Welcome to CinemaTour!  Sign In

CinemaTour
 
Cinema History Around the World  
 HOME ·· CINEMAS ·· LINKS ·· BOOKS
 Contact Cinematour ·· Help & Hints ·· About Cinematour
 

Cecchi Gori Fine Arts Theatre


Photo from the Landmark Theatres collection
8556 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills CA
(310) 442-4777

Visit Website
Record #3912  
 Opened: April 21, 1937
Capacity: 410 seats
Architect(s): Joseph Musil; B Marcus Priteca
Architectural Style(s): Art Deco
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Regina, Fine Arts
 Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, National General Theatres, Mann Theatres, Laemmle Theatres, AMC Theatres, Classic Movie Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by TJ Edwards.

The Wilshire Regina Theatre in Beverly Hills opened Wednesday, April 21, 1937. The first program was THAT GIRL FROM PARIS, and BLACK LEGION, plus a MARCH OF TIME newsreel and a cartoon. Seating was General Admission at "Popular Prices" -- 25 cents for adults, 10 cents for children.

Built at a cost of $75,000, the theatre sat 800 people (in smaller seats than are used today). Initial press coverage mentioned the design firm of B. Marcus Priteca but did not credit the theatre's design directly to him. Opening day newspaper ads announced a "Magic Fountain for Young and Old", and a "Theaterette in Ladies Lounge" as special features.

In 1949 the Fox theatre chain took over, changed the name to the Fine Arts, and added a tall blade sign to the center of the facade. (It has since been removed.)

The Fine Arts hosted the World Premiere of George Stevens "A Place in the Sun", in 1951, and In 1959 ROOM AT THE TOP, billed as "The Most Daring Film in a Decade" played there for over six months.

In 1974 THE EXORCIST drew long lines around the block into a residential area that didn't appreciate the attention. Local residents called for changes in parking regulations and even restrictions on the theatre's schedule.

The Cecchi Gori film company took over and renovated in 1993. Theatre Designer Joseph Musil, who also redesigned the El Capitan in Hollywood and the Crest in Westwood, brought his colorful theatrical flair to the new Cecchi Gori Fine Arts.

Some time after the fifties, the original small forecourt and free-standing boxoffice were eliminated for an interior lobby, which has since been further enlarged by moving in the back wall of the auditorium. A new 14x33' screen was installed several feet in front of the old proscenium to accomodate wider aspect ratios. This re- configuring, moving in the front and back walls, and the use of somewhat wider seats, reduced the theatre's capacity to 428.

Two stores that flanked the theatre were converted into a full concession stand and an expansion of the ladies room. The boxoffice window is now located between the front entrance doors. Changes to the interior have been substantial enough to make it difficult to attribute the theatre's current overall look to any one person. The theatre's original marquee and facade remain essentially unaltered.

The Fine Arts has been acquired by Classic Movie Theatres, a new division of Screening Services Group. In addition to some enhancements in decor, the theatre will be equipped to handle multiple film and video formats, including 70mm, 2K Digital Cinema, and Dolby Digital EX. The theatre will be hosting private screenings and premieres in addition to presenting films to the public on weekends. Parking for the theatre will be available at the Flynt building on the corner of Wilshire and LaCienega.

Cecchi Gori resumed control of the theater in 2009, with plans to renovate and reopen in the fall.

-----------

The 1993 remodel resulted in Cecchi Gori partnering with AMC Theatres to operate the theatre.

 Photos
 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

September 2009 photos from the Matt Lutthans collection.


78 KB · 562x625
---

Photos from the Classic Movie Theatres collection.


68 KB · 625x481

50 KB · 625x488

81 KB · 625x486

47 KB · 625x469

47 KB · 625x469

86 KB · 625x469

74 KB · 625x469

61 KB · 625x469

119 KB · 625x498


 External Links

---
---

Return to the top of this page   or   Return to the main page


Last featured 11/26/2005. Last edited 7/24/2013.

 
Fandango
Buy movie tickets, look up showtimes, watch trailers and more!

The content of this website is a research work in progress and is being provided to the public for informational purposes only. As such, articles may contain errors, bias, duplication, or need to be cleaned up. Some documents, images and logos contained in these documents belong to various organizations and corporations. Their inclusion here is for the benefit of the reader and for the benefit of the particular organization, but they are, in fact, the copyrighted property of those organizations. Their presence here does not imply any endorsement of CinemaTour by those organizations. CinemaTour is not affiliated with any cinema or circuit.

© 1995-2014 Vision Entertainment Services. All rights reserved.
Use of this site signifies agreement to terms of service.