Friday, August 24, 2012

College Theatre, 441 S. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90014

Opened:  "Matinee" December 14, 1910
Proprietor: Arthur S. Hyman
Architects: Hunt & Burns

Part 1: Excerpts from  Moving Picture World, May 27, 1911:

"The theatre is of brick construction and covers the full width and depth of the lot measuring 40x120."

"The front of the building is decorated with an intricate design of white staff to the height of the three sculptural groups, the central figures of which hold aloft torches composed of white globes. Above the sculptured groups and extending to the roof cornice, the front is laid off in marked squares tinted in a light orange color.
"The lobby is wainscoted to a height of ten feet with selected white Italian marble. On the sides of the marble wainscoting, at a height of five feet, are placed four small decorative panels of leaded art glass; two on each side of the lobby. Above the marble wainscoting are five pairs of leaded art glass windows with mahogany sashes."

"The box office is also wainscoted in marble. Above the plate glass extends a decorative bronze grill. The ceiling of the lobby is in white plaster from which is suspended  two square 12-inch drop lights with leaded art glass panels, each of the four panels representing a phase of college athletic life in which appear athletes in college athletic costumes."

"The entrance doors are of solid mahogany. The exit doors facing the street are of Gothic design."

"The height of the auditorium is twenty-nine feet. The walls are tinted in a light green, and the plaster decorations in a light orange with gold leaf and white trimmings. The ceiling is arched and paneled in white with stenciled borders in gold and green. The ceiling contains six circular ventilators with bronze grills. The side walls of the auditorium support four eighteen-inch fans on each side, and between them are hung art glass side-lights in miniature of the lobby drop lights. The railings about the orchestra, the bases, the door facings and stairway leading to the operator's room are of mahogany. The screen is roomy and on each side of it are two singing booths.
"The tapestries of the auditorium are of valour with dark green inside face, and the other side plum colored. At the rear of the auditorium are retiring rooms for both men and women, with a maid in attendance in the latter. The seats are upholstered in light green leather, with brass-plated standards, and backs in ark green enamel. The seats are large and roomy and well spaced for the comfort of patrons. The carpers are of green. On the right of the auditorium an exit passage way four feet six inches in width connects with the side auditorium exits and extends down to the stage.
"The orchestra consists of six pieces and is under the leadership of Miss Lillian May Lancaster, a noted composer, and known the country over as the newsboys' friend. The orchestra will feature the college music of the different universities.
"A notable decorative feature of the auditorium is a series of banners six feet long by four wide containing the seals and pennants in gold and college colors of the following universities: Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Michigan, California, Standford, Southern California, and other well known universities."

"The program consists of five reels of the best of first-run Independent films, and several song specialties.
"The admission prices charged are 10 and 15, with five-cent admission for the children. Young men ushers, in uniforms of blue, with white braided trimmings, look after the seating of patrons. The musicians' uniform are white graduation college gowns and white square college caps to match."

Next week in part two, we visit the booth with Motography  

For more on the College Theatre

Postcard: Theatre Talks collection

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

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