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Pantages Theater Pictures

      ** Click Here To See Photos **

In the heart of Hollywood, on Hollywood Boulevard, right down the block from Vine Street, stands the Pantages Theater. It's a fitting location: The Pantages was one of the greatest landmarks of Hollywood, signifying both the glorious past and adventuresome future of the world's entertainment capital.

The Pantages has a history as grand and diverse as the stage and screen fare which audiences have flocked to enjoy there for half a century. These days it's one of Los Angeles' leading homes of legitimate theater and a favorite 'location' for tv shows, movies and music videos. In the past, it has been a movie house, with live vaudeville acts between features as well as the site of many gala premieres and 'spectaculars.' For ten years the Pantages Theatre was the home of the glittering Academy Awards Presentations.

The Pantages Theatre came to life on June 4, 1930, opened by the great impresario, Alexander Pantages as part of the Fox Theatre chain. The opening bill was mixed: MGM's The Floradora Girl, starring Marion Davies, an edition of Metronome News, a Walt Disney cartoon, Slim Martin ('The Maestro of Mirth and Melody') conducting the Greater Pantages Orchestra and finally, a Fanchon and Martin stage piece, The Rose Garden Idea.

Howard Hughes, through RKO pictures, acquired the Pantages as part of his national chain of movie houses in 1949. A contractual stipulation ensured that the name of its builder would be retained and thus it entered the 1950s as the RKO Pantages. That was the decade when the Pantages played host to Hollywood's most spectacular annual event -- The Academy Awards, which were handed out to lucky winners (including Humphrey Bogart, Vivien Leigh and Frank Sinatra) on its stage each year from 1949 to 1959. Yul Brynner received his Best Actor award on the Pantages stage in 1956 for The King & I , and came back to the theatre twenty years later, again to star as the King of Siam, this time in a record-breaking run of the live show.

Pacific Theatres, operated by the Forman family, purchased the Pantages from RKO in December, 1967, after having run the theatre for two years on a lease agreement. Pacific briefly closed the house down for refurbishing and a general relighting, something the theatre had needed for some time. The Pantages reopened, refreshed, again taking its place as one of the finest movie houses on the west coast and continued as such for nearly a decade. But in January, 1977 the silver screen went dark for the last time and work was begun on the Pantages' latest and greatest incarnation.

On February 15, 1977, the Pantages opened its doors again, this time to patrons eager to see the national touring company of the Broadway smash, Bubbling Brown Sugar. The Forman family's Pacific Theatres had been joined by the Nederlander Organization and it was their ambition to bring live theatre back to Hollywood in a big way. The Nederlanders, among the nation's foremost theatrical impresarios, lent their monumental expertise to the task and under the combined Nederlander-Forman aegis, the Pantages opened as one of the finest legitimate theatres in California.


Pantages Theater pictures can be found on the website This collection is the largest collection of photographs on the subject of Hollywood. Included in the collection are beautiful Pantages Theater pictures. One of these pictures is of the premiere of 'When Tomorrow Comes', in 1939, while another is of the premiere of 'Spartacus'. Another is of the front of the theater, during the 1950 Academy Awards. There's one of the theater's grand opening and one of the theater today. Simply go on line and type in the address bar. All the Pantages Theater pictures are available for purchase.

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