Gardena Theatre

1002 West Gardena Boulevard,
Gardena, CA 90247

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The Gardena Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Operating from 1940-1955 at least. The building at this address may be the old theatre – it’s used as retail now.

Contributed by Magic Lantern

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on June 18, 2010 at 9:19 am

You’re talking about the bargain store on the northeast corner of Vermont and Gardena. I wouldn’t have guessed that was a theater. I will take a look inside.

William on June 18, 2010 at 10:54 am

Look at the Google map and go around the building. It does not look like an almost 700 seat theatre from the way it looks. Over at HistoricAerials show it there in the 1952 shot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2010 at 4:07 am

A couple of issues of Boxoffice in the mid-1940s mention the Gardena Theatre (it suffered a fire in 1945) operated by Harry Millstein and Harry Mellenkoff. It was most likely the unnamed theater being built for Mellenkoff that was mentioned in Southwest Builder & Contractor of October 28, 1938.

This 800-seat house was designed by architect C. E. Noerenberg, best known for designing a number of branch libraries for the City of Los Angeles, and for Dorsey High School, which he designed in partnership with Hollywood architect H. L. Gogerty.

Are we certain of the address for this theater? The L.A. County Assessor (not always reliable) doesn’t list 1002 W. Gardena, but gives an original construction date of 1924 and an effective construction date of 1940 for the 4625 sq. ft. building on the corner lot at 1004 Gardena, and those dates don’t match the 1938 construction and 1945 reconstruction of the Gardena Theatre.

This is the southwest corner of Gardena and Vermont, by the way. The lots on the east side of Vermont are in Los Angeles which has a different numbering system, so that’s the 800 W. block of Gardena Blvd. as it runs east from Vermont.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on June 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

All sorta confusing! What’s the correct address? Is it the original building? More info and photos of the theater would help.

TLSLOEWS on July 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

A Big N Save and Nexxo Financial Corp.are listed at the address in the header.

billykid on February 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Flash News, the addresses were changed 50 plus years ago, the theater still stands, northeast corner gardena bl and vermont, i have uploaded a pic from about 1953..billy s.

DeniseGaskellSnuffin on April 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm

I worked at the theatre from march 1955 to November 1955 that’s when it closed. That photo is not of the Gardena theater, the theater was not on Vermont it was midway between Normandie and Vermont. When it closed I think it turned into the Gardena department store. I am sending you a program that I took when I was cashier that was always in the window. I am also sending you a check stub the last one the theater issued October 22. Any other information you can email me thanks Denise Gaskell Snuffin

DeniseGaskellSnuffin on April 24, 2016 at 11:14 am

I talked to the other person that worked with me at the theater and I was wrong about the Gardena department store it was a few businesses to the west of the garden theater but the theater was not on Vermont it was midway between Vermont and Normandy on Gardena Boulevard.

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