<< Go Back up to Theatre Photography Homepage
The Fox Fullerton opened in May 1925 as a vaudeville and silent movie house, quickly establishing itself as the destination movie theatre of Orange County. The Italian Renaissance-inspired interior featured murals by Anthony Heinsbergen’s company and had an original seating capacity of 1,095 across two levels.
The Pasadena Civic Auditorium opened in February 1932, designed by the team of George Bergstrom, Cyril Bennett and Fitch Haskell. The huge auditorium seats 2,997. During the 1930s and 1940s the Pasadena Civic hosted numerous community events and radio broadcasts, helping to spread Pasadena’s name throughout California and across the US.
The Pasadena Playhouse building dates from 1925, however the Pasadena Community Playhouse Association was founded by theatre impresario Gilmore Brown in 1918. Originally sharing performance space with a burlesque show at the Savoy Theatre, by 1925 Brown and the citizens of Pasadena had raised enough money to purchase land and build the current theatre.
The Rialto opened in October 1925 and was designed to showcase both movies and vaudeville. It was one of the last theatres designed by noted architect Lewis A. Smith (Smith also designed the ever-popular Vista Theatre on Sunset Blvd), and is executed in a mix of styles including Egyptian and Spanish Baroque, however is mainly Moorish Fantasy.
Royce Hall is one of the four original buildings on UCLA’s campus in Westwood, and its twin-towered façade has come to represent the defining image of UCLA. Designed by local architectural firm Allison and Allison it was completed in 1929 as the main hall, grand classroom and principle meeting place for the university. It is now a performing arts venue with capacity of over 1,800.
The Saban opened as the Fox Wilshire Theater in September 1930 and is one of Los Angeles’ most notable Art Deco buildings. Theatre architect S. Charles Lee designed the Saban to be fully capable as a theatre for vaudeville in addition to its main focus as a major film presentation house.
The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse sits beside the historic San Gabriel Mission in Los Angeles County California. The theatre was constructed between 1923 and 1927 for “The Mission Play”, a 3-hour pageant-style production conceived to illustrate the establishment of the California missions. The theatre currently seats 1,387 on two levels and its architecture reflects Spanish, Native-American and Californian culture. The theatre houses a fully-restored Wurlitzer Organ.
The Warner Grand was opened in January 1931 as a movie palace for Warner Bros. Architect B. Marcus Priteca, noted for the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, and interior designer Anthony Heinsbergen were contracted to design and build three theatres for Warner Bros in the popular Art Deco style, of which the Warner Grand is the best surviving example.
The Wilshire Ebell Theatre is part of a larger complex, completed in 1927, as the clubhouse for The Ebell of Los Angeles, a prominent Los Angeles women’s club formed in 1894. The theatre is relatively intimate in size, seating just under 1,300, and is well known for its excellent acoustics. It has hosted musical performances and lectures by top artists and world leaders.
The 1931 Wiltern Theatre is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture; its name derives from the intersection it’s located on: WILshire & WesTERN. The theatre was originally intended to be a vaudeville house and was designed by Stiles O. Clements with an interior by G. Albert Lansburgh. Originally built with seating for 2,344, the theatre was modified in 2002 to remove the 1,200 Orchestra level seats so as to create a flexible layout catering for temporary seating and standing-room configurations. The theatre is currently operated by Live Nation.
All images copyright © 2002-2018 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com. For licensing and/or re-use contact me here.