Temple Theatre

5863 S. Vermont Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90044

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The Temple Theatre was one of many independent theatres along S. Vermont Avenue in south Los Angeles. The Temple Theatre was opened in 1921. It was still operating into the 1950’s.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

tomdelay
tomdelay on October 7, 2005 at 8:15 pm

I learned recently that the balance of the Temple Theatre Wurlitzer (chests, pipes, percussions) are owned by a theatre organ collector in the San Jose area. The console and relay remain in the Visalia, CA church I mentioned in the earlier posting above.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 21, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Ken, the theater I saw back in October was the Congress. It wasn’t as far south as I mentioned in the post at that time. I posted some current photos on that page.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 29, 2007 at 10:23 pm

This theater was operated by Harry Vennicoft & Son Theaters in the early sixties.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 29, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Ken: I think “Vennicoft” might be a misspelling of the name “Vinnicof”. The Vinnicof Theatre Circuit was around for a long time. They owned a half interest in the Garfield Theatre in Alhambra in the 1950s, the other half being silently owned by the Edwards Theatre Circuit. Vinnicof also operated the Grove Theatre in Garden Grove at that time. At least as far back as the 1930s they operated some theatres in the Eagle Rock-Highland Park area. In 1941, Harry Vinnicof bought the Congress Theatre a couple of miles down Vermont from the Temple.

There are some Vinnicofs who are still associated with the movie theatre business, one of them showing up on this page I found in Google search results. Maybe Cecil is one of Harry’s sons, or perhaps a grandson. There are also a Paul Vinnicof and a Robert Vinnicof who share the San Vincente address. They all appear to be lawyers who specialize in movie theatres.

CTCrouch
CTCrouch on January 25, 2009 at 7:03 am

Joe Vogel posted: “Maybe Cecil is one of Harry’s sons, or perhaps a grandson”

I believe Cecil is (was?) Harry’s son, as an early 60’s news bit, about the opening of Anaheim’s Brookhurst Theatre (another Vinnicof Theatre), lists Vinnicof & Son Theatres as being operated by Harry and Cecil Vinnicof.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

I saw that photo before, and I was wondering if maybe this was a Spanish-language house in its last go round. Easy enough to change Temple to Tempo.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2011 at 6:25 am

The Southwest Builder & Contractor article I cited as the source for the architect’s name misspelled it. The correct name of the architect was Harry C. Deckbar. Among his other works was Trinity Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, designed when he was a partner in the firm of Fitzhugh, Krucker & Deckbar.

Financier
Financier on September 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Wow. How depressing. I visited the Temple with my grandparents in the 1950’s. Now it looks like a third world country! My mother’s parents lived at 822 W. 60th Street (walking distance). We usually ate Chinese food at a little restaurant at one side of the theater (I can’t remember which side). My dad’s parents lived on 66th Street. My parents went there on dates. My dad graduated from John Muir Jr. High a few doors down. I remember double features and KENO during the intermissions. My grandmothers told me that the movies were stopped when the Amos and Andy radio show was at its peak. Otherwise no one would have gone to the movies.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on October 5, 2014 at 12:10 am

Thanks for the info on the Temple Theatre Wurlitzer B! I guess the fact that it was a divided installation would make this organ a “B X” although it is not (apparently?) listed as such in the records.

The Judd Walton / Peter Beames Wurlitzer Opus lists show Wurlitzer opus 506, a “B SP” (B Special) was shipped to the Temple Theatre in Los Angeles on December 30, 1921.

Mr. DeLay helpfully informs us that it was a divided installation, and perhaps the “X” suffix was not yet in use in Wurlitzer terminology for an optionally-divided installation as early as 1921.

However, this particular organ was not the only divided model B built by Wurlitzer. Some of the early “B Special"s might also be divided organs (I’m not sure), and by 1924 or 1925 the "X” suffix, (signifying a two-chamber/divided installation of an organ that was normally installed in a single chamber) had come into use for the model B, with 9 Wurlitzer B X (and 3 B X Special) theatre pipe organs shipped from then until 1927.

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