Just Above Sunset
January 29, 2006 - Broadway Movie Palaces, Los Angeles













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Broadway Theater District, Los Angeles

Los Angeles does have a downtown, and it even has its own Broadway.  For reference see Grace Market Research's Broadway Theater Tour They describe the area this way –

 

Taking a walk down Broadway in Los Angeles today is like taking a walk down a busy commercial street in Mexico City. Stores, street vendors, shoppers and moviegoers are primarily Hispanic, and Spanish seems to be the native tongue. But Broadway in the early part of the century was a far different place, and was the place to go see a vaudeville show, or one of those newfangled movies at a nickelodeon. When Sid Grauman opened his first Los Angeles movie palace there in 1918 - The Million Dollar Theater - the Broadway theater district had arrived. The area would be the center for movieland's World Premieres for the next decade. Grauman can also bear some of the blame for the decline of the area. Filmdom's emphasis shifted to Hollywood when he built the Egyptian (1922) and the Chinese (1927) Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard. After all, it was much easier to get there from Los Feliz, Beverly Hills, or Hancock Park - home to film's aristocrats.

 

Here's the scene on Thursday, January 26, 2006 –
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Grace Market Research – 

The Million Dollar Theater was built by legendary showman Sid Grauman as a film theater and not as a vaudeville venue. The theater opened on February 1, 1918. The marquee that day advertised cowboy William S. Hart starring in The Silent Man. During the 1950's, the theatre was leased to Latino businessman Frank Fouce. It became a premier Latino venue and showed top Spanish language films and hosted Latino musicians and dancers in vaudeville-like shows called "variedades". Lines ran all the way to Hill Street (about four blocks) for some of the top performers. The theatre, in sore need of repair, was leased to a Hispanic evangelical church, Iglesia Universal, in 1993. The Church moved to the State Theatre, also on Broadway, in 1998. The theatre has been taken over by the Metropolitan Theatre Co. and renovated. It reopened on April 9, 1999, again featuring "variedades". The headline performer that night was ranchero balladeer Juan Valentin who sang "corridas" ballads to a cheering crowd. … 307 South Broadway.

Million Dollar Theater (1918) Los Angeles

Million Dollar Theater (1918) Los Angeles

Million Dollar Theater (1918) Los Angeles

Million Dollar Theater (1918) Los Angeles

Grace Market Research -

 

The Los Angeles Theater was a latecomer to the Broadway theater district. It's January 30, 1931 opening featured Charlie Chaplin in City Lights. Although the theater was built in the early years of the Great Depression the baroque facade and interiors recall the majesty of the Sun King, Louis XIV. 615 South Broadway. Closed and unoccupied.

 

In October of 1998, a major scene from the film about Andy Kaufman Man On the Moon (Jim Carrey as Kaufman) was filmed here - Kaufman's 1979 concert at Carnegie Hall.  There was a casting call for over a thousand extras, wearing "upscale New York evening wear." 

Los Angeles Theater (1931) 26 Jan 2006

Los Angeles Theater (1931) 26 Jan 2006

The Roxie Theater (1932) –

Roxie Theater (1932) - Los Angeles

Roxie Theater (1932) - Los Angeles

Roxie Theater (1932) - Los Angeles

"The Arcade Theater opened in 1910 with a vaudeville program produced by the famous Pantages vaudeville circuit. The Pantages leased the building for many years and their decision to perform here provided much of the early impetus that was to transform Broadway into Los Angeles' premier theater district during the 1910's and 20's."

Arcade Theater (1910) Los Angeles

Arcade Theater (1910) Los Angeles

The Palace, the oldest remaining Orpheum theater in the United States (1926, building 1911), and the sad Cameo –

The Palace Theater (1926) Los Angeles

Cameo Theater, Broadway, Los Angeles

… the scene on Thursday, January 26, 2006 –

Broadway, Los Angeles, 01-26-06

Broadway, Los Angeles, 01-26-06

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.  

There is a copyright notice at the bottom of this page, of course.

These were shot with a Nikon D70 – lens AF-5 Nikor 18-70mm 1:35-4.5G ED

They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

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Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
 
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