Paramount Theatre Side Trip


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Paramount Theatre Side Trip!

Take five minutes and you’ll see a “reminder” of the old Paramount Theatre!

–> Cross Broadway and turn left. Walk a half-block up the street.

A) Paramount Sign. From a vantage point on Broadway (about opposite the Arcade Theatre at #534) look across the street. High up to the left on the side of the corner building is a faded sign reading, “Paramount” – with a directional arrow (enlarge the image above right to view it online). The doorway far below led into a hallway which led to the theatre.

B) Richman Brothers. Just up from the sign, at #537 S. Broadway, is the former home of the Richman Brothers men’s clothing store. The 1930 building (Richman Bros. moved in in 1950) has been spruced up and returned to its Art Deco form. The building hasn’t looked this good in decades. 

C) Broadway Spring Arcade Building. While looking at the sign and the Richman Brothers structure across the street, don’t miss the buildings on this side of Broadway. One is the Broadway Spring Arcade Building – a cavernous retail mall connecting Broadway and Spring Street. Check out the archway; you’ll see its matching Spring Street façade later in this tour.

Also behind you is a trio of old theatres: the Arcade (with its original “Pantages” name on the Beaux Arts building), Cameo and Roxie. All are closed but all retain their theatre space. From the outside they look marginally better today than a generation ago when the photo at the bottom was taken. The insides are another story.

D) Arcade. Theatre. The 1,400-seat Arcade (#534 Broadway) was the first Pantages Theatre in town. It’s got good genes, having been designed by the noted firm of Morgan and Walls and completed in 1910. Check out the terrazzo design in the sidewalk below the marquee, likely dating from the 1930s.

E) Cameo Theatre. The Cameo (#528) opened in 1910 as Clune’s Broadway. Designed by A. Godfrey Baley and Alfred F. Rosenheim, it sat 600 – one of the smallest in town.

F) Roxie Theatre. The 1,600-seat Art Deco-styled Roxie (#518) is the newest of all – and the last theatre erected on Broadway. Designed by John M. Cooper, it opened its doors in 1931, replacing the former Quinn’s Superba Theatre on this site.  

It’s a Fact:

When the Pantages (today’s Arcade) opened in September of 1910, the evening’s entertainment included:

  • Barnold’s Dog and Monkey Actors in “A Hot Time in Dogville”
  • Sophie Tucker, the famed singer and comedienne
  • Maurice Burkhart, a singing comedian
  • MacLean & Bryant doing a “17-20 on the Black” gambling number
  • Lelliott Brothers doing a comedy musical sketch
  • Yalto Duo, novelty “whirlwind” dancers

(Information courtesty of  “Historic Los Angeles Theatres“)  

–> Return to the northwest corner of Sixth and Broadway to continue the Pershing Square tour.

Return to Pershing Square Tour

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