Tower Theatre

802 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Showing 1 - 25 of 143 comments

Dramatrauma
Dramatrauma on May 11, 2013 at 2:03 am

Even for the period this place is just…insane! So rococo and over the top, gothic and renaissance with some deco sprinkled on top. I love it. Its like William Randolph Hearst took a break from the Castle and decided to build a theater.

I cant imagine how anyone was supposed to keep that much maintained short of Hearst’s money and staffing. I doubt the concert venue owners can do more with that clock than just take the broken pieces out and cover where the faces were. Assuming that even the 1971 remodel brings it up to today’s seismic requirements.

Does anyone have pics of the Indian headdress fixtures and the director/actress statues? Its what telephoto lenses were made for if they havent been covered.

vimegogta
vimegogta on October 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm

The Tower theater in downtown L.A., long a filming location, will be transformed into a concert venue. Final behind-the-scenes tours of the building are scheduled for Saturday, October 27, 2012.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-tower-theater-20121026,0,7443518.story?track=rss

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

The only downtown theater called the Cameo that I remember was this one, the former Clune’s Broadway, north of Sixth Street, between the Arcade and the Roxie. It was open through at least part of the 1980s, showing Spanish language movies.

In the 1960s, when the Tower was still operating as the Newsreel Theatre, there was a television theater on the lower level, occupying the former lounge. It presented closed-circuit programs on a fairly large (for that time) projection screen. I don’t think they ever gave the television theater its own name, though.

davidfhale
davidfhale on November 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I lived in LA in the early 1980s. I seem to remember that Pacific Theatres operated a small theatre at the back of the Tower called the Cameo. Can’t find any references to that. Anybody?

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on September 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Again, not abandoned. It’s used as a filming location and for special events.

LuisV
LuisV on September 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Passed by this theater and it too looks abandoned form the outside though its exterior is in excellent condition. The marquee was advertising a “purim party”. Yikes! Not very exciting stuff. But at least it is still there.

DavidT
DavidT on April 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Mar/Apr 2011, interior seen in a Nikon commercial. Looks like a latin night club.

drb
drb on January 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Newsreel & Rialto Theatres, 1953:
View link

Larc
Larc on October 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

A Wurlitzer model 216 pipe organ (2/10) was installed in the Tower Theatre when it opened. There has been some confusion about this Opus 1620 Wurlitzer since it is reported to have been shipped to the Garrick Theatre on Apr 23, 1927. But the Garrick had already been demolished by then to make way for the Tower. The organ remained in the Tower for only a couple of years before being moved to the Los Angeles Theatre for its opening in Jan 1931. It has subsequently gone into private hands.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on October 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Still available as a filming location.

Ross Care
Ross Care on October 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

What is the current status of this beautiful theater?

Ross Care
Ross Care on October 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm

A seasonal view across 8th St., 2007:
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Some exploitation films can be seen on the marquee in this 1974 photo:
http://tinyurl.com/297z82z

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Nice looking theatre.

jeffdonaldson
jeffdonaldson on December 13, 2009 at 12:28 am

For the record:
The Long Beach earthquake happened on March 10, 1933.
The San Fernando (aka Sylmar) earthquake happened on February 9, 1971.
The Northridge earthquake happened on January 17, 1994.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on October 31, 2009 at 11:01 pm

As you know, SoCal, the Orpheum has been profitable for a while now. Technically the other theaters have not been abandoned, since they are earning their owners some money as filming locations, churches, etc. And there is movement behind the scenes right now, that if it pans out, could mean a second chance at life for some of these places.

socal09
socal09 on October 31, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Love the link to the 1951 photo academy133 posted. Its unfortunate all these amazing theaters are abandoned on Broadway downtown. With the recent opening of the megaplex a few blocks away, there really is no future for any of these old cinemas to show movies again, or even to become live performance venues. There’s many of those in the area already. I suppose they’ll just remain relics to tour of a time in movie history that is long gone.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on October 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I just heard from Ed Kelsey, who gives the history presentations for the LAHTF’s “All About” tours. He said he has a 1967 photo of the theater which shows the tower intact; he believes it was removed in the early 1970s as a result of the San Fernando quake. If he finds a more precise date in his files, I will post it here.

Just took another look at that Wikipedia page. As well as giving an incorrect date for the removal of the tower top, it repeats that business about the Tower being the location of a sneak preview of “The Jazz Singer,” which others here have given evidence as being untrue.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on October 9, 2009 at 11:04 am

Good question, DB. The top is also visible in the (circa) 1942 shot at the top of the page, and the 1938 shot posted on 2/3/07.

drb
drb on October 9, 2009 at 10:12 am

If the top of the tower was removed after an earthquake in 1932, why is it still there in the 1951 photo?

William
William on October 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

academy133 that 1951 shot is good but it’s the same one ken mc posted from his Dec. 30, 2008 post.

JGKlein
JGKlein on October 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm

See a great new Wikipedia article about this theatre: View link

academy133
academy133 on September 4, 2009 at 11:57 am

Here is an amazing photo of the Tower Theater from 1951, when it was called the Newsreel Theater.

View link