Orpheum Theatre and Loft Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy of Berger/Conser Photography

Orpheum Theatre and Loft Building

This opulent theatre and twelve-story office building were built as the fourth and final home of the famed Orpheum vaudeville circuit in Los Angeles.

The intricately detailed Beaux Arts façade is clad in gray terra cotta and features winged helmets and a series of griffins along the cornice. Prominent signage includes the original electric rooftop sign illuminated by incandescent bulbs, a neon blade sign dating from the 1930s, and the 1941 theatre marquee.

The theatre’s grand French interior is lavishly appointed and includes a two-story foyer with marble-clad walls. The auditorium features cast plaster detailing, stained-glass rosettes, and two immense chandeliers suspended from the gilded ceiling. The basement lounge is more restrained, with dark-stained wood paneling, a mock fireplace, and a tile floor.

In 2001, the Orpheum underwent a $3 million renovation that upgraded production capabilities and audience amenities while cleaning and restoring the theatre’s historic elements. The upper floors of the former office building were converted into live/work spaces.

The Conservancy holds an exceptionally detailed easement on the building that includes the exterior and historic signage, interior features of the loft building’s entrance lobby and upper floor hallways, and interior features and finishes throughout the theatre.

Los Angeles Conservancy archives

El Capitan Theatre and Office Building

The El Capitan Theatre and Office Building is the third of four major theatres constructed by prominent real estate developer C. E. Toberman, known as the “Father of Hollywood.” The six-story building was designed in the elaborate Spanish Baroque style by the renowned firm of Morgan, Walls, & Clements, who incorporated retail and office space into the upper floors. Noted theatre architect G. Albert Lansburgh designed the elaborate interior.
Photo by Juan Kenobi

Pasadena Playhouse

Opened in 1925, the Pasadena Community Playhouse was designed by Elmer Grey and built by the Winter Construction Co. As the new home of the Pasadena Community Theatre, the Playhouse quickly became a hub of the theatre community west of the Mississippi River.