Arcade Theatre | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Lauren Everett/L.A. Conservancy

Arcade Theatre

The Pantages Theatre on Broadway was the first in Los Angeles leased to the Pantages Vaudeville Circuit, and its location helped secure Broadway as the city’s prime theatre district.

Opening in 1910, and originally seating 1,400 (later remodeled to seat 850), the theatre hosted opening night performers including Sophie Tucker, appearing on her first West Coast tour. Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy) performed here in 1919. In 1925, the Pantages was sold to the Dalton Brothers, who also owned and operated a burlesque theater on Main Street.

The name was changed to the Arcade in 1928, as it was adjacent to the well-known Broadway-Spring Arcade Building. Dalton made changes to the foyer including adding a dome and murals, which were partially lost when, in 1938, theatre designer S. Charles Lee updated the foyer to the then-current Moderne style. Still, major portions of the original theatre’s interior remain intact, including its double proscenium arch.

The theatre eventually closed its doors, and the lobby area was converted to retail use in 1993.

Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Downtown Jewelry Exchange/Warner Bros. Theatre

The 1920 Pantages Theatre, a nine-story steel-framed building designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, was the city’s second theatre (and the country’s sixteenth) built for the namesake vaudeville circuit.