Pacific Theatre (Demolished) | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo from Conservancy Archives

Pacific Theatre (Demolished)

In the late 1920s, Jack Warner was issued a challenge by a neighbor to build a "cinema showhouse" befitting the civic life and architectural style of Beverly Hills, the rapidly growing suburb that had closely averted annexation by Los Angeles just a few years before.

With the opening of the Warner Brothers’ Beverly Hills Theatre in 1931, he fulfilled his promise to do just that, hanging a banner proclaiming the theatre "the civic pride of Beverly Hills" lest his neighbor not notice.

The stunning Art Deco building, with its soaring, six-story, pylon-topped tower spelling out "Warner," exhibited zigzag moderne along with a fair mix of Spanish baroque ornamentation.

Shaped like a ziggurat, the building included commercial spaces whose expanses of plate glass were divided by pilasters topped with encrusted floral motifs matching the scalloped trim that wrapped the second story. The interior of the theatre was a riot of gilded friezes and starbursts, yet softy lit with bronze, brass, and glass lighting fixtures. The balcony featured a multi-hued domed ceiling.

Through the 1960s, the theatre hosted numerous star-studded premieres. It closed as a first-run theatre in 1975 and was used primarily for special events and concerts until purchased by Columbia Savings and Loan in 1988.

Despite putting forth various plans for the building, Columbia ultimately claimed that retrofitting the building for earthquake safety would be too expensive and demolished it instead.

Barely a newspaper notice was published to mark the loss of this icon to the "civic pride of Beverly Hills." Soon after demolishing the theatre, Columbia became embroiled in a junk bond scandal and was seized by regulators. 

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 copyright J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)

Coulter's Department Store (Demolished)

One of the best examples of the Streamline Moderne style built in Los Angeles.
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/Los Angeles Conservancy

Warner Grand Theatre

The Warner Grand Theatre features a Classical Moderne façade and an ornate Art Deco interior.