Cinefamily at The Silent Movie Theatre

611 N. Fairfax Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Silent Movie Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

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This silent movie shrine was built in 1942, when silents seemed like ancient relics to the masses.

Though it has gone through hard times over the years, including having to close its doors for a few years (due to the infamous murder of the owner in 1996), it has never ceased to pay homage to the films that built the entertainment capital of the world.

With the switch to a new owner, it was completely renovated, and now beautifully captures the look of old time movie theaters. In 2006 it was sold to new owners who continue to show silent movies with live music once a week. The theatre now also shows a variety of other movies and hosts many events including private parties.

Cinefamily at The Silent movie Theatre was closed November 14, 2017 due mainly to financial problems within Cinefamily. The owners of the building plan to make renovations and find an operator.

Contributed by Carrick Bartle

Recent comments (view all 52 comments)

dtrigubetz on January 15, 2013 at 6:16 am

Yeah, they had a $144,000 goal and raised $158,000

ejones880 on July 15, 2013 at 3:13 am

This was my favorite place in LA (when I lived their)and I went almost weekly from 1991 until 2006. I knew the second owner Laurence Austin vaguely. He was murdered in 1997. I wasn’t at the theater the night he was murdered; however I did see the murderer in the last row on the right side last row on an earlier night (They were showing either Buster Keaton or Laurel and Hardy)and he did attempt to shoot the front box office and I remember I heard glass breaking (No one was hit so I never thought anything of it). I also enjoyed Charlie Lustman’s time as the owner and miss his song “Take me to the Silent Picture show”. I would usually win a prize for guessing all the pictures on the wall. If anyone is writing a story about the Silent Movie Theater they can email me at

DavidSimpson on July 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm

This really is an amazing survivor! I visited on 4th July 2014 to see the reissue of The Beatles' “A Hard Day’s Night”. A large, very appreciative audience thoroughly enjoyed the film, breaking out into spontaneous applause at the end. The cinema is what I describe as ‘endearingly ramshackle’, with four rows of two-seater sofas at the front and rows of truly ancient (possibly even 1942 original!) seats behind – and free-standing plastic seats at the end of every other row, to bump up the capacity! There’s also only one toilet closet for each sex, meaning queues before the feature comes on! There had been a live music event in the afternoon, and movies are just one aspect of the entertainment on offer. But there is a super, really imaginative line-up: long may this wonderful gem survive!

GeorgeStrum on April 23, 2017 at 3:31 am

Just watched Ghost Adventures. The theatre is haunted by the spirits of the two late former owners and interestingly enough the ghost of Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

Mister_Comics on October 1, 2017 at 4:05 am

Every year this theatre does a honor to the William Castle films by showing one of his scary films and including the gimmick that he would have for that movie. For instance; they would show the movie “Tingler” and have all the seats rigged to vibrate during the “Percepto” parts of the movie. Just like it was originally done back in the 60’s.

DavidZornig on November 15, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Closed as of November 14, 2017.

davidcoppock on November 29, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Appered briefly on an episode of Storage wars(near the end)!! No idea on the name of the episode though?

Mister_Comics on November 29, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Appeared briefly in a segment of Svengoolie’s television show. (2017)

davidcoppock on November 30, 2017 at 6:38 am

The “Storage Wars” episode was in Season 2, episode 6(Enemy of the enemy).

sblomquist on December 5, 2017 at 2:59 am

One of my favorite memories ever is that in 2001 and 2002 I went to this theater and saw It’s a Wonderful Life with a bunch of friends for my birthday. The 2001 viewing was my first time ever watching that movie! It was probably my best ever movie-going experience. The theater was packed to the gills, and the audience laughed out loud, clapped, and booed and hissed at Mr. Potter. It was awesome. I couldn’t help but get caught up in it! I was looking to see if they were showing it for my 40th birthday, and I was so sad to see that it had closed. I would LOVE for the new owners/operators to continue that tradition! So wonderful and classic!

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