Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Pee-wee's Big Adventure"

 The Criterion Theatre in Santa Monica is seen in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (Warner Bros., 1985).

Thanks to Sean Ault for spotting it. He notes that the Criterion is "in the background when it was still an old time shopping street. Before the Chia Pet statues began to pop up and all the original stores were priced out of existence."

The theatre, at 1313 3rd St. Promenade, opened in 1924. In 1986 it was gutted and a new 6 plex built behind the historic facade. It closed in 2013 and is now retail space. See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Criterion Theatre for many photos. 

On IMdb: "Pee-wee's Big Adventure"

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Destination Murder"

In "Destination Murder" (RKO, 1950) we see the Marcal Theatre (later renamed the World) running a revival double bill of "Flight Lieutenant" (1942) and "Corregidor" (1943). Thanks to Jack Tillmany for the information on this one. He notes that the filming was done during the first week of  December 1949 and the Marcal's booker must have thought this was an appropriate "commemoration" of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

"Destination Murder," directed by Edward L. Cahn, stars Joyce Mackenzie, Stanley Clements and Hurd Hatfield. It's a tale of a woman's father getting killed and her quest to get close enough to a sleazy bar owner to prove he was behind the deed. 

See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the World Theatre for more about the building. It's still there at 6025 Hollywood Blvd. but now unrecognizable.

On IMDb: "Destination Murder"

"Models, Inc."

A lot of Reginald LeBorg's "Models, Inc." (Universal-International, 1952) was filmed in Santa Monica in 1951 and there are some nice shots of the Majestic Theatre in the background. It's a "startling expose" of a racket in which of models marry for money. Imagine that. The film stars Howard Duff and Colleen Gray.

The Majestic, at 214 Santa Monica Blvd., was renamed the Mayfair in 1967. Thanks to Jack Tillmany for the information on this one.

See the page about the Mayfair Theatre for more about the building. All that's left now is the facade with a new mixed-use building behind it.

On IMDb: "Models, Inc."

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"The Last Word"

We spend a lot of time in Highland Park with Amanda Seyfried and Shirley MacLaine in Mark Pellington's "The Last Word" (Bleeker Street Media, 2017).  The neighborhood is standing in for a California town called Bristol. Amanda's an obituary writer at the local paper, the Bristol Gazette, and Shirley hires her to write her obit -- only she realizes that she needs to change her life to get the writeup she wants.

A shot looking north on Figueroa St. On the right is the north edge of the Highland Theatre building at 5604 N. Figueroa Ave. in Highland Park.

Another shot of the Highland. 

Amanda and Thomas Sadoski across the street from the Highland on their first date. He runs the local alternative radio station where Shirley MacLaine becomes a DJ at the age of 81.

See the page about the Highland Theatre for more data and photos.

On IMDb: "The Last Word"

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"The Caretakers"

Lots of the Bruin Theatre is seen in Hall Bartlett's "The Caretakers" (United Artists, 1963). Bruce Kimmel comments: "We get great exterior shots of Polly Bergen walking up to the theater and buying a ticket, then great lobby shots as she enters the theater, and best of all, great auditorium shots when she goes beserk and runs up in front of the screen. Amusingly, I saw a sneak preview of 'The Caretakers' AT the Bruin – it was quite odd to be sitting in the auditorium watching Miss Bergen go berserk in the same auditorium!"

The theatre, at 948 Broxton Ave. in Westwood is a 1937 S. Charles Lee design still going strong as a single screen first run house. See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Bruin Theatre for many photos.

On IMDb: "The Caretakers"

Monday, July 3, 2017

"A Patch of Blue"

The Lake Theatre is seen in Guy Green's "A Patch of Blue" (MGM, 1965) with Sidney Poitier and Shelley Winters. The report comes from Cinema Treasures contributor John Bosley. He says they're playing a Peter Sellers film and that the Alvarado Theatre is also seen briefly.

Both theatres are in the MacArthur Park area. See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Lake Theatre for more information and a few photos.

The Alvarado, later known as the Park Theatre, was at 710 S. Alvarado. Still there, but now a down-market retail establishment. See the Wilshire Blvd. Movie Palaces page on the Alvarado Theatre for several vintage photos. 

On IMDb: "A Patch of Blue"

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Mad About Music"

In Norman Taurog's "Mad About Music" Universal, 1938) both Sid Grauman and the forecourt of the Chinese Theatre make an appearance. The film stars Deanna Durbin and Herbert Marshall. Deanna plays a girl at a school in Switzerland who makes up stories about herself and an imaginary explorer father.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages about Grauman's Chinese for a history of the building along with hundreds of photos.

On IMDb: "Mad About Music"

Monday, March 6, 2017

"The Devil's Hand"

In one shot near the end of “The Devil’s Hand" (Crown International, 1961) we get a look at the Picfair Theatre marquee in the background according to Cinema Treasures contributor Chas Smith.

The theatre was on Pico Blvd. just west of Fairfax. See the Los Angeles Theatres page about the Picfair for a few photos.

On IMDb: "The Devil's Hand"

Saturday, March 4, 2017


We're in Westwood and get a look at the Plaza Theatre, 1067 Glendon Ave., in Robert Aldrich's "Hustle (Paramount, 1975). The film stars Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve and Ben Johnson in a tale of an L.A. cop investigating a suicide that may actually have been something else.

Another shot from the scene. 

Thanks to Eitan Alexander for spotting this one -- and providing the screenshots. See the page on the Plaza Theatre for more about the building. Sadly, it's gone now.

On IMDb: "Hustle"

Friday, March 3, 2017

"The Dangerous Stranger"

We get some shots of the exterior of the Los Feliz Theatre, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., in the ten minute public service film "The Dangerous Stranger" (Sidney Davis Productions, 1950). Thanks to Bobster1985 for the screenshots. They're a contribution from him on the Cinema Treasures page about the Los Feliz.

The film warns us not to accept rides or gifts from strangers and offers tales of several kids who did -- and didn't come back. The policeman in the film warns "...their mothers and fathers never saw them again. I know you wouldn't want to do that to your folks."

Approaching the theatre.

A look at the Los Feliz boxoffice.

Buying a ticket.

This is the guy to watch out for. Looks harmless enough. But he smiled at her. During the film he sits next to her and puts his arm around her. We're warned "Never let a stranger put his arm around you. Get the usher!"   

 The film is on YouTube from Ziptrivia. There's also a post of it from A/V Geeks. It's also on Internet Archive.

See the page about the Los Feliz Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about the building. It's now a triplex operated by Vintage Cinemas.

On IMDb: "The Dangerous Stranger"


The facade of the Los Feliz Theatre, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., is seen in Trey Parker's film "Orgazmo" (October Films, 1998) according to Cinema Treasures contributor Shoeshoe14.  Who is in it? Trey Parker. Who wrote it? Trey Parker.  It's about a young Mormon guy who ends up starring in porno films.

See the page about the Los Feliz Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about the building. It's now a triplex operated by Vintage Cinemas.

On IMDb: "Orgazmo"


Exciting stuff. Two skateboard gangs battle for Hollywood supremacy in "Thrashin'" (Fries Entertainment, 1986). We get lots of low altitude shots on the boulevard including this view looking along the facade of Grauman's Chinese.  The film, directed by David Winters, features Josh Brolin, Robert Rusler and Pamela Gidley.

Looking west on the Walk of Fame toward the Mann Chinese Twin.  

A view toward the El Capitan in its Paramount disco-ball marquee phase.

Heading east with the Hollywood Theatre across the street. 

Thanks to Eitan Alexander for the screenshots. For more on these theatres head to the pages on the Hollywood Theatre, the El Capitan, Grauman's Chinese and the Chinese Twin on the Los Angeles Theatres website.

On IMDb: "Thrashin'"

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Out of Bounds"

Farm boy Anthony Michael Hall spends a summer in Los Angeles and gets mixed up with drug dealers in Richard Tuggle's "Out of Bounds" (Columbia, 1986).  The film also features Jenny Wright and Jeff Kober. Thanks to Eitan Alexander for this screenshot looking west from Cahuenga Blvd. toward the Warner Hollywood, at this point called the Hollywood Pacific.  

See the pages about the Warner Hollywood on the Los Angeles Theatres website for more about this currently dormant theatre.

On IMDb: "Out of Bounds"

Sunday, January 29, 2017

"Throw Momma from the Train"

Owen (Danny DeVito) goes to the movies at the Vista Theatre about twenty minutes into "Throw Momma from the Train" (Orion Pictures, 1987). The plot has to do with Owen wanting his mother bumped off and he's trying to talk his former teacher Larry (Billy Crystal) into doing it. In return he offers to kill Larry's ex-wife.

Yes, unlike Hitchcock's version, this is a comedy. DeVito directed a cast that also includes Oprah Winfrey, Rob Reiner, Kate Mulgrew and Branford Marsalis. Thanks to Chas Demster for the screenshot -- he's got it on his page about shooting locations for the film on the blog Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles.

See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Vista Theatre for photos inside and out. It opened in 1923 and is still going strong as a single screen first run venue.

On IMDb: "Throw Momma From the Train"

Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Luke's Movie Muddle"

The Harold Lloyd film "Luke's Movie Muddle" (Rolin Films, 1916) was shot at the Hollywood Theatre, 6764 Hollywood Blvd. Well, at least the exteriors. Here Lloyd is fighting with a policeman about how far out on the sidewalk he can place his Pathe sign. The sidewalk tile says "Hollywood Theatre."

In the seven minute film Lloyd plays a theatre owner who also has to usher and run the boxoffice as well as putting up with a sleepy projectionist. Also featured are Bebe Daniels and Snub Pollard. Hal Roach directed.  Here Lloyd, in the middle, is showing a patron to a seat after first selling the ticket and then rushing to the door to tear it.

He later gets more violent -- not ushering but rather throwing and shoving his patrons into their seats. Presumably all the interiors were done at Hal Roach Studios. It's a small room and the seats are just folding chairs.

A look at the murals on the side wall of the room. At the rear there's a ladder up to the booth. He has several fights with the projectionist.

Back in the boxoffice at the Hollywood again -- between fights with the patrons and staff. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the film as featuring the Hollywood.

Silent film detective John Bengtson has the Hollywood as #19 on his "Hollywood's Silent Echos: A Tour of Silent-era Hollywood Film Locations." It's a pdf attached to the Silent Locations blog. It was assembled as a bonus following a talk he gave at the 2013 TCM Festival. He's the author of "Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York through the Films of Harold Lloyd" as well as several other books about early film.

The film is available on YouTube in several versions from Change Before Going, CBGP Silents and Padamson, the latter one including the opening title cards.

See the page about the Hollywood Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about the 1913 vintage building.

On IMDb: "Luke's Movie Muddle"

Friday, January 27, 2017

"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"

The El Rey on Wilshire Blvd. appears as the site of a film premiere in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (Dimension/Miramax, 2001). Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith aren't happy -- the film they see, "Bluntman and Chronic," is based on their lives and they're not getting compensated.

Thanks to Joe Pinney for the tip on this one. The screenshot comes from the page about the film's shooting locations on the site Filming.90210locations.

See our El Rey Theatre page for more on this 1937 vintage theatre, now in use as a concert venue.

On IMDb: "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"

Thursday, January 26, 2017

"Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!"

The Warner Grand in San Pedro stands in for the local theatre in Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia in "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!" (Dreamworks, 2004). Robert Luketic's film features Kate Bosworth as Rosalee Futch, a small town clerk who wins a date with film star Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). Also featured are Topher Grace as a spurned boyfriend and Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes as Tad's agent and manager -- both named Richard Levy.

The theatre shows up in the film three times. Here at the beginning of the film Rosalee and her friends are watching Tad Hamilton's latest film. For the film we've added a simulation of a main floor projection booth. Thanks to Lindsay for the screenshot. It's on the Warner Grand page of her blog I Am Not a Stalker

In the middle of the film Rosalee and Tad Head to the theatre for their second date. Thanks to Chas Demster for this screenshot he includes in the post about the film's shooting locations on his blog Filming Locations of Chicago and New York

In the middle of the film Tad and Rosalee go to the Warner for their second date. This lobby shot features a cutout of Tad. The screenshot is from Lindsay's Warner Grand page, where you'll find more views of the Warner as seen in the film. Thanks, Lindsay!

Lindsay tells us the third time for the theatre isn't actually in the film. It's in an alternate ending that appears on the DVD. Rosalee goes with her father and several others to the theatre to see Tad's latest, "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," all about his relationship with Rosalee.

See our pages on the Warner Grand for many photos of all areas of this 1930 vintage art deco gem.

On IMDb: "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!"

"Live By Night"

The second half of Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" (Warner Bros., 2016) is set down south. The south end of Los Angeles for some scenes anyway. Here we're filming a scene in front of the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro. Thanks to Larry Diaz for his January 2016 photo. His set of five photos appeared on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.

Another view of the "Live By Night" filming from Larry Diaz. It's a prohibition era saga of bootleggers getting away from trouble in Boston and heading to Florida and encountering new obstacles to their business success. The film stars Mr. Affleck along with Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana and Sienna Miller.

To see the Warner in the film you have to wait until the last five minutes. Ben has left the rackets and his wife (Zoe Saldana) is killed by bullets from a crazed ex-sheriff (Chris Cooper). He's left with his young kid. So every Saturday they go to the movies.

Buying a ticket at the Warner for himself and his kid.

Watching the newsreels of Hitler and his troops.

A look back toward the crowd.  Not the first film shot at the Warner to put a fake projection booth at the rear of the main floor. Ben muses to the kid that despite the newsreels he doesn't think there will be another war. But, in a little goof a commentator on IMDb noticed, the date on the feature they see is 1941. In a surprise for Ben's character it turns out that the screenwriter for the film they're to see is his brother who had left for Hollywood years earlier.

See our pages on the Warner Grand Theatre for many photos of the theatre, a 1931 building designed by Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca that's still going strong as a live performance venue.

On IMDb: "Live By Night"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"A Night at Earl Carroll's"

We get to spend lots of time inside the Earl Carroll Theatre -- and get to see Mr. Carroll himself -- in the lighthearted romp "A Night at Earl Carroll's" (Paramount, 1940).  The famous neon sculpture on the theatre's facade of Beryl Wallace, Mr. Carroll's wife, is used for the opening credits.

Another shot from the credit sequence. The plot is slim -- about a mobster trying to embarrass the mayor and show him who's more powerful. The mobster (Steve Kalkus) engineers a kidnapping of Mr. Carroll and the lead performers so there won't be a show and the mayor will be shown up in front of all his guests.

Kurt Neumann, the film's director, gets a great credit card. Stars include Ken Murray, Rose Hobart, J. Carrol Naish, Lela Moore and Forbes Murray. And, of course, Earl Carroll.

The great stage was used for dancing before the shows. Down in front there's sort of a private box on the left of the stairs -- in the film the mayor and his party are there. On the right of the stairs is the orchestra -- on a lift that we see used in the film.

Barney Nelson (Ken Murray) and Rose Hobart (Ramona Lisa) try to figure out how to thwart the mobster's plans -- and put on a show without Carroll and all the principal performers. Lots of delays while they figure out what to do.

And a show we get -- and it's a treat to see the wonders of the stage all demonstrated. The stage featured a 60' revolve with separately operated inner and outer sections. There was also a water curtain, the orchestra pit lift, a small circular lift downstage center for a soloist, and a revolving tower of four pianos stage right.  We even spend some time backstage.  A low-res version of the film is on Vimeo.

The theatre, at 6230 Sunset Blvd., still retains many of its original deco features, especially in the lobby. See the Earl Carroll Theatre page on the Los Angeles Theatres website for more about the building, now a television production facility.

On IMDb: "A Night at Earl Carroll's"