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Warner Theatre, Huntington Park

Warner Theatre, Huntington Park

Architect: B. Marcus Priteca

First Opened: 19th November 1930 (90 years ago)

Former Names: Warners, Warner Huntington Park

Status: Repurposed as a gym

Website: www.blinkfitness.com/locations/huntington-park Open website in new window

Telephone: (323) 538-8705 Call (323) 538-8705

Address: 6714 Pacific Blvd, Huntington Park, CA 90255 Show address in Google Maps (new window)


The Warner Huntington Park is the sister theatre to the Warner Grand in San Pedro and the Warner Beverly Hills (demolished). Renowned theatre architect B. Marcus Priteca designed the theatres, all of a similar size, under a single contract with Warner Bros. The Warner Huntington Park closed in the mid-1990s however reopened in late 2018, adaptively reused as a Blink Fitness gym.

Featured Photos

Detailed Information

The Warner Huntington Park in 1930
The Warner Huntington Park in 1930

The theatre first opened in November 1930 with capacity for 1,468 patrons. Priteca designed the theatre in an Art Deco style, similar to its sister theatres the Warner Beverly Hills (demolished in 1988) and the Warner Grand in San Pedro (still in active use as an arts venue and owned by the City of Los Angeles). The Warner Huntington Park was built with organ chambers but, like its sister theatres, never received an organ.

Priteca’s other notable works in Los Angeles include the Hollywood Pantages and the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills. He also designed every theatre for the Pantages chain from 1911 onwards.

Sometime in the late 1940s / early 1950s management transferred to the Stanley Warner Corporation, and in 1968 Pacific Theatres took over.

In the 1980s Pacific Theatres redeveloped the theatre into a two-screen “twin”, renaming it Pacific’s Warner 2. Many Spanish and Spanish-subtitled films ran at the theatre, supporting the local community well.

The Warner Huntington Park, re-purposed as a gym
The Warner Huntington Park, re-purposed as a gym

In the 1990s the theatre was closed and remained vacant for an extended time. The City of Huntington Park declared it a historic landmark in 2007, then in 2013 it was sold for $1.6 million to Pacific Blvd. Holdings / Retail Management Corp. Although a live entertainment tenant was sought, none who were willing to pay the anticipated rent were found. Despite robust objections from preservationists and some of the local community, the City of Huntington Park granted variances allowing the theatre to be converted to retail use.

In 2015 work commenced on a three phase adaptive re-use project. The first phase leveled and raised the main auditorium floor while retaining the art deco feature elements along the sidewalls. Beams which previously divided the auditorium into two smaller auditoria were removed, and the front section of the balcony (first four rows) were chopped-off to compensate for the raised main floor level. Custom cast cement decorative panels were recreated along this new balcony edge with the historic decorative railings of the balcony remining intact. Badly damaged (water and graffiti) sections of the balcony ceiling and walls were cleaned, infilled, and decorated. Acoustic spray was removed from the proscenium, revealing the decorative plaster which had been hidden in the conversion to a two-screen theatre. Custom decorative tile was recreated to infill missing portions in the lobby along with cast plaster repairs or duplications throughout. New lighting, HVAC, sprinkler, electrical, and life safety systems were installed.

The Warner Huntington Park at night, in 2020
The Warner Huntington Park at night, in 2020

The second phase of the project commenced when a new tenant was identified and saw a series of arched wall openings created in the auditorium rear wall to better connect the outside to the inside main space. The decorative ceiling was maintained by adding multiple suspended cables from the side walls to support the required mechanical, life safety devices and lighting for this highly active space while up lighting this space to showcase the ceiling.

The third phase of the project restored the exterior façade of the building including removal of haphazard storefront and signage alterations made over many years. The façade was repainted and the marquee rehabilitated, including replacement of the marquee’s badly damaged neon lighting. The damaged patterns of colored terrazzo at the main entrance were replaced by infilling and matching the various colors and design of the original.

In late 2018 the theatre reopened as a gym operated by Blink Fitness Link opens in new window. As of 2021 the entire theatre building, complete with the gym’s 20-year lease, is listed for sale at approximately $12 million.

How do I visit the Warner Theatre?

As of 2019 Blink Fitness are generally welcoming of people interested to see the interior of the old theatre.

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Photos of the Warner Theatre

Jump to Photo Section:

  1. Main Floor
  2. Proscenium Closeups
  3. Balcony
  4. Lounge
  5. Lobby
  6. Exterior
Main Floor

What was previously the Orchestra seating was leveled such that there are no steps from the lobby area onto the main floor. Given the previous rake of the Orchestra seating, this meant some details close to the stage would have been partially hidden. Stylized Art Deco urns have been preserved in-situ at their lower original position with glass surrounds and accent lighting.

The heavily-stylized ceiling has been left untouched, with air conditioning and lighting being hung from heavy duty steel cables running between the auditorium walls.

Proscenium Closeups

The original proscenium arch is adorned with might be best described as a “beast” at either side, supporting the top of the arch. The beasts appear to by styled after theatre’s Comedy and Tragedy masks, with a Comedy Beast on the House Left side and a Tragedy Beast on the House Right side.

Balcony

As part of the conversion to retail the first four rows of the balcony were chopped-off. The balcony now houses running machines with an unobstructed view across the rest of the workout space, and is the best place to take in the massive and elaborate Art Deco ceiling centerpiece.

Lounge

The old lounge space, above the entrance and accessed by stairs up from either end of the lobby, is now a concentrated weights area with restrooms at either side. It is open to the lobby with original detailing remaining in place.

Lobby

The new stencilwork was duplicated from the originals and plasterwork in the lobby was re-painted as part of the work to convert the theatre to retail space.

Exterior

These photos of the theatre are a mixture of photos taken during construction (Fall 2017) and after the Blink Fitness gym opened (early 2019).



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