Roxie Theatre

518 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Roxie Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

Built on the site of 1,600 seat Quinn’s Superba Theatre of 1914. The Roxie Theatre was the last theatre to be built on S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. It opened November 25, 1931 with Bebe Daniels in “Honor of the Family” plus Eda Edson and Her Orchestra. It has an Art Deco style facade with a stepped roof line, angular grillwork and chevron ornament topped by a vertical sky-sign spelling out the name of the theatre. The Roxie Theatre has seating in orchestra and balcony levels. The auditorium is long and narrow and apart from the plaster moulded proscenium arch, is mainly decorated by flat murals in abstracted botanical forms combining the romance of nature with the energy of the machine age. The stage is only 15ft deep, and as the theatre was specifically built for movies, the stage was hardly used. It was equipped with an organ (make unknown).

Architect Simeon Charles Lee made some alterations to the building in 1939-1940 and in 1948 he designed a new sidwalk ticket office. The sidewalk has a spectacular terrazzo sunburst.

In its final years Metropolitan Theatres ran the Roxie Theatre mostly as a Spanish-language house. The Roxie Theatre was closed in summer of 1989. Since closure its front entrance has been vandalised and converted into retail use. The auditorium has been sealed off and remains empty. In May 2016 the building was ‘For Lease’.

The Roxie Theatre has been designated an Historic-Cultural Landmark.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 50 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 13, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Here is an August 1974 ad from the LA Times:
http://tinyurl.com/pepvd4

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Here is the Roxie looking better than usual:
http://tinyurl.com/y5re637

BillCounter
BillCounter on March 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

A great 30s view with the Roxie marquee still using milk glass letters:
View link

It’s in post #9 on a Jalopy Journal Forum:
View link

Anyone have any idea what archive this photo comes from? I can’t make out the title on the marquee but it appears it’s something with Kay Francis.

socal09
socal09 on June 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

The Roxie looks pretty sad these days especially now that some moron went and graffitied over the Roxie letters on the tower above the theatre. I’m not sure what you do with all these old cinemas on Broadway now that everyone stays home with VOD and Netflix.

vokoban
vokoban on January 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Here are a few photos I took today of the Roxie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vokoban/6693424923/in/photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/vokoban/6693425389/in/photostream/

drb
drb on January 15, 2012 at 1:54 am

The Roxie, or at least a good shot of its terazzo and a few glimpses of the marquee, is seen in “The Muppets” (the 2011 movie), as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WWWTW1P8rQ

spectrum
spectrum on April 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm

There is a facebook page for the Roxie Theatre – run by someone advocating for the theatre’s restoration. Includes some nice current interior photos. A little dilapidated but definitely restorable. The page is at:

www.facebook.com/roxietheatre

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on February 8, 2019 at 5:52 pm

I photographed the Roxie a few years ago. Check out some photos and a short write up at After the Final Curtain

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