Strand Theatre

4409 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90037

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Built in 1921, the Strand Theatre was one of many theatres that was located on South Broadway in the South Central area in Los Angeles.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

theprojectionist
theprojectionist on September 20, 2005 at 7:41 pm

This is one of the first theatres I worked at as a projectionist in 1962-63 – it was run by a fellow named Bob Scott and was only open on Fri, Sat, & Sun – I was here the Fri nite JFK was assassinated on 11/22/63 – it burned down in the Watts Riots of ‘65.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 13, 2007 at 12:38 am

Listed at 4407 S. Broadway in the 1939 city directory.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 8, 2007 at 2:47 am

Advertised at 4411 in 1933. Maybe there were wheels on the bottom of the theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 10, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Where ever it was, it’s not there now. There’s a store on the corner of 44th & Broadway and after that an empty lot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 10, 2007 at 5:22 am

The plans for the Strand Theatre were announced in Southwest Builder & Contractor issue of March 18, 1921. The location given was the corner of Moneta (now Broadway) and Vernon. The owner was named as Ed Colter, the architect as William C. Penell. The building was described as a two story brick theatre, store and market. It was listed as the Strand Theatre, at 4409 S. Moneta Avenue, in the 1923 City Directory.

The theatre’s peripatetic front door suggests that Penell may have studied architecture at Hogwarts Academy, but this is only speculation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 30, 2008 at 12:13 am

To correct my comment immediately above, the architects name is spelled Pennell. The only other theatre of his design that I know of is the Fairfax. Though Pennell is cited multiple times in the California Index as the partner of prolific theatre architect L.A. Smith during the year 1920, I can’t confirm that there were any built theatres on which they collaborated. They were hired to design a large theatre on 6th Street in San Pedro in 1920, but this project seems to have remained unbuilt. I’ve never found any reference indicating that Smith had anything to do with the design of the Strand, built in 1921. the Pennell-Smith partnership was apparently brief.

The City Planning Department’s information for the parcel on which the Strand was located is a bit vague. The assessor’s report includes the address 4401-4413 S. Broadway and 316-336 W. Vernon, and claims there are five buildings on the property, but it gives the date of construction (1921) and size (29,017 sq.ft.) of only one of them. The 2004 urban areas view photo at TerraServer shows five distinct rooftops arranged in an “L” shape along the two streets. There’s no indication which of the buildings is the one surviving from 1921, but odds are that it was part of Pennell’s original design.

The 1921 news report I cited in the comment above did say that the project was to be built on the corner of Vernon and Moneta (Broadway.) The arrangement of the buildings currently on the property suggest that the theatre’s auditorium probably stood inside the “L”, where a parking lot is now located. I can’t tell from the satellite view whether or not the former theatre entrance was in the part of the building surviving from 1921.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 22, 2008 at 2:44 am

Here is part of an LA Times article dated 9/12/28:

Police were still searching late yesterday for the asserted partner of James Pattey, 18 years of age. Pattey was captured earlier in the day in the frustration of what police reported was an attempt to hold up officials of the Strand Theater, 4409 South Broadway. Pattey said, according to police, that his “pal” was the one who planned the hold-up and that he met him in a local poil hall.

H.L. Cass, theater janitor, said he was held up by Pattey and his partner and bound hand and foot. When the two went to the front of the theater to wait for the manager, S.C. Mohl, Cass was able to loosen the bonds enough to allow him to walk out of the rear and notify the police.

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