Millennial Moment: Renovations at Earl Carroll Theatre

Oct. 31, 1982, A Boy and His Dog

Oct. 31, 1982, Earl Carroll Theater

Oct. 31, 1982: Times staff writer Ruth Ryon profiles the renovations at the Earl Carroll Theatre, 6230 Sunset Blvd. Now the Nickelodeon Studios, the theater was designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann and opened on Christmas Eve 1938.

After Carroll died in a 1948 plane crash, the theater went through several reincarnations. By 1982, it had been the Moulin Rouge, a set for the TV show “Queen for a Day,” a teen nightclub and the Aquarius, where “Hair” and “Zoot Suit” were performed.

Architect John Siebel was given the task of renovating the theater. In 1982, some features remained, including rotating stages and a 15-foot statue of Beryl Wallace, Carroll’s girlfriend.

Ryon also notes that the celebrity signatures in concrete that once decorated the outside of the building were being returned.

Architectural notes: The lobby’s ceiling was originally patent leather and the walls were “done in black fur,” Ryon says. The columns in the bar had neon lamps and “neon stalactites hung from the ceiling in the cabaret.”

At the movies: “A Boy and His Dog,” “It Came From Hollywood,” “Halloween III,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Veronica Voss,” “Smash Palace,” “Raiders of the Los Ark,” “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1982, Architecture, Film, Hollywood, Millennial Moments, Nightclubs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Millennial Moment: Renovations at Earl Carroll Theatre

  1. Cal and Lulu says:

    I guess we never saw the patent leather or the fur, but we did see a show in the early sixties there starring Sammy Davis Jr., actually dancing on the tables of the patrons as a part of the show.
    A few years later, we saw the live show “Hair” which was really revolutionary as it included a nude scene at the very end of the show. “Hair” was very avant garde’ at the time, but very tame by today’s standards. As I remember, the Earl Carroll Theatre was just across the street from the Hollywood Palladium, which was a place where many of the biggest attractions were held at the time. The Palladium, was a significant showplace that was a glamorous venue and part of the patina of Hollywood during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s as was the Earl Carroll Theatre. It wasn’t long thereafter, that smaller venues, like those two theaters, weren’t big enough to house the events being produced, which begs the question; Is bigger better? The popularity of these showplaces was during a time when Hollywood was still thought of as an exciting place, the “stars” and their images were manufactured, but, not like today, where they are “in your face”


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