Ivar Theater

1605 Ivar Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Ivar Theatre 2011

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built by restaurant owner Yegishe Harout in 1951, the Ivar Theatre presented stage plays until 1971. Plays produced here include, “The Barrett’s of Wimpole Street”, “The Glass Menagerie”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “The Pajama Game”. From 1971 it began showing adult films along with burlesque performances. Seating was provided for 350 in orchestra and balcony levels.

The theatre was home to the California Youth Theatre from late-2000 through the middle part of the decade, but that group has moved to another venue. The Ivar Theatre then presented stage plays and live music as the New Ivar Theatre. In 2012, the Ivar Theater is operated by the Los Angeles Film School as an active classroom space. It is currently not used or rented out as a theatre space.

At the rear section of the building, behind the stage, was a club named ‘The Sewers of Paris’, later by 1977 it was a gay bar named ‘Gaslight’, and in 1996 it was renamed ‘The Opium Den’. It became used as a green room for the theatre and for receptions.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 14, 2009 at 4:48 am

Here is a 1974 ad from the LA Times:

Here is a 1985 photo:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm

The Ivar did show at least one movie before 1971, when it began running adult films. In March, 1967, the Ivar began the exclusive Los Angeles run of Arch Oboler’s 3-D science fiction movie, “The Bubble.”

kencmcintyre on May 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Here is a January 1958 ad from the LA Times:

hollywoodtheatres on April 6, 2010 at 11:29 am

DOCUMENTARY ON CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD CINEMAS – Lookn for interviewees, photos, videos of old hollywood


I’m and independent filmmaker working on a documentary about old movie theatres in hollywood (Iris, Warner, Pacific, Hollywood, Vogue, Grauman’s Chinese, Egyptian etc..) that have had an impact on the hollywood community, both as a symbol of Hollywood as well as the historical and heritage effects it has had on “hollywood” as an industry. We are profiling theatres that are currently functioning as well as the obsolete. If you worked in these theatres back in the day (during their highlights) and have interesting stories to tell, photos to show, video to talk about I would like to hear from you. Many older movie houses are being demolished due to new developments and it is important to help future generation know and understand how these movie palaces have helped shaped the Hollywood we know today. If you have any photos or videos with personal stories you’d like to share, please contact me (323) 876-0975 – – You must owns the materials you are willing to share (taken the picture- recorded the videos, written the letters, etc…)

If you do have materials you’d like to send that may help in accurate information, you are welcome to send it to me.

Jorge Ameer
Classic Hollywood Cinemas
Box 3204
Hollywood, California 90028

View link

bicyclereporter on December 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

The Grateful Dead played here on Feb 25, 1966.

Joni Robbins
Joni Robbins on October 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

My friend Rowby and I appeared at the Ivar Theater in two children’s shows. It was in the early sixties. We were still in high school and took the bus to the theater. We performed every week-end for a crazy couple who were the producers…Roma and Rick. My favorite was “Hansel and Gretel” which Rowby and I still laugh about today. “Under the Yum Yum Tree” with Bill Bixby was playing at night while we were the afternoon children’s theater. I still have photos….I loved the Ivar.

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