Atlantic Theater

5870 Atlantic Avenue,
Long Beach, CA 90805

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Opened in 1941, this was rather plain on the outside, its most distinguishing feature was a large tower similar to trademark of RKO-Radio pictures that flashed with neon lights, a magnet for families in the surrounding area. It survived as a theater until 1976 and became home to a church. It was demolished in February, 2014.

Contributed by doug sarvis

Recent comments (view all 71 comments)

MJuggler on November 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Derbralea, check out this site for more info:

DebraLea on November 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

thanks MJ. we moved to 1074 Market in 59 when i was 9. then ironically to the little house south side of the Library. the one they are now saying is old and i forget the word (RDA word)but is what the excuse or reasons of ‘needing’ a new library built once the theater is razed. LB BS! i’m now at Market on Cerritos. across the street from where i started 54 years ago. ha. the new. and the gone. i remember more that’s gone than what’s new. not impressed.

Neurosturgeon on December 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm

The Press-Telegram is reporting that the date for the Atlantic to be demolished is 1/25/14, but the front of the building is being preserved.

DebraLea on January 4, 2014 at 5:42 am

Hi Guys. the date is coming up fast. is anyone suppose to be or going to be on site when they start demo? to point out what is being saved, and instructions of how it’s to be saved? don’t trust the RDA one bit. they write up pretty papers of promises. everything they say their going to do has ten ways of doing it and they choose which way. like the saving of the historical Jergens Trust Building concrete cherubs & moldings. i came across recently in the library’s community data digital archives photo’s of LB a picture of one of the LB salvage yards and there up against the chain link fence was the cherubs and all the moldings stacked up on the ground and the cherub has two foot high weeds growing up out of her bosom and under her chin where they are cracked apart. obviously stacked with a fork lift. nothing has ever gone into the plan of using them again as said they would. once again it’s a case of they promised they would, but never said when.. i’ll mark the date.. the 25th is on a Saturday? i’m betting LB isn’t even doing the razing or the building of the center or library. they hired it out instead of the city doing the job. the city doesn’t work on Saturdays and pay any work of overtime! we’ll see. i’ll go check out the data base LBPL to see if it’s to date. Deb

DebraLea on January 20, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Hi Guys, i’ve gone by the Atlantic theater, nothing yet to suggest that the demolish is still scheduled for the 25th. no signs ect. last time i went by there were Edison trucks with crane all in the back of the building working up on the poles. other than that nothing looks like work happening. i make it a habit to go by that way anymore. i’ll let you know if i see anything. i’ve posted the info and all the pictures on a group site of Facebook ‘you know your from LBC when you remember…’ it has raised so many to remembering our days going to the Atlantic, Crest, Towne & LaShell Theaters, many back to the days they opened. they loved the pictures and i included this site so they can also find info of the many other theaters that once were here in LBC and those that still are. thanks again for being here.

Mark Goodrich
Mark Goodrich on January 25, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Today, January 25, 2014, a ‘celebration’ was held marking the beginning of this theater’s demolition. The 1941 theater is being destroyed after many years of neglect to make way for a new library. The RKO-like spire, the theater’s terrazo floors, fountain and tile work will be incorporated into the library’s design plan. I will post some photos.

Mark Goodrich
Mark Goodrich on February 9, 2014 at 3:53 am

I just added a few new photos of the demolition. The auditorium is down.

GaryParks on March 29, 2015 at 7:17 am

Several months ago, in mid-2014, I drove out to the site of the Atlantic. Not only is the building gone without a trace, but there seems to be no sign of future development at the site, not even a sign proclaiming the construction of a library, or anything, there. I’m wondering if the neighborhood has become the victim of a development scam of some sort, a promise of a library, and preserved portions of the theatre, only to be left with nothing. I hope not. I’ll be interested to see if anyone has any news.

lemansblue69 on February 18, 2016 at 12:01 am

What happened to the tower?

GaryParks on January 20, 2017 at 4:53 am

The top part of the tower was preserved, and mounted onto the new library building, which has been completed. I do not know if any other features of the theatre were incorporated anywhere else in the new building.

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