La Reina Theatre

14626 Ventura Boulevard,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

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Designed by S. Charles Lee in 1937 for the Fox theater chain, the Le Reina Theatre was one of the nicer medium-sized movie houses in Los Angeles. Later, it was purchased by the Mann Theaters chain, who continued to show first run movies at theater until the mid-1980’s.

At that time, Mann Theaters sold the theater to developers who wanted to use the theater’s lot for a new shopping mall. Such stories usually end sadly, but as a slight concession to preservationists, the developers were forced to save the theater’s facade, although the auditorium was demolished.

After the 1995 Northridge earthquake, the vertical tower was damaged and had to be removed, and today all that remains is the marquee, the ticket booth, terrazzo sidwalk floor, and the facade of the building.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 18, 2009 at 6:57 am

Here the theater is being used for retail, before the spa:
http://tinyurl.com/rx6s6x

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 14, 2009 at 1:46 am

Here is part of a February 1985 article from the LA Times:

Developer Dennis Bass has agreed to try to preserve the neon marquee of the 46-year-old La Reina Theater in Sherman Oaks. The proposed demolition of the theater has prompted some community opposition.

Jackie Brainard, a spokeswoman for Bass, said Thursday that the developer has consulted with the theater’s architect, S. Charles Lee, and hopes that he can incorporate the marquee into his proposed project at Ventura Boulevard and Cedros Avenue. Bass is planning a complex of retail stores and restaurants.

Bass, who is in the process of purchasing the theater from the Mann Theatre Corp., met Thursday night with representatives of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn. to discuss his plans and seek community response. The strongest opposition, however, is expected to come from a group called Save the La Reina, headed by Sherman Oaks resident Lee David. David has filed an application with the city’s Cultural Heritage Board, asking that the art deco theater be declared a historic monument.

David said his group will lobby to have the building maintained as a movie or performing arts theater, or developed into a restaurant and retail complex with the exterior left intact. Brainard said that Bass has consulted with his architects and does not believe that it would be feasible to incorporate the theater building into his project.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Nice photos of the LaRenia.

JGKlein
JGKlein on April 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm

A good daytime photo dated Sept. 2008 has just been posted in the Wikipedia article for Sherman Oaks. See this URL: View link

acatos
acatos on December 4, 2010 at 2:00 am

The marquee of this theatre (and possibly the interior) appear in the “Fire Man” episode of “The Greatest American Hero.” They are the scene of an arson that figures in the story line.

Juttaholden
Juttaholden on February 12, 2013 at 2:23 am

Wonderful photos of the La Reina Theater, enjoyed working there in 1965!

K9Jeeper
K9Jeeper on March 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Just in case anyone’s interested, I was there on the second day of demolition. I was lucky enough to get a few items from La Reina’s projection booth back in the mid-1980’s. I wanted to build a movie theter in my home and use the items but that never happened. If anyone is interested, I’m selling them on Ebay – auctions end April 1, 2013. My Ebay seller name is “MuddyPartsOffroad” – One auction link is http://www.ebay.com/itm/261191035180?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

K9Jeeper
K9Jeeper on April 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Okay so I sold the projectionist’s phone but relisted the two Art Deco light fixtures that came from the projectionist’s booth as well. http://www.ebay.com/itm/261194679354?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

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