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Tower Theater

2001 Photo from the Bob Meza collection
802 S Broadway
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles) CA 90014

Record #10467  
 Opened: October 12, 1927
 Closed: 1987
 Current Use: Church
Capacity: 906 seats
Architect(s): S Charles Lee
Architectural Style(s): French Renaissance
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Newsreel, Music Hall Downtown
 Previously operated by: Pacific Theatres, Metropolitan Theatres

Built in 1927, the Tower was the first of S. Charles Lee's many famed theaters. Lee's efficiency with space allowed for the construction of a 900-seat theater in the space previously occupied by a 650-seat building while still including commercial storefronts.

Windows are topped by sculptures of reclining nudes: a discreetly draped masculine director with camera and megaphone and a scantily-clad starlet with beads and a mirror. The stained-glass entrance window features film strips draped around a shield.

The interior is similar to the larger Los Angeles Theatre, which Lee also designed for the same client four years later.

The Tower was the first downtown theatre equipped to accommodate talking pictures.

For many years during the 1940s and 1950s, the Tower Theater was known as the Newsreel Theater.

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

August 2006 photos from the Mark Campbell collection.

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2003 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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2001 photos from the Bob Meza collection.

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Last featured 8/19/2003. Last edited 8/8/2016.

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