Theaters


The distinction of being the first movie theater in Hollywood goes to the Idyl Hour Theater. Located at 6525 Hollywood Boulevard, it was established in either late 1910 or early 1911. During its first year the theater was little more than a converted store with chairs, a projector and a screen. The Idyl Hour Theater, whose name changed to the Iris Theater in 1913, moved to 6415 Hollywood Blvd. in 1914, and to a new 1000-seat theater at 6508 Hollywood Blvd. in 1918. The second theater was, appropriately, the Hollywood Theater, located on the south side of Hollywood Blvd., just east of Highland Ave. By the 1920s, movies were a permanent part of the American fabric. With more spectacular films being churned out by Hollywood's studios, the need for larger palace type theaters grew. The first of these, the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. is one of the world's most famous movie theaters. Opened in 1922, it was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere. The Egyptian Theatre was built by showman Sid Grauman and real estate developer Charles E. Toberman, who subsequently built the nearby El Capitan Theater and Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. The Egyptian Theatre cost $800,000 to build and took eighteen months to construct. Architects Meyer & Holler designed the building and it was built by The Milwaukee Building Company.The Egyptian Theatre was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Wednesday, October 18, 1922. Grauman's Chinese Theatre, located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. is, by far, the most well known theater in the world. The Chinese Theatre was commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theater which opened in 1922. It was at the Egyptian Theater that the first movie premiere was held. Built over 18 months, beginning in January 1926 by Charles E. Toberman for Sid Grauman, the theater opened May 18, 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film The King of Kings.  Amid the searchlights,it has since been home to many premieres, birthday parties, corporate junkets and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theater's most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day. The palatial, Art Deco Pantages Theaters opened on June 4, 1930, under the leadership of Alexander Pantages. Located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, it was one of the first 'Palace" type theaters to be built after the advent of talking pictures and boasted of having one of the most elaborate sound systems in the World. Over the course of its history, the theater has shown movies, hosted the Academy Awards, held rock concerts and, beginning in 1977, been a legitimate play theater. In the early 1920s, real estate developer Charles E. Toberman (the "Father of Hollywood") envisioned a thriving Hollywood theatre district. Having had great success with building the Egyptian Theater for Sid Grauman, he embarked on building the first legitimate theater in Hollywood. The El Capitan Theater, dubbed "Hollywood's First Home of Spoken Drama," opened on May 3, 1926 with Charlot's Revue. The design featured a Spanish Colonial Revival Style exterior designed by Stiles O. Clements of the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls & Clements, For a decade it presented live plays, with over 120 productions including such legends as Clark Gable and Joan Fontaine By the late 1930s, El Capitan felt the economic effects of the Depression, showcasing fewer and fewer productions. The theater then closed in 1941, for one year. The building was remodeled (to show movies) in the moderne style, and reopened on March 18, 1942 as the Hollywood Paramount Theatre. Its inaugural film presentation was Cecil B. DeMille's Technicolor feature Reap The Wild Wind. By the late 1980s, movie studios were once again being allowed to own theaters and in 1989 the Walt Disney Company took possession of the Paramount Theater. They spent $14 million on a complete renovation of the Paramount, restoring much of the building's original decor as well as the theater's original name. El Capitan reopened in 1991 with the premiere of The Rocketeer. In addition to the above, there have been countless theaters that have come and gone in the Hollywood area. Today, there are only a handful remaining.  For those who like movie theater photographs, you may enjoy photos of the Earl Carroll Theater.

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El Capitan Theater on Vine St.  Home of Ken Murray's
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El Capitan Theater on Vine St.  Home of Ken Murray's
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
TheatersEl Capitan Theater on Vine St. Home of Ken Murray's "Blackouts"
BLO-009
1947
TheatersEl Capitan Theater on Vine St. Home of Ken Murray's "Blackouts"
BLO-022
1948
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-1
1929
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-2
1930
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-3
1930
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-4
1930
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-5
1931
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-5
1931
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
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Carthay Circle Theater
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-6
1931
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-7
1931
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-8
1931
TheatersCarthay Circle Theater
PRM-002-10
1936