401 W. 7th Street,
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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).
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