Ambassador Hotel Theatre
3400 Wilshire Boulevard,
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The Ambassador Hotel Theatre was located inside the west end of the famed 1,000-roomed Ambassador Hotel, designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt in 1920. The hotel opened on January 1, 1921. The Ambassador Hotel Theatre was opened February 5, 1921 with Pola Negri in “Passion” which was preceded by a prologue on the stage. It was equipped with a 12 pipe theatre organ.
Initially the Ambassador Hotel Theatre leased by Mike & Abe Gore (the Gore brothers of West Coast Theatres) and Sol Lessor Enterprises. In an LA Times article dated December 11, 1920, Herman Gore is being sued for divorce, and his ‘wife of 16 days’ says that he has an ‘interest in the new Ambassador Theatre’. Mike & Abe Gore put all of their brothers in positions of management of their theatres. Jake Gore, Israel Gore, Herman Gore & Samuel Gore were all involved in some way in the theatres – either management, concessions etc. By the 1930’s the Ambassador Hotel Theatre was a favorite theatre in Los Angeles to hold trade show previews of the latest films and movies such as “Smiling Through”, “Pinnochio”, “This Gun For Hire”, “Pride of the Yankees”, “Random Harvest”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “Anchors Away” and “Citizen Kane” all had their first screenings at the theatre. The Ambassador Hotel Theatre was closed around 1954.
The Ambassador Hotel was also home to the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, which became the playground of anyone famous in Hollywood. It also hosted the 1940 Academy Awards ceremony. The hotel was the location of the assasination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968.
In 2000 the shuttered Ambassador Hotel was taken over by the Los Angeles Unified School District and in the fall of 2005, the Ambassador Hotel was demolished despite great protest.
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