Plaza Theater

12788 Hawthorne Boulevard,
Hawthorne, CA 90250

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Additional Info

Architects: John Joseph Frauenfelder

Styles: Mission Revival

Nearby Theaters

Plaza Theatre exterior

Construction began in 1926 and the Plaza Theater was opened on November 28, 1928. A popular kiddie-matinee house in the 1950’s when I went there; it featured a tall RKO-Radio like open-frame steel tower with the letters “Plaza” vertically on it.

It was closed in 1970 and the property put up for sale. It was demolished by 1971.

“I have many fond memories from my childhood of going there. The Plaza Theater was my "Cinema Paradiso" where I first really fell in love with the movies.”

Contributed by Donald John Long

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

letha on November 26, 2007 at 4:47 pm

I went to the Plaza theater from the time I was 10 years old until I left Hawthorne when I was 18. Also went back when I visited my relatives. I would go get chinese food in Inglewood and hit the movie at the Plaza….It was allowed back then…That started in 1943, many moons ago.

kencmcintyre on March 27, 2008 at 10:53 pm

An intermittently reliable source states that J.J. Frankenfelder designed the Plaza in 1926. This is unconfirmed, however.

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm

A large LA Times ad promoting development in Hawthorne included a sketch of the new Plaza Theater. The date was 1/17/26.

kencmcintyre on November 12, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I should point out that this section of Hawthorne Boulevard is now a two block stretch of closed department stores. Very depressing. I think one of the stores is being converted into county offices.

kencmcintyre on July 31, 2009 at 6:12 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in June 1948:

Sherrill Corwin and Lester Blumberg took over active operations of the Plaza and Cal Theaters in Hawthorne, having acquired controlling interest in the two houses from E.S. “Ned” Calvi.

kencmcintyre on July 31, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Correction, the item was dated June 1949, not 1948.

kencmcintyre on May 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

There was an ad for the Plaza in the Torrance Herald in June 1942. The Plaza called itself “The Friendly Family Theatre”. The phone number was 299. Adult tickets were 30 cents, and child tickets were 11 cents.

jgarza on May 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

Mr. Mcintyre you mention a Cal Theater in Hawthorne. Can you provide info as to where it was located and when it was in operation?

Bob_Saltzer on May 8, 2015 at 11:23 pm
  1. Sat through “the Blob” six times for 25 cents in 1960 in the Plaza.
  2. Was there when the kitchen knife was thrown through the middle of the screen in 1960, always thought one of the Beach Boys did it, but heard it was “John John? Anybody know for sure who did it?
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