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Los Angeles Theatre

Photo from the Bob Meza collection
615 S Broadway
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles) CA 90014

Record #2125  
 Opened: January 30, 1931
 Closed: 1994
 Current Use:
Capacity: 2190 seats
Architect(s): S Charles Lee; S Tilden Norton
Architectural Style(s): French Baroque
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Metropolitan Theatres

Despite the onset of the Great Depression, independent film exhibitor H.L. Gumbiner constructed the Los Angeles Theatre in 1931 for an estimated cost of one million dollars. He was intent on exceeding the lavish standards of Broadway's theatres. He turned to S. Charles Lee, who had designed his nearby Tower Theatre in 1927. Architect S. Tilden Norton worked with Lee on the theater's design. He was the son of the late Isaac Norton, whose estate owned the land the theater was built on.

The Los Angeles was patterned after the Fox Theatre in San Francisco in a French Baroque style. The five-story entrance is decorated with columns and accented with urns, angels and vines. The lobby features space-enhancing mirrors, columns, chandeliers, and a sunburst motif.

The Los Angeles is now closed to the public, but is available as a filming location and special events venue. The theater is still fully equipped and could re-open tomorrow if the right operator came along (and the Downtown Theatre District is ever revived). It participates in the Los Angeles Conservancy programme of "The Last Remaining Seats" film programme held in Classic Downtown theatres during the summer months. Recently the neon and signage on the front of the Los Angeles Theatre was restored to working order.

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

June 2003 photos from the Ken Roe collection.

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2003 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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Photos from the 1949-1950 Theatre Catalog collection.

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Last featured 9/21/2003. Last edited 7/31/2009.

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