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Globe Theatre

Globe Theatre

First Opened: 6th January 1913 (106 years ago)

Former Names: Morosco Theater, The President Theatre, Newsreel Theatre

Status: Nightclub / Live events venue

Website: www.globetheatre-la.com Open website in new window

Telephone: (213) 489-1667 Call (213) 489-1667

Address: 740 South Broadway, Los Angeles, 90014 Show address in Google Maps (new window)

Featured Photos

Overview

The Globe Theatre was built in 1913 as the Morosco Theater, designed for full-scale productions at a time when theatres were being built solely to house vaudeville. The theatre was built as part of a larger office tower called the Garland Building, designed by Morgan, Walls & Morgan. The theatre interior was designed by Alfred F. Rosenheim.

The 1940s Marquee
The 1940s Marquee, relit in 2014

Oliver Morosco, a theatrical impresario, moved to Los Angeles in 1899, and at the start of 1913 opened his new Morosco Theater on Broadway. Newspaper reports show that the opening was originally planned for 30th December 1912 however had to be pushed back by one week.

The auditorium has two balconies, and as was common for the time, the upper balcony was not connected with the rest of the auditorium. There is no evidence that it was racially segregated, rather in the more tolerant Los Angeles environment it was probably class segregation. Alleys on either side of the theatre building provided access to the upper balcony.

The existing marquee was added in the 1940s when the theatre showed newsreels, however the original “Morosco” lettering can still be seen on the façade of the building behind the marquee.

After its run as a newsreel theatre the Globe continued showing films as a third-run house and ended-up focusing on Spanish language films. In the late 1950’s a Mexican waxwork museum was added to complement the films being shown the theatre. The Barbers Chair setting currently on display at the Million Dollar Theatre is the sole survivor of this museum. The Globe played to dwindling audiences until its closure in the mid-1980s.

Re-leveled floor with the theatre in use as a nightclub
Re-leveled floor with the theatre in use as a nightclub

In 1987 the floor was leveled from the lobby to the stage; the theatre played host to a swap meet for many years while the lobby hosted retail fronting onto Broadway.

By the early 2000’s the orchestra and lower levels were converted into a nightclub, Club 740, which was ultimately shut down in 2011 following gang-related shootings.

Paint Bridge still in situ backstage
Paint Bridge still in situ backstage

In 2014 new owners took over the Globe and have since reopened it as a live entertainment venue operating several nights per week.

Retail units on the Broadway façade were removed and the original theatre entrance opened-up, which revealed the historic mirrored lobby leading from the street into the auditorium. The original marble staircases from orchestra level to the balcony were restored to their original appearance and the auditorium was redecorated. The uppermost level (the balcony) remains closed to the public.

The Globe was a hemp house with counterweight lines for electrics battens. Whereas the original grid is still in place, only a couple of counterweight lines are still rigged, and no hemp lines are in place anymore. All flown goods are dead-hung from the grid or rigged on motor sets.

Auditorium & Stage in 2015
Auditorium & Stage in 2015

The Globe is notable for being one of the few Los Angeles theatres to retain its paint bridge. This gallery at Fly Floor level along the rear stage wall would have originally been where scenic artists would paint backdrops hanging immediately downstage of the paint bridge.

The stage is roughly 34ft deep, the proscenium being 38ft wide and 34ft high. The theatre’s original fire curtain, painted with a classical scene in vibrant colors, is still in place although it has not been moved up or down in many years.

Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Movies

Music Videos

Listed/Landmark Building Status

How do I visit the Globe Theatre?

As of mid-2017 the Globe does not offer tours however they host a multitude of events which are available to book online at the theatre’s website Link opens in new window.

The theatre is an active participant in Councilmember Jose Huizar’s annual Night On Broadway event (usually the last Saturday in January) when the theatre is opened-up to the public for free and hosts a variety of live entertainment programming. Check out the Night On Broadway website Link opens in new window for more details.

Further Reading

Online

Books

Technical Information

Stage Dimensions
Proscenium Height 34ft
Proscenium Width 38ft 2in
Stage Depth 28ft 9.5in
Stage Width Approximately 80ft
Historic Photos & Documents

Historic files shown here may be subject to copyright; review our “Fair Use” statement here.

Photos of the Globe Theatre

Jump to Photo Section:

  1. Auditorium: Orchestra
  2. Auditorium: Balcony
  3. Auditorium: Closeups
  4. Public Areas
  5. Exterior
  6. Backstage
Auditorium: Orchestra

The main floor was leveled in 1987 after the theatre closed as a movie house in 1986 and was sold by Metropolitan. The swap meet later closed, the lobby was walled-off, and the theatre space went into nightclub use as Club Orion with its entrance on the alley behind the theatre.

Auditorium: Balcony

The upper balcony is closed however the lower balcony remains open.

The lower balcony is split into two levels, the rear area being a VIP bar. Sound/Lighting control is based centrally in the lower balcony.

Auditorium: Closeups
Public Areas

From the late 1980s until July 2015, the exquisite mirrored lobby was given over to retail. Access to the theatre space had been from the alley at the rear. Marble staircases were renovated as part of the reopening in July 2015.

Exterior

The exterior neon marquee was relit in June 2014. Although not original, it is recognizable to most Angelenos having been in place since the 1940s. The globe originally rotated, albeit in the wrong direction! It is hoped it will rotate again some day.

Backstage

The stage retains its original grid however only a couple of operative linesets remain. It was originally a hemp house but with counterweight linesets for the electrics battens.

The theatre is notable for retaining its Paint Bridge along the stage rear wall, between fly floors. Backdrops, hung from the grid, would have been painted by scenic artists positioned on the bridge.



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