Ambassador Hotel Theatre

3400 Wilshire Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90010

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Showing 24 comments

seymourcox on April 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Architect Myron Hunt may well have also designed the downtown Regent Theatre as the two auditorium designs was so very similar.
Regent auditorium images:
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Ambassador auditorium;
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kencmcintyre on January 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I had lunch across the street from the Ambassador a few days ago. Sad to see the old hotel gone, not to mention the Brown Derby hat on the other side of Wilshire painted silver and hidden in a mini-mall.

kencmcintyre on December 29, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Here is an item from Boxoffice magazine in October 1947:

LOS ANGELES-Dick Pritchard has resigned as entertainment director of the Ambassador Hotel and manager of that hostelry’s theater, effective October 15. He will join Fox West Coast. He had been with the Ambassador for eight years. August V. Tozzi will succeed Pritchard at the hotel.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm

EJHouston: The Ambassador was never called the Mirror. The Mirror Theatre discussed in my comment of Dec. 31, 2004, above was the playhouse in Hollywood originally called the Vine Street Theater and now known as the Ricardo Montalban Theatre. The Montalban was called the Mirror from 1931 to 1936.

The 1955 episode of I Love Lucy you saw was filmed in a studio, and the backdrop outside the rooms at the fictional “Beverly Palms Hotel” was a photograph. It would not be surprising if the Montalban Theatre, during its Mirror period, was in that photo. Using an old photo from the 1930s as the backdrop would have saved the cost of making a new one.

EJFarhood on January 29, 2008 at 10:04 am

if this theatre went by the name of the Mirror Theatre for a period of time, there is an I Love Lucy episode filmed when they were in Los Angeles and a sign for the Mirror Theatre appears a couple of times in the background from their hotel room balcony – the episode is the one when Lucy gets stuck on Cornel Wilde’s balcony while trying to see him….

kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 6:38 pm

Here’s a 12/25/50 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on August 6, 2007 at 8:14 pm

I drove by the Ambassador the other day. There’s still part of the old building standing. I thought they had razed it all by now. Tbey did remove Sammy Davis Jr’s Now Grove signage off the post out front, so now it says Ambassador as it used to.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 17, 2006 at 5:22 pm

Ken: I found that they’ve given the Winter-Hunt site a new URL, but it’s to no avail. The text pages display, but clicking on the thumbnail photos still brings up nothing but the same thumbnails on individual pages.

kencmcintyre on July 17, 2006 at 3:19 pm

The Robert Winter site mentioned above is still dysfunctional, 18 months after Joe first discussed it.

kencmcintyre on January 26, 2006 at 10:44 am

The Ambassador is now gone. Part of the pantry was taken to storage somewhere due to its historical value. The rest of the hotel has been razed.

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2005 at 7:47 am

A photo by Frederick Martin:

View link

UKuser on November 2, 2005 at 12:40 am


T'he Los Angeles Theatre' on South Broadway, LA is playing host to the UK television show ‘Dead Famous LIVE’. We are currently looking for people who would like to come along as part of the studio audience.

‘Dead Famous LIVE’ is a studio entertainment show all about Hollywood History and the paranormal. We will be welcoming celebrity guests on to the show and investigating famous locations around Hollywood which are rumoured to be haunted including the Los Angeles Theatre itself.

This is an invaluable chance to get access to the Los Angeles Theatre, the place where Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ premiered in 1931 and to have a thoroughly great day out! (And its free!!)

We’re transmitting ‘Live’ back to the United Kingdom so expect it to be exciting and fun!

We will be filming on three days from 11th – 13th November between 11.30am – 4pm. If you are interested in coming on one or all of these days then email me for tickets!


I look forward to your responses!

kencmcintyre on September 3, 2005 at 4:10 pm

As of today, the Ambassador Hotel is on death row. They pulled all of the furniture out yesterday. Demolition will start in a few days. R.I.P.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 3, 2005 at 9:47 pm

I’ve been having the same problem with it. I think that the collection has only recently been added to the college web site, and they probably don’t have the kinks worked out yet.

trooperboots on January 3, 2005 at 9:21 pm

Hi Joe, I have been trying to access the Robert Winter Collection site, but so far, not successful. I think I will write to them instead. I keep getting error messages with their search feature.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 1, 2005 at 6:11 am

You can find some pictures of some of Hunt’s other buildings, particularly his work at Occidental College, online in the Robert Winter Collection, which is maintained by Occidental. Their campus, located in the Eagle Rock district of Los Angeles, is worth a visit, too.

trooperboots on January 1, 2005 at 5:11 am

Joe, THANKS a lot. I apprecite the information a great deal. The photos at LAPL are fantastic and there are so many! Those should be a great help in my research of the Montalban! Happy New Year!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 31, 2004 at 6:45 am


The only old pictures I’ve seen of the Vine Street Theater (all exterior shots, unfortunately) are those few in the L.A. Public Library photo database. (Click on the “Photo Collection” link, use the search terms “Theater Vine Street” and choose the search type “Subject Headings” from the menu. That brings up nine pictures. Some are of the building while under construction, some after completion.

I also know that the first alteration to the Vine Street Theater came as early as 1936, when S. Charles Lee designed a new marquee, and new heating and ventilating systems were installed. Lee sometimes did sketches of buildings to which he made alterations. If he made any of the Vine STreet, then they would probably be in the collection of his drawings and papers which, I believe, is held by UCLA. Since he made a major change only to the outside of this theater, though, he might not have bothered to make any interior sketches.

When Huntington Hartford bought the place in the 1950s, the remodeling he ordered was so complete that almost nothing remained of the original theatre but the outer walls. There are probably photographs of the old interior somewhere in the world- in old magazines and such, perhaps- but I have no idea where to find them.

The place also went by the name Mirror Theater for a while, but I don’t know if that was before or after it was the Huntington Hartford Theater. If it was earlier, then pictures of it from before the rebuilding might be sought out by that name as well as by the original name.

trooperboots on December 31, 2004 at 12:36 am

Joe, THANKS for the note about the other Hunt buildings. Myron Hunt also designed the lovely Beaux Arts masterpiece “Wilkes Vine Street Theater”, today known as the “Ricardo Montalban Theater” on Vine Street, just south of Hollywood Blvd. It was remodelled in 1954 but in the past year, the group that owns the theater is remodelling it to more closely resemble it’s former appearance. If you know where I can get interior shots of how it looked in the 20s and 30s, I would appreciate it. The Hollywood Library lost many historic photos in the great fire they had in the 1980s. The theater reconstruction team is currently looking for some reference images.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2004 at 4:37 pm

The architect of this theater, and the hotel in which it is located, was Myron Hunt, one of the leading archtects of Los Angeles in the first half of the 20th century. His other works include the Huntington Hotel, Public Library, and The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, most of the buildings of Occidental College in the Eagle Rock district of Los Angeles, The Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, and dozens of other significant structures throughout California, as well as a large number of (mostly palatial) private dwellings in communities such as San Marino, Palos Verdes Estates, and Santa Barbara.

MagicLantern on September 17, 2004 at 12:23 am

This theatre may still exist at the Ambassador but may face ultimate demolition due to the LAUSD’s plans to convert the site into a new school.

geovhill on February 8, 2004 at 1:43 pm

The Ambassador Theatre should still be with us.
This was GRAND!!
Really, a classic.
George Vreeland Hill

gbachlund on November 28, 2003 at 11:37 am

This theatre was part of the famed Ambassador Hotel, and was intended to serve hotel guests, though many neighborhood locals went there also. I surmise it was built in the waelr 1920s as it had a WurliTzer pipe organ. A Lutheran congregation that was building its new church rented the theatre on Sunday mornings during the 1960s for its worship services, and my mother was hired as organist. Her worst fear was inadvertantly engaging any of the toy counter stops!

All seats were high-backed leather loges that one found in the loge sections of major theatres in the area – very comfortable.


cyclonebob on February 1, 2003 at 2:16 pm

what is the address