Tower Theatre

114 E. Colorado Boulevard,
Pasadena, CA 91105

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres

Architects: B.G. Horton

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The Tower Theatre opened on December 28, 1929 with John Barrymore in “General Crack”. By June 1938 it was operated by Fox West Coast Theatres. It was closed on March 10, 1951 with Spencer Tracy in “Adam’s Rib” & Dab Duryea in “Black Angel”. On October 4, 1952 it became a church, which was short lived as it was demolished in late-1954.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 27, 2006 at 10:39 am

rduff: I remember hearing older Pasadenans tell about the effect the passing trains had on the Tower. Unfortunately, the theatre was gone by the time I became familiar with Pasadena, so I never got to experience it firsthand.

I never got to see the Academy before its original Egyptian style was covered over in the 1957 remodeling. Cinema Treasures has a page for the Academy. (In fact, you can click the “Pasadena” link in the line just above the Tower Theatre name on this page, and it will open a page with a list of all the Pasadena theatres listed on the site so far.)

The Crest in Monrovia is listed at Cinema Treasures under its original name, the Lyric Theatre.

rduff1 on May 27, 2006 at 11:25 am

Joe Vogel: Thanks for the info. I am modelling the area around the rr crossing on Colorado blvd. I just came on this web site and am thrilled to not only get this photo but to see the interest in preserving these great old theaters.
I lived just up yhe street from the Crest when it was being destroyed.

Patsy on May 27, 2006 at 11:45 am

I can’t help but mention (again)on this CT link the Raymond Theatre in Pasadena and the very long ongoing battle between Mr. Buchanan and Gina Z. and her helpers who have been trying to save this theatre for many years! (

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 27, 2006 at 11:55 am

Rod: I believe the photo on this page is from the collection at the L.A. Public Library, like the photo which ken mc linked to in his comment above. If you go to the library web site and click on the “Photo Collection” link, a search for “Pasadena” will bring up a sizable number of pictures. They are from quite a few different periods, and only a few are of the section of Colorado which you are modeling, but you might find something useful there.

In case you don’t know of it, the USC Digital Archive also has quite a few old photos of Pasadena.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2008 at 7:08 am

I’ve only just come across a card in the California Index which cites a Los Angeles Times article of August 11th, 1929, which announced plans for a theatre to be built at 114 E. Colorado in Pasadena. That must have been the Tower. The card is headed HORTON, B.G. I don’t know if that was the name of the architect, the builder, the owner, or what. I find no other references to a B.G. Horton in the Index. A mystery for someone to unravel, then.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 28, 2008 at 6:54 am

LAPL has added an undated photo showing the Tower’s facade, and a big locomotive. It’s probably from 1937-38, though. The first title on the marquee is “Slave Ship”, a Warner Baxter-Wallace Beery vehicle released in 1937. I can’t read the second feature title.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’ve finally found confirmation that B. G. Horton was indeed an architect, so he did design the Tower Theatre. A 1917 issue of Western Architect and Engineer said that he had been granted a certificate to practice architecture in California. His office was located at 750 E. Colorado Street in Pasadena.

Matt Hormann
Matt Hormann on August 27, 2013 at 4:15 am

The Tower Theatre is still listed in the 1953 Polk’s Pasadena Directory of Householders, Occupants of Office Buildings and Other Business Places. The following year’s directory lists 114 E. Colorado as “vacant.” Thus, the theater must have closed in 1952 or 1953.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Pasadena Digital Archive has uploaded a 1945 photo of a small corner of the Tower’s lobby at Flickr. The interior appears to have been fairly plain at this date, though there’s some fancy trim around a partly-seen doorway. The Roy Rogers display indicates that the Tower was probably then Pasadena’s western theater.

dallasmovietheaters on June 7, 2021 at 11:15 am

The Tower launched December 28, 1929 with John Barrymore’s first talkie with Vitaphine sound, “General Crack.” It appears to have closed March 10, 1951 with “Adam’s Rib” and “Black Angel.” On October 4, 1952, it became a short-lived house of worship. In late 1954, its final feature on the attractor was for Nash Parking Lot coming soon as it was demolished shortly thereafter.

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