Long Beach Theatre

32 Long Beach Boulevard,
Long Beach, CA 90802

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Long Beach Theatre

The Empire Theatre was opened on May 30, 1921 as a playhouse. It was designed by architectural firm Walker & Eisen. On October 9, 1922 it was renamed Mission Theatre playing movies and occasional stage productions. Alterations were made in 1924 to the plans of architect H.L. Gogerty. The theatre was on American Avenue, which later became Long Beach Boulevard.

In 1929 it was renamed Major Theatre, and from February 27, 1931 it became the Long Beach Theatre. It was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres from 1936.

The building was razed for a parking lot in November 1952.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 30, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Plans for a new theater on American Avenue at the corner of Bunce Avenue (actually called Bunce Way, which was an alley half a block north of Ocean Avenue) were announced in the June 11, 1920 issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor. It was being designed by the firm of Walker & Eisen. Early references to this theater in the L.A. Library’s California Index call it either the Empire Theatre (apparently its opening name) or the Mission Theatre (on cards citing articles from 1924 about an enlargement of the stage and proscenium, with plans by Long Beach architect H.L. Gogerty.)

kencmcintyre on April 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm

This is a sketch for a Long Beach Theater that may never have been built, according to the caption:

drb on August 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Could this be it on the left? I’ve looked through all the Long Beach listings, and this is the only one that looks to be the right distance away from the back of the Fox West Coast

drb on August 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Whoops, helps if I include the link:

View link

CSWalczak on August 25, 2010 at 11:34 pm

No, that is the United Artists Long Beach Theatre. See my comment on the Fox West Coast page.

AndrewBarrett on April 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm

According to Mr. David L. Junchen’s “Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 628, the Mission Theatre in Long Beach had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at one time. Mr. Junchen’s Smith opus list gives no details as to exact nature of this organ, how many manuals, ranks, what the blower serial # was, or what year it was installed. Anybody know where it is now?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm

This page is still missing the architects (Walker & Eisen, 1922, and alterations by H. L. Gogerty, 1924) as well as the aka’s: Empire Theatre (opening name) Mission Theatre, (by 1924) and Major Theatre (around 1929, according to Bill Counter’s page about it.) Counter also notes that in later years the house was advertised as the Fox Long Beach Theatre.

I don’t know why completion of the Empire Theatre was delayed until 1922. The July 14, 1920, issue of Building & Engineering News carried this notice that the contracts for construction of the project had been let:

“Contract Awarded.

“THEATRE & OFFICE BLDG. Cost. $109,800.

“LONG BEACH, Los Angeles Co., Cal. American and Bronx [sic] Avenues. Three-story brick and steel theatre and office building, 50x250. Owner — Lineberger, Hite & Lineberger. Architects — Walker & Eisen, 1402 Hibernian Bldg., Los Angeles. Contractor — Christ Thoren, 1131 Fuller Ave., Hollywood.”

rivest266 on February 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

Reopened as Long Beach on February 27th, 1931 and taken over by Fox in 1936. Grand opening ad posted.

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