Gentry Theatre

6525 Compton Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90001

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

JerryP on May 11, 2015 at 8:31 am

I used to watch movies there in the early 1950s and would walk to Miramonte School at 68 Street from 59 Place passed it many times before it closed. The fancy sidewalk in front of the ticket booth is still there. It was a nice neighborhood theater as was the Fox Florence a few blocks south on Florence Ave. During the 1950s a young kid could walk to school or to theaters on weekends without trouoble from gangs. It was a great time to grow up in.

kencmcintyre on May 21, 2009 at 10:50 am

Here are some photos taken yesterday. I think the business is closed.

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm

If you look at the 1938 photo from March 2008, you see the same portholes as the Vern in Los Angeles and the American in Newhall. All three are S. Charles Lee theaters, of course.

kencmcintyre on December 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

That may have been a proposed name, given the previous Sunbeam that was at that address.

kencmcintyre on December 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1938:

Work has begun this week on three new Fox West Coast theaters for this territory. First of the trio is the Lugo, 650-seater in Bell, which is being scheduled for a March 1 opening. Ground was broken at 64th and Compton Boulevards, where the Sunbeam, a 1,000-seater, will be built and construction was also begun on the Hippodrome at Bakersfield.

kencmcintyre on March 6, 2008 at 7:01 am

I went to that show. It was a blast.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Prison Break was released in Denmark on February 9 of 1939, under the title Oprør i fængslet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Army Girl received three Oscar nominations. Prison Break was snubbed by the Academy.

kencmcintyre on March 4, 2008 at 8:09 pm

How about Norway?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Army Girl was released in August of 1938.

kencmcintyre on March 4, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Here is a 1938 photo. The pattern on the sidewalk is the same as the Tower in Compton, another S. Charles Lee theater. I may go back to this theater and see if that pattern is still there.

kencmcintyre on February 29, 2008 at 9:07 am

OK, here is the correct information. The Gentry was designed by S. Charles Lee and opened in 1937. The Sunbeam was an earlier theater at the same location. An explosion damaged the theater in 1923, but it was rebuilt. Another fire in 1931 finished it off. The earlier explosion may have been the result of some labor problems.

Sunbeam should not be an aka. I will add it as a separate theater.

kencmcintyre on February 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I saw an interesting photo of the Gentry today from its theater days. I will try and post it here soon.

kencmcintyre on August 22, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Here is an article from the Cleveland Advocate dated 1/31/20:

kencmcintyre on July 2, 2007 at 2:04 pm

I think the Sunbeam may have been a separate theater. A story in the LA Times dated 8/11/23 describes a fire which destroyed the Sunbeam, a wooden structure. Perhaps the Gentry was built on that site after the fire.

William on June 21, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Lee designed and remodeled theatres during that time for Fox West Coast Theatres. Fox West Coast Theatres updated many theatres that were built in the late 20’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 21, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Since the Sunbeam was being advertised in 1935 and Lee’s design dates only from 1937, does that mean he remodeled an old theatre, or was the old building demolished and replaced? Judging from ken mc’s recent photos it looks to me like a thoroughly 1937 vintage building.

kencmcintyre on June 21, 2007 at 4:03 pm

The Congress is another theater that was listed as demolished. It was an interesting looking building.

kencmcintyre on June 21, 2007 at 12:45 pm

I have another photo tour planned for tomorrow. You would be surprised how many theaters are assumed demolished but are still standing. The Dixie at 6520 S. Normandie is a fine looking theater, now a church, as one example. Tomorrow I will be in East LA and Huntington Park, primarily.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 21, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Thanks Joe; the Maggie Valentine book “The Show Starts on the Sidewalk” (about architect S. Charles Lee) confirms that Lee was architect of the Gentry Theatre, Compton. It was built in 1937 for the Sunbeam Theatre Corp. The book does have a few inaccuracies and for this theatre it has one; stating it is demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 21, 2007 at 7:18 am

Southwest Builder & Contractor’s issue of August 8, 1937, announced that S. Charles Lee had prepared plans for the theatre at Compton Avenue and 66th Street.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 12, 2007 at 1:08 am

Listed in the 1941 & 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook as the Sunbeam Theatre with a seating capacity of 1,296 (Closed)

kencmcintyre on June 11, 2007 at 7:15 pm

An ad in the LA Times dated 6/26/35 lists the Sunbeam at 6525 Compton. That would be an aka for the Gentry.