Info on Casino Theatre in Los Angeles?

posted by IslandHill on June 7, 2006 at 7:24 am

I am looking for any information on the Casino Theatre in Los Angeles (not San Diego, not the Avalon).

I own the Robert-Morton theatre pipe organ that was originally installed there in 1924. I have located only one picture from the Los Angeles Public Library on-line photo collection (stage view of the audience, not dated).

Any information would be appreciated.

Comments (5)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 7, 2006 at 6:18 pm

This is quite a puzzler.

I find references to two theatres in Los Angeles called the Casino (from the California Index of the regional history section at the L.A. library web site.) The first was built in 1903, designed by architect Albert H. Edelman. No location is given. If it is listed at Cinema Treasures, it must be under some other name, but it may not be listed at all.

The photograph you mentioned shows an auditorium with columns supporting the balcony. This makes it very likely that the photo depicts this 1903 Casino Theater. The second Casino Theatre was built in 1944, at 43rd and Central, designed by L.A. Smith. If you have an organ installed in 1924, this is probably the Casino Theatre from which it came.

I haven’t been able to find the second Casino Theatre listed at Cinema Treasures, but I believe it may have later been known as the Bill Robinson Theatre. There is a Cinema Treasures listing for the Bill Robinson Theatre, but it is located at 42nd and Central, in a 1921 theatre (also a Smith design) which opened as the Tivoli. If you read the comment posted on that page by KenRoe on Dec. 4, 2004, and my subsequent comment of the same date, you’ll see why I think that the Casino might have become the second theatre to be named the Bill Robinson.

When I get more time, I’ll try looking through the Cinema Treasures listings for theatres in Los Angeles to find if the 43rd and Central Casino is listed under another name. (Unfortunately, it isn’t among the theatres listed as having been designed by L.A. Smith, so I can’t find it that way.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 8, 2006 at 5:05 am

TYPO in my comment above: The date of construction for the second Casino Theatre should read 1924, of course. I still haven’t found the Casino listed at Cinema Treasures under any name. I think it might not be here yet.

IslandHill on June 22, 2006 at 4:54 pm

Joe Vogel,
A large vacant dirt lot is all that remains today at 4319 S. Central, L.A. Perhaps someday a photograph will surface showing the Casino Theatre during happier (and safer) times.

Thank you for the information you provided.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2006 at 4:40 am

IH- This is interesting: A Google image search turned up a single small photo of a Bill Robinson Theater, though it’s only a night shot of the marquee. I don’t know which Bill Robinson Theater it is, but when I right-clicked on the image to save it, the file name displayed was “BillRobinsonTheaterLAll”, which suggests that it is probably the second of that name in L.A., in which case (if my surmise is correct) the picture probably does depict the Casino.

The picture is on this page of the web site of the Western States Black Research and Educational Center.

Sarge on July 11, 2006 at 4:38 am

Joe Vogel
Did a DVD movie and would like to enter this arena
How does on find a place that would show this motion pic
A preview first, would be nice
Where do I get such info about DVD projections

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