UCLA Nimoy Theatre

1262 Westwood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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UCLA Nimoy Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Carmike Cinemas, General Cinema Corp., Loew's Inc., Pacific Theatres, Robert L. Lippert Theatres Inc., SRO Theaters

Architects: Arthur W. Hawes

Firms: Bar Architects

Functions: Educational, Movies, Performing Arts

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: UCLAN Theatre, Metro Theatre, Pacific Crest Theatre, Westwood Crest Theatre, Majestic Crest Theatre, Bigfoot Crest Theatre, Crest Theatre

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News About This Theater

Bigfoot Crest Theatre

Opened December 25, 1940 as the 460-seat UCLAN Theatre by the independent circuit Dietrich & Feldstein. Named after the initials of the nearby University of California at Los Angeles (better known today as UCLA). The UCLAN Theatre was renamed Crest Theatre in June 1956 when it was taken over by Robert L. Lippert Theatres Inc.

Renamed Metro Theatre it was renovated by the owners Sterling Recreation Organisation in May 1983, reopening on June 3, 1983, with new seats, 70mm projection and Dolby sound. Pacific Theatres were the next operators from 1985 and in 1987 it was renamed Crest Theatre. It was closed and in conjunction with the Disney Organisation, a complete renovation was carried out by theatre interior designer Joseph Musil, who had worked on the restoration of the El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood. The auditorium walls were now decorated with a diorama of Hollywood landmarks in an Art Deco atmospheric style, made even more spectacular by the clever use of ‘black-light’. In the ceiling a star system was installed, and when the show starts, a ‘shooting star’ flies across the ceiling of the theatre and explodes in a little shimmer of stardust as the screen curtains open. It reopened on June 10, 1988 with Bette Midler in “Big Business”.

Since January 2003, it was operated by independent operator Robert Buckbaum, and was renamed Majestic Crest Theatre. In September 2010, it was taken over by Carmike Cinemas, and then in April 2011, Bigfoot purchased the theatre and also operated it, until it was closed in early-October 2011 for ‘renovations’. It was reopened in July 2013 screening a season of ballet and opera films. It was temporary closed in January 2017.

On October 25, 2018 it was purchased by UCLA for use as a student arts facility. Work began to transform the theatre back into a live performance space, which will also feature movies. It reopened on September 17, 2023 as the 233-seat UCLA Nimoy Theatre

On May 14, 2008, the Majestic Crest Theatre was designated an Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 319 comments)

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on October 16, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Claim in introduction that the cinema first opened as “legit” under the name of Westwood is incorrect. It was newly built by Dietrich & Feldstein, according to a report in the April 13th, 1940 issue of Boxoffice Magazine (see posting in Photos Section).

MSC77 on October 17, 2019 at 5:48 pm

This passage from the overview contains some errors:

“By the summer of 1988 Cineplex-Odeon were operating the building and it was again renamed Crest Theatre. Pacific Theatres were the next operators…”

(1) Cineplex Odeon never ran this theater. (2) Pacific took over in 1985 when they acquired the SRO venues in Southern California. (3) When Pacific took over they initially retained the Metro name. (4) The name change to Crest took place in 1987.

Note that Pacific did not take over the entire SRO chain; they acquired just the ones in Southern California. SRO venues in the Pacific Northwest, for instance, remained under SRO ownership during this mid-1980s period but eventually were taken over by Cineplex Odeon (which may be the cause of the mistaken belief about the Metro/Crest’s ownership). Anyway, please update the overview.

rivest266 on December 2, 2019 at 12:17 am

Pacific Theatres took the Metro over from SRO (Along with the rest of the chain in Southern California) in 1985 and reopened it as Crest on November 25th, 1987 with “Three Men and a Baby”. 1987 grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on December 3, 2019 at 12:48 am

Pacific did some major renovations to the crest, reopening it on June 10th, 1988. Specular full grand opening ad below and in photo sections. Pacific Theatres Crest theatre reopeningPacific Theatres Crest theatre reopening Fri, Jun 10, 1988 – 111 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.com

MichaelKilgore on January 13, 2020 at 9:44 pm

Boxoffice, June 9, 1956: “WESTWOOD VILLAGE, CALIF. – Continuing to expand its southland exhibition holdings, the Robert L. Lippert circuit has purchased the Uclan Theatre here from the Paul Dietrich-Manny Feldstein chain. The 850-seat showcase, operating for the past several years on an art house policy, will be renamed the Crest”

DavidZornig on February 13, 2020 at 1:09 am

1963 photo added with original facade. The current art deco facade was added by Disney at some point per Bill Gablel.

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on May 16, 2021 at 11:31 am

Currently boarded up.

DavidZornig on September 4, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Opening September 17, 2023 with an Open House, ticketed events begin September 23. Seating is 299 per July press release.

ScreenClassic on October 13, 2023 at 10:07 pm

So out of curiosity, did this theatre get renamed for Leonard Nimoy (of Star Trek fame)?

Trolleyguy on October 14, 2023 at 3:47 pm

ScreenClassic your question is answered here.

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