Crystal Theatre

2806 Whittier Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA

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Marquee and lobby of the Crystal Theatre, Los Angeles, CA in 1926

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Crystal Theatre was one of those independent neighborhood theatres that once stood along the streets of Los Angeles.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 5, 2007 at 10:43 pm

This theatre was probably built in 1923. This card in the California Index gives the name of the architect, but it’s unreadable. Somebody needed to change the ribbon in the typewriter. Is that supposed to be an “M” by any chance? J.T. Meller?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 11, 2008 at 8:30 pm

This should be East Los Angeles, I think.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm

The site of the Crystal is more than a mile west of Indiana Street, so it’s well inside the city limits of Los Angeles.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 11, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Is East Los Angeles an incorporated city, or just a geographic designation? If it’s the latter, then listing it in East LA would make it easier to reference.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm

East Los Angeles is the official name of an unincorporated community. If the place ever incorporates, it would probably keep the name. Casually, the name East Los Angeles or East L.A. is also used to describe the whole region on the east side of Los Angeles, including a lot of neighborhoods within the city such as Lincoln Heights (which actually was officially called East Los Angeles when it was first developed back in the 1870s) and Boyle Heights. Officially, though, it’s just that unicorporated area between Los Angeles and Monterey Park.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 11, 2008 at 10:49 pm

OK, then I’m still arguing that it’s easier to find a theater in East LA as opposed to LA proper, given the disparity between the numbers of theaters in the two areas. Subsequently this theater should be listed in East LA.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Cinema Treasures has actually been moving in the opposite direction, eliminating various neighborhood names such as Westwood and Westchester. In any case, the way the site is set up, Los Angeles and East Los Angeles are already lumped together by the search function.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 11, 2008 at 11:07 pm

OK, we’ll leave it at that.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 29, 2009 at 6:42 pm

The Crystal on Whittier first shows up in the LA Times in September 1923, in one of those large Paramount ads with all the theaters listed. Before 1923 there are ads for the Crystal at 2602 S. Main, starting in 1914.

vokoban
vokoban on September 24, 2009 at 8:25 am

I’ve been looking into the Crystal on Main also. That address was a Premier car dealership starting in 1907. There’s one mention in 1911 of a tame African Lion on stage at the Crystal Theater but no address is given. It’s listed throughout 1914 and then doesn’t show up until 1934 when it’s a furniture auction house. If you look up the address on google maps and look at the street view, the building looks pretty old. I wonder if it’s the same building.

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