A Theater Rises on Broadway



Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

June 2, 1907
Los Angeles

The Hamburger Department Store announces plans for a theater just south of its new building on South Broadway at 8th Street, designed by the architecture firm of Edelman and Barnett.

According to plans, the horseshoe-shaped theater is to seat 1,600 people, with a balcony and a gallery. The stage is to be 40 feet by 80 feet, with a proscenium 36 feet wide and 32 feet high.



“The interior of the arch will be finished in ‘Art Nouveau’ as a suggestion of the beautiful effect given by the arch of the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City,” The Times said.

The facade of the eight-story building is to be pressed brick and terra cotta with inlaid colored glazed tile. The marquee of hammered copper is to measure 14 feet by 23 feet, extending from the building to the curb.

A June 14, 1908, Times story says the interior was designed by Antoon Molkenboer. The panel over the proscenium will portray 16 larger-than-life figures titled “The Cast of Characters.”

Ramon Novarro began as an usher at Hambuger’s Majestic (later the Majestic) and kept as mementos a pair of ticket stubs given to him by Charlie Chaplin. Edward Everett Horton, Lewis Stone and Franklin Pangborn also performed at the theater. In its final years, it was a burlesque house and figured in an obscenity case before it was torn down in 1933 to make way for parking.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, 1908, Architecture, Broadway, Downtown, Streetcars, Theaters and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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