Loyola Theater

8610 S. Sepulveda Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90045

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Fox Loyola Theatre exterior

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The Loyola Theater was opened on October 3, 1946. Located in the Westchester district of Los Angeles, close to LAX airport. Before the theater’s conversion to a medical office building, the front of the Loyola Theatre featured a beautiful swan that rose about sixty feet above the theater’s marquee. The auditorium was similiar to the Fox Crest Theater in North Long Beach, CA (now razed) and featured an early form of stadium-style seating.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 72 comments)

drb
drb on April 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I was looking at CinemaTour’s photos of the Crest in Fresno, and was immediately struck by how much both it and the Fox Inglwood look like the Loyola. Were they all built by the same architect? The Loyola had a whole lot more color, peacock-like above the swirly golden things along the wall and painted like a nighttime sky above, and I think the light fixtures were different, but look through the interior photos of the Crest and you’ll get a really good idea what the inside of the Loyola looked like, including the lobby.

http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/12948.html

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

-DB: Carl G. Moeller, who collaborated on the Inglewood Fox with architect S. Charles Lee, and who also worked on the Crest in Fresno, was almost certainly part of the design team for the Loyola, though Clarence Smale is the architect of record.

Moeller was the Fox circuit’s chief designer during the period when these theaters were built and, though he is listed on the Pacific Coast Architectural Database as an interior designer, he apparently also had a major influence on the exterior appearances of the many theater projects he worked on.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on April 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

DB, the Crest in Fresno, the Crest in Sacramento and the Fox Inglewood are more or less triplets.

staniel
staniel on June 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

I spent so many hours in this theatre when I was a kid! I loved the grandness of it all, the steps down into the lounge, the loge (which, BTW, was where smoking was allowed), the big velvet curtains. We would go to Sav-On across the street (next to the See’s Candy store) where you could buy three 5¢ candy bars for a dime, then we’d go to the movie. I remember the theatre full of screaming kids at the Wednesday summer matinees sponsored by Marina Federal Savings. We would stand outside the bank and ask adults to pick us up a couple of tickets. I remember our whole family sitting in the loge for “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and occasionally kids would knock on the exit doors from outside to get let in for free. The theatre sold advance tickets for “Help!” and my brother got two for a Christmas present. The Fox Inglewood also had a loge, as a I recall. I attended a few of the revival programs before the theatre shut down. It kills me to know the inside is entirely gutted. It was a great place to go to the movies! (And personally, I like seeing the ads, it reminds me of what I saw there!)

Palm44
Palm44 on August 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm

from 1951 to about 1960, this was my second favorite theater. Paradise was the first.

LarryFarma
LarryFarma on December 17, 2012 at 1:59 am

I grew up in Westchester from 1956 to 1964 and of course I remember the Loyola Theater. I remember the free matinees. The “stadium seating” was called “loges.” What aroused my interest in this theater now is that I discovered that the Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources lists this theater as Historic Cultural Monument(HCM) #259. This office must have detailed information about the theater’s history. Sadly, though, I saw no bronze HCM plaque at the theater, and I think that needs to be corrected. An official plaque costs $443 plus shipping. There is an installation service for an additional charge.

jessied44
jessied44 on January 23, 2013 at 5:35 am

Growing up in Westchester through the 1950s, it was always a decision on where the children spent Saturday: At the Loyola or the Paradise. Two great old theaters that were actually first run and premier sites for the studios during the period.

LarryFarma
LarryFarma on March 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Yes, the Loyola Theater, which opened in 1946, was one of the first buildings in Westchester’s main business district along Sepulveda Blvd. A historical marker on the Citibank building down the street says that the business district started with a supermarket and a drugstore in 1944. The fact that an Art Deco movie palace was one of the first buildings in the business district reflects the great importance that public movie theaters had in the era before television and home theaters. Here is an early aerial view of the district:

http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt9489r90h/

It is interesting that this Cinema Treasures website gives Clarence J. Smale as the sole architect. The Pacific Coast Architecture Database in addition lists Simeon Charles Lee and Carl Gerhardt Moeller:

https://digital.lib.washington.edu/architect/structures/15131/

The UCLA library housing S.Charles Lee’s papers calls him “the most prolific architect of art deco movie palaces in Los Angeles”:

http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf3000050c/

I believe it was S. Charles Lee who said, “the show starts on the sidewalk.” I disagree — I go to movie theaters just to see movies, not to admire the architecture.

IMO the exterior is flamboyant even for an Art Deco movie palace.

The theater was declared Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) #259 of the City of Los Angeles in 1982, the same year that it closed. This status as an HCM might have helped save the facade.

thomasp48
thomasp48 on November 1, 2013 at 10:24 am

We bought candy bars, three for a quarter, at the Savon Drugstore, across Sepulveda Boulevard, and then went to see the movies at the Loyola Theater. On Saturday mornings we could see free children’s matinees. The Paradise, south on Sepulveda, had higher-priced tickets and we didn’t go there as often. I could see the swan from the laundry room in the back of our house on West 85th Place. For us, Sepulveda as just “the Boulevard” and the Loyola was the place to see movies.

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