Warrens Theatre

401 W. 7th Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Warrens Theatre

Opened as the second Pantages Theatre in downtown Los Angeles (the Arcade Theatre was the first) on August 16, 1920 with vaudeville and a movie “The Courage of Marge O'Doone” starring Pauline Starke. This B. Marcus Priteca designed theatre included Greek treatments for owner Alexander Pantages. The theatre’s exterior is coated in white terra cotta. Pantages ran the theatre for nine years.

Following a three weeks closure for refurbishment, which included the installation of 2,000 new seats, it reopened as the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre on September 26, 1929 with Nancy Welford in “Gold Diggers of Broadway”. Al Jolson was guest of honor for the evening. The theatre served as the downtown theatre for Warner Bros. until September 1, 1960 when it was taken over by Metropolitan Theaters who renamed it Warrens Theatre. Metropolitan ran it for another twelve years.

After being sold by Metropolitan, the theatre became a church before becoming a retail outlet for the Jewelry Exchange. The original seats on the main floor of the auditorium have been removed to make way for retail stalls. The balcony is still intact and its seats have not been removed.

To see a little of the inside of this theatre, watch the Barbra Streisand film “Funny Girl” (note the exterior is from the backlot at the Burbank Studios).

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 84 comments)

DavidT
DavidT on December 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Yes indeed, that is the interior of the Warner Brothers Downtown theater in the opening scenes on 1968’s “Funny Girl”. While Barbra Streisand is sitting alone in an orchestra seat, shots are taken from the stage looking out and from an upper balcony looking down. Also, in the 1933 film “Lady Killer”, James Cagney briefly plays a Warner Bros theater usher. There is a short sequence shot on the roof of the Warner Brothers Downtown theater (usher inspection). Also a quick view of the marquee – even though it says “Strand” -it is clearly the Warner Brothers Downtown in all its blazing glory

DavidT
DavidT on April 29, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Here is a link to a view of the Warner Brothers Downtown Theater – seen from the Hill Street side in 1931. www.guidodeiro.com/vitaphone.html

spectrum
spectrum on January 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

This theatre has been a jewelry store since at least the late 1970’s – they’re maintaining the interior architecture beautifully – the auditorium is very ornate – white with lots of gold leaf. Design is similar to the State theatres in New York and St. Louis.

JAlex
JAlex on December 23, 2016 at 9:10 am

Not similar to the (Loew’s) State in St. Louis, which was designed by Thomas Lamb. I saw many films at this theatre, from “Arena” to “Autopsy.”

JimFarris
JimFarris on April 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

I feel it was a kind of an honor to go to the Warrens near it’s demise, of course I did not know it at the time. It was the early 1970’s and I saw “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” and “She Freaks” plus another I can’t recall. The snack bar backing was glass and you could see the movie from the lobby. Beautiful and useful!

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 26, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Warrens Theatre is seen a few times in this `60s Texaco commercial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPk-lRVpDq4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3RJBQ1NoeceR_VPAyChQAbVXXjtEOo5pHYXd2E6S2H1bth8p1edOCxLMA

rivest266
rivest266 on September 7, 2019 at 9:56 am

Reopened as the Pantages theatre on August 16th, 1920. Another ad posted.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 8, 2019 at 3:31 pm

That Texaco commercial

rivest266
rivest266 on October 22, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Became the Warrens theatre on September 1st, 1960

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