Congress Theatre

7510 S. Vermont Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90044

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 11, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Clarence J. Smale was the architect of the Congress Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Here is a recent photo of the former Congress Theatre. It looks as though the street has been recently repaved, but the sidewalk still needs some work.

rickyrecon45 on February 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

Boy do I remember the Congress. My Grandfather would take me up to the show in his pickup from 624 East 91sat Street. You could count on the Congress to have all the ghost and outer space movies. I watched many of the great movies from the 40’s there. The kids used to run up and down those carpet stariways to the bathrooms. I was an outer space movie there I can’t remember in which a woman got out of a swimming pool in a flesh colored bathing suit to simulate being in the nude. A little exciting but not the real thing.

MrWillM on February 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I attended this theater many times to see 2nd run movies in the 50s and I “thought” I had been there as late as 1961. Is it certain that it closed in the late 50s ?

kencmcintyre on January 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Here is a September 1958 ad from the LA Times:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2007 at 9:17 pm

A 2005 book called “Art Deco Los Angeles”, by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper and Amy Ronnebeck Hall, names Clarence J. Smale as the architect of the Congress Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm

The L.A. city planning department’s zoning information system locates this building at 7506 S. Vermont, so the address has apparently been adjusted a bit over the years. The system’s report gives a construction date of 1939 for the building, not surprising given that Ken’s photos above reveal it to be yet another fairly simple art moderne design typical of that decade’s later years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 29, 2007 at 8:22 pm

I don’t know if JustOldBob is still around, but if he is he might like to know that the name of one of the owners of the Congress was Harry Vinnicof.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 22, 2007 at 12:01 pm

It looks like it is a pit now.

kencmcintyre on June 10, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Sorry about all the typos. I was multi-tasking, poorly.

kencmcintyre on June 10, 2007 at 8:09 pm

I mentioned seeing this building on one of the other pages. I chedked it out today, and it’s definitely the theater. Marquee, verticl blade, the works. I took quite a few pictures. It’s a church now. Status should be closed. Address is 7510.

kencmcintyre on June 3, 2007 at 9:27 am

LA Times has the address as 7510 S. Vermont on 1/22/50. Phone number was TH 9004.

JustOldBob on October 3, 2002 at 1:34 pm

According to Bill the address for this theatre was 7506 South Vermont Avenue, and that sound very right to me.

JustOldBob on October 3, 2002 at 1:31 pm

This is not only the first theatre that I kissed a girl in, but I also worked here for a short time. Was there really 869 seats, it seemed more like a million when I hot-mopped across all those rows. Fill the bucket with hot water, mop five or six rows, dump the bucket and refill it and so on. The tune used during the intermission for many years was “Bonaparte’s Retreat” by a male vocalist, that I can’t remember his name. the restrooms were upstairs behind and to the side of the projection booth, where the office was behind the booth. I remember in the very late 1940’s or very early 1950’s this was the first theatre I went to which was air conditioned, with the usual banners hanging from the marquee saying it was so many degrees cooler inside. It truly was a neighborhood theatre. At one time the owners were brothers Bill and Harry, I can’t remember their last names, then later the same folks that owned the Sunset Theatre took it over and their Son managed it. Wish I could remember his name, a nice fellow. Yes many memories for me.