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Regent Theater

Regent Theater

First Opened: February 1914

Former Names: National Theater, Gore’s National, Regent No. 1

Website: www.theregenttheater.com Open website in new window

Telephone: (323) 284-5727 Call (323) 284-5727

Address: 448 South Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 Show address in Google Maps (new window)

 Overview

The Regent Theater is a small 600-seater theatre on Downtown LA’s Main St. Originally opened as the National Theater, the first theatre built on this site around 1910 had a capacity of just 350. It was rebuilt and opened in February 1914, retaining the National name but with a boosted capacity of 600. The theatre was renamed The Regent around 1917.

In the early 1910s Main St boasted a busy theatre scene with around 20 small theatres vying for competition. The then National Theater was deemed too small and so was rebuilt on a larger scale, becoming the largest theatre on Main St by capacity when the new building opened with 600 seats in February 1914.

By the 1920s patrons were migrating over to the new, more spacious and luxurious movie palaces being built on South Broadway. The theatres on Main St declined and began catering to different audiences, converting to alternative uses or simply shuttering. The Regent changed from being a first-run house to a second-run house, then in the 1940s underwent a “rebirth” to modernize it with a sleek new façade and marquee.

Over the course of the years the Regent became a grindhouse pumping out B-movies and toward the end of the 20th Century became an all-night adult movie venue. It ultimately closed as a film house in 2000. Developer Tom Gilmore acquired the lease in 2006 and the space was occasionally used as an art and performance venue by a variety of promoters.

In 2012 the theatre was taken over by long-time music promoter Mitchell Frank, and the Regent reopened in November 2014 as a multipurpose live entertainment venue with capacity for 1,100. Although the Orchestra seats have been removed the raked floor remains in place, as does much of the original auditorium decoration including the fine proscenium arch. Sadly the gothic-inspired ceiling was too fragile to be preserved.

 Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Movies

Television

 How do I visit the Regent Theater?

The Regent Theatre doesn’t currently offer tours (as of July 2017) so check out the theatre’s website Link opens in new window for events playing at the Regent - it’s a popular and busy venue. You can also get into the Regent by going along to the Great Rock and Roll Flea Market Link opens in new window which runs the first and third Sunday of each month from 11am to 4pm.

Upcoming Special Events
The Rock ’N’ Roll Flea Market

The Rock ’N’ Roll Flea Market (1st June 2019, 11am)

The Great Rock and Roll Flea Market takes place at 11am on the first Sunday of every month at the Regent Theater in Downtown LA.

This is a free, non-ticketed, event.

Click here to go to the event website. Link opens in new window

 Further Reading

Online

Books

Historic Photos & Documents

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

 Photos of the Regent Theater

Exterior

Interior

Photographs copyright © 2002-2019 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com unless otherwise noted.
Text copyright © 2017-2019 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com.
For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here.



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