Los Angeles Theatre | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy of Berger/Conser Photography

Los Angeles Theatre

The most lavish and last built of Broadway’s great movie palaces, the Los Angeles was designed by legendary theatre architect S. Charles Lee. It was constructed in 1931 at an estimated cost of more than one million dollars.

Patterned after the celebrated Fox theatre in San Francisco, the Los Angeles recalls the glories of the French Baroque. The façade rises five stories, decorated with huge columns and accented with urns, angels, and vines. Its majestic lobby features mirrors, fluted columns, sparkling chandeliers, finely detailed plaster ornament, and a sunburst motif alluding to France’s “Sun King,” Louis XIV. A grand central staircase leads to a crystal fountain.

In addition to its lavish decor, the Los Angeles originally boasted a number of unusual amenities. These included an electric indicator to monitor available seats, soundproof “crying rooms” (for parents with crying children) above the loge, a staffed playroom in the basement, and a glamorous ladies’ lounge featuring sixteen private compartments, each finished in a different marble. In the walnut-paneled basement lounge, a periscope-like system of prisms relayed the featured film from the auditorium to a secondary screen, allowing patrons to watch the film while socializing.

The Los Angeles has undergone a number of incremental improvements in recent years and is a popular filming and special-event location.

Photo by Marcello Vavala/L.A. Conservancy

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