Temple Theatre

5863 S. Vermont Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90044

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Mister_Comics on September 28, 2017 at 8:38 pm

The Temple Theatre was still in business in 1962. There are newspaper ads to support this.

AndrewBarrett on October 4, 2014 at 11:10 pm

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.

Financier on September 17, 2013 at 8:15 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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2011 at 5:25 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.

kencmcintyre on May 11, 2009 at 3:05 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.

CTCrouch on January 25, 2009 at 6:03 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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 29, 2007 at 10:15 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.

kencmcintyre on August 29, 2007 at 9:23 pm

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

kencmcintyre on June 21, 2007 at 6:05 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.

tomdelay on October 7, 2005 at 7:15 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 on October 7, 2005 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for the info. My assumption was that the latter building was a theater based on its appearance, but it may have been something else.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 7, 2005 at 1:35 am

ken mc; It is the former Balboa Theatre, 8713 S. Vermont Avenue that is now the Nation of Islam ‘church’. It has its own page here on CT, theatre #2221 Balboa Theatre.

I can’t find any listing in Film Daily Yearbooks (that I have) for a theatre in the 9000 #’s on S. Vermont Avenue

kencmcintyre on October 6, 2005 at 8:00 pm

I noticed two (possibly) former theaters as I cruised down Vermont today. The first was at 8725 S. Vermont and is now occupied by the Nation of Islam. I didn’t stop and visit. The second was a blue art deco structure, at around 91st and Vermont, on the east side of the street. If either of these theaters are listed, please let me know. Thanks.

kencmcintyre on October 6, 2005 at 7:29 pm

Should this theater be listed as “Closed/Demolished” if the building is still standing?

kencmcintyre on October 6, 2005 at 7:28 pm

I drove by this theater today. The building is still standing. 5863 is a store called Wig Plaza. I noticed two carved falcons on the second story window, above the space where the marquee likely was placed. I thought that was an interesting detail.

kencmcintyre on September 17, 2005 at 4:16 pm

I drive down Vermont when I want to stay off the Harbor Freeway. I will check it out and let you know.

danz on March 22, 2005 at 12:39 am

My grandparents, my parents and I all frequented the Temple Theatre on Vermont (near Slauson). My mother’s parents moved into the neighborhood (60th Street) in the early 20’s. My mother went there through her childhood. I went there with my grandparents in the 50’s. I believe that there was an Chinese restaurant at the left side of the theater entrance. I THINK I saw “Bambi” there. I remember playing KENO during the intermissions. The last time I was in the neighborhood (maybe 20 years ago), there was a wig shop in the front of the building. Does anyone know whether the building has been torn down?

tomdelay on February 24, 2005 at 1:20 am

This theatre had a 2 manual 4 rank Wurlitzer style B organ. This little instrument was a read oddball in that it was a “divided” instrument. In larger instruments, it was not uncommon to have the organ’s pipes placed on both side of the proscenium.

However, this tiny little organ was also divided with 3 ranks of pipes (Flute, Diapason, Salicional) in the left loft. The right loft contained 1 rank of pipes (Vox Humana) and all percussions.

The console and relay of the Temple organ still exist, playing the Wurlitzer organ from the San Luis Obispo, CA Elmo Theatre (moved to the Obispo Theatre in 1930) in St. Mary’s Church Visalia, CA.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 13, 2004 at 6:19 am

Construction of the Temple Theatre began in late 1921. The contractor was Al Nelson, the owner of the building was F.W. Braun. The architect was H.C. Dockbar.

Source: Southwest Builder and Contractor, 21 October, 1921.