West End Theater
324 West 4th Street,
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A 1915 article in The Santa Ana Register reported that L.A. Schlesinger was closing his Temple Theater to make way for the opening of the West End Theater on July 15, 1915. Mr. Schlesinger said that when the picture industry was in its infancy any hall or store building would do and the West End is especially designed for the showing of “cinematography” productions and “The liberal patronage of the Temple resulted in the construction of the West End.”
Another published account at the time said the theater’s cost was $12,000 and the architect was J. Flood Walker. An article from 1927 says that the owner was E.D. Yost and that he was placing the West End on the National Universal Theatre Circuit.
In 1935 when the theater was owned by C.E. Walker, and called the State, it was remodeled with a new marquee and neon signs.
During the 1960s, when it was named the Guild, it showed art and foreign movies. In 1966 it received a modern metal façade and marquee. In the 1970s it was called the State Arts and showed adult movies.
It ended its days as a theater in 1978 with the Guild name restored. During its last days, downtown blocks were leveled to make room for government buildings but the West End Survived. After the removal of its marquee and modern façade, The West End now appears as it was originally meant to be and is occupied by businesses. It is in an historic district that was put on The National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
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