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Historic Theatre Photography

This website is a gathering place for all the photos and information I have pulled together on the various theatres and movie palaces I've been lucky enough to visit and/or work in. It's not meant to replace the great work done by others with similar websites, rather it focuses on my own photography and presents that along with the information I have about each theatre.

I hope you find this website interesting, and if you have a theatre you'd like me to photograph I'd love for you to get in touch.

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Select a different region: Chicago | Los Angeles: Hollywood | Los Angeles: LA County | United Kingdom

Los Angeles: Downtown

Belasco Theatre

The Belasco Theatre opened in late 1926 under the management of Edward Belasco and partners – Edward was the brother of famous New York theatre producer David Belasco. The same management team operated the Mayan Theatre, which was built next door immediately after the Belasco was completed.

Globe Theatre

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

Los Angeles Music Center

The Los Angeles Music Center is one of the largest performing arts centers in the US and the west coast equivalent of New York’s Lincoln Center. It is home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (opera house), the Ahmanson Theatre (large traditional proscenium arch theatre), the Mark Taper Forum (180-degree thrust stage) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Los Angeles Theatre

Widely acknowledged as Los Angeles' most lavish theatre, construction of this 2,000 seat movie palace took only six months and was completed in 1931. Owing to the Great Depression it was the last large theatre of its time to be built in Los Angeles. The stunning French Baroque interior heralds a particularly grand entrance lobby, modeled on the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors in France.

The Mayan

The Mayan theatre in downtown Los Angeles is a stunning example of the 1920s fascination with revival-style theatre architecture, in this case Mayan revival. The Mayan opened its doors in 1927 as a legitimate theatre; it is now used as a nightclub and events space. Between times it has showcased movies, blue movies, and has been the scene of many movie locations.

Million Dollar Theatre

The Million Dollar was Sid Grauman’s first major movie theatre when it opened in February 1918. Officially called “Grauman’s Theatre”, it was informally known as the Million Dollar theatre for its opulent interior and rumors of the price tag. The theatre’s name was officially changed in 1922. It was the first movie theatre to break with generally classic design conventions and use fantasy themes throughout.

Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum theatre opened in 1926 as the fourth and final Los Angeles venue for the Orpheum circuit, and the second Orpheum theatre to be built on Broadway in downtown LA. The theatre is home to a Mighty Wurlitzer organ which is still in service today. Architect G. Albert Lansburgh designed the theatre and it remains one of his most elaborate examples, including plush fittings throughout the theatre and lobbies.

Palace Theatre

The Palace theatre was built as a vaudeville house and opened in June 1911 as the Orpheum Theatre. Designed by G. Albert Lansburgh (assisted by Robert Brown Young) in a French Renaissance style, it is the oldest remaining theatre from the original Orpheum vaudeville circuit. The Palace played host to vaudeville stars such as Al Jolson, Harry Houdini, Sarah Bernhardt and the Marx brothers.

Regent Theatre

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

State Theatre

The State Theatre opened as Loew’s State in November 1921 and was their west coast showcase movie theatre, later becoming the downtown Los Angeles home for first-run MGM movies. It is the largest theatre on Broadway by audience capacity (originally 2,450, now 2,387).

Theatre at Ace Hotel

The Theatre at Ace Hotel, formerly known as the United Artists Theatre, opened in 1927 as the flagship for United Artists’ west coast operations. Starting in 2012 the surrounding office building was converted into the Ace Hotel and the theatre was renovated and re-opened in 2014 as a live entertainment and special events venue.

Tower Theatre

The Tower Theatre was the first theatre designed by architect S Charles Lee, one of the most prolific and distinguished movie theatre designers of his time on the US West Coast. Lee’s design for The Tower replaced the 650-seat Garrick Theatre and is notable for fitting a 1000-seat auditorium (906 as built), plus street-level retail stores, into a lot measuring just 50ft by 150ft.

All images copyright © 2002-2018 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com. For licensing and/or re-use contact me here.

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