Clune’s Broadway Theatre, 528 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

New York Dramatic Mirror, November 9, 1910:
“Clune’s new picture house, Los Angeles, Cal., seating 900 people and costing over $50,000, was opened to the public at 10, 15 and 20 cent prices Oct. 10.
“Mr. Clune runs two shows in the afternoons and two in the evenings; five films and four singers, together with a ten-piece orchestra, furnish the balance of the programme.
“Around the walls of this spacious theatre are electric chimes and bells, and the decorations are dainty and tastefully carried out. The immense electric sign on the roof outside cost $3,500 and is conceded to be the largest and most beautiful west of New York.
“The completion of the house gives the Clune Amusement Company two large houses in this city, one in San Diego, and a house seating 1,400 people being erected in Pasadena and which will be thrown open about the middle of November. Negotiations are being entered into for houses for this company in both Phoenix, Ariz., and Salt Lake City,U.”

The painting on the curtain is of the harbor at Avalon, Catalina Island.

Two other early trade publications offer conflicting opening dates:

The New York Clipper, November 5, 1910:
“The opening of Clune’s Broadway Theatre, last week, added a most attractive moving picture show house to the many now established in Los Angeles, CA. It has a seating capacity of nine hundred and is strictly up-to-date. Manager Wm. H. Clune is now operating three first class places in this city.”

Moving Picture World, November 12, 1910:
“The latest and most beautiful moving picture theater has been completed and will open in a day or two. The situation of this new enterprise is on South Broadway, just north of Mercantile place and will be known as the Clune Theater.”

Deadlines and publication dates may have contributed to this confusion.

When Clune’s closed as the Cameo in 1991 it was the longest continually operating movie theatre in California.

Clune’s Broadway

Los Angeles Conservancy

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.

Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

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Liberty Theatre, 266 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA

Seating Capacity: 540
Architect: A. C. Martin
Construction: P. J. Bolin
Proprietors: Kaiser, Sturm, & Hughes 
 
 

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, April 1, 1911:
“The ‘Liberty’ is one of the city’s eight first-class moving picture theaters. The selection of the theater site was chosen with exceptionally good judgement. The theater is located in the heart of the business district at 266-68  South Main Street, at the intersection of Third and Main Streets.”

“The front facade is of stucco and plaster-covered brick, the paneling and cornices outlined in small electric lights at night. The gold leaf statue crowning the cornice is ten feet in height, and, symbolizing liberty, holds aloft an electric torch. At the base of the statue in a laurel leaf gilded shield is the date of erection, 1910. Below this, on the crown of the shell-shaped lobby ceiling, is a second shield in gold leaf with the theater name ‘Liberty.’

“The floor of the lobby is of white tile, inlaid with a series of swastika design borders in green tile. The side walls of the lobby are wainscoted in white Italian marble to a height of eight feet, crowning which is a twelve-inch moulded cap of mahogany. The entrance doors are of mahogany, their bases trimmed in brass, and their upper panels of plate glass.

“The box office is roomy. It is also wainscoted in marble, the woodwork of the upper part  being in mahogany and the windows of plate glass.

“The brick wall of the lobby contains a beautiful leaded art glass window, semi-circular in shape, with a landscape design of beautiful coloring, especially so when seen illuminated at night. Bordering the design are the words ‘Continuous Performance.’ Radiating from the art glass window, which forms the nucleus of the shell, are a series of stucco shell ribs, each containing fifteen clear-globed eight-candlepower lights.”

“The inner lobby leading to the auditorium is 15×20 feet in size. The floor is of white tile, with six inch baseboard of marble. The lobby is paneled in oak to a height of 30 inches, above which it is covered with an imitation leather fabric.”

“Opening off the lobby are retiring rooms for both men and women, the rooms also being finished in tile and marble. A narrow stairway opening off the lobby leads to the office, operators booth and organ loft.

“The operators booth is roomy and is equipped with the latest apparatus, including two Edengraph projectoscopes and a stereopticon. To the right of the operator’s balcony is the organ loft, containing a large pipe organ, a valuable addition to the orchestra in accompanying religious and special films.”

“The [auditorium] seats are of wood with iron standards. The side walls of the auditorium are paneled to a height of three feet in oak, above which are a series of five landscape paintings on each side, the borders of which are outlined with stenciled designs of a darker shade than the light green color scheme of the side walls.

“The height of the auditorium is twenty-four feet, and the stage is sixteen feet square. Facing the stage on each side are singing booths. The auditorium is illuminated by ceiling lights and ten pairs of art glass side lights of tulip design with green globes. The ceiling is of white plaster with cream trim, and from it are suspended five electric fans.

“The theatre is showing four first-run licensed films, and one illustrated song, except on Saturdays and Sundays, when two songs are used.

“The theater employs ten people. Girl ushers look after the seating arrangements. Five cents admission is charged to all parts of the house.”

“The theatre was completed early in the year and has played to good business ever since.”

For more on the Liberty

 

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.

Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

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Queen Theatre, Los Angeles

The Film Index, March 4, 1911

queen_pe_pe

“H. B. and F. N. Knapp, who owned and managed the Queen, Vaudette and Peter Pan Theatres in Battle Creek, Michigan, have opened the first real classy suburban theatre in Los Angeles–the Queen Theatre–at the corner of Jefferson Street and Vermont Avenue.

The house was built especially for them and no expense has been spared in having everything first class. They are located in the best residence district and have approximately ten thousand people to draw from.

The house is beautifully furnished with opera chairs; a three-piece orchestra furnished the music.”

lobby_pe “They have a novelty in the line of photo frames in the lobby. Instead of having frames of only one company they have ten frames 30×40 inches each having the principal characters in each company in a frame by itself–a great many of which are clipped from The Index; and it makes a very neat appearance in the lobby.

They are meeting with very good success.”

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

He has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

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Tally Presents the Vitascope

The pioneer Los Angeles film exhibitor, Thomas L. Tally, first presented the Vitascope on July 25, 1896, in his amusement parlor at 311 S. Spring Street.

The International Photographer, August, 1932:

Tally 1

“Phonograph parlor in San Antonio in 1893. These institutions were sort of curtain raisers for the coming screen pictures, in existence at the time but not commercially. They were shown that year at the Chicago fair.

“This show [bottom] at 311 Spring Street, Los Angeles, marks the removal of T. L. Tally from San Antonio, being opened in August*  of 1896.

“At the rear center are two chairs facing an Edison peepshow on a screen. At the left side of the picture are the Edison kinematographs**, in the center Biograph mutoscopes, and at the right the customers are listening to phonographs. Mr. Tally is shown in each photograph.” tally 2

*Newspaper articles announce the showing of the Vitascope at the rear of Tally’s amusement parlor on July 12, 1896.

**kinetoscope

Tally’s Phonograph Parlor

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

He is available for theatre talks and walking tours in 2015-2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling  on Etsy and Amazon

Mozart Theatre, 730 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017

The “unique” Mozart, “conducted almost entirely by women”

Advertisement, Moving Picture World, July 20, 1912:

july201912

 

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, August 17, 1912:

“The new Mozart motion picture theater, which opened August 5, is unique in that it is conducted almost entirely by women. The only male employee on the premises is the operator in the projection booth. The proprietor and manager is Mrs. Anna M. Mozart. All her assistants–ushers, ticket sellers, doorkeepers, the  musical director–even the press agent–are women.  There is a ‘policewoman’ on duty at each performance.

“The new enterprise is housed in the Walker Theater, formerly a regular playhouse, on Grand Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets. It has a seating capacity of about 900 and before it opened its doors Mrs. Mozart spent nearly $25,000 in getting ready.

“The largest single item of expense was $10,000, which was invested in a Photoplayer, the first of its size to be installed on the coast. It is an instrument designed to take the place of a full orchestra but it can be operated by one person.

“The one in the Mozart Theater is 25 feet long, eight feet wide and ten feet high and occupies the entire orchestra pit. Inside it are thousands of pipes and reeds, a piano and the necessary apparatus for producing 33 different sound effects, such as bird calls, locomotive bell and whistle, thunder, rain, horse trots, cannon, drums, cymbals, castanets and tambourine. Another feature is a set of reeds which reproduces the tones of the human voice.

“Nothing but big special features will be shown in the house. Among the films advertised to be shown in the near future are Blanche Walsh in ‘Resurrection,’ ‘St. George and the Dragon,’  ‘The Raven,’ Nat Goodwin in ‘Nathan Hale,’ Custer’s Last Fight,’ and ‘The Odyssey.’ Summer prices will be 10, 15 and 25 cents.”

 

Advertisement, Moving Picture World,  October 5, 1912:

oct51912

 

 

Mozart Theatre

 

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

National Theatre, 448 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Moving Picture News, February 24, 1912:

Moving Picture News Feb. 24,1912_pe

“This is one of the best independent houses in the city having a seating capacity of 350. Mr. Bert Lustig, the enterprising manager, took charge of the National not quite a year ago, and since that time the patronage has doubly increased.

“The house formerly used trust pictures, but when Mr. Lustig took charge, he at once changed to independent, and consequently, the National is among the best paying theatres in Los Angles. Four reels of pictures are shown, the programme changing twice a week. Mr. Lustig has recently opened the ‘Rex’ Theatre on Main street, between Third and Fourth streets, and the house like the National is proving to be a winner.”

National Theatre

The Great Chicago Stockyards Fire, a split-reel motion picture released June 3, 1911 by  the Independent Moving Pictures Co. of America (IMP).

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014–historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.