San Carlos Theatre

2917 N. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90031

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San Carlos program from 1927

The San Carlos Theatre, which opened on July 2, 1926, was one of a few North Main Street theatres. Many of the theatres in this area were located on South Main Street. After closing, the San Carlos Theatre was used as a workshop. It now operates as a church.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2004 at 11:40 pm

This address would have put this theater just east of Griffin Avenue in the Lincoln Heights district of Los Angeles, and only a few blocks west of Lincoln Park. This neighborhood was mostly built up before 1910. I probably passed by it a number of times when I was very young, as one of the bus lines we sometimes rode ran along that stretch of Main Street, but I have no memory of the theater itself.

Unless there was more than one theater of this name in Los Angeles, it must have been closed after 1950. According to a list provided by KenRoe
(which can be seen at /theaters/9144/ )
a San Carlos Theater was one of 24 theaters being operated in that year by the Edwards Theater circuit.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 5, 2004 at 2:39 pm

The San Carlos Theater in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles opened on 2nd July 1926. The architect was Lewis A. Smith (L.A. Smith). It was originally operated by West Coast Theaters.

kencmcintyre on July 13, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Advertised at 2915 N. Main on 12/2/46, per the LA Times.

larrygoldsmith on August 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm

There was also a CARLOS THEATRE located in San Carlos Ca. which operated under the FOX/NATIONAL GENERAL banner. It was closed after the wonderful Ted Mann bought the chain. In fact, he sold or closed every single theatre on the entire peninsula.

kencmcintyre on October 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Advertised in the LA Times on 4/22/42. Double feature was “Gay Falcon” and “Jungle Cavalcade”. Admission was fifteen cents.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

An item from the December 23, 1944, issue of Boxoffice said that an early morning fire causing $15,000 damage had recently occurred at the San Carlos Theatre in Los Angeles. The cause was determined to be a cigarette left in a seat, which smoldered for several hours before starting the blaze. Residents of upstairs apartments had to flee the building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm

It turns out I do remember having seen this theater, but not while it was still in operation. I remember that a few times in the late 1950s and early 1960s I passed by a former theater occupied by a wholesale school supply store. For the last few years I’ve been trying to remember exactly where it was, and never made the connection with the San Carlos, but the School Days Equipment Company is listed at the San Carlos’s address in the Los Angeles City Directory for 1956.

CharmaineZoe on February 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

Pic of the San Carlos in 1930: View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Comparing CharmaineZoe’s photo and the building seen in Google Street View, it’s clear that the San Carlos Theatre’s building had certainly not been demolished as of 2009, when the Street View photo was made, and it’s probably still there. The former auditorium is still distinguishable in the satellite view as well, and if you move Street View around to Griffin Avenue you can see one of the former emergency exits still in use by the current occupant.

The Internet says that the address now belongs to an outfit called George’s Upholstery, and my guess would be that the auditorium is in use as a workroom.

Also, why do we have the San Carlos and two other Lincoln Heights theaters (the Daly and the Starland) listed as being in Montecito Heights? Montecito Heights is a small, hilly residential district northeast of Lincoln Heights. The San Carlos was only four blocks from Lincoln Park. This is definitely Lincoln Heights.

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