Regency Village Theatre
961 Broxton Avenue,
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Located in Westwood Village, a purpose-built retail, leisure and residential development which was constructed in 1929. The Village Theatre opened on August 14, 1931 with Norma Shearer in “A Free Soul”. It is designed in a Spanish Mission style decoration (similar to the Carthay Circle Theatre, Fox Arlington Theatre, Fox Florence Theatre). It was built for the Janns Corporation and was later taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres chain. A feature of the building is the huge ‘wedding cake’ tower which is still virtually unchanged today, and still sports its original neon lighting. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 1,489 in orchestra and balcony levels. The backstage areas, including dressing rooms and storage areas were bricked off in the 1940’s after ‘damage’ although what kind of damage is not stated in any current sources.
The Village Theatre was remodeled in the late-1940’s-early 1950’s, increasing the seating capacity to 1,535, and given a ‘Skouras’ look when plaster gold swirls were added to the side-walls near the stage area, along with upgrades for the exits, lobby and new seats and carpet were also added. Also at this time the California Gold Rush artwork in the lobby was added. (You can see the same artwork in a few other Fox houses in Southern California like El Portal Theatre (North Hollywood), California Theatre (Huntington Park).) The artwork near the restrooms, was also added during the renovations. Before that remodel there was a small patio outside, but this was bricked over and the artwork covers this area now. The Village Theatre stayed the same until the late-1970’s (except for the new CinemaScope equipment in the 1950’s).
For “The Deer Hunter” engagement, the Village Theatre got new 70mm projection equipment, a new larger screen, and a new main title waterfall curtain. The old screen was half as tall as it is today. The theatre also got a new, less flattering carpet in the early-1980’s.
Fortunately, the “Fox” tower sign was refurbished in the late-1980’s.
The last remodel was around 1998-99, when the Village Theatre got new seats and carpet, and now seats 1,341 people.
After more than 70 years as a first run movie palace, the Village Theatre is still one of the sites for Hollywood’s biggest movie premieres.
Regency Theatres replaced Mann Theatres as the movie operator on April 1, 2010.
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