Thursday, October 4, 2012

University Theatre, 931 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, November 22, 1913:
"The Inhabitants of the Southern part of California, especially the part near Los Angeles, are particularly proud of the University Theater, located at 931 West Jefferson Street, that city, for the simple reason that it is a moving picture theater of the first order, according to data furnished by the managers, Messrs. J.O. Canfield and C. J. Wagner.  
"A feature of the house is its large mirror screen installed in the latter part of last April at an expense of $1,000. The measurements of the screen are 12 feet by 16 feet, and the managers claim that is a result of the large increase in patronage.
According to the report of Messrs. Canfield & Wagner the commendatory remarks of the patrons of the University have been the means of bringing managers of picture houses in Los Angeles and its environs to the house to see the effect the screen has upon the large audiences the University  always houses at every entertainment."

"The University is the only theater in the Southern part of California to exploit a mirror screen, and the managers deserve credit for being the first in that part of the state to recognize the efficiency of this projection surface.
"Another device that helps to give better projection at the University is the Mercury Arc Rectifier. The operating room, which is large, is built entirely of fire-proof material. In addition to the Mercury Arc Rectifier the projection battery consists of an Edison Model B and a Motiograph machine. On one side of the projection chamber there has been allotted space for a little workshop where all tools and appurtenances pertaining to such a room are carefully laid way and within easy access in case of emergency.    
"The auditorium, which is 48 feet by 104 feet in measurement, has a seating capacity of 600 persons. There is a stage 6 feet by 20 feet, with a singers booth on each side. There is a five foot aisle on each side of the auditorium and a wide one running across the  center. The exits are large and conveniently arranged. Fresh air constantly permeates the auditorium for the ventilating system is perfect.
"Entertainments are given only in the evenings with the exception of the first Saturday of each month when the managers put on a free show for the children in the vicinity. The University is the only house in Southern California to employ uniformed ushers. Moving pictures and songs constitute each entertainment." 

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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