Long Beach Theatre

32 Long Beach Boulevard,
Long Beach, CA 90802

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Long Beach Theatre

The Empire Theatre was built in 1922 for vaudeville and was designed by architectural firm Walker & Eisen. Alterations were made in 1924 to the plans of architect H.L. Gogerty and it was renamed Mission Theatre and was converted to motion pictures. The theatre was on American Avenue, which later became Long Beach Boulevard.

In 1929 it was renamed Major Theatre, and later became the Long Beach Theatre, operated by Fox West Coast Theatres by 1941.

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

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm

The Long Beach Independent had a front page story on the demolition of the theater, but the date was 11/13/52, not September as I stated above.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2008 at 2:33 am

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 16, 2010 at 3:12 am

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

drb on August 26, 2010 at 6:46 am

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 26, 2010 at 6:51 am

Whoops, helps if I include the link:

View link

CSWalczak on August 26, 2010 at 7:34 am

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

AndrewBarrett on April 25, 2014 at 12:59 am

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 31, 2015 at 4:38 am

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.”

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