Mission Theatre

842 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90003

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Mission Theatre

Woodley’s Theatre was an early vaudeville house in downtown L.A.’s Broadway theatre district. Built for E.W. Woodley, it opened September 27, 1914 and was designed by the architectural firm Train & Williams. On September 18, 1918 it was renamed Victory Theatre.

It was purchased by Mack Sennett in 1920 and closed in September 1920 to enable an expansion and extensive remodeling (by architect H.O. Davis and the Frank Meline Company) in a Spanish style. It was reopened as a motion picture theatre, renamed Mission Theatre from December 2, 1920. It did not remain for long, however, as it closed January 18, 1925 and was demolished.

The fourth Los Angeles home of the Orpheum Theater Circuit was built on its site, which opened February 15, 1926.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 27, 2005 at 4:59 am

ken mc: I don’t know if this particular movie is available on DVD. There are a couple of DVD compilations of Lloyd’s movies available, but I don’t think that “Safety Last” is among those included. I’ve heard that a Harold Lloyd boxed set, with about a dozen features and many shorts, is due out in November, from New Line Home Video, and this movie may be included in that collection. I haven’t been able to find details about it, though.

kencmcintyre on June 10, 2007 at 1:44 am

Listed at 840 S. Broadway in the early 20s, per the LA Times.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 9, 2007 at 12:30 am

This 1917 photo shows a glimpse of Tally’s Broadway Theatre, 833 S. Broadway, at far left. The Mission, at 840 S. Broadway, would have been across the street and down a bit. It probably occupied the oblong brick building adjacent to the primitive parking lot at lower left. I’m still unable to find a photo of the fronts of the buildings on the east side of that block of Broadway during the pre-Orpheum period.

vokoban on October 24, 2007 at 5:27 pm

I’m trying to find a demolition date but the wording in this article is confusing….I don’t understand what ‘improved with’ means:

(Dec. 2, 1924)
Work on what is to be the largest and finest theater in the Orpheum chain of showhouses will be started withing the next thirty days at 838 South Broadway at a cost in excess of $1,000,000, it was announced yesterday by Joe Toplitzky, representative for the building syndicate. Bids for the contstruction of the building will be accepted in about three weeks when working plans by Architect G. Albert Langsburg will be completed. Present plans provide for the erection of a twelve-story and basement structure, Class A and of steel frame and reinforced concrete construction, with an auditorium to seat 2300 persons. The site, with a frontage of 138 feet on Broadway and a depth of 148 feet to an alley, is now improved with the Mission Theater and a parking station.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2007 at 2:01 am

As the term “improvements” refers to any structures, pavements, landscaping, etc. which are on a piece of property, the phrase “improved with” in the article only means that the Mission Theatre and the parking lot (interesting that they call it a parking station) were on the property where the Orpheum was to be built.

vokoban on October 25, 2007 at 2:21 pm

That makes sense….I still can’t find anything about the actual demolition.

kencmcintyre on October 30, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Here is a December 1918 ad from the LA Times:

kencmcintyre on October 30, 2007 at 2:43 pm

This is a 1919 ad. I think the address is 838 S. Broadway:

kencmcintyre on November 13, 2008 at 4:17 am

Here is an LA Times ad from January 16, 1914:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

The May 14, 1913, issue of American Architect and Architecture had a brief item which must have been about this house:

“Los Angeles—Architects Train & Williams, Exchange Bldg., have prepared plans for a 2-story brick store and theater building to be erected on Broadway between Eighth and Ninth Sts., for F. W. Woodley, manager of the Optic Theater. Cost, $25,000.”
Train & Williams also designed Tally’s Broadway Theatre across the street, opened in 1909, and the Hyman (Garrick) Theatre, up the block at the corner of 8th Street. All three of the theaters on this block that the firm designed had been demolished by the end of the 1920s.

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