Tuesday, October 3, 2017

mobile device navigation

Missing the navigation bar? Scroll down to click on "view web version" to see the right column list of films/theatres.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Stopover in Hollywood"

Actress Lori Lyons wanders the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., in the 16 minute documentary short "Stopover in Hollywood" (Paramount, 1963). Thanks to Kurt Wahlner / GraumansChinese.org for the screenshot.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on Grauman's Chinese for lots of data on the building along with hundreds of photos.

On IMDb: "Stopover in Hollywood"

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Scream 2"

We see a lot of the Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena at the beginning of Wes Craven's "Scream 2" with Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Liev Schreiber and Jada Pinckett Smith. (Dimension Films, 1997).

A look at the marquee in "Scream 2." Jada Pinckett Smith is going to have a bad moviegoing experience. "Blame it on the movie."

Not quite the Rialto auditorium in "Scream 2." We're actually at the Vista Theatre for the interiors.

The Variety Arts Theatre, 940 S. Figueroa St., is used for the auditorium of Windsor College, the site of much of the action late in the film.

A proscenium view of the Variety Arts. 

A sidewall view from onstage.

Neve Campbell going chopping backstage in "Scream 2."

A view from the stage out into the house at the Variety Arts. The dangerous man on the right with the gun is Liev Schreiber.

See the pages on the Variety Arts, the Vista Theatre, and the Rialto Theatre for lots of data and many photos of the buildings.

On IMDb: "Scream 2"

Sunday, September 17, 2017


It's unconfirmed, but the word is that the Variety Arts Theatre, 740 S. Figueroa St., is seen in "Vanished" (Advanced Visual Media, 2013) It evidently was a direct-to-DVD release.

See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Variety Arts for more about this 1924 vintage legit house.

On IMDb: "Vanished"

Saturday, September 16, 2017


The Variety Arts Theatre, 940 S. Figueroa St., is seen in Catherine Hardwicke's "Plush" (Blumhouse Productions, 2013). Emily Browning stars in the tale of a young singer/songwriter who gets involved with a musician with secrets in his past. A thriller with music and romance.

See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Variety Arts for more about this 1924 vintage legit house.

On IMDb: "Plush"

Friday, September 15, 2017


We get a look at the Million Dollar Theatre, 3rd and Broadway, in a big cruise down Broadway during the opening credits of Dennis Hopper's "Colors" (Orion, 1988). It's all downhill after that. The credit sequence can be seen on YouTube.  The film stars Sean Penn, Robert Duvall and Maria Conchita Alonso.

The Palace Theatre as seen in "Colors." The theatre, at 630 S. Broadway, opened as the Orpheum in 1911

The State Theatre at 7th & Broadway also gets a cameo in the opening sequence.

We also get a glimpse of the Broadway Theatre, 428 S. Broadway. See the pages about the Million Dollar, State, Palace and Broadway theatres for more data and photos of each of those venues.

On IMDb: "Colors"

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Action Jackson"

"Action Jackson" (Lorimar, 1988) with Carl Weathers and Craig T. Nelson is set in Detroit but we get a number of Los Angeles views including the Alexandria Hotel, Cole's P.E. Buffet and this shot of Loew's State, at 7th and Broadway. You probably don't want to watch it unless you're obsessed with picking out the L.A. filming locations.

See the Los Angeles Theatres page about the State Theatre for a history of the building and many photos.

On IMDb: "Action Jackson"

"Never Weaken"

We get a view of the stagehouse of the Mason Theatre, 127 S. Broadway, in this publicity still for the Harold Lloyd two-reeler "Never Weaken" (Pathe, 1921). We're looking south on Hill St. The top of the Mason over on Broadway is at the left -- look for the three smoke vents on the stagehouse.

This location on top of the Hill St. tunnel was a favorite filming location as it was easy to build a set there to give the appearance of being up on a tall building downtown. See John Bengtson's Silent Locations post "LA's Early Hills, Tunnels Preserved in Noir-Silent Comedies."

While some shots were from 1st and Hill here the action has moved to7th and Hill looking east at the back of the Loew's State building -- then under construction at 7th and Broadway. This is one of many views of Lloyd and the alley side of Loew's State in "Never Weaken." He has some dazzling scenes up on what appears to be an unfinished building.

A view in the other direction of the newly completed Pantages Theatre at 7th & Hill. In 1929 it would become the Warner Downtown. That's the Los Angeles Athletic Club beyond it on 7th.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on the Mason Theatre, the State Theatre and the Warner Downtown for more data and many photos of the buildings.

On IMDb: "Never Weaken"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Funny Girl"

The Warner Downtown, at 7th and Hill, was used extensively for the interiors of Ziegfeld's New Amsterdam Theatre in William Wyler's "Funny Girl" (Rastar/Columbia, 1968). This view from the top of the balcony is used several times.

The exteriors, some (but not all) backstage shots and the bigger production numbers were studio creations. The film stars Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein and Walter Pidgeon as Florenz Ziegfeld. Thanks to Bill Gabel for mentioning the use of the Warner in the film.

The rear of the house as seen from the stage.

Another look toward the rear of the main floor. 

A view to the rear of the house with Ms. Streisand onstage.

A sidewall detail with Flo Ziegfeld pacing the aisle.

A proscenium shot from the back of the main floor. 

A closer look at the stage. Note the nice plasterwork on the lip of the stage.

Looking offstage right. Note the man up on the 2nd floor bridge above the lockrail back in the upstage corner. Ms. Streisand commands center stage.

A view across the stage during another production number. 

Offstage right at the lockrail.

Looking across the balcony. Note the wall separating the deluxe balcony loges from the cheaper seating section behind. 

The front of the balcony. The shrouded item at center is a closed circuit TV projector.

A balcony view down to the main floor and the pit.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on the Warner Downtown for a history of the building and hundreds of photos. The theatre is basically intact but in recent decades the main floor has functioned as a jewelry mart.

On IMDb: "Funny Girl"


We get our first shot of a Los Angeles theatre in the titles of this 1993 made-for-TV version of "Gypsy." Among the bits of archival burlesque footage is this view, on the left, of the signage of the Burbank Theatre, 548 S. Main St.

The movie, directed by Emile Ardolino, stars Bette Midler as Mama Rose, Peter Riegert as Herbie, Cynthia Gibb as Louise/Gypsy Rose, Jennifer Rae Beck as June and Ed Asner as Pop. The show, based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, has a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

The Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway, is seen as an unnamed Seattle theatre in the first scene. The show is Uncle Jocko's Kiddie Show with Tony Shalhoub as Jocko. Note that the proscenium murals are draped. We'll be back later with them uncovered when the Palace is used as another theatre.

Mama Rose (Bette Midler) coming down the aisle at Uncle Jocko's Kiddie Show at the Palace.

Mama Rose coming onstage at the Palace.

The State Theatre, 703 S. Broadway, is possibly the house used for Weber's Theatre in Los Angeles. We're looking offstage right at the rigging beyond Mr. Weber.

A murky look downstage right at Weber's. The dimmerboard is back there in the gloom.

What see see here behind Weber and Mama Rose appears to be a fake wall offstage right. Maybe the real rigging wasn't colorful enough? We get another fake wall, of brick, downstage left as we look into the wings during several later production numbers.

Herbie and Mama Rose onstage at Weber's Theatre for the song "Small World."

Another Weber's Theatre shot with curious rigging beyond.  It looks like a new floor. And note there aren't any floorpockets.

A peek offstage left. The stairway in the corner goes to the State's dressing rooms.

As the couple heads offstage left through the scrim we see lights from the State auditorium as well as a bit of seating.

A number from the Baby June act onstage at Weber's. If the musicians seem pretty high it's because there wasn't a usable pit at the State.

Next up is is an audition at T.T. Grandziger's Palace Theatre in New York. We're on the phone to the proprietor in his viewing box at the top of the balcony. The shots for this sequence seem to be done at the State Theatre as well.

Herbie peeking on to announce that they are ready to go.

A look offstage right for a peek at the rigging during an audition number.

Another part of the audition number at Grandziger's Palace.

A look at the musicians during the farm number at Grandziger's Palace.

Grandziger's secretary, Baby June, and Mama Rose onstage after the audition. They turn down the job as the theatre owner sees potential in June but Rose fears that it'll be the end of the act.

An hour into the movie a shot of the alley behind the Palace begins the number "All I Need Is The Girl."

In the alley with Tulsa (Jeffrey Broadhurst) looking south.

An alley view looking north.

Another alley view looking north. 

The Palace as yet another theatre. Here it's a burlesque theatre in Wichita. Louise and Mama Rose are offstage right. That's the theatre's original dimmerboard on the left.

 Miss Mazeppa (Linda Hart) onstage at the Palace as the burlesque house in Wichita for the number "You Gotta Get a Gimmick."

Another view across the stage at the Palace during the "Gimmick" number. Mazeppa does it with a trumpet.

Gypsy onstage at the Palace as the Diamond Burlesque in Detroit. The number is a reprise of "Let Me Entertain You" that began with her first strip in Wichita. 

The Orpheum, 842 S. Broadway, puts in an appearance as Minsky's Burlesque Theatre.

Gypsy on the runway at the Orpheum.

Mama Rose onstage at the Orpheum for the number "Everything's Coming Up Roses."

Rose and Gypsy at the end of the show's final number.

Thanks to Mike Hume for most of the screenshots. Visit his Historic Theatre Photography site for photos and data about the many theatres he's explored. He has pages devoted to the Palace, Orpheum and State

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages on the State, Orpheum, Palace and Burbank theatres for more history and many photos.

On IMDb: "Gypsy"