Paramount Theatre

323 W. 6th Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 8, 2016 at 3:16 am

There are a few errors in our description of the Paramount. First, though the foundations of the Metropolitan were designed to carry a 13-floor, height limit building, only five floors of offices were ever built above the ground floor.

Second, though the theater did open with two entrances, they were the main entrance on Sixth Street and a secondary entrance on Hill Street. The Broadway entrance added later and used only until 1929 was the third. The building the Broadway entrance ran through is still standing.

Third, though the Paramount closed in 1960, it was not demolished until 1962. During its last two years it sported a billboard touting the 35-story office building which had been planned for the site. The office building project fell through, and this was rumored to have been, at least in part, due to the unexpectedly high cost of demolishing what had probably been the most substantial theater building ever erected in Los Angeles.

Fourth, the building now on the site is not a bank, but the International Jewelry Center, a 16-floor tower built in 1981 for the wholesale and retail jewelry trade. The jewelry trade has gradually taken over several blocks along Hill Street, including the former Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre at Seventh and Hill. It’s unfortunate that the jewelers didn’t come along a few years earlier. They might have saved the Paramount’s building as they did the Warner’s.

rivest266 on August 8, 2016 at 1:54 am

January 26th, 1923 grand opening ad in photo section.

Gooper on April 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

If I had even a little bit of Warren Buffet-style money, after I’d tended to some charities, I’d locate the blueprints of Grauman’s Metropolitan (they must exist somewhere!) and have it rebuilt in its original form. And most importantly, in a location where it would never be wrecked by alteration or demolition. This house is one of the most unique in the world, right up there with Radio City, the NY Roxy, the UA in LA, and the Shrine Auditorium. Maybe I’ll give Mr. Buffet a call…

nonsportsnut on March 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I originally posted:nonsportsnut on June 7, 2009 at 6:03 pm The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to document a 1957 personal appearance of Joe Besser, Moe Howard and Larry Fine as The Three Stooges at the Paramount. This would be the only personal appearance by Besser with the Three Stooges. Any documentation, such as a newspaper ad or review would be greatly appreciated. My email address is: Thanks, Frank Reighter

In the Spring 2014 Three Stooges Fan Club Journal, the true story of this is written. The ad never was for a Joe Besser appearance, but was erroneously used for several appearances for the Three Stooges Moe Howard, Larry Fine and (Later to be known as Curly Joe) Joe DeRita in Portland, Oregon, Tacoma and Seattle Washington in December 1959. As far as is known, Joe Besser NEVER made any personal appearances as a member of the Three Stooges.

Frank Reighter

Gooper on March 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm

This house, in its original Grauman condition, is so powerful, it’s spooky.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

I have now come across multiple references to George Edwin Bergstrom having been one of the architects of Grauman’s Metropolitan Theatre. Both Soutnwest Builder & Contractor and the national trade publication Engineering and Contracting mention his involvement in the project. The latter publication’s issue of April 27, 1921, carries this item, which mentions Bergstrom supervising construction on the project in conjunction with engineer R.C. Mitchell.

Various items in Southwest Builder & Contractor indicate that William Lee Woollett designed the interiors of the Metropolitan Theatre, but that the lead architect on the project was Bergstrom. Woollett probably designed the details on the facade of the building as well, but I haven’t found any specific sources saying he did. Woollett was apparently the sole architect on the later project creating a Broadway entrance for the theater.

TLSLOEWS on June 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Very Very nice too bad its gone now.

kencmcintyre on January 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm

An ad campaign concerning the new, modernized Paramount was in Boxoffice in June 1952.

kencmcintyre on December 10, 2009 at 9:51 am

I think the necktie photo mentioned on 8/17 is on the Clune’s Auditorium page.

rickmechtly on August 17, 2009 at 8:20 pm

When the theater went to screening B films in the late 50s a basement bar called the Metro that was a gay scene opened just east of the box office on 6th next to the alley. Also a post razing Wm.Reagh photo of the necktie stand @ the corner of Hill and 6th- it’s in the picture catalog of California State Library – search terms: Reagh and Hill ( he didn’t i.d. the site )

bruceanthony on August 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

The Metropolitan/Paramount was the second largest movie palace ever built on the West Coast the largest was the Fox in San Francisco. My friend Dick who worked for Disney and United Artists said this was the most impressive Movie Palace in LA. brucec

kencmcintyre on July 14, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Here is a January 1949 ad from the LA Times:

nonsportsnut on June 7, 2009 at 6:03 pm

The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to document a 1957 personal appearance of Joe Besser, Moe Howard and Larry Fine as The Three Stooges at the Paramount. This would be the only personal appearance by Besser with the Three Stooges. Any documentation, such as a newspaper ad or review would be greatly appreciated. My email address is: Thanks, Frank Reighter

kencmcintyre on April 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm

In December 1938 they were staging basketball games on the theater stage, according to this LA Times ad:

jflundy on April 29, 2009 at 7:23 am

Here is a photo from May 1946, may have been previously posted from another venue, here it is:
View link

kencmcintyre on April 8, 2009 at 10:04 am

This is a 1923 ad from the LA Times. I thought it was interesting as it shows Sid Grauman’s influence at that time, as he owned the Metropolitan, the Egyptian, the Million Dollar and the Rialto. The Chinese was not yet built.

kencmcintyre on April 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Here is a 1941 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on December 22, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 5/28/52:

Hostesses in evening dress will greet numerous actors, Mayor Bowron and throngs of theatergoers at the Paramount Theater’s reopening at 8 p.m. tomorrow.

Improvements totalling $250,000 at the theater include a new marquee, lobby, foyer, new seats and rocking-chair loges. There will be new lounge rooms and a large television screen. Top motion pictures will be shown as well as stage shows when they become available, said Jerry Zigmond, United Paramount western division manager.

Two employees have been with the theater since it opened 29 years ago as Grauman’s Metropolitan. They are Earl C. Hamilton, 61, chief projectionist, and Vic Hayes, 60, doorman. The two remember the theater’s initial opening when “My American Wife"m starring Gloria Swanson and Antonio Moreno, was presented.

William on December 4, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Yes, that shot is from the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood.

kencmcintyre on December 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm

If it was in Hollywood, it was probably at the Paramount/El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard.

misterboo on December 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Google Images has some interior photos of the Paramount in 1952, when they were having 3D screenings of “Bwana Devil”. Interesting shot of the formally attired peeps in the balcony:

Bway on October 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Ooops, I just noticed Ken just linked to the same photo…

Bway on October 16, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Here’s a photo of the interior of the Metropolitan:

Click here for photo

kencmcintyre on August 16, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Sorry, that was the New York public library. Force of habit.