Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"The Nice Guys"

A fine look east on Hollywood Blvd. in "The Nice Guys" (Warner Bros., 2016) with the Warner Hollywood (aka the Hollywood Pacific Theatre) on the left. The film is set in 1977 but it's obviously not a vintage shot looking at both the faded paint on the theatre's vertical as well as the size of the trees.

Shane Black's film stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as two not very competent private detectives.  While much of the film was shot in Los Angeles, significant chunks were done in Atlanta.

Check out our many pages on the Warner Hollywood, 6433 Hollywood Blvd., for the history of the now-dormant theatre and many interior photos.

On IMDb: "The Nice Guys"

Monday, October 10, 2016


 For a movie about a cat, we see quite a few theatres in Peter Atencio's "Keanu" (Warner Bros. / New Line Cinema, 2016).  After escaping from a drug-related shootout in Boyle Heights our eponymous cat checks out the L.A. River, walks across one of the bridges and is seen here strolling on Broadway. That's the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, in the distance on the right of the frame.

 Keanu crosses Broadway at 6th St.

Another frame showing a bit more of the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway. 

 Keanu finds a home with  Jordan Peele. Later he and Keegan-Michael Key go to some Liam Neeson film and as they head out onto Sunset, we get a look at the Cinerama Dome.

It's a long story but the cat gets stolen and they fall in with some drug dealers in an attempt to get it back. Turns out they like the cat too and don't want to give it up. Here our duo is heading up into the Hollywood Hills to deliver drugs to a party. On the left is the dark marquee of the Vine Theatre, 6321 Hollywood Blvd. In the distance we get a bit of the vertical of the Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd.

For more information about these theatres, see our pages on the Los Angeles Theatre, the Palace Theatre, the Cinerama Dome, the Vine Theatre and the Pantages.

On IMDb: "Keanu"

"Thundering Taxis"

A view north on Broxton Ave. toward the Fox Westwood Village Theatre in "Thundering Taxis" (Hal Roach/MGM, 1933).  The two-reeler, one in a series of "Taxi Boys" films directed by Del Lord, features Clyde Cook, Billy Bevan and Blackie Whiteford.

Another view from the film. Thanks to Chris Bungo for the screenshots. See his great eighteen minute "then and now" comparison of shooting locations for several films in the "Taxi Boys" series on YouTube

Many Culver City locations were used in addition to the Westwood shots. The Fox Westwood Theatre shots from "Thundering Taxis" start at 8:32. Shots from "What Price Taxi," another film in the series, start at 12:47.

Chris has done another seven minute video just devoted to "Thundering Taxi" locations. It's also on YouTube.

For more about the theatre, see our page on the Fox Westwood Village. The theatre opened in 1931 and still remains a major first-run venue. It's now known as the Regency Village Theatre.

On IMDb: "Thundering Taxis"

"What Price Taxi"

A shot from "What Price Taxi" (Hal Roach/MGM, 1932), a two reel short directed by Del Lord. We're looking north on Broxton Ave. toward the Fox Westwood Village Theatre. The film was one of several in a series of "Taxi Boys" films made by Hal Roach.  This one features Franklin Pangborn, Clyde Cook and Billy Gilbert.

Another shot in a bit closer on Broxton. 

A look at the Weyburn side of the theatre from the film. Thanks to Chris Bungo for the screenshots. He's done a terrific eighteen minute "then and now" comparison of shooting locations for several films in the "Taxi Boys" series that's available on YouTube.

Many Culver City locations were used in addition to the Westwood shots.  The Fox Westwood shots from "What Price Taxi" start at 12:47. The theatre shots from "Thundering Taxis," another film in the series, start at 8:32.

For more about the theatre, see our page on the Fox Westwood Village. The theatre opened in 1931 and still remains a major first-run venue. It's now known as the Regency Village Theatre.

On IMDb: "What Price Taxi"

Sunday, October 9, 2016

"Enough Said"

James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss go to the Monica 4 in downtown Santa Monica for a film in Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" (Fox Searchlight, 2013). She's upset because he can't seem to whisper when he talks during the film.

The theatre has had a re-do since James and Julia attended. See our page on what is now called the Laemmle Monica Film Center for more information. 

On IMDb: "Enough Said"

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Doris Day outside the theatre in Frank Tashlin's "Caprice" (20th Century Fox, 1976) getting ready to do a bit of industrial espionage. Note that the theatre is also running a movie called "Caprice" starring Doris Day, an oddity that is left unexplained.  Ray Walston and Richard Harris also join in the fun.

Doris Day taking a seat in the balcony in "Caprice." Note the re-done side wall paneling and the beige drapes. Much of the theatre's ornate Spanish style decor was "modernized" in the 50s.

She gets into a fight with Irene Tsu and Michael J. Pollard in the balcony and falls over the edge and lands on a main floor patron below.

In the extreme lower right corner of the view above you get a bit of the curve of the beige curtain that enveloped the whole front of the auditorium -- all the way around to the front of the balcony. It was installed as part of the renovations for the 1956 TODD-AO run of "Around the World in 80 Days." Also note the new "modernized" treatment of the balcony soffit.

A look over the edge after the fall. 

Doris Day between shots outside the theatre. See our page on the now-lost Carthay Circle Theatre for photos of the building and lots of its history.  

On IMDb: "Caprice"

"Hollywood Hotel"

The Carthay Circle's fame as a Hollywood movie palace for premieres is shown in Busby Berkeley's "Hollywood Hotel" (Warner Bros., 1937) with Dick Powell.   Other fine performers in the film include Glenda Farrell, Alan Mowbray, Rosemary and Lola Lane, Ted Healy and Francis Langford.

In "Hollywood Hotel" we're supposedly going to a premiere of the fictional film "Glamour Girl" but  in this shot it's revealed on the marquee that the footage they're using is from the premiere of "Life of Emile Zola" (also 1937).

See our Cathay Circle Theatre page for more photos of the theatre, once billed as "The Showplace of the Golden West." It was demolished in 1969.

On IMDb: "Hollywood Hotel"

"The Comic"

The Carthay Circle Theatre, 6316 San Vicente Blvd.,  appears in Carl Reiner's film "The Comic" (Columbia, 1969).  The film features Dick Van Dyke, Michelle Lee, Cornel Wilde and Mickey Rooney.

The theatre, opened in 1926, was long a major first run house with many roadshow engagements. See our page on the Carthay Circle for photos and history.

On IMDb: "The Comic"

"The Big Premiere"

The Carthay Circle appears in the 1940 Our Gang one reel comedy "The Big Premiere." For a history of the theatre, demolished in 1969, see our page on the Carthay Circle Theatre.

On IMDb: "The Big Premiere"

"Uptown Saturday Night"

In "Uptown Saturday Night" (Warner Bros. / First Artists,  1974) we get Main St. Los Angeles subbing for Chicago. Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby are crossing the street with the Burbank Theatre, 548 S. Main St., behind them. The theatre is closed and awaiting demolition.

Another shot from the film. We're looking south toward 6th St. The Santa Fe building and the Pacific Electric Building that we see a bit of at 6th and Main are still around, both now loft conversions.

See our page on the Burbank Theatre for more photos and a history of the building, constructed in 1893.

On IMDb: "Uptown Saturday Night"

"The Crimson Kimono"

A view of the Burbank Theatre facade early in Samuel Fuller's Columbia Pictures epic "The Crimson Kimono" (1959). Our feature attraction at the Burbank Burlesque, Sugar Torch, dodges a bullet in her dressing room but soon gets shot during a run down the middle of Main St. The film about detectives after the killer features Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta.

See our web page on the Burbank Theatre for more photos. The theatre, at 548 S. Main St. was demolished in 1974.

On IMDb: "The Crimson Kimono"

"The Voice in the Mirror"

A view on Main St. during the filming of "The Voice in the Mirror" with Julie London and Walter Matthau (Universal-International, 1958). Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the find, a post of his on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.

Across the street the Burbank, 548 S. Main, is advertising "Patti Waggin And Her Educated Torso" as their featured attraction.  The theatre opened in 1893 and in its final decades was a burlesque house. See our Burbank Theatre page for some history as well as photos of Patti Waggin and several ads promoting her appearance at the theatre.  The Burbank was demolished in 1974.

The photo appears on page 31 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Location Filming in Los Angeles" by Karie Bible, Marc Wanamaker and Harry Medved.

On IMDb: "The Voice in the Mirror"

"The Indestructible Man"

Our police lieutenant Dick Chasen (Max Showalter) visits the Burbank Theatre, 548 S. Main St.,  to visit a dancer (Marian Carr) who knows "The Indestructible Man" (Allied Artists, 1956). The film stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the man in question.

You probably don't want to sit through this one but we do also get nice visits to Angels Flight and the Bradbury Building -- where we throw a body down from the top floor of the atrium.

A closeup of the lieutenant perusing the display outside the theatre.

The "Follies Stage Entrance" of the Burbank in "The Indestructible Man." We go inside to a dressing room, but the interior shots were done on a soundstage somewhere.

A night view from "The Indestructible Man."  For more  information on the theatre, long a fixture on Main St. but demolished in 1974, see our Burbank Theatre page.

On IMDb: "The Indestructible Man"

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


The 1983 Orion Pictures remake of "Breathless" with Richard Gere and Valerie Kaprisky has several scenes shot inside the California Theatre. We get a glimpse of the back of the auditorium, spend some time making love on a pile of curtains backstage while "Gun Crazy"(1949) is playing and get this glimpse of the exterior.

The theatre, at 810 S. Main St., opened in 1918 with 2,000 seats. Sadly, it was demolished in 1989 after a lengthy preservation battle. See our California Theatre page for a history of the building and many photos.  

On IMDb: "Breathless"

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Falling Down"

Looking up N. Fickett toward Cesar Chavez Ave. in a shot from Joel Schumacher's "Falling Down" (Warner Bros., 1993) with Michael Douglas. He's a guy unhappy about many things, including the Los Angeles traffic. The theatre we're looking at is the Brooklyn -- Cesar Chavez Ave. used to be Brooklyn Ave.  The film also features Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey and Tuesday Weld.

Thanks to Craig Bryan for posting this one on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page, where he pairs it with a current view. Here in 1992 the theatre, then a swapmeet, is called the La Barata. Craig has a Scenepast Facebook page where he uses screenshots for "then and now" comparisons. You can also get the Scenepast app on the Apple store.

The theatre, with an address of 2524 E. Brooklyn Ave. when it opened in 1926, was originally called the Lido. A view today from the same perspective as the screenshot would reveal only an empty lot. See our listing for the Brooklyn Theatre on the East L.A. Theatres page for more about the building.

On IMDB: "Falling Down"

"Leave It To Beaver"

Silent film detective John Bengtson has turned his sights to "Leave it To Beaver" where he found this 6th season shot of Ward (Hugh Beaumont) and Wally (Tony Dow) driving in Mayfield where it looks just like 3rd St. in Santa Monica. The episode aired in January, 1963. See John's entertaining post "Leave it to Santa Monica."   Thanks, John!

In the background on the right is the Elmiro, 1441 3rd St. in Santa Monica. The facade remains but it's a newer building behind that now houses the AMC Broadway 4 Theatres. See our page on the Elmiro Theatre for more views. 

Friday, September 30, 2016


A look at the Skouras-style boxoffice of the Culver Theatre in John Berry's "Tension" ( MGM, 1949). Thanks to Ronald Schwartz for the screenshot -- he had it as a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles. The film about a meek pharmacist who plans to murder his wife's lover stars Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter and Cyd Charisse.

The theatre, at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, opened in 1946. The exterior is fairly intact but the interior has been turned into a smaller legit house, the Kirk Douglas. See our Culver Theatre page for more photos.

On IMDb: "Tension"

"License To Drive"

The El Rey, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., is a nightclub in "License To Drive" (20th Century Fox, 1988) with Corey Haim and Carol Kane. Thanks to Jason Vega for finding the screenshot on the El Rey's Facebook page. Seems like it's not there anymore.

See our page on the El Rey Theatre for more about the theatre, a 1937 Clifford Balch design that's now a concert venue.

On IMDb: "License To Drive"

Friday, September 16, 2016

"The Prestige"

Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" (Touchstone/Warner Bros, 2006) with Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and Michael Caine is set in Edwardian London. Also in the film are Piper Perabo, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johanssen, David Bowie and Ricky Jay. In this tale of  two magicians trying to top each other with the ultimate illusion we get many theatre shots, spending lots of time in four Los Angeles theatres: the Los Angeles, Palace, Tower and Belasco. 

Our initial theatre shot is at the Los Angeles, 615 S. Broadway, subbing for a London theatre called The Grand Scala. Robert Angier aka The Great Danton (Hugh Jackman) is onstage doing his version of the Transported Man trick. Things go wrong and Angier dies. His rival Alfred Borden aka The Professor (Christian Bale) is convicted of the murder. But things aren't simple. We spend the rest of the film seeing how we got to this point. 

We see lots of the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway. First as a London theatre they're calling the Orpheum with Milton (Ricky Jay) performing with the assistance of Angier, Borden, Julia (Piper Perabo) and, as stage manager and illusion engineer, Cutter (Michael Caine).

Our first scene inside the Tower Theatre, 802 S. Broadway, come as Cutter asks Borden and Angier to check out an appearing goldfish bowl trick performed by Chung Ling Soo at the Tenley Theatre. We're in the balcony -- which is good as the theatre has no main floor seats. Later we're back at the Tower when Borden is assisting The Great Virgil. This time we're on the main floor, then seen as a flat-floored music hall kind of place. 

When Angier starts performing as The Great Danton following the loss of his wife in a mishap during a Milton performance, we're back at the Palace again as the London Orpheum. His new assistant: Scarlett Johanssen.  Then inside the Tower we see Borden as The Professor (Bale) do his initial version of the Transported Man trick. Here film identifies the Tower as the Strand Theatre.

We're at the Los Angeles for this view with theatregoers heading up the stairs in the grand lobby. It's the performance of the Transported Man trick done by Angier (Hugh Jackman). He's seen Borden's act and has tried to one up him by making it showier.

A look toward the stage at the Los Angeles. Angier goes in one door and vanishes. Then a moment later the door across the stage opens and he reappears.  Backstage at the Los Angeles Angier tells Cutter (who now works for him) that "Borden is performing right across the street." And the interior scenes of Borden's latest show at the London Pantages were indeed shot right across the street --  at the Palace Theatre.

For the exterior of the London Pantages Nolan uses the Tower Theatre. London, of course, never had a Pantages Theatre, but perhaps it should have. Most of the exterior shots in "The Prestige" were done on the Universal backlot. 

This Tower shot is the only exterior view we get in the film of a real theatre. The Tower, at 802 S. Broadway, is a 1927 film house designed by S. Charles Lee. See our many Tower Theatre pages for more about the building.

When we go inside the Pantages for the new version of the Transported Man trick that Borden is performing we find ourselves back at the Palace -- the same theatre seen earlier as the Orpheum.  He's had some help from Nicola Tesla (David Bowie) for the improvements.

The Palace, a 1911 vintage two-balcony vaudeville house, still hosts legit shows, concerts and an occasional film screening. See our Palace Theatre pages for more about the theatre. 

After being embarrassed by a stunt pulled onstage by Borden during a one of Angier's performances, Angier goes to Colorado to see Tesla for something new to try to top Borden (again).  When he comes back with the gear, he holes up in a cluttered workshop to work on the final trick. We're at the Balasco Theatre, 1050 S. Hill St. Here we're on the Belasco's main floor looking back at the front of the balcony. 

Another shot on the Belasco's main floor, this time giving a look at the theatre's unique ceiling. They've draped the front of the projection booth. See our pages on the Belasco Theatre for a history of this 1926 legit house as well as many photos. Its location on Hill St. is right next to the Mayan Theatre.

Cutter (Michael Caine) is taking a peek in from one of the balcony exits to try to figure out what Angier is up to in his workshop.  Angier has him book a theatre for a final engagement of 100 performances but tells him this time he doesn't want him backstage.

We're back at the Los Angeles for Angier's final performances. A handbill seen in the film tells us this 100 performance engagement (that we saw some of at the beginning of the film) is at a theatre called The Grand Scala. Here we see the cabinet for an underwater escape, the trick before the Tesla-improved Transported Man. Note the unique act curtain of the Los Angeles Theatre behind.  Earlier we've seen several fine drops painted for the movie onstage at both the Palace and the Los Angeles. But this is actually part of the theatre's 1931 decor.

Angier onstage announcing the final version of the Transported Man, his next trick. He tells the audience it's not magic -- this is science.

Angier (Jackman) reappearing on the edge of the 1st balcony at the Los Angeles after vanishing from the stage. It goes well this performance but not so on the final time when Borden (disguised) is called up from the audience to assist onstage. Watch the film to unravel the mysteries.

See our many pages on the Los Angeles Theatre for photos and a history of this amazing movie palace. It's a design by S. Charles Lee, opened in 1931.

The website Movie-Locations.com has a page on shooting locations for the film.

On IMDb: "The Prestige"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"The Gambler"

We get a quick backstage tour of the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, in "The Gambler" starring Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange and Brie Larson (Paramount, 2014). Near the end of the film Mark meets a couple of Korean gangsters in the south exit passageway on his way to a subterranean gambling club.

He goes for a walk across the empty stage (where someone is singing) and down the stage right stairs to the basement. A bit earlier in "The Gambler" we had a quick glimpse of the alley end of the Tower Theatre, 8th & Hill, and then a nice shot of the Warner Theatre, at 7th & Hill.

On IMDb: "The Gambler"