space for Vitagraph (which had a building next door), and as city hall. Now it’s a part of the hostel behind it, and used for poetry readings.

gugenheim84
gugenheim84 on November 9, 2007 at 7:40 pm

I distinctly remember a theater showing only Western movies (at least on Saturday’s) in that location in the very early 50’s and there was an authentic Hitching Post in front of the entrance. The actual name of the theater I’m not sure, but my brother and I called it The Hitching Post. In the 60’s it was not there anymore and if it had been replaced by an adult theater before 1964-65 I would have surly known about it. Santa Monica had a liberal reputation but an adult theater in the midst of all those merchants who’s business' catered to Mom’s and Family is quite unbelievable.

decoteau
decoteau on July 22, 2007 at 9:37 pm

“There is a 1979 Pussycat theater photo here:
View link
posted by Lost Memory on Jan 12, 2005 at 10:47am” ……

That is a pic of the Hollywood Blvd. Pussycat Theatre

KJB2012
KJB2012 on July 22, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I’ve looked through Santa Monica city directories between 1920 and 1961 and I don’t find any mention of a Hitching Post theatre. I’ve found a Western theatre located at 1448 4th in 1947-48. Are you sure that the Pussycat location had been a theatre before its Pussycat days?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm

The Hitching Post was advertised at 1448 4th Street, Santa Monica in the LA Times on 2/11/46.

tbdavid
tbdavid on March 13, 2006 at 9:46 pm

actually…the photos above are of two different “Cats” One being The “Monica Cat” now called the Tomkat
and the second is the “Hollywood Cat” now a church

tbdavid
tbdavid on January 12, 2005 at 6:40 pm

Hello from Colorado!

Vincent Miranda was my God Father and the owner of the Pussycat chain. I have been putting together a collection of anything Pussycat befor all is lost. I would really love to locate one of the old marquees…you know, the oval with the Ms. Pussycat and “It’s a Pussycat Theatre”. Any old pics would be fantastic..I have only been able to locate pics of The New View and of The Tiki.Even an old matchbook would make my day. Please..if you have any information…let me know.

Thanks!

Tim david

970.309.3991

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on September 22, 2004 at 9:41 pm

‘One’ of the few. :)

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on September 22, 2004 at 9:40 pm

Aha! So you’re the one with the lightning-fast FTP reflexes! :wave:

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on September 22, 2004 at 9:38 pm

Thanks ‘Magic Lantern’! I will fix the address now. — Ross

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on September 22, 2004 at 9:25 pm

Too right! This should be 1442 2nd Street; the 1999 Santa Monica Planning Commission notes found here:
View link
also indicate that the theatre closed as the Pussycat in February of 1998.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on September 22, 2004 at 9:20 pm

Buca di Beppo is on 2nd Street, not 4th.

MagicLantern
MagicLantern on September 22, 2004 at 8:50 pm

This theatre was located at 1448 4th Street; the building is now a Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant.