Monday, August 27, 2012

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

Excerpts from Motography, August, 1911

"One of the best known and most popular men connected with the amusement business in Los Angeles is L. M. Nelson, chief operator and electrician for the Arthur S. Hyman circuit of theaters."

"Upon the opening of the first Hyman theater his services were secured by Mr. Hyman, and as the houses were added Mr. Nelson was given charge of the projection of the entire Hyman circuit, comprising the Hyman Theater at Eighth and Broadway, seating 900; the College at Fifth and Hill, seating 600; the Neptune at Venice, seating 600; the Walker at Seventh and Grand avenue, seating 800; the Rounder at Fifth and Main street, seating 350, and the Royal at Third and Broadway, seating 300.
"The distance separating the Hyman houses made the purchase of a runabout necessary, consequently some months ago Mr. Nelson invested in a Hupmobile, and since then the two (Nelson and the Hup) are to be seen on their journeys of projection at all hours.
"At the College Theater the operating room is 9 by 18 feet with a ten-foot ceiling, having a 34-inch flue in the center of the ceiling for ventilating purposes, together with an exhaust fan.
"The equipment consists of two Edison 'type B' machines, a double dissolving stereopticon, a Menchen spotlight and the necessary accessories. Two operators are on duty, giving a continuous performance.
The equipment is the same in all the houses with the exception of the Neptune at Venice, where the alternating current made the use of a mercury arc rectifier necessary.
"Many and favorable are the comments heard on the projection in the various Hyman houses, which is no doubt due to the careful selection of skilled operators and the close personal attention given to the equipment by Mr. Nelson.
"The action of the Hyman management in placing Mr. Nelson in charge of projection in all its theaters shows the care that is taken in the western city to get perfect pictures."

From Motography:
Top: L.M. Nelson, in his Hup Runabout, parked in front of what appears to be the College Theatre
Bottom: Booth at the College Theatre. Unidentified operators.

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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