Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The Shrine Auditorium impersonated a New York theatre for the exhibition of the eponymous creature in "King Kong" (RKO, 1933). Thanks to Alison Martino for the screenshot on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
Another shot from the film giving us a somewhat wider view -- and a proscenium that is not the Shrine's. Evidently they built a false proscenium for the film. Thanks to John Antonio for the photo, added as a comment to a Shrine photo posted on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.
As to whether or not the Shrine was the venue for the filming, John notes that it's mentioned in several books on the making of the movie and adds: "It is also mentioned on the 'King Kong' DVD in the 'commentary' track. Also mentioned in a 'making of' special (on the DVD) by special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen who saw the film in its original release at Grauman's. Also all the principal photography was done in Los Angeles and only the exterior background shots were done in New York."
Head to the Shrine Auditorium pages on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about the theatre. It's a 1926 design by G. Albert Lansburgh situated near USC.
On IMDb: "King Kong"