U.A. Long Beach Theatre

217 E. Ocean Boulevard,
Long Beach, CA 90802

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rivest266 on February 23, 2021 at 9:33 pm

Opened as United Artists on April 15th, 1932. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on November 16, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Became part of the Mitchell Brothers adult cinema chain on December 13th, 1974. Grand opening ad posted.

davidcoppock on June 5, 2018 at 11:52 am

Site is now an office building.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on February 1, 2013 at 2:22 am

You can catch a glimpse of this theater at 12:39 in this film on YouTube.

genegallant on March 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I was an usher at the UA theater from 1967-1970 while I was in high school. Mr. Hendrix was the manager then and Mr. Fisk was the assistant. We had a great staff of young workers. I was the only guy working with several college-aged young ladies. I remember then chasing me with MY broom in the lobby during the matinee hours. Mr. Fisk would catch up playing around and give us a “dirty look”. This was my first “real job” and I took the city bus to work every day. The theater was old then and I remember having to change the letters on the marquee every Tuesday night. My future wife and I had our first date at the UA at age 15 (a matinee to see Wait Until Dark with Audrey Hepburn). So many memories and fun times with Lesley, Jody, and Shelley.

TLSLOEWS on June 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Nice photo ken mc.

kencmcintyre on May 8, 2010 at 3:47 am

This is a 1931 photo from the Long Beach library:

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2009 at 11:32 pm

This is the front page of a Long Beach paper on 1/9/53, when a Greyhound bus swerved to avoid another car and drove into the front of the theater:

kencmcintyre on November 20, 2008 at 3:44 am

Here is part of an article about projectionists in the Long Beach Independent, dated 6/15/47:

Everybody knows that someone has to handle has to handle the film to get the pictures on the motion picture screen, but few know what they do or how they go about it. Wayne Swank, who operates at the United Artists theatre, got his start 30 years ago at the old American theatre on the Pike.

“We’ve come a long way since we used to sit on cracker boxes, and rewind film with one hand and crank the projector with the other”, he said. “Our projection booths are clean and fumes from the arc lights are carried off by blowers”. Operators work on six hour shifts. Before the theater opens for the day, the machines must be cleaned and oiled and film inspected for bad splices. Responsibility for the projection rests squarely on the operator. Operators are assigned to theaters by the Motion Picture Projectionists Union, Local 521.

William on April 23, 2008 at 12:18 am

In the picture the theatre has the Major Preview banner out in front of the vertical UA sign. It looks like the picture could be from 1932. Below the preview part of the banner, it looks like the title “One Way Passage”.

kencmcintyre on April 22, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Here is a photo, undated, from the LAPL. The UA is in the center, more or less:

William on December 4, 2007 at 1:09 am

There was no U.A. Theatre on Pico Blvd.. Simon must be thinking of the U.A. Four Star Theatre on Wilshire Blvd., there is a Bob’s Big Boy just east of the theatre.

kencmcintyre on August 15, 2007 at 1:53 am

Which theater on Pico?

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on August 15, 2007 at 1:46 am

Hi Ken mc: Your July 7, 2007 second down photo of the U.A. Theatre looks very much like the U.A. on Pico Blvd -near the Big Boy Burger joint.
Perhaps they had a similar vertical blade?

kencmcintyre on July 7, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Here is a view from behind the theater:

kencmcintyre on July 7, 2007 at 11:08 pm

You can see the UA in the middle of the picture, on Ocean Avenue:

kencmcintyre on May 14, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Since that didn’t work, go to the picture catalog and enter United Artists in the search engine.

kencmcintyre on May 10, 2007 at 10:49 pm

There are more photos on this page from the CA State Library:

kencmcintyre on January 16, 2007 at 9:18 pm

There was an obscenity issue at the theater in January 1970:

‘Curious (Yellow)’ Case Ruling Delayed by Judge

U.S. District Judge Francis G. Whalen delayed ruling Friday on a motion that would prohibit Los Angeles County officials from making further arrests or film seizures involving “I Am Curious, Yellow”.

Long Beach police 48 hours later seized a print of “I Am Curious (Yellow)” which was being shown New Year’s Eve at United Artists Theater, 217 E. Ocean Blvd. But theater officials got another copy of the film a day later, and it is still being exhibited here.

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2006 at 10:46 pm

You can see the top of the marquee above the streetcar:

DennisPierce on January 11, 2006 at 3:15 pm

One more thing, the Rivoli Theatre was a great place in the early 70’s to see a double feature for 49 cents.

DennisPierce on January 11, 2006 at 3:12 pm

I remember going to the UA in Downtown Long Beach as a kid in the 60’s. I also remember some of the films I saw there, Hallelujah Trail, Advance to the Rear, and the Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. The UA was one of a few good size theatres in downtown L.B. that I went to see movies (the others were the Imperial and the FOX West Coast). Downtown L.B. was becoming seedy during the 70’s and all the theatres were eventually town down. The last time I saw a movie there was in 1972, the third Planet of the Apes at the Imperial which was next door to the West Coast. In 1993, after not having been to Downtown L.B. in more than 20 years I rode the Blue Line train from Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles to the end of the line at the L.B. Transit Mall and I didn’t recognize the place. All the old classic art deco Downtown buildings were gone except for the F&M building and one or two other buildings I remember seeing as a kid. What we used to call ‘Bum Park’ just west of the Blue Line stop was still there populated with the homeless. Downtown L.B. which was once full of life and had it’s own identity with those old buildings, movie theatres, sailor bars and the Pike has become just another sterile modern Downtown.

kencmcintyre on December 10, 2005 at 12:20 am

Here is an expanded version of the photo at the top of the page, from the LA Library: