Sierra Madre Playhouse

87 W. Sierra Madre Boulevard,
Sierra Madre, CA 91024

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Sierra Madre Playhouse

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Sierra Madre, a town of 11,000, is east of Pasadena and is known as the terminus of the annual Rose Bowl Parade. It probably took on a more eerie element when it became the fictitious burg of Santa Mira for the 1956 classic movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, with its town square and other locales used in the filming.

According to assessor maps, the theater building dates back to 1910 but it is unknown exactly when it became a movie house. The independent theater stopped showing movies in the early-1970’s and has been used by the family oriented Sierra Madre Playhouse since 1979. Original seating capacity was for 390, but it is now under the Los Angeles 99-Seat Theatre Plan of Actors Equity. Auditions for the plays are held periodically and acting classes for adults and children are also available. The theater is available to the community for rental.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 11, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Advertised as the Wistaria in 1940, per the LA Times.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 8, 2007 at 2:58 am

One thing I find very interesting about the c1946 photo of linked by TC is that there’s a dog lounging on the sidewalk in front of the theatre. Yep, that’s Sierra Madre, alright!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

This is from Boxoffice magazine, January 1946:

LOS ANGELES-Harold Stein, owner of the Boulevard Theater here and co-owner of the Ritz in Inglewood, is taking over the Wisteria in Sierra Madre from George Tiderik. Stein will change the name of the showplace to the Sierra Madre.

SteveKosareff
SteveKosareff on January 17, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Since a significant part of the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was shot in Sierra Madre, does anybody know if the film’s premiere or a special screening took place at the Sierra Madre Theater in 1956?

CaptVonKrapp
CaptVonKrapp on July 19, 2009 at 12:40 am

I read once that a L.A. TV host used to hold annual screenings of “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” at this theater where his fans would show up and shout along with Alfonso Bedoya when he did the “Badges? Badges?!” bit!

Ross Care
Ross Care on August 3, 2010 at 12:17 am

Do they still show films here?
Here’s an evening shot:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39527581@N07/
There also a shot of the BODY SNATCHERS square, down the street from the theater, in the same album.

mattnhormann
mattnhormann on December 2, 2010 at 3:22 am

According to old L.A. Times Independent Theater Guide listings, it was known as the Bogart Theatre from 1968 to 1971, and showed art house films like Closely Watched Trains and Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch.

Ross Care
Ross Care on April 17, 2011 at 12:55 am

I would love to have seen those films there!

LouRugani
LouRugani on December 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm

That’s Thomas Mitchell in the photo, doing a scene as a doctor for the TV series ‘Screen Directors Playhouse’. He was heading to the one-story art deco building next door, which is still there.

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