Saturday, January 21, 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.

Friday, January 20, 2017

"Oh, God! Book II"

Eleven year old Louanne (Tracy Richards) goes to the movies at the Century Plaza Theatres in the Gilbert Cates film "Oh, God! Book II" (Warner Bros., 1980). The film stars George Burns, Suzanne Pleshette and David Birney.

A look toward the Avenue of the Stars.

The complex as seen from across the pond in the film. "Evita" is at the Shubert.

Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting this one -- and sending along the screenshots. For more about the Century Plaza Theatres and the nearby Shubert Theatre see the Los Angeles Theatres page on the ABC Entertainment Center. The whole complex was demolished in 2002.

On IMDb: "Oh, God! Book II"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Body Fever"

We get a peek at the marquee of the Gordon Theatre, 614 N. La Brea Ave., in Ray Dennis Steckler's "Body Fever" (1969).  The film has also been known as "Supercool," "Deadlocked" and "The Last Original B Movie." It features Carolyn Brandt,  Bernard Fein and Gary Kent in a noirish tale about a low-rent private detective trying to catch a robber who dresses like Catwoman.

A look south under the Gordon's marquee. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for spotting the theatre in the film and sending along the screenshots. The Gordon was later known as the Showcase after a Cineplex Odeon remodel. See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Showcase Theatre for photos and history.

On IMDb: "Body Fever"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"Words and Music"

There's a scene in Norman Taurog's "Words and Music" (MGM, 1948) when Lorenz Hart (Mickey Rooney) has come to Hollywood and a real estate agent points out Grauman's Chinese while giving a tour of the area. The film about the songwriting team of Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart also stars Tom Drake and June Allyson.

Thanks to Marlaine Wilson Hysell for spotting the theatre in the movie. See the Grauman's Chinese pages for a history of the 1927 theatre as well as hundreds of photos.

On IMDb: "Words and Music"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


The auditorium of the Music Box, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., is used for a club (presumably in the south of France) in "Nina" (RLJ Entertainment, 2016).  The exterior shot is of a European looking street with a nice neon sign that says "Caveau de la Huchette." But as soon as you go inside and get a look at the wall murals you know it's the Music Box.

The Nina Simone biopic, directed by Cynthia Mort, stars Zoe Saldana as Nina and David Oyelolo as Clifton, the nurse who becomes her friend and manager. Filmed in Los Angeles, a lot of it is set in France courtesy of some lovely stock footage.

Interestingly, that "Caveau de la Huchette" shot also turns up in "La La Land" during Emma's dream montage near the end of the film. There it's used as the exterior of a Parisian jazz club. 

It's interesting that for this scene we're not set up onstage but over on house right just in front of the balcony overhang. Here we've pulled back a bit and you get to see the front of the balcony with its Spanish revival style trim. On the right is an exit out to the foyer behind the auditorium.

A look out into the audience at our South-of-France club. The Music Box's proscenium is over on the right.  Note part of the house sound system piled up over there -- a strange location for where the musicians are in the film.  We've seen a similar blue curtain earlier in the film for a scene set in a club in Chicago. Perhaps that Chicago scene was also done at the Music Box.

Clifton (David Oyelolo) observing the performance from across the house.

The theatre's rooftop pavilion is seen in the final scene of the film just as the credits roll. It's a club space that's unidentified in the film. We're looking west -- the glass doors on the left wall open out onto the theatre's rooftop patio. The wall on the right once was open to Hollywood Blvd. back in the days before the facade got covered over with steel cladding.

 See our page on the Music Box/Fonda Theatre for a history of the building and many photos.

On IMDb: "Nina"

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"Messiah of Evil"

The Fox Venice Theatre is seen in "Messiah of Evil" (International Cine Film Corporation, 1973). The film, also known as "Dead People," was directed by Willard Huyck and stars Michael Greer and Marianna Hill. It's about a mysterious cult in a strange California seaside town.

The word on the Fox Venice comes from Jonathan Andrews via a comment to a comment on a Vintage Los Angeles Facebook thread about various filming locations in Los Angeles.

See our page on the Fox Venice Theatre for more about the building, now used for retail. It's at 620 Lincoln Blvd in Venice.

On IMDb: "Messiah of Evil"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

"Hail, Caesar!"

Hollywood star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) gets kidnapped by a group of Communist-inclined writers in the Coen Brothers Hollywood epic "Hail, Caesar!" (Universal, 2016). On the way to their beachfront lair, the panel truck containing Whitlock heads south on Wilcox past the side of the Warner Hollywood Theatre.

The Warner, at 6433 Hollywood Blvd., has in recent years been boarded up as the owners consider redevelopment possibilities. See the Warner Hollywood sections on the LA Theatres website for more on the building, a 1928 G. Albert Lansburgh design.

We head to the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, for a premiere of "Lazy Ol' Moon," the Capitol Pictures western in the film starring Hobie Doyle (Alden Eherenreich). No exterior views -- we start with a look at a display case and then get this view toward the stairs.

Another view of the Los Angeles Theatre lobby as we pull back a bit.  

The titles on the screen. The film is set in 1951 -- which we also get as the copyright date on this title card.  In 1951 this or any other film would have been shown in a 1.37 to 1 ratio, not cropped to the widescreen format we see here.

A look back into the house. Hobie is there with his studio arranged date Carlotta Valdez (Veronica Osorio), a star in the Carmen Miranda mold.

The film's opening scene on the screen at the Los Angeles.

Another shot at the Los Angeles -- but one that doesn't appear in the film. This view is from the trailer and shows footage from another Capitol Pictures feature "Merrily We Dance" that we see in the film being directed by Lawrence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Thanks to Wendell Benedetti for the screenshot, appearing on the LAHTF Facebook page with lots of comments.

Head to our pages on the Los Angeles Theatre for a history of the building along with hundreds of photos of different areas.

Carlotta and Hobie go out for dinner after the film with the Hollywood Palladium used as a location. The bandstand we see was built for the film at the opposite end of the space from the building's real stage.

Filming the scene at the Palladium,6215 Sunset Blvd. It's a screenshot from one of the making-of featurettes that accompanies the DVD of the film. The Palladium section on the LA Theatres website has more several interior views of the building.

Exiting the Monte Carlo nightclub we see the Music Box/Fonda Theatre, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., used for the exterior. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for doing some research on this one. 

Another shot a little wider. See our Music Box Theatre page for more on this venue, one that started as a legit house in 1926.  The architecture we see in the film obviously doesn't date from 1926 -- it's from a 40s or early 50s Fox West Coast remodel when it was a film house.

The fine L.A. Weekly story "Your Complete Guide to the L.A. Filming Locations of 'Hail, Caesar!'" notes that when we look across the street from the Music Box, what we see is the Chapman Plaza building in Koreatown at 3465 W. 6th St.

The film also features Josh Brolin as studio head Eddie Mannix, Scarlett Johansson as an Esther Williams style aquatic star, Tilda Swinton as twin gossip columnists, and many others. 

On IMDb: "Hail, Caesar!"

Friday, January 6, 2017

"The Clonus Horror"

The Galway Theatre, 514 S. Main St., gets to put in an appearance in the epic called "The Clonus Horror" (Group 1, 1979) in which politicians are looking for an eternal hold on power via cloning. A young man has escaped from the Clonus Project and the scientists are looking for him. Main Street is, of course, the place to go if you're trying to hide from evil scientists. Robert S. Fiveson directed. Thanks to Don Solosan for spotting this one.

See our page on the Galway Theatre for more about this now-vanished grindhouse. The building it was in is still there, in use as a community services agency with offices downstairs and housing upstairs.

On IMDb: "The Clonus Horror

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"Rocks Off"

Footage shot by Robert Frank in 1971 shows Mick Jagger in front of the Galway Theatre, 514 S. Main St. -- as well as other Main Street shots. Frank later compiled a number of his images for the 1972 cover of the album "Exile on Main Street." The footage was edited in 2009 to the track "Rocks Off." Videodrumz has it on YouTube: "Rocks Off." Thanks to Jonathan at Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours  for spotting this one.

See our Galway Theatre page for more on the Main St. grindhouse, around no more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"Every Day's a Holiday"

A terrific proscenium view of the Follies Theatre, 337 S. Main St. It's a promotional still from the film "Every Day's a Holiday" (Paramount, 1937). It was directed by A. Edward Sutherland and stars Mae West, Edmond Lowe and  Charles Butterworth.

The photo once appeared on the Facebook page of the L.A. Conservancy but seems to have vanished from there. They had credited it to the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection via Terry Helgesen.  That collection is part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital.  The photo has also been seen on Photos of Los Angeles.

The theatre had opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was a fixture on Main St. until its 1974 demolition. See our Follies Theatre page for a history of the building and more interior photos.

On IMDb:  "Every Day's a Holiday"

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Stuart Saves His Family"

We get this look down on the Chinese in "Stuart Saves His Family" (Paramount, 1995). The film, directed by Harold Ramis, stars Al Franken, Laura San Giacomo, Vincent D'Onofrio and Shirley Knight. Thanks to Chas Demster for the screenshot, on his Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles page about the film. For the film they have "Alfie' up on the marquee -- an August 1966 release that didn't actually play the Chinese.

"Stuart" features a Saturday Night Live character as he attempts to solve the many problems of various family members. Mostly set in Chicago, we get this shot and a few other Los Angeles views when the family takes a trip west.  See our pages on Grauman's Chinese, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., for a history of the 1927 building and several hundred photos.

On IMDb: "Stuart Saves His Family"

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Valley Girl"

In Martha Coolidge's "Valley Girl" (Atlantic Releasing Corporation, 1983) we, of course, do a bit of cruising. Half hour into the film we get a look at the Chinese, 6925 Hollywood Blvd. Thanks to Chas Demster for the screenshot. It appears, with many more location views from the film, on his blog Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles.  The film, starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman, is a story of the punk from the city meeting the girl from the other side of the hills.

Visit our Grauman's Chinese pages for hundreds of views of the theatre inside and out.

An hour and nineteen minutes in  we go to the movies at the Sherman Theatre, 15052 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Thanks to the San Fernando Blog article "Filming Locations: Valley Girl" for this screenshot and the two below.  Also see a Fast-Rewind article "Valley Girl Behind the Scenes."

Another shot from the scene.

Back at the Sherman again for a second film. The theatre has been demolished. See the Sherman Theatre listing for it on our San Fernando Valley Theatres page.

On IMDb: "Valley Girl"

"52 Pick-Up"

We get a look at the Cinema Theatre, 1122 N. Western Ave., in John Frankenheimer's "52 Pick-Up" (Cannon / Golan-Globus, 1986). Thanks to Yuri G. for spotting the shot and including it on his Movie Tourist page about the film where he also has many more photos of other locations that were used.

The poor theatre went from being a cute foreign film venue to the porno business and now, even worse, it's a church. See our Cinema Theatre page for more photos.

The film, based on an Elmore Leonard novel,  stars Roy Scheider as an L.A. businessman who gets hit with some blackmail just as his wife (Ann-Margret) is running for city council. Going to the police is out of the question so he tries to deal with the issue quietly -- but problems arise as he doesn't really want to pay.  Kelly Preston plays Scheider's mistress.   John Glover is the manager of the Cinema Theatre. 

On IMDb: "52 Pick-Up"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"The Neon Demon"

We begin with a bloody looking fashion shoot in "The Neon Demon" (Broad Green Pictures, 2016), Nicholas Winding Refn's sordid tale of the modeling business in Los Angeles. A look out the window lets us know where we are -- across the street we see the arches of the Schaber Cafeteria Building, 620 S. Broadway, just north of the Palace Theatre. The shoot is taking place on the second floor of the south storefront of the Los Angeles Theatre building.

The girl in the shoot is Jesse (Elle Fanning), an aspiring model from the sticks who comes to a sad end at the hands of spurned girl friend Ruby (Jena Malone) and envious competitors Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee).

At the shoot Jesse meets Ruby, a makeup artist who we later learn likes girls -- including dead ones. Ruby invites her to a party. Next thing we know we're coming out of the elevator at the Orpheum.

At the party on the balcony level of the Orpheum's lobby. Yes. everything at the party is very blue.  See our pages on the Orpheum Theatre at 842 S. Broadway, a glorious house opened in 1926, for many photos of the theatre lit in something other than blue.

We're still at the party but when it's time to go to the ladies room we use the one at the Los Angeles Theatre.

Another shot from the scene at the Los Angeles Theatre's ladies room.  The trio is trying to figure out the new girl and see what she likes. In terms of lipstick and other things. "Beauty isn't everything. It's the only thing." says Robert Sarno (Alessandro Nivola), a clothing designer we meet in the film.

Heading back to the party, Ruby is seen here exiting the deeper reaches of the restroom area and emerging into the cosmetics room.  See our pages on the Los Angeles Theatre for hundreds of photos, including a whole page on this area seen in "The Neon Demon."

On IMDb: "The Neon Demon"

Saturday, December 10, 2016

"The Killing"

We're all over town in Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" (United Artists, 1956). Here we're on Hollywood Blvd. as Sterling Hayden is coming out of a store just east of the Warner Hollywood, 6433 Hollywood Blvd. The fuzzy marquee in the background is the Warner.

As Hayden gets into his car we get a glimpse in the background of the Iris Theatre. It's the second vertical down -- the first is for a Karl's shoe store.

Another frame a moment later gives us sharper look at the Iris, 6508 Hollywood Blvd.   See our pages on the Warner Hollywood and the Iris, later rebranded as the Fox Theatre, for more on those two buildings, both still on Hollywood Blvd.

Hayden has engineered a heist at the track. His buddies have all been killed so he has all the loot. He heads to a pawn shop on W. 3rd St. to buy the biggest suitcase he could find to put it all in for his flight to Boston. It doesn't end well for him -- he needed better locks on the suitcase. A lovely film.

That pawn shop is adjacent to the Lux Theatre, 827 W. 3rd St., here seen at the right of the frame. It's no longer with us -- a victim of the Bunker Hill redevelopment. See our listing about the Lux Theatre on the Theatres West of Broadway page for more details. The posters we see for Lenny Bruce with a burlesque show aren't for the Lux -- they're for the Gayety Club in Hollywood.

An earlier shot in the film a couple of blocks east, on the top of the 3rd St. tunnel, gave us a glimpse of the building that once was the Tunnel Theatre.

On IMDb: "The Killing"

"A Bucket of Blood"

A shot from the top of the 3rd street tunnel looking west in Roger Corman's "A Bucket of Blood" (American International Pictures, 1959) gives us a look at the building just west of the tunnel that used to be the Tunnel Theatre, 712 W. 3rd St.

The theatre entrance used to be where that big arch is in the lower center of the frame. Long before the filming it had been converted to a garage. It's been demolished. See a bit more on the Tunnel Theatre  in the listing on our Theatres West of Broadway page. Stanley Kubrick gives us a similar view from the top of the tunnel in "The Killing" (United Artists, 1956)

Thanks to GS Jansen for the screenshot on Flickr. It's in his album "Bunker Hill in Movies."

The film, shot in five days, has an all star cast that includes Dick Miller, Barboura Morris and Antony Carbone. Miller plays Walter Paisley, an untalented sculptor who, after covering his landlady's cat in plaster, is acclaimed as a genius. His friends expect even bigger works leading to all sorts of problems.  It's also been known as "The Living Dead."

On IMDb: "A Bucket of Blood"

"La La Land"

 Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) mourns that his favorite jazz club, Van Beek, has been turned into a samba and tapas joint in Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" (Lionsgate, 2016).  "Just pick ONE!" he says. The building is the former Magnolia Theatre, 4403 Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. In the years since its film house life has been over it's been a recording studio, once owned by Barbra Streisand. See our Magnolia Theatre page for more on the venue.

Sebastian keeps running into Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress. When they finally start clicking after a number of mis-steps, their first date is to be at the Rialto in South Pasadena to see "Rebel Without a Cause." She's late and can't find him in the dark theatre so she steps out on stage to look into the house. The still, from the first "La La Land" trailer, was featured on an a page about the film from Elle.  The trailer is on YouTube, as is trailer #2 and a four minute making-of featurette.

Sebastian and Mia watching the film at the Rialto. It's a Dale Robinette photo for Lionsgate.  See our page on the Rialto Theatre for more about this historic venue. It's currently closed awaiting its next act.

Later in the film the duo go to the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. where pianist Sebastian is playing with a group called The Messengers, fronted by Keith (John Legend).  We don't see much of the building itself. Our El Rey Theatre page has more about the 1937 vintage theatre, now used as a music club.

Mia puts together a one woman show. The exterior of the theatre she rents for the production is the Variety,  5253 W. Adams Blvd.  The interiors were shot elsewhere.  On our South, South Central and Southeast Theatres page you'll find our listing for the Variety Theatre, now a music club.

Other locations seen include the freeway interchange between the 105 and the 110 for the opening number, the Smokehouse Restaurant in Burbank (where Sebastian plays Christmas music), the Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, the Hermosa beach pier, Angel's Flight, the Watts Towers, Griffith Observatory, and the Blind Donkey in Long Beach (Seb's nightclub at the end).

The N.Y. Times had a fine story "L.A. Trancendental: How 'La La land' Chases the Sublime" that included several shots from the film. On L.A. Curbed see "LA's Starring Role in 'La La Land'" and "The Ultimate 'La La Land' Filming location Map."

David Ng's December 25, 2016 L.A. Times story "'La La Land' looks beautiful but..." talks about the difficulties of location shooting for this film (and others) with so many historic locations vanishing.

USA Today has "Your La La Land Cheat Sheet."  Architectural Digest weighed in with "La La Land Set Design" profiling designers David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco. E Online has "The Official La la Land Guide To Los Angeles."

On IMDb: "La La Land"

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Miss Melody Jones"

"Her tinseltown dreams dragged her into the Hollywood gutter." What, you haven't seen "Miss Melody Jones"?  Perhaps you caught the film under its alternate title "Ebony Dreams." The 1972 American Films Ltd. blaxploitation film directed by Bill Brame stars Philomena Nowlin and Peter Jacob. No idea what happens in the rest of the film but in the opening sequence we get a walk down Hollywood Blvd. and several 360 degree pans around the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese.

A look toward the theatre's entrance.

Strolling past the display of Academy Award winning films and performers.

"Matinees Daily" -- a fuzzy view out to the street.

Thanks to theatre sleuth Jonathan Raines for digging this one out of the Hollywood gutter. Sorry about the extreme lo-res images. They're from YouTube where you can see the first few minutes of the film and enjoy its theme song "Hollywood."  Why don't you get the DVD and send me some better screenshots?

Kurt Wahlner, the historian of all things related to the Chinese Theatre notes: "I figure that the scene was shot sometime in early January 1972, in the early afternoon.  Hardly any people hanging around - not like today.  "Diamonds Are Forever" is playing, and the posters for "What's Up, Doc?" have not been put out yet."   Check out his site:

See our many pages on Grauman's Chinese for lots of history and several hundred photos.

On IMDb: "Miss Melody Jones"


Steve Martin goes to the Fox Westwood Village Theatre for the premiere of "Chubby Rain," his film-within-a-film in Frank Oz's "Bowfinger" (Universal, 1999). Martin plays Bobby Bowfinger, a broke and untalented director, trying to get a film made featuring star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) -- with out Kit knowing about it.  A bit of blackmail with some footage they've caught involving Lakers cheerleaders persuades Ramsey to finally participate.

Pulling back a bit to show us more of the theatre's entrance.

Bowfinger and his team at the entrance doors looking at the approach of Kit Ramsey. On the right is Carol (Christine Baranski), an actress in his film.  At the left is the accountant turned screenwriter for the film.

Action star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) walking down the aisle with Daisy (Heather Graham). She's slept her way up the chain of command in Bowfinger's team (and then snared Ramsey) as she learns the business and figures out who can expand her role in the film. They get to sit in the VIP section.

Sorry, no seating in the reserved section for Bowfinger and his gang -- an usher takes them down front.

Heading to the the last remaining seats -- in the front row.

A nice group of seats from which to admire the Skouras-style sidewall decor.

"These are pretty good seats, aren't they?" asks Bowfinger.

Checking out the program.

The film-within-a-film begins.

Carol in a scene filmed in a garage without Ramsey's knowledge.  She admires his skill -- "It looked like real fear."  They'd put high heels on Bowfinger's dog to produce sounds to convince Ramsey he was being stalked by an unseen assailant.

Everybody's happy -- like an ideal Christmas scene in a film where everybody got exactly what they wanted. Daisy gets the rich film star, Bowfinger gets his career launched again, the car wash guy becomes a cinematographer, the accountant sees his screenplay produced.

The house after the film concludes. See our page on the Fox Westwood Village, now known as the Regency Village Theatre, for a history of the 1931 venue along with many photos.

The website Silver Screens also has a page on "Bowfinger."

On IMDb: "Bowfinger"